Olympus XZ-1 Premium Compact Camera Preview Video

Camera Reviews Featured News Olympus Point and Shoot Videos

Olympus XZ-1 Premium Compact=Olympus steps up to the premium compact camera plate with their new XZ-1 camera. The Olympus XZ-1 digital camera is designed to compete with high-end compact cameras like the Canon PowerShot G12, Nikon Coolpix P7000 and the Panasonic Lumix LX5. To do that it has a large, 1/1.63-inch 10-megapixel sensor, a 4x f/1.8 iZuiko zoom lens (28-112mm equivalent), full manual exposure controls, 720p HD video, a 3-inch OLED LCD display and RAW shooting. I got my hands on a pre-production XZ-1 and I am impressed. It’s been quite a while since Olympus had a worthy high-end compact camera. But I think they’ve got a winner on their hands with the XZ -1. Read on to learn more and watch my Olympus XZ-1 hands-on sneak preview video to see it up close and personal.

Olympus XZ-1 digital camera - front and back

Until I opened the unmarked box Olympus sent me, I hadn’t even seen any photos of the new XZ-1 compact camera. I’d had a phone conversation with Olympus about it so I knew the basic features and specs but I had no idea what it looked like. When I opened the plain blue box it came in and saw that huge Zuiko lens I couldn’t help but gush a little in my preview video. This is the first Olympus compact camera to have a Zuiko lens – the same optics they use for their digital SLRs. Olympus also told me it’s the fastest compact camera lens available right now. No matter how you want to slice it and whatever other features and specs the ZX-1 has, the 4x f/1.8-2.5 iZuiko lens defines the camera. With that large, low-density imaging sensor, RAW shooting, ISO 6400 sensitivity and that big f/1.8 aperture Zuiko glass, the XZ-1 is looking like a very special camera.

The XZ-1 I have is a pre-production camera so I wasn’t allowed to share any sample photos or videos. But rest assured that I’m anxious to get a finished, working camera in my hands to see how it compares to the competition. I love the Olympus ZX-1 features and specs and I think I also have a little camera crush on it – or at least the lens. It is beautiful.

The Olympus XZ-1 premium compact camera is scheduled to be available this month – January 2011. The street price will be about $499.

Olympus ZX-1 Camera Press Release >>

Related Content:
All Olympus User Reviews
All Digital Camera Reviews
Olympus Cameras & Four Thirds Forum
Digital Cameras Forum
More Olympus News, Reviews, and Articles
Olympus Digital Cameras Web Site

Olympus XZ-1 premium compact=

Olympus XZ-1 - top view and front control ring

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

Related Articles

NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:

Wordpress Comments:

  • iceman2058 says:

    Nice indeed! Sad to see no 60 fps video mode, or I would have been seriously considering it (wife needs a new compact camera, and I could do with the video capabilities coupled with that awersome lens…).
    Might that be a future firmware upgrade, or is there some reason that would not be possible?

  • Bob says:


    Again No Viewfinder ? Just a glorified Camera Phone without the phone !
    I still have my C-8080 that is a REAL compact camera.

  • Sam says:

    Bob there is an optional electronic view finder you can put on it.

  • Photo-John says:

    Ha ha, Bob! I think it’s a little more than a camera phone. And like Sam said, there is an optional EVF that works with the XZ-1′s accessory port. I show the EVF in the video :-)

  • Tony Angiulo says:

    I was wondering if there was going to be any lens extenders, pushing it to maybe 5x or higher. Even if there isn’t I will be looking for a relative to give my G10 to…lol

  • thien says:

    Will it fit in your pocket?

  • lichtloper says:

    At 1/1.63” the sensor has NOT the same size as that on the G12 or P7000 -like the video says-, but exactly the same as the sensor in Panasonic’s LX3 and LX5.
    I would have preferred the lens ring to manually-mechanically operate the zoom; that way zooming would possibly (?) become more accurate than when operated by means of an T-W lever.
    But otherwise an interesting and appealing photo machine.

  • naturalwoman says:

    i want on!

  • naturalwoman says:

    i mean i want one!

  • Photo-John says:

    lichtloper – I bleieve I was careful to say something like, “about the same size,” in my video. The sensor is a tiny bit smaller than the G12 and P7000 but probably not enough to make any practical difference.

  • Photo-John says:

    Thien – It’s about the same length and height as an iPhone but it’s thicker and the lens protrudes a bit. So it will fit in a pocket, but not comfortably by my standards. Not in a pants pocket, anyway. It will be perfect for a jacket pocket, though.

  • lichtloper says:

    Photo-John, you’re right.
    The difference between the two is not more than 5%, indeed not very much.

    [btw I've owned a G10; even with its high pixel count its image quality was no match for that of my present LX3.
    I'm prejudiced of course...]

  • Leo says:

    Premium compact camera no. 5. Nothing new, it is like a LX5. Nice little camera, good lens and nice OLED LCD display. The same as the LX5, like not really be very small. So in this market with tiny sensors and all the disadvantages that comes with tiny sensors, the only premium compact that is really small and compact stays the Canon S90 or S95.

  • Photo-John says:

    Good point, Leo. It’s true – the S90 and S95 are the only true high-end pocket cameras. Their video capabilities are limited compared to the XZ-1, if that matters. Normally I wouldn’t get all gushy over a compact camera that won’t fit in my pocket. I am into pocket superzooms at the moment. But the lens on the Olympus is so sexy it has me all befuddled :-)

  • Mendy says:

    I just wanted you to know that I appreciate this video! I have been a bit befuddled myself when it comes to choosing a new camera. After extensive research, I still couldn’t decide between the lx-5 and g-12. Then I heard about the XZ-1 and saw your video. Wow! You make me want to hijack an Olympus delivery van :-) I have my XZ-1 on preorder – let’s hope and pray it lives up to the hype!

  • Photo-John says:

    I hope you are happy with it, Mendy – for your sake as well as Olympus’. They have high hopes and a lot riding no this camera. Please write a review for it in our users reviews after you’ve had a chance to use it a bit. I defintely want to know how you like it :)

  • Oliver says:

    Does it have (or can it be accessorized with) a filter ring? And what is the shutter lag on this camera? I called Olympus and they told me that they do not have this information since the camera is not available as yet! Their response to me dampened my enthusiasm for this camera. I guess big companies are clueless when it comes to customer care.

  • Photo-John says:

    Oliver – the lens does appear to be threaded for filters. Regarding customer service, I think your judgement is a little harsh, Shutter-lag specs aren’t usually published for compact cameras. I don’t have th enumber, either. I’d give you a touchy-feeliy judgment on it but I didn’t use the pre-production camera enough to get a feel for the shutter-lag. That said, my experience with most compact cameras in the past year or two has been pretty good. Compacts definitely have more shutter-lag than digital SLRs. But they sure aren’t terrible like they used to be.

  • Anders Dahlberg says:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for the video.
    I’m currentlyn deciding – much like Mendy above – whether to get a G12, an S95 or this baby.
    One of the (few) things that has me doubdting whther the G12 is really for me is its inability to focus and zoom in video mode. Can the XZ-1 do that? I think perhaps you zoomed a little bit in the video sample you showed, but I just want to confirm it.
    /Anders, Sweden.

  • Elanor says:

    Have just purchased the Olympus ZX-1 but am having a fight when it comes to taking panoramic shots. I suspect i am doing something wrong as the shots come out wonky with duplicate images within it. I tried to match the circles as suggested however when it gave me a picture with 2 x Eiffel towers/2 x Empire States I gave up. Can anyone advise how i use this properly? Am sure it is very simple!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *