Goodbye to XZ-1

Started Sep 13, 2013 | Discussions
Everhandy
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Goodbye to XZ-1
Sep 13, 2013

First let me say, I have really enjoyed the XZ-1 since I bought it when it was introduced and it has served me well with some great pictures. I still hold the camera in high regard but now I must part with it.

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a Sony RX100 and it's been kept in the holster pretty much except for some video work. But today, I took it out, along with the XZ-1 and did a few comparison shots. All I have to say is, wow. The RX100 is so strikingly superior to the XZ-1 in every way that I can no longer carry the XZ-1 knowing I will be seriously compromising in image quality as a result. In addition, the RX100 is that much smaller and I am able to actually stick it in a pocket, something that is difficult with the XZ-1. As far as video goes, well there is no comparison. the RX100 is light years better in video than the XZ-1.

So that's my last Oly to go (just sold the E-PL5) and probably won't be looking for another unless they can come up with an RX100 contender.

joe6pack
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 13, 2013

While RX100 is a very capable and a smaller camera, it still cannot compete with the XZ-1 for its bokeh effect. RX100 also lacks an ND filter. This is the main reason that I decided against getting RX100, at least for its current price.

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Everhandy
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to joe6pack, Sep 13, 2013

joe6pack wrote:

While RX100 is a very capable and a smaller camera, it still cannot compete with the XZ-1 for its bokeh effect. RX100 also lacks an ND filter. This is the main reason that I decided against getting RX100, at least for its current price.

Granted, RX100 is not a bokeh superstar. Keep in mind it has a sensor twice as large as the XZ-1 so at the wide end, the bokeh is much better. For portraits at mid tele lengths with bright light, I would recommend a DSLR with a portrait lens above both the XZ-1 and RX100 anyway. Not that the RX100 is horrible, btw.

In two years of shooting with the XZ-1 and other compacts, I've maybe used the ND filter once.
I am assuming there is a good reason they didn't put that feature into the RX100. Maybe it is a little used feature and maybe it degrades image quality, I don't know for sure but, I don't miss it. In any case, the images are so darn good from the RX100, it's minor foibles are irrelevant.

If you have the means, try one out.

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joe6pack
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 13, 2013

I think the reason you don't use the ND filter is because you don't shoot a lot of outdoor portraits. You really do need the ND filter when shooting during daytime at F2.5. Even 1/2000 shutter cannot coupe with the amount of light pouring on the sensor. At the long end, the XZ-1 has a DOF of about 1.5' for a subject that is 10' away. This is very good for half height portraits.

As for bokeh at wide end, it is only good for close subjects, e.g. flowers. Even smartphones can do that.

If I have time this weekend, I will try out some portraits with my NEX-3N. On paper, the kit lens will have deeper DOF than my XZ-1. While I can buy a better lens for bokeh, I am not willing to spend $$$ for a bigger, heavier lens and render my camera not portable.

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Everhandy
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to joe6pack, Sep 13, 2013

joe6pack wrote:

I think the reason you don't use the ND filter is because you don't shoot a lot of outdoor portraits.

True. I find the bright light outdoors as poor quality for portraiture. Too many shadows on the face. I try to get portraits in the subdued lighting after sunrise or before sunset therefore, no need for ND. ND comes in handy when trying to shoot motion with a blurry effect which requires lslower shutter speeds and in bright light that calls for smaller apertures, therefore a need for ND. With compacts, anything above F8 is begging for diffraction. The XZ-1 needs the ND filter because it's minimum aperture is F8 and I would hesitate to go that high for fear of a soft image. The RX100, having a larger sensor can go to F11 and therefore less need for ND filtration. Keep in mind, sensor size changes everything.

You really do need the ND filter when shooting during daytime at F2.5. Even 1/2000 shutter cannot coupe with the amount of light pouring on the sensor. At the long end, the XZ-1 has a DOF of about 1.5' for a subject that is 10' away. This is very good for half height portraits.

As for bokeh at wide end, it is only good for close subjects, e.g. flowers. Even smartphones can do that.

If I have time this weekend, I will try out some portraits with my NEX-3N. On paper, the kit lens will have deeper DOF than my XZ-1. While I can buy a better lens for bokeh, I am not willing to spend $$$ for a bigger, heavier lens and render my camera not portable.

