XZ-10 First Impressions

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
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ChrisWal
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XZ-10 First Impressions
Apr 3, 2013

My XZ-10 arrived yesterday and since user-reports seem a little scarce I thought I'd share my opinion so far...

Size

Even though I'd read the specs and compared them with those of my other cameras, I was still surprised by how small the XZ-10 looked when I unwrapped it.

Nervous about dropping it with my clumsy hands I put the wrist strap on straightaway and intend to keep it on. It's very impressive to see so much functionality and quality packed into such a small unit.

Getting started

I'd pretty much read the instruction manual from cover-to-cover before the camera arrived, so it wasn't a problem getting set up. Charging the battery seems to take quite a long time; I'm pleased I have ordered a second battery and a separate charging unit, as it's frustrating having the camera tied up and unusable while the battery charges.

The camera controls are well laid out and pretty easy to figure out - there were a couple of things I had to look up in the manual, though. The display is lovely.

Usability

It's extremely easy to take photos with this camera! But here are some more useful thoughts: Some of the test shots I've taken have been in bright sunlight. In this situation it was almost impossible to see what was on the screen, so a bit of guesswork was required for compostion etc. I really missed having a viewfinder there, but I guess I'll get used to it. Many of my initial photos have a wonky horizon which I'm putting down to this.

I have found it a little too easy to rotate the "sub dial" on the back, which meant there was a tendency to dial in an over/under exposure compensation by accident. The the main control ring on the front is really useful - I'm trying to make my mind up if I want to swap the direction that it's currently working in. The option to touch the screen to focus (and fire the shutter) is really handy - I think I will definitely use that depending on the situation I'm working in. I had an hour playing with the Scenes and Art settings - they look a lot of fun, not sure if I'll ever use them!

Image quality

It's very, very important to say first of all that it's early days for me with this camera. I'm not sure what I was really expecting, but I have to say that I have not been "blown away" by the results I've achieved so far. Yet.

The lighting and location I've had up to now haven't been the best and if it wasn't for wanting to get these test shots, I'd probably not have gone out taking photos. I have got some reasonable close-ups of flowers.

I created a Flickr set that gives a flavour of what I've taken so far. DISCLAIMER: I wouldn't normally put any of the images in this set on public view - they're lacking in quality in so many areas as a result of the photographer's failings, not the XZ-10. They're straight out of the camera, warts and all and are here for your perusal. All taken with ISO set at 100. I'd appreciate comments and criticism if you have the time...

Here's the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chriswalpole/sets/72157633154496085/

Anyway, over the next few days hopefully I'll get a chance to grab some more interesting shots with some nicer lighting. I also need to spend more time with the manual and tinker with the customisation. (For example, I prefer my shots to be more sharpened than some).

I'll be happy to try and respond to any particular requests for sample shots of a particular type.

In summary

I've no regrets so far with my purchase. The XZ-10 seems to be a great camera with masses of potential, but I certainly need to work on getting the best out of it! It was the same when I got my first DSLR (E300)! When I asked on this forum for suggestions for a quality Oly compact, I said I wanted something to fit into my shooting line-up between my iPhone and my E5. The XZ-10 certainly does that. At this stage my feelings are that I'll not be leaving my DSLR at home on any photographic outings, but my phone is getting demoted to other duties, like the occasional call...

Chris

 ChrisWal's gear list:ChrisWal's gear list
Olympus SP-350 Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Olympus E-1 Olympus E-300 Olympus E-620 +15 more
Olympus E-5 Olympus Stylus XZ-10
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