I'm not enjoying XZ-1 (maybe P&S cams in general)

Started Nov 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
mike703 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,655
Re: I'm not enjoying XZ-1 (maybe P&S cams in general)

Hello Scott.  Interesting thread.  I bought an XZ-1 recently on impulse - and with some trepidation as I usually use a DSLR - but I wanted to travel light sometimes.

You are completely correct about its limitations, which are the limitations of all cameras of its class.  As cameras of this class go, it's very good.  Compared to the handling and image quality of a DSLR, it's poor.  The question is how good it needs to be for its intended use.  I bought it for a  trip where my luggage allowance was nearly full so I had no choice but to leave the DSLR and lenses at home; as a result I got pics that I could not have got otherwise so from that point of view the XZ-1 easily outperformed the DSLR!

Yes you can see noise (especially in areas of smooth colour like skies) even at base ISO but if you shoot RAW and apply some good NR software it cleans up nicely.  I reckon that the IQ is 2 - 3 stops poorer than my DSLR, i.e. a pic taken at ISO100 on the XZ-1 is roughly comparable to one taken at ISO 500 or 640 on my DSLR in terms of noise / dynamic range.  but actually that's quite good and allows clean-looking A4 prints, which is as much as I would ever expect from a little pocket cam.  Most pics that I shoot with it, if they are printed at all, are at 5x7 and stuck on the fridge door, not blown up to A2 and stuck in a gallery...  A less obvious but important feature is that the bright lens keeps the ISO down... so I can shoot at 110mm (equivalent) at f/2.5, whereas with my DSLR and 55-300 zoom I would be using f/4.5.

Overall the XZ-1 does what it does as well as possible in a box that size.  Like someone said in a different context 'It's the kind of thing you'll like, if you like that kind of thing'.  As a developing old fart myself I'd like not to sacrifice IQ and have the largest possible sensor in the smallest possible box with a good lens on the front and am beginning to think that a 4/3 cam with a pancake prime or two could be the best compromise.  But I'm in no hurry to spend more cash and will stick with the XZ-1 as a pocket cam for a while (whilst keeping it at ISO 100 as far as possible).

Best wishes

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