The XZ-1 is a great camera for a beginner because it's easy to use without tinkering, but there are tinkering options when the user gets more advanced. The camera can save raw files, and the included software lets you reprocess the raw files with art filters and other settings that you didn't use when you took the photo.
The camera's lens is probably the best in this class of camera. It's bright enough so you can take photos in existing light where other cameras would need a flash, and existing light looks much more natural.
If you think your son will appreciate high-quality photos and might want to develop his photography skills, the XZ-1 is a great first camera for him. If he's more likely to take just snapshots, and not to look too critically at their quality, then he might prefer a smaller camera or be just as happy with something less expensive.
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