I have very fond memories of Olympus compact cameras, both film and digital. Some of the cameras I have owned and used before include; Olympus mju II (35mm/2.8 film compact), Olympus C4000 (4mp 32-96mm/f2.8) and the Olympus 5060 (5mp 27mm-110mm/f2.8-4.8). The Zuiko lenses on the Olympus cameras give very sharp images and excellent colour rendition.
The Olympus C4000 was a favourite of mine for shooting street and candids because of its fast constant f2.8 maximum aperture over the entire zoom range. It was with reluctance that I upgraded to the C5060 to gain the wide angle (27mm) but at the expense of a slower lens at the tele end (f4.8 at 110mm). The fastest lens in an olympus compact was the 35mm-105mm/f1.8-2.6 of the C4040/C5050 models.
The latest XZ-1 from Olympus, with its beautiful fast lens (28-112mm/f1.8-2.5), has certainly perked my interest and certainly looks like I can fall in love again with Olympus compacts again after a hiatus of more than five years. I am not going to go into the detailed specifications of the camera, as they have been covered in other review threads. Instead, I will be describing my experience of using the camera in the field.
First up, some shots outdoors as a I did a quick walkabout in Holland Village.
Colours and skin-tones are natural and pleasing.
backlit subject, cropped 50% from original 10mp photo
The lens is plenty sharp, and details are finely captured...just check out the veins popping out of this guy's arms!
this was a grab shot as the sliding glass door of the shopping centre opened for a few seconds, the XZ-1 was responsive enough to frame the image and shoot.