A User Experience Article on the Olympus XZ-1


ClubSNAP Admin
Staff member
Jan 16, 2002
A User Experience Article on the Olympus XZ-1

View attachment 39

This is a short article on my experience with the Olympus XZ-1, it is not a full-blown, spec-by-spec review (for which there are already a tonne of such reviews elsewhere on the 'Net).

Overall, the XZ-1 is an extremely capable performer and will produce excellent images in a wide variety of situations. I have to admit up-front that I am becoming a lazy photographer and prefer the camera to do all the thinking these days, and there has not been a single instance where the XZ-1 has not performed as expected.

Having said that, my preferred mode of shooting is in Aperture Priority mode and the other settings are left to the XZ-1 - Auto ISO and Auto WB.

Shallow Depth of Field

Besides letting in more light, the f/1.8 lens on the XZ-1 provides shallow depth of field at short focusing distances (also due in part to its slightly larger sensor). The XZ-1 is able to produce images that pop with foregrounds in focus and backgrounds nicely blurred.

View attachment 41 View attachment 42 View attachment 40
Toadstools from my garden.

As can be seen by the last image, the colors coming out of the XZ-1 are vivid and rich, and needs just a slight tweak/nudge to produce visually appealing pictures (if you are picky - most of the time, images straight out of the camera are already very usable). Also, I tend to use only the Natural picture setting - the other picture settings are Vivid, Muted, Portrait and Monotone - presumably the other settings would give more punch with the appropriate subject matter.

View attachment 43
Coconut Crab @ Kota Kinabalu

Another example of the shallow depth of field working the other way - shooting through the wire cage (switched to manual focusing point) with a large aperture blurred the wires enough to bring attention to the crab itself.

Sensors & Sensitivity

I have found the imaging sensitivity of the XZ-1 to be very good (compared to an older Panasonic LX-2), and have been able to take images in low-light without undue noise or artifacts.

View attachment 44
Pappadums @ Lunch

The image above was taken in moderate light (sitting by a window on an overcast day) and the original image was a bit flat. Tweaking it by reducing the highlights and adjusting levels brought out additional details that were not previously visible, thus showing that the sensor has a very forgiving latitude and is capturing loads of details that can be teased out from the image.

View attachment 45 View attachment 46
Images taken under challenging lighting conditions.

The party banner and balloons are examples of how the sensor can handle bright and dark sections of an image (oh, and these were taken by my daughter who is literally a point and shoot type of photographer). Speaking of which, my daughters have taken a penchant to the Art modes of the XZ-1 which provide a nice and easy way to jazz up their pictures.

Short snippets
- adjusting settings in shooting mode is very easy with the multi-function dial/buttons.
- focusing speed is good
- very short shutter lag (couple with fast focusing, enables one to take grab shots quite easily).
- OLED display is super bright and contrasty, images really pop out of the screen.
- control dial around the lens allows SLR-like control of aperture/shutter speed (for those used to aperture rings sadly becoming dinosaurs in today's digital world).
- flash control is superb for a point and shoot with multiple modes available, as well as flash exposure compensation.

All in all, I am very satisfied with the Olympus XZ-1 and I can heartily recommend it to anyone who needs simplicity and image quality.


New Member
Aug 31, 2011
Hi all bros,

just brought this item yesterday,I'm still trying to learn n get use to it but need so advise from you guys here!
Don't know anyone can hellp me?

Thank you !

Top Bottom