I'm glad you brought this up. being the experimental type, I took my XZ-1 and RX100 out for a couple of test shots.

The setup is a tripod, equal distance for both cameras. both cameras set close to 100mm equiv. and at the widest aperture available for each camera at that FL. Exposures don't really matter here but please note the RX100 does a better job right out of the gate with Dynamic Range.

The XZ-1:

XZ-1  f2.5 ISO100 1/320 92mm equiv.

The RX100:

RX100  f4.9 ISO250 1/125 100mm equiv.

From these examples, I would have to judge the RX100 as having a slightly greater background blurring effect and a somewhat more dramatic Bokeh, although it's close.

The conclusion one may draw is that the XZ-1 is indeed, not superior in the DOF department and the Bokeh is no more pleasant than the FX100 with is slower lens at approximately the same focal length.

Additionally, the RX100 blows the XZ-1 out of the ballpark in detail and sharpness, in this example.

Your thoughts.

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Timbukto
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 13, 2013

Not very conclusive since your ISO is base on the XZ-1 as well as a much faster shutter speed.  In addition if its OOC jpeg and not RAW you throw out a lot of pixel peeping detail already.  OOC jpegs on XZ-1 are suitable when re-sized to most prints or web usage however, but they won't win pixel peep contests.  Other than that not really a conclusive test as exposure settings aren't really normalized in anyway.

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joe6pack
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Not a fair comparison
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 13, 2013

While you used the maximum 37.1mm focal length for RX100, the XZ-1 actually extends all the way to 24mm (112mm equivalent). And I suspect XZ-1 can do wider than F2.5 at 19.8mm as well.

Also, the pictures has significant difference in exposure. It just shows that the two cameras have different metering logic.

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MiroM
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 13, 2013

Good on you. But, most of us know that there is RX100 and still opted for either XZ1 or XZ2.

I've picked up the XZ10 before the RX100 and don't regret it, if I want a better image quality in a smaller package than DSLR, than I would probably go with the RX1.

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PON307G
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to MiroM, Sep 14, 2013

Everhandy,

I've had a look at the Sony at my local camera shop, but also will be staying with my out of date XZ-1. I just didn't see the value at nearly twice the price (that I paid) for my camera.

Regards,

Larry C.

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Everhandy
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Re: Not a fair comparison
In reply to joe6pack, Sep 14, 2013

joe6pack wrote:

While you used the maximum 37.1mm focal length for RX100, the XZ-1 actually extends all the way to 24mm (112mm equivalent). And I suspect XZ-1 can do wider than F2.5 at 19.8mm as well.

Also, the pictures has significant difference in exposure. It just shows that the two cameras have different metering logic.

I think you're missing the point. I did not post the examples to prove the RX100 is a better camera. It is a better camera, a much better camera, there is no dispute there. I wanted to prove that the RX100 is actually capable of producing very good Bokeh as your claim suggested the XZ-1 would surpass the RX100 in that regard. Your assertion was evidently inaccurate.

For the record, Bokeh is actually the quality of the background blur, not the quantity. to say the XZ-1 has more Bokeh is a misuse of the term.

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joe6pack
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Re: Not a fair comparison
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 14, 2013

Everhandy wrote:

joe6pack wrote:

While you used the maximum 37.1mm focal length for RX100, the XZ-1 actually extends all the way to 24mm (112mm equivalent). And I suspect XZ-1 can do wider than F2.5 at 19.8mm as well.

Also, the pictures has significant difference in exposure. It just shows that the two cameras have different metering logic.

I think you're missing the point. I did not post the examples to prove the RX100 is a better camera. It is a better camera, a much better camera, there is no dispute there. I wanted to prove that the RX100 is actually capable of producing very good Bokeh as your claim suggested the XZ-1 would surpass the RX100 in that regard. Your assertion was evidently inaccurate.

For the record, Bokeh is actually the quality of the background blur, not the quantity. to say the XZ-1 has more Bokeh is a misuse of the term.

