Great little compact but image quality / performance do not deserve the “enthusiast camera” label...

Started Apr 6, 2013 | User reviews thread
sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,354
Re: question about responsiveness and buffering.

Alan Ernst wrote:

Hi Sean, Kerusker? and Markus,

Will try to answer all your questions together.

Thank Alan

1)      If you are looking at “snap shots” and 4x6 prints, probably any camera or smartphone out there will give you acceptable results these days. For me, the benchmark is 8x10 to 11x14 enlargements and sharp / detailed images on a 15 ½ “ computer screen. If I can’t get that, I am not satisfied.

Of course we get into some very subjective territory here, and it all depends on how you want to use the camera and what your expectations are. My standards for landscapes and architecture are much higher than for candids. Although if I were going to use a camera like this as my main camera (or one I carried everywhere hoping to get some premium shots) I would definitely sweat the details of the image quality and look for a camera that offered the best IQ in all the situations I intended to use it. Portability would not be as high on the list of desires.

For my purposes the goal for a camera like this is to get my wife to take some photos that are better quality than her iPhone. The part of me that thinks I may want to use this camera too would rather get a Sony RX100 or an Oly XZ-2... or an EPM1 since I already have lenses she can use (except that she won't swap lenses). However I am actually a bit excited about the XZ-10. Knowing how far it has come from the compact cameras of the past, I can't help but be excited about a camera that offers so much in such a tiny package. I agree that any camera (and maybe a few smartphones) would do for general outdoor snapshots, but you really need something a step up for indoor available light photography. And while you are better off going with a larger sensor AND a fast lens for indoor available light, it's all a trade-off since that's going to mean a bulkier camera. Based on the few samples I've seen: The tiny sensor in the XZ-10 takes better ISO 1600 shots than the first ASP-C DSLR I owned (a Nikon D70 in 2004), and is probably miles better than the "high-end" compact P&S cameras from two or three years ago.I certainly wouldn't expect the same level of detail and tonality I get from the E-M5 at high ISO, but I suspect it will be closer to the E-M5 than to an iPhone 4.

2)      The SD card I used was a Class 6 card. I rarely do video and therefore don’t see a need to continually invest in the latest and most expensive memory out there. The 1-4 seconds measured were based on a single frame to a four frame consecutive capture. Using a class 10 U1 Extreme Pro card, it is roughly twice as fast so yes, the wait time is much less.

So single frame = about 1 second and 4-shots = multiple seconds? My wife would love to have the Toshiba FlashAir wifi SD card so she can quickly share photos using her iPad or iPhone. It's a class 6, but I also have some class 10 cards she can compare against to see what matters more to her.

3)      AF speed, accuracy and shutter lag in my view are acceptable, but not what I would call “snappy”. I actually purchased the camera for my wife as well and to have something pocketable myself, which I can take everywhere - all the time.  I think you will just have to try it out and see what you can make of the picture quality.

I think we will give it a try. While it will be my wife's camera, I'm sure I will be using it quite a lot. While I generally take my m4/3 kit (or at least the E-M5 with a pancake lens) just about everywhere, there are occasions when I leave it at home.

9)      I like the XZ-10, which is why I went and got another one after realising the first one was a dud! However, in my opinion it does not live up to the hype surrounding it (which can probably be said for most models that are released these days...). Whether it works for you or not, you will have to try out yourself. Everyone has different expectations and priorities...

Right. I'm not sure the XZ-10 is that "hyped" though. One would expect to give up something in order to get what is essentially a cheaper and smaller sibling to the XZ-2... the question is whether or not you are giving up too much for your tastes.

If you do a lot of detail stuff and shoot at closer range, i.e. from portrait to 50feet or so, it performs well. If you use it for close-up, copy work or architecture where straight lines and corner to corner sharpness are important OR if you use the zoom a lot at infinity setting,  then you may find it unsatisfactory.

cheers, Alan

That's about what I expect. I figured there have got to be some optical compromises in the lens in order to keep it that bright and still that small (even on such a small sensor). Even in DSLR lenses the fast f/2.8 standard zooms are often thought of as better for events and photojournalism than landscapes and architecture (although this is debatable... I find my Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 to be excellent for all of the above, but there is field curvature of the focal plane one needs to be aware of when considering depth of field).


 sean000's gear list:sean000's gear list
Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Nikon D70 Nikon D200 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 +14 more
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