Impressions of a new XZ-1 owner - Just forget the doubts and buy it!

Started Jan 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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S Barr
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Impressions of a new XZ-1 owner - Just forget the doubts and buy it!
Jan 17, 2012

"Terrible jpegs, raw-only camera, a little too big, annoying lens cap, no dedicated iso button, no af/ae lock button..." I thought I'd found the perfect camera before reading some of the posts on here. Despite all the love and praise for the XZ-1 on this forum, being the type of person who worries I found the above issues were raised frequently enough to give me some severe doubts. Fortunately, I also found encouragement and support here too, enough to persuade me to finally buy the camera.

Moment of truth. And let me tell you now, worry ye not. Coming at things from the stance of a photographic philistine, I am simply wowed by this compact camera. Jpegs for me are stunning, out of this world. I can't compare them to any other compact I've used (of late Panasonic TZs). I'm generally shooting at 100 ISO, outside. But in the darkest of British January days it's more than adequate, occasionally 200, and I'm not sure I'll ever need to go above 400, even indoors. The brightest of lenses copes where other compacts would find it necessary to go way above this. So, superb jpegs. Will I eventually shoot raw? Maybe, if a shot dictates this, but it won't be the norm for me at this stage. Like I said, Philistine!

A little too big? Size is perfect. Yes the S100 is smaller but unless size is your main priority, forget even comparing the two. The XZ-1 ranks supreme, and the lens alone leaves other compacts in its wake. For size I'm used to Panasonic TZ series, neat and compact. The XZ-1 is a tiny, tiny fraction bigger. But it still slips into a shirt or coat pocket easily and I love the fact that I can.

Annoying lens cap? No problem at all for me. It's exactly the same as it would for anyone using a dslr or csc with interchangeable lenses - the lens cap is simply removed and popped into your pocket. If that's not acceptable, Olympus provide you with a tie so that it remains attached to the camera. I actually quite like it as it is!

No ISO button? Can't argue there, but switch mode dial to P, twist the fab lens dial and voila! Takes about a second, maybe two when your new to it, but not a problem.

No AE/AF button? - a half press of the button locks focus, so you can then recompose - personally this is enough for me.

We all want a DSLR in a compact but that's not happening anytime soon. Major compromises still remain, as the much-hyped G1X looks like proving. But given all the limitations of a compact, the XZ-1 comes so close to being the very best of compromises.

So if you're like me and tend to dwell on the negatives, if you've agonised for far too long and found yourself going round and round in circles, and think maybe you might wait for an XZ-2 to resolve all the 'issues', do yourself a favour - buy the XZ-1. It's sublime. It's a joy to use. It's an incredible performer. It will grow with you. You will grow with it. It's fun. It will provide you with stunningly sharp images combined with heart-warming Olympus colours that are to die for. It will inspire your work and take your photography to exciting new levels. You will love it. Do it.

A huge thank you to all those posters who helped me end the agony of indecision. The XZ-1 is quite simply superb.

Olympus XZ-1
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