Olympus XZ-1 announced and previewed
Pre-CES 2011: Olympus has officially announced the much-leaked XZ-1 enthusiasts' compacts. The basic specs are impressive: 28-122mm equivalent lens with a F1.8-2.5 maximum aperture range making it the brightest in its class. It also features dual control dials and a 3.0" VGA-equivalent OLED screen. But the really impressive thing about the XZ-1 is how those elements have been integrated. We've been using the XZ-1 and have prepared a brief preview to give some insight beyond the bare specifications.
OLYMPUS X FACTOR:
CREATING A NEW BREED OF COMPACT CAMERA
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 5, 2011 – On the heels of the PEN® interchangeable lens digital camera revolution, Olympus takes their compact digital cameras to the X-treme with the introduction of an ultra-compact flagship camera and first of a new series, the XZ-1. Developed for the photographer or enthusiast who is looking for the ultimate high-quality, high-performance premium compact camera, the XZ-1 offers all of this, and more without sacrificing image quality.
Never fear the darkness with the XZ-1's super-bright built-in Olympus iZUIKO lens – the first built-in Zuiko® lens on a compact digital camera. The X-factor that achieves this category-defying quality: A combination of three state-of-the-art features: the X-tremely large, super-sensitive CCD sensor, the X-tremely fast TruePic™ V image processor and the X-tremely bright, fast f1.8-2.5 iZUIKO digital lens. Further proof that Olympus lets you capture it all.
"The XZ-1 features one of the world's brightest built-in lenses on a digital compact camera to enable you to shoot high-quality still images and HD videos in any shooting environment, including difficult low-light conditions," said Katie Roseman, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "This camera will give you the versatility needed to take on any challenge without weighing you down."
Outstanding features: X-factor Style - full manual controls in a slim, stylish pocket-sized camera; X-ceptional Image Quality - a range of new features offer superior image quality, together with 10 megapixel CCD sensor with the TruePic™ V Image Processor to produce sharp photos; X-cellent Low-Light Performance - iZUIKO f1.8-2.5 6.0-24mm lens for improved shooting in low-light scenarios, enhancing image clarity and drastically reducing grain.
Also featuring Dual Image Stabilization and an AF Illuminator to maximize performance in low-light settings; and X-treme Creativity -The XZ-1 offers six Art Filters, each of which uses different settings to create incredible photographic effects that would otherwise require additional lenses, filters or complex editing.
Additionally, the Live Guide on-screen setting offers quick tips for shooting different subjects (kids, pets and flowers, for example) assists the photographer with some of the more complex in-camera settings (aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, for instance).
Whether you're an experienced Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) or PEN shooter who wants a second smaller camera for trips and nights out, without sacrificing image quality or performance, or the aspiring enthusiast who is ready for a higher-powered camera, the new trendy XZ-1 has the features you need for high-quality images. With its thin, attractive matte black body, you'll be inconspicuous while you use the XZ-1 to take candid photos and videos in the shadows at a wedding reception. The XZ-1's body is small enough to easily fit in your pocket, yet feels solid in your hands and you can easily take it with you everywhere.
X-ceptional Image Quality
Whether composing still images or HD videos, photographers will appreciate the XZ-1's sharp 3.0-inch OLED monitor to frame and show off still images and High Definition (HD) movies in detailed 720p. The LCD displays 610,000 dots in vivid color, reproduces colors and shades more accurately with deeper black tones and consumes less power. The monitor also provides a wide-viewing angle ensuring that images can be composed from even the most obscure angles. A new graphic interface makes it easier to read text and find the settings you need on the fly, and Live Control enables intuitive operation allowing you to shoot photos while viewing the effects on the camera's LCD.
Shooting video is as easy as ever with the new Olympus XZ-1 camera. The camera captures all the action in crisp 720p HD video at 30 frames-per-second. The XZ-1's easy-to-reach record button on the back of the camera body makes recording videos a breeze. If you're about to snap a photo and you realize a video would capture the spirit of the scene even better, simply press the record button and instantly you're capturing videos! Easily toggle back and forth between capturing stills and videos by using your index finger to press the shutter button or your thumb to press the record button. Having the ability to shoot still images and videos opens up a world of imaging possibilities.
The XZ-1 pairs a high sensitivity 10 megapixel CCD sensor with the TruePic™ V Image Processor to produce clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information from each image to provide the best digital images possible. The image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings (ISO 100 to ISO 3200), enabling great results in low-light situations.
