XZ-1 Tips online

Started Aug 25, 2012 | Discussions
jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
XZ-1 Tips online

Pulled together a bunch of useful XZ-1 information -- at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm -- will add to it as we discover new things about this neat little camera. It is, truly, a "Leica for the rest of us." Spend a little time to learn its fine points. For less than US$400, you have an amazing camera that can do just about anything!
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Jonathon Donahue

Olympus XZ-1
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Funduro
Funduro Contributing Member • Posts: 983
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

WOW excellent find! XZ-1 will always be better then XZ-2 ! Why? Because XZ-1 exist, XZ-2 will be minimally better if ever released. More likely worst because of the great problem Olympus is currently having. XZ-1 has a special lens. I bought it when it came out, the price today makes it so much better. I shoot RAW and use filters in post.
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FYI avatar image is by Steve McCurry

 Funduro's gear list:Funduro's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Olympus XZ-1 Nikon D700 Nikon D300S Nikon D800 +11 more
TPS88 Junior Member • Posts: 36
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Thank you for taking the time to organize the tips and put this together. I haven't read it yet in its entirety but there are several very helpful points on your list.

 TPS88's gear list:TPS88's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II
Ken Sills Contributing Member • Posts: 656
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Thanks. This is a great set of tips for a great little camera. I set my XZ-1 per your set-up guidelines and then went on a vacation trip. The point focus caused me lots of problems with landscape photos that had uneven lighting. I was constantly under or over-exposed. I went back to center-weighted and the problem went away. Other than that all works well.

OP jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Good comment on center-weighting, Ken -- I'll add in into the tips list. There definitely is a point with many of these settings that becomes personal-choice, with no absolute benefits one way or the other. Cameras!

There's one thing we can ALL agree on, however. The XZ-1 user guide is horrible! Come on, Olympus, this isn't 1950! A major Japanese corporation can't afford to hire a technical writer?
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Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm

day2012 Regular Member • Posts: 103
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Thanks a lot for these tips. They really are most helpful.

rsenk19 Regular Member • Posts: 314
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Thanks jon404. Great to see everything put together. Much more helpful.

Cheers,
Senthil

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Pentax K-30 Fujifilm X-E1 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-3 II Fujifilm X-T10 +15 more
rsbones Forum Member • Posts: 92
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Thanks for collecting all those onto one page. Hopefully the people who wrote the tip originally won't complain about not being credited. (I'm pretty sure i recognize one of my posts in there, but I don't mind at all).

OP jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

To rsbones and others -- about the XZ-1 Tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm apologies for kidnapping your tips without attribution -- I was in too much of a hurry to post the collection. Went through it tonight and made notes crediting everyone I could find. If I've missed some of you, e-mail me at jon404@yahoo.com, and I'll get it straight!

Also, I put a note at the bottom of the XZ-1 Tips webpage, that it is all non-copyrighted public domain info. For me, this is a personal project, and I have no plans to sell the material. Although, sure seems like there's room for SOMEBODY to write a decent XZ-1 help book! But not me. I'm an amateur, photography is a hobby, and writing about the XZ-1 should be done by somebody who knows a lot more about all this than I do.
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Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm

Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 29,605
Added to my M4/3 links page....

jon404 wrote:

Pulled together a bunch of useful XZ-1 information -- at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm -- will add to it as we discover new things about this neat little camera. It is, truly, a "Leica for the rest of us." Spend a little time to learn its fine points. For less than US$400, you have an amazing camera that can do just about anything!
--
Jonathon Donahue

Nice collection of tips, thank you. I have added your page as a link on my general Micro Four Thirds links page as a few would be involved with both M4/3 and XZ-1.

http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~parsog/olyepl1/03-epl1-links.html - a messy links page and mostly of use to Olympus M4/3 owners.

Regards............ Guy

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Randyflycaster
Randyflycaster Regular Member • Posts: 117
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Just curious: Why do you recommend setting the camera to vivid?

Thanks,

Randy

OP jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Randy -- that's a personal preference, like a lot of the tips. I like rich color, saturated color. Found that, for me, Underwater white balance and Vivid color mode deliver the kind of pictures I like most of the time. I put it in the Tips as a place to start for people who were confused by all the options. Underwater/Vivid also works really well at twilight and in low light. Remember, if you shoot RAW, you can always color-correct and EV correct to whatever looks right, before saving to a JPG. Good to do, because making large corrections to a JPG often doesn't work that well... only 256 brightness levels.

The XZ-1, happily, can be set up to produce pix that satisfy most any taste. Like High Key or Low Key on the Menu button > Camera menu > Picture mode > Vivid > Gradation menu. The combinations of all these possibilites are infinite. The XZ-1 is a photographer's dream...
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Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm

Randyflycaster
Randyflycaster Regular Member • Posts: 117
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

I'm a fly fishing writer, so for my articles I generally want a natural look. Generally, I've been using the basic settings, so far. Any suggestions I might use for shooting anglers on streams/rivers?

Thanks,

Randy

joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,593
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Jon, thanks a lot for putting up a page.

I recall someone mentioned a trick involving using underwater mode so that he does not have to mess with focus (not even locking on a focus). Something like the camera will put the focus to 6' away or something. I can't seem to find the post. Does anyone remember?

 joe6pack's gear list:joe6pack's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000 Corel Aftershot Pro IrfanView +1 more
OP jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Try for backlighting or sidelighting -- early am or late afternoon, when the fish are biting. Catch a fish, then later hook it to a line and have the angler haul it dramatically up out of the water, backlit, at 1/60 to get lots of rain-type bright water streaks. Even better, buy a nice big one at the supermarket before you go on the trip (same species as whatever the stream has to offer; would look fake if you are pulling a shark out of a trout stream).

Also, for your natural look, go when the water is very calm, no wind, and if there's a little bit of fog on the water, ooohh. If out at sea, you can put a little motor oil in the lee of the boat to smooth out rough water, but I wouldn't do that inland... but I might try a bit of olive oil... harmless.

I would take pictures in RAW mode so that I would have a a chance to salvage them later... you might not be able to get back to that stream with that light for a while!
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Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm

OP jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Yes -- its in the Tips file --

"You know that you can press the shutter button halfway-down to do a focus-AND-exposure lock on the spot target. This works for almost every situation.

"But here's a little-known feature: locking focus WITHOUT locking exposure.

"Both SCN > Underwater settings also let you lock focus... point the center of the screen at the subject, and press the Down arrow. It will beep and say 'AF Lock' under the green rectangle. Now, you can move the camera around and point it at something else, and the exposure will change with the new subject while the focus lock stays at the distance to the first subject. Interesting!

"In practice, on vacation, forget this one. Too tricky. Just keep it on Program and you'll come back with wonderful pictures!"
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Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm

joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,593
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Hi Jon, I am aware of the feature but it is not what I had in mind. Is there a way which I do not need to find a subject and lock its focus in advance?

jon404 wrote:

Yes -- its in the Tips file --

"You know that you can press the shutter button halfway-down to do a focus-AND-exposure lock on the spot target. This works for almost every situation.

"But here's a little-known feature: locking focus WITHOUT locking exposure.

"Both SCN > Underwater settings also let you lock focus... point the center of the screen at the subject, and press the Down arrow. It will beep and say 'AF Lock' under the green rectangle. Now, you can move the camera around and point it at something else, and the exposure will change with the new subject while the focus lock stays at the distance to the first subject. Interesting!

"In practice, on vacation, forget this one. Too tricky. Just keep it on Program and you'll come back with wonderful pictures!"
--
Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm

 joe6pack's gear list:joe6pack's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000 Corel Aftershot Pro IrfanView +1 more
LaFonte Senior Member • Posts: 2,808
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Wow seriously, underwater WB setting? I have to try it, otherwise the setings are nearly identical what I have, yes, in the first day when i got the cam I setled on P mode, Vivid, saturation +1, contrast +1 and I hadn't read this anywhere else.
But have to try the fishy WB. Hahaha.

jon404 wrote:

Pulled together a bunch of useful XZ-1 information -- at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm -- will add to it as we discover new things about this neat little camera. It is, truly, a "Leica for the rest of us." Spend a little time to learn its fine points. For less than US$400, you have an amazing camera that can do just about anything!
--
Jonathon Donahue

 LaFonte's gear list:LaFonte's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Panasonic FZ1000 Fujifilm X-Pro1 +2 more
OP jon404 Senior Member • Posts: 2,229
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

Joe -- if I understand you, are you asking if there is a way to have the XZ-1 pre-set at a given distance, like 100' away, and then just take pictures without having to focus again?

Try auto-focusing 15ft in front of the lens -- then switch over to manual focus, and the camera stays in focus while zooming the full range. Sort of a 'hyperfocal distance' setting.

I went around and around with this, hoping that there would be a way to set the XZ-1 at a usable hyperfocal distance, so that each time it powered up, it would be set to that.

Couldn't do it. Closest -- in M Manual mode, press the OK button and change the focus mode to MF. It shows a magnifier. Use the dial (up or down) to focus on whatever point you want. Now, it will hold that focus point until you use MF to change it... or go back to AF... or turn the XZ-1 off... which unfortunately cancels your MF setting. When the camera turns back on, you have to do it over again.

In practice, say photographing sports, you could use MF to set a sort-of-hyperfocal distance, then just leave the camera turned on as you take your shots.

I'm not sure if there is a real-world advantage to this. The XZ-1's auto-focus is fast and accurate. Exception -- sometimes picking up an airplane against the sky... if at an airshow, I'd do the MF to focus on a far-off hangar or treeline, and then blast away as the planes come by... and try to remember NOT to turn off the camera until the show is over.

Does this help?

-- hide signature --

Jonathon Donahue -- Olympus XZ-1 tips at http://jon404.com/xz1tips.htm

joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,593
Re: XZ-1 Tips online

I see now we are running in a circle! I found the post I saw and it was actually by you:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1008&message=41789611

I guess I misunderstood and it is actually referring to the TG-1 instead of XZ-1. Bummer.

 joe6pack's gear list:joe6pack's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000 Corel Aftershot Pro IrfanView +1 more
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