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: 7,348
Re: XZ-10 better than a D70? Are you serious?

marike6 wrote:

sean000 wrote:

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.

The XZ-10 doesn't take better pictures than the D70 at ANY ISO.  Not even close.

You don't know how truly awful the D70 is at ISO 1600

I would not expect the XZ-10 to perform as well at lower ISO's by any stretch of the imagination, but push a D70 to 1600 and you get a noisy, streaky, splotchy mess with very little detail. It even looks bad in black & white.My D200, on the other hand, is a good deal better. Usable at 1600, but 3200 (extended ISO) starts to get ugly.

You are aware that the D70 on DxOMark had a Sports (Low-Light ISO) score of 529 ISO?  The D70's DxOMark score of 529 ISO only about 300 ISO lower than the EM5, and still over 200 ISO more than the Sony RX100's score of 390 ISO.

I'm not familiar with this metric. Is DxOMark saying that ISO 829 on an E-M5 looks like ISO 529 on the D70? If so, I beg to differ. I still own a D70, D200, and the E-M5. The E-M5 blows the older APS-C cameras away when it comes to high ISO. 6400 on the E-M5 looks better than 3200 on the D200, and better than 1600 on the D70. 3200 on the E-M5 looks better than 800 on the D70.

I've downloaded some XZ-10 RAWs and sadly, I don't think it will even score over 150 ISO.  So I'm not sure how do you think it could possibly be anywhere near an APS-C DSLR like the D70 for high ISO shooting?

The D70 is from 2004. New doesn't always beat bigger when it comes to sensors, but when you're talking about a nine year gap... think about how far the technology has come since 2004. And I'm not talking ISO 400 and below. The D70 is still a darn good 6 MP camera at 400 and below. It just wasn't very good much higher than that, and I doubt the XZ-10 is either. But from what I've seen at 1600 it's not quite as messy.. or might at least be pretty close.Maybe I will change my tune when I actually open up an ISO 800 or 1600 RAW file from the XZ-10 and compare it to my D70 shots, but I'm just going on the sample shots I've seen.

You also talk about the XZ-10 being "miles better" than a high end P&Ss from a couple of years ago. We must be looking at different sample images as the XZ-10 doesn't seem to equal the IQ you get with a high end compact from 2 or 3 years ago, i.e., Canon S100, Panasonic LX5, Ricoh GRD III, etc.  So where do you get "miles better"?  Based on what?

Again...I'm talking high ISO only (buying this for indoor shots of kids). The low ISO shots don't look that hot to me... at least I haven't seen any that have blown me away in terms of sharpness and contrast. I guess I'm thinking more than a couple of years though.. the last compact I owned was an LX2.

So I also wanted to like the XZ-10, but quite honestly I don't know what you are seeing, or where these XZ-10 images are that are better than APS-C DSLRs or high end compacts.  If the XZ-10 had been as good as some other 1/2.3" sensor cameras for IQ like the Canon SX50 or Panasonic FZ200, I would have bought one in a second.  But from what I've seen, it doesn't seem to be, at least not for IQ.

I'm not trying to trash the XZ-10, but I think a bit of a reality check is in order.  I'm not saying the XZ-10 is not a nice camera, just that it's IQ doesn't compete with larger sensor cameras from even a few years ago, and it some cases like with the Pentax Q or the Canon SX50, it doesn't compete with other cameras with the same sensor size.

I didn't realize I was praising it so much since I did say it isn't the camera I would be looking at if large landscape/archicture  prints and high IQ were high on my priority list. I thought I made it pretty clear that my expectations are that it would produce good 4x6 prints and facebook images at ISO 800 or even 1600 (hopefully the fast lens would keep higher ISOs from being necessary very often). I also said that personally I would expect there to be some optical compromises in order to keep the apertures big on a lens that small (even with a small sensor). But for my wife it has a lot to like (stuff I think is neat too) like the size, no lens cap, and the touchscreen features she uses on my E-M5 (I always turn them off since I'm an EVF shooter most of the time). To me it looks like a camera she will enjoy, and hopefully the images will be good enough. If they aren't, or if the camera is too sluggish, maybe she will let me talk her into an LX7 (which she thinks is too fiddly), or even an EPM1.

By the way, I have a folder of full-sized XZ-10 images.  If you are interested in them, I will can put them in my DropBox so you can download them.  They might help you get a better idea of what the XZ-10 can and can't do.

Cheers, and happy shooting, Markus

That would actually be much appreciated. Thanks Markus!


 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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