The XZ-1 also offers the advanced manual controls that experienced photographers expect from digital SLR cameras. Shoot full manual, and also with a control ring around the front of the lens and the wheel controller on the back, the XZ-1 gives immediate access to the most important manual settings like ISO, aperture and shutter speed to make it easy to adjust the camera on the move. Three levels of exposure control using a neutral density (ND) filter distributes light offering greater flexibility to change the aperture and exposure time in different situations while allowing the photographer to take the best picture in any condition.
X-cellent Low-Light Performance
The iZUIKO f1.8-2.5 6.0-24mm (28-112mm equivalent angle of view in 35mm cameras) digital lens is a newly-developed 4x compact version of the legendary, high-quality ZUIKO digital lenses featured with Olympus DSLRs. With a minimum aperture of f1.8 at wide-angle and a maximum aperture of f2.5 at telephoto, this lens boasts super-fast shutter speeds for sharp, low-light images.
This aperture range also allows photographers to take portraits that highlight the subject by defocusing the background, a capability that is not normally possible in compact cameras. The lens is specifically designed for clear, high-quality photographic performance.
Apart from the speed of the f1.8 lens, the camera's low-light mode automatically adjusts the ISO sensitivity up to ISO 3200 to take sharp, full-resolution photos in dark places. The camera's iAuto mode automatically detects low-light scenes and adjusts the ISO accordingly for the best image quality. The camera also features an AF illuminator to make it simple to focus in low-light locations. The XZ-1 also features a low-light mode for even quicker access to maximize low-light situations.
If you're going to an evening at the theatre, the XZ-1 also offers Dual Image Stabilization to further assure you'll get the shot you want while holding the camera. Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization compensates for camera movement in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower while Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blurry images often caused by a moving subject.
The XZ-1 has an easily accessible built-in pop-up flash to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas. The camera also is compatible with a range of optional external flashes, including the Olympus FL-14, FL-36R and FL-50R, so you can dynamically control lighting as your photography skills grow.
Olympus pioneered easy-to-use in-camera Art Filters for still images captured inside its E-System DSLRs and was the first company to offer the ability to apply Art Filters to HD video recordings captured with the PEN cameras. The XZ-1 features six Art Filters that photographers can apply to still images and HD video: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone.
You even can create an in-camera slideshow that mixes still images, movies and sound. The camera incorporates five kinds of background music as well as slideshow control functions, including still image fade-in/out, sound recording volume and background music volume adjustment.
The XZ-1's Live Guide interface simplifies great photography and provides the results you desire at the touch of a button. Want more vivid or muted color in your shot? Want warmer or cooler color? Want a brighter or darker subject, or a sharper or softer background? Or maybe you want to capture the fast-moving action of your subject with a little artistic blur? Simply select Live Guide and press the up and down arrows on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects. Make adjustments and watch the LCD as the effects are made live – before the image is captured!
To expand the camera's versatility, the XZ-1 includes an accessory port so photographers can attach optional accessories like the SEMA-1 external microphone adapter, the VF-2 electronic viewfinder or the newly introduced MAL-1 Macro Light. These optional accessories easily slide into the camera's accessory port and hot shoe.
The new camera's compact design makes it the perfect companion for all of your dive trips. The PT-050 underwater case has been customized for the Olympus XZ-1 and is waterproof to a depth of 40 meters (approximately 130 feet). With its durable, high-quality polycarbonate construction, this Olympus housing protects the camera from water while also cushioning it from knocks and bumps on land.
The XZ-1 makes sharing your content easier than ever. Just connect it to your HDTV with an optional HDMI cable and use your HDTV's remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera's menus from the comfort of your couch.
Colors and Availability
The Olympus XZ-1 comes in black and white and will be available in January 2011. It includes the XZ-1, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack, Li-Ion Battery Charger, Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card.
U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
XZ-1 Street Price: $499.99
|Devil Rock (Stuttgart, Germany) by cornissimo|
from Neon Signs
|Carla... by lickity split|
from Beautiful caucasian female faces
|Lunar New Year Fireworks by Michael L NYC 99|
|Vatican Basilica by wam7|
from Street lights
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.
Massive corporation P&G is being sued by a Cincinnati photographer for serious copyright violations. If the courts rules against P&G, the company could pay as much as $75 million in damages.