Sunday, July 21, 2013

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review (Final)
July 2013, Carl Garrard
Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Lately, Olympus has been on a bit of a tear with it's cameras, introducing a lot of hot new enthusiast level cameras in its micro four thirds line and its stylus lineup as well. The XZ-10 is the latest enthusiast level compact from Olympus that sits one level below the XZ-2 (it's flagship compact). From its exterior it may look like just another point and shoot camera but this my friends is a wolf in sheep's clothing. This camera is loaded with solid specs and promises very good performance from its back-lit CMOS sensor and very bright 26-130mm f/1.8-2.7 i.Zuiko lens. In fact, this camera is so full of features, I can't help but feel a bit overwhelmed in addressing them with you. But as I say, I like a good bang for the buck and the XZ-10, at least on paper, may very well be at the top of the heap for its price. 

Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Prelude

I won't go into every single aspect of its features or specifications in the meat of this article, please just scroll to the end if you want to see every single detail this camera is loaded with.  What I will do though is share with you my thoughts on all of the features that I personally find interesting with this camera from a photographers perspective. Note that the XZ-10 doesn't have as many of the features or customization options as its more expensive XZ-2 does, but it's price is also lower as well.

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Introduction  

So basically the XZ-10 is a subcompact point and shoot camera that is easily pocketable in jeans or a shirt pocket without weighing you down uncomfortably. This is the premise of its design- take it anywhere while having full functionality - almost like a DSLR. It has a full compliment of manual and automatic options for every single type of shooter out there. For manual shooters, this camera records raw files so that you can have full control over the image output of the XZ-10, while simultaneously recording full size Jpegs at the highest quality. Important to note is that it will apply Art filters or any custom Jpeg settings that you've made along with the raw file. This way if you don't like the Jpeg output, you can start over with Raw however you please. Bravo Olympus, bravo.

Also, the XZ-10 has in-camera raw and jpeg development in case you want to do your processing that way. Overall there seems to be no limitations to file development of any kind with the XZ-10, unlike other manufacturers (Canon S series for example). User control and customization is the name of the day when it comes to enthusiast cameras from Olympus which is why some fans of Olympus are so dedicated to shooting with them.

The XZ-10 simply comes loaded, but these features stand out to me:
  • Full size 1080 HD video w/stereo sound 
  • All current Olympus Art filters (which are the best type in the business)
  • A modern touch sensitive and control capable screen LCD screen
  • Optically stabilized zoom lens
  • ISO 100-12,800 image capture (up to 6400 in raw, 12,800 only in a special scene mode)
  • 3 Shot HDR auto aligning mode
  • Customizable control ring (Olympus originally pioneered that)
  • Built in auto focus illumination lamp
  • Built in 3 stop ND filter (so you can use wide open apertures in bright scenes, or slow the shutter speed way down)
  • Up to 5 frames per second shooting

Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Physical Views

 That said, lets take a tour of the exterior of the XZ-10 to see what shooters are getting in terms of physical control of the camera. The XZ-10 is billed as a pocketable enthusiast level camera meaning that it should have access to most controls a DSLR would have, in a miniature form factor.

Starting with the top of the XZ-10 (from left to right) we see the automatic pop up flash (no manual switch), the control ring that houses the lens (customizable), stereo microphones, illuminated on/off switch, shutter release and surrounding zoom toggle, and the main control dial replete with automatic, manual, and customs setting stops.

Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check

On the back of the camera (top to bottom) we have a customizable video record button, angled rubber thumb pad (not plastic like some makers do), playback and function button (customizable as well), control ring and 5 way controller (again, customizable).  Below that we have the menu and info button which rounds out all of the standard controls. But there's one I didn't mention. The 3" 920K dot touch screen LCD panel.

Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check
On the front of the XZ-10 is major business. Starting from the top we see the AF assist lamp, custom control ring, and it's beautiful 26-130mm f/1.8-2.7 i.Zuiko 5x zoom lens. Rounding out the front is a discreet rubber grip with a slight indent to aid in one hand shooting. Other than that the camera is very clean on the front and very stylus, cough... I mean, stylish.

Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Image Quality and Analysis

Jpeg image quality is some of the best I've ever seen in a compact camera within its class (and its sensor size) and bests some of the older DSLR's I've used in the past. I'm flat out impressed.The Jpegs hold up surprisingly well to some post processing too, which is generally uncommon at least at this level. One of my trips out I forgot that I disengaged raw recording and ended up having to rely on Jpegs only as some of my test shots. Processing them in Photoshop (no not a cloud based product) left me quite impressed to say the least.

Out of camera Jpegs look swell!

Even with a little shadow adjustment in photoshop, they hold up great too.

Overall I'm in love with Olympus's color, detail and gradation of its Jpegs. Auto white balance is really good and you can rely on it most of the time. I do recommend setting the sharpness down a notch or so so that you can adjust that later on to your own preference.

ISO Range (Raw capability)
Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check

The real test for me though with a camera is what lurks in the raw files. Sometimes there are a lot of surprises in there, good or bad, and this tells me what the camera is truly capable of both with its sensor and its lens. Manufacturers have been doing a lot of processing in camera of late on Jpegs to make up for a lens lack of performance in raw doing all kinds of corrections to its weaknesses. This section examines the sensors low light, bright light, and lens capabilities through the ISO range.

All images were processed through ACR and have both noise sliders set to zero. Sharpening is a 1.0 pixel radius with the slider set to 50 and detail set to zero. Take a look at the images yourself to see what the XZ-10 is capable of in low light.

Note, raw file conversions are pretty large. Not that matters much with such cheap storage these days but may be worth a mention. The 6400 sample above for example is 21mb large. Pretty big I'd say for a 12mp file. The samples below aren't full resolution though, so don't worry about eating up your bandwidth. If you want a full sized sample please let me know and I can email you some.


I found the XZ-10 to be a good performer through the ISO range. Low ISO is very good to excellent and has a lot of dynamic range for such a small sensor. Olympus have chosen a resolution that doesn't pack this sensor with too many pixels yet offers the capability of very large prints- at least at ISO 100-400. For landscapes, the lens is very sharp and looks really good at f/2.8 up to f/5.6 (being its general best settings overall).

High ISO looks good for such a small sensor. There's a bit of horizontal banding that shows up at 3200 and more at 6400 ISO but it's not nearly the worst I've seen and mainly related to color noise. As long as you expose your shots correctly this shouldn't be an issue most of the time, and, its bright lens and image stabilization should keep you out of those ISO settings more often than you'd think. Still, they are very useable when given some attention in post processing. If you don't like to post process the Jpegs are very good out of camera, otherwise get the Topaz DeNoise plugin if you want to remove banding- works great.

Overall I'd stick to using 100-1600 most of the time, but rely on 3200 and 6400 for monochrome street shooting. Noise grain looks really tight and very nice up to 1600 ISO and almost totally untraceable at its lower ISO values (100-400) unless you are viewing 100% on a big screen. I'd venture a guess and say that the XZ-10's native ISO values are 100-1600 and that 3200 and 6400 are "push" ISO settings. This guess is based on my experience with evaluating a lot of digital cameras. Typically there's really no advantage quality wise going up to 6400 or 3200 ISO. I'd rather shoot at 1600 and underexpose a bit and bring the exposure up in raw later.

The XZ-10 does very good for what it is, but it's small sensor is slightly edged out by the 1 1/7" sized class (and larger of course). It's direct competitor would be say a Canon S110 and Sony RX100 (or II) in terms of size, which both beat it image quality wise, but both are more expensive especially the Sony. Bang for buck the S110 may be the best of the three, but the XZ-10 certainly comes in at a very close second here. A very good performance especially from such a small sensor.

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Overall  Experience

In this section I'll just report whatever traits the XZ-10 has and what I experienced when using the camera, no rhyme or reason in the order reported here. This review is mainly about user experience and what it's like using an XZ-10 outside of a lab atmosphere. Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check

Stylish, small, nimble. Easy to hold one handed due to good rubber on the front and rear.

Handling Etc.

The XZ-10 is a pretty small camera, fitting into the pocket like a cell phone or small thin mens' wallet. Considering its capabilities, there's a lot of camera being conveniently hidden here. Forget having anywhere close of the level of capability or image quality in a cell phone camera, the XZ-10 blows them away. It easily fits into a dress shirt pocket or front jeans pocket and is light enough so that it doesn't bounce around.

Holding the XZ-10 one handed and shooting with it is a pleasure. The rubber on front and back keep it nice and secure in the hand while shooting- it does NOT feel like a bar of soap in hand. Controls are easy to reach and using the front zoom ring is comfortable and easy. The clicks on that are very precise and addicting to use. I have the exposure value compensation set on it, which is quite nice.

Controls are well done, and the thumb rest is small but highly effective and efficient. The ramp style rest gives you a very secure place for your thumb and helps you maneuver this camera in tight quarters one handed. I especially like the feel of the rear control ring, tension is perfect both when pressing it and turning it. This makes for less accidental setting changes and is definitely worth noting here.

The lack of a dedicated AEL lock/toggle feature on the XZ-10 is a disappointment to me, and I hope that Olympus will add this feature in the menu allowing either the FN or red dot video record button to be tasked with this assignment. I do not like having to lock focus and exposure using a half press of the shutter release, I much prefer to lock my exposure first, then focus and release the shutter. Its a big part of my shooting style. A work around for me it to shoot in full manual mode only- and that slows me down some.   Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check


I particularly liked the macro capability of this lens, even though the super macro setting is limited to wide angle only. The standard macro setting is good enough on its own to merit this camera as a superb macro shooter and you're able to isolate your subject with some very nice out of focus effects too.

Almost DSLR level out of focus effects here without having to use a an art filter or effect simulation. This is the capability of its lens naturally.

Overall the lens has a nice versatile focal length and performs admirably. It will tend to vignette on open apertures but that is well within what I'd consider normal specifications. The vignetting also is not extreme, about 1/2 of a stop at its worst, and shows in the more extreme corners of the frame mostly at full telephoto when wide open. First a shot showing its full detail wide open at 130mm, then a shot showing the vignetting.

Lots of detail here, but don't worry no gore just a small fender bender on a local street.

Vignetting showing in the upper corners, not bad really and easily correctable. However worth noting to readers.

For landscape photography the 26mm equiv. wide angle is a nice step up from 28mm which is more common. Overall the lens is pretty sharp through the frame even wide open, although you'll see some CA's develop. Go to f/4 if you want those eliminated, add more contrast, and exhibit sharper corners. Id say f4 is probably the best overall f/stop for landscapes on this lens when you want the best compromise in detail vs overall lens performance.

26mm wide, f1.7 ND filter activated. Not bad for wide open here!

I'm glad the XZ-10 has a built in ND filter which allows you to use wide open f/stops in bright light. Since the lens is reasonably sharp even wide open, this camera makes for a great pocket landscape camera especially when stopped down even to f