If you did not post the examples to prove that the RX100 is a better camera, then I must be missing the point.
If you allow the cameras to use different exposures and does not maximize the focal length of XZ-1, I don't believe you can draw the kind of conclusion you claimed.

In fact, since I don't know the size of your subject, it is hard to tell whether the effect is practical for portraits. Here is a test shot using life size subject.

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Ben O Connor
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XZ-(1 & 2) vs RX100
In reply to joe6pack, Sep 14, 2013

In a fight where is Purchase IQ matters

XZ-1 beats 3 RX100 at the same time ! He has a hotshue, enought pocketable (not the smallest, but not the biggest either!) sharp like a katana sword lens... rock bottom prices !!! Sony would have a black eye and runnig away the place !

In a fight where image quality matters

RX100 MIGHT BEAT the XZ-1 but he would not escape. He will stand and fighting till the end of battle ! and would leave the place without a black eye !

RX100 has strong punches as sensor size + wide end shaprness, BUT in tele end and expanding this tele end (by a filter thread etc) XZ-1 keep his guard high. And by having F2.5 at tele end, he keep his head behind his arms !

In a fight where flexibility matters

RX100 would feel like 17 years old soldier in the moddle of II. World War "GOD what the hell I´m doing here !!", while squad leader XZ-2 has his hot shue on his head, optional filter thread, and geared up his flip back monitor with many control dials, and shaking the walley with his loud orders as " GO GO GO !!!" However RX100 II seems like a something better with hotsue...well there are nikon 1 system, not with hotshue, but also with interchagable lens. Well not fitting any pockets but we are in the war of flexibility not compactness !

Well lets get serious

RX100 is has a great built quality. Can not deny that. Its so small and great. But Sony menu really makes the things coplex, while eveything is just a button touch far in Olympus menu. Probably haveing a huge sensor over XZ´s gives greater DOF and also a nice video. But price is still an issue, as long as its over 499 €/$ camera. should be 399€/$/£ level... And while XZ´s are between 299-349, They have better IQ.. And even XZ-1 has 199€ price tag here ! I think it will be a great Xmas gift to a teenager (between 14-19) who really take step in to "photography" to learn things on a great platform and realises that Its about HIM/HER not about the device etc (well sure its also about the gear, but you know what I mean don´t you !)

Enjoy your new cam

Ben

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Sho-Bud
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Re: XZ-(1 & 2) vs RX100
In reply to Ben O Connor, Sep 14, 2013

Congrats on your new camera!

You like it and that's all that matters. We all love photography and pick the tools that suits us best.

Enjoy! 

-- hide signature --

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Everhandy
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Re: XZ-(1 & 2) vs RX100
In reply to Ben O Connor, Sep 16, 2013

Ben O Connor wrote:

In a fight where is Purchase IQ matters

XZ-1 beats 3 RX100 at the same time ! He has a hotshue, enought pocketable (not the smallest, but not the biggest either!) sharp like a katana sword lens... rock bottom prices !!! Sony would have a black eye and runnig away the place !

In a fight where image quality matters

RX100 MIGHT BEAT the XZ-1 but he would not escape. He will stand and fighting till the end of battle ! and would leave the place without a black eye !

RX100 has strong punches as sensor size + wide end shaprness, BUT in tele end and expanding this tele end (by a filter thread etc) XZ-1 keep his guard high. And by having F2.5 at tele end, he keep his head behind his arms !

In a fight where flexibility matters

RX100 would feel like 17 years old soldier in the moddle of II. World War "GOD what the hell I´m doing here !!", while squad leader XZ-2 has his hot shue on his head, optional filter thread, and geared up his flip back monitor with many control dials, and shaking the walley with his loud orders as " GO GO GO !!!" However RX100 II seems like a something better with hotsue...well there are nikon 1 system, not with hotshue, but also with interchagable lens. Well not fitting any pockets but we are in the war of flexibility not compactness !

Well lets get serious

RX100 is has a great built quality. Can not deny that. Its so small and great. But Sony menu really makes the things coplex, while eveything is just a button touch far in Olympus menu. Probably haveing a huge sensor over XZ´s gives greater DOF and also a nice video. But price is still an issue, as long as its over 499 €/$ camera. should be 399€/$/£ level... And while XZ´s are between 299-349, They have better IQ.. And even XZ-1 has 199€ price tag here ! I think it will be a great Xmas gift to a teenager (between 14-19) who really take step in to "photography" to learn things on a great platform and realises that Its about HIM/HER not about the device etc (well sure its also about the gear, but you know what I mean don´t you !)

Enjoy your new cam

Ben

That's pretty funny. Thank you.

Do you have the RX100? I do. I have both and several other cameras. The RX100 bests the XZ-1 in every category. There's no comparison, really. And I do love the XZ-1. I've never used the hotshoe on that camera. Never needed to.

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Everhandy
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Re: Not a fair comparison
In reply to joe6pack, Sep 16, 2013

joe6pack wrote:

Everhandy wrote:

joe6pack wrote:

While you used the maximum 37.1mm focal length for RX100, the XZ-1 actually extends all the way to 24mm (112mm equivalent). And I suspect XZ-1 can do wider than F2.5 at 19.8mm as well.

Also, the pictures has significant difference in exposure. It just shows that the two cameras have different metering logic.

I think you're missing the point. I did not post the examples to prove the RX100 is a better camera. It is a better camera, a much better camera, there is no dispute there. I wanted to prove that the RX100 is actually capable of producing very good Bokeh as your claim suggested the XZ-1 would surpass the RX100 in that regard. Your assertion was evidently inaccurate.

For the record, Bokeh is actually the quality of the background blur, not the quantity. to say the XZ-1 has more Bokeh is a misuse of the term.

If you did not post the examples to prove that the RX100 is a better camera, then I must be missing the point.
If you allow the cameras to use different exposures and does not maximize the focal length of XZ-1, I don't believe you can draw the kind of conclusion you claimed.

In fact, since I don't know the size of your subject, it is hard to tell whether the effect is practical for portraits. Here is a test shot using life size subject.

I'm really not knocking you or the brilliance of the XZ-1, I still love that camera. I just wanted to point out the fact that the RX100 has equal or better Bokeh as you made the comment that the XZ-1 would have the RX100 bested in that department. Sorry if there was any confusion.

I know we all cherish our cameras, I was a strong advocate of the XZ-1 all along but, there comes a time when we must move on or the best stuff passes us by.

BTW, I love that shot above. Very nice. Maybe I shouldn't be so hasty in selling the XZ-1?

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Aaron Sur
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Re: Not a fair comparison
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 16, 2013

just as a matter of curiosity and if you have the time please could you do a test of of both cameras at 28mm f1.8, possibly on a tripod so there is no question of stabilty  shake etc. There are several critical reviews saying the Carl Zeiss branded lens is not upto the 20MP sensor.

From what I have seen and read it boils down to this

XZ-1 great lens let down by small CCD sensor in low light

RX100 great sensor let down by average lens.

The RX100 is cutting edge for incorporating such a large sensor in a tiny body.

My gripes are the Sony ergonomics stuff ups

no click stops on lens control dial

no flash popup button

image magnification on LCD delay

The Sony is a very good camera but to many of us the ND filter and the accessory set make it a far more versatile camera, for you these factors are not an issue and I respect that.

And the night the Sony engineers went to the Yakatori bar  got loaded on Asahi beer ( or something stronger) went back to the lab and on the face detect setting added smile, half smile, sulking ,grimace....ok I made the last couple up.

Size aside if you did not want to compromise on image quality I would have hung onto that EPL-5 and got a 17mm1.8 with the 45mm .

cheers

Aaron

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Piggy the bad
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Re: Not a fair comparison
In reply to Aaron Sur, Sep 16, 2013

How you can criticise the low light performance of the xz-1 beats me. The xz-1 is astonishing in low light. Perhaps you need to buy a roll of film and go back to the old days to appreciate what you can now do.

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Greynerd
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Re: Goodbye to XZ-1
In reply to Everhandy, Sep 16, 2013

That is amazing. You have replaced your camera released about Jan 2011 with a camera released late 2013 and costing more using current equivalent models and the more recent and expensive model is better. Who would have believed that?

Your video comparison is totally specious as the XZ-1 video was universally acknowledged as bad and is much improved in the equivalent current model which is the proper standard for comparison. I had a XZ-1 and sold it because of the video but it is a bit much hyping the current RX100 on that basis. But I suppose any excuse to plug the RX100 cross forum goes.

Everhandy wrote:

First let me say, I have really enjoyed the XZ-1 since I bought it when it was introduced and it has served me well with some great pictures. I still hold the camera in high regard but now I must part with it.

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a Sony RX100 and it's been kept in the holster pretty much except for some video work. But today, I took it out, along with the XZ-1 and did a few comparison shots. All I have to say is, wow. The RX100 is so strikingly superior to the XZ-1 in every way that I can no longer carry the XZ-1 knowing I will be seriously compromising in image quality as a result. In addition, the RX100 is that much smaller and I am able to actually stick it in a pocket, something that is difficult with the XZ-1. As far as video goes, well there is no comparison. the RX100 is light years better in video than the XZ-1.

So that's my last Oly to go (just sold the E-PL5) and probably won't be looking for another unless they can come up with an RX100 contender.

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Everhandy
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Re: Not a fair comparison
In reply to Aaron Sur, Sep 16, 2013

Aaron Sur wrote:

just as a matter of curiosity and if you have the time please could you do a test of of both cameras at 28mm f1.8, possibly on a tripod so there is no question of stabilty shake etc. There are several critical reviews saying the Carl Zeiss branded lens is not upto the 20MP sensor.

From what I have seen and read it boils down to this

XZ-1 great lens let down by small CCD sensor in low light

RX100 great sensor let down by average lens.

The RX100 is cutting edge for incorporating such a large sensor in a tiny body.

My gripes are the Sony ergonomics stuff ups

no click stops on lens control dial

no flash popup button

image magnification on LCD delay

The Sony is a very good camera but to many of us the ND filter and the accessory set make it a far more versatile camera, for you these factors are not an issue and I respect that.

And the night the Sony engineers went to the Yakatori bar got loaded on Asahi beer ( or something stronger) went back to the lab and on the face detect setting added smile, half smile, sulking ,grimace....ok I made the last couple up.

Size aside if you did not want to compromise on image quality I would have hung onto that EPL-5 and got a 17mm1.8 with the 45mm .

cheers

Aaron

Aaron, I actually do have some studio test shots of both the cameras. Not sure if they're at f2.8. I get back with you on that. Will post when I can.

Just briefly and in my humble opinion, of course;

The ero on the RX is very good. Much netter than NEX-5 series for example. That was one of my worries as I had the NEX-5n and it's ergo was horrible.

No clicks on lens ring. Not a negative, believe it or not. I now like it much better than the "toyish" clicky action of the XZ-1 and S100/110. A more silky, quality feel to it. It really works.

No ND is also not a negative with the RX100 because it has a smaller minimum aperture than the XZ-1. Don't really need one. But some must have it so, the XZ-1 trumps the RX100 in that regard.

The E-PL was great. The 17mm is junk. The panny 20mm is better but I also had that one and wasn't overlly impressed either. The good M43 lenses are pricey. An E-PL5 with a lens equivalent to the RX100 lens would be costly, hefty and not that much better in IQ, might as well get a DSLR.

The Carl Zeis lens is incredibly sharp. Perfect lens for that sensor. A well balanced combination.

I can't really knock the XZ-1. It is a great camera. Ahead of it's time really. However, it's lagging behind now in technology.

I will post comps later tonight. thanks.

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Everhandy
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Re: Not a fair comparison
In reply to Piggy the bad, Sep 16, 2013

Piggy the bad wrote:

How you can criticise the low light performance of the xz-1 beats me. The xz-1 is astonishing in low light. Perhaps you need to buy a roll of film and go back to the old days to appreciate what you can now do.

The XZ-1 is very good in low light, only because the lens is so fast. The CCD sensor is not up to par with today's backlit CMOS devices. One reason the XZ-2 is better in that regard.

If you can keep the XZ-1 below ISO 800 (actually, I almost never went beyond 400), you have a great chance of capturing an excellent image. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to do. Cameras like the RX100 however, are not necessarily "better" in the same working envelope of the XZ-1, they just expand the envelope. That is why I bought one.

Cheers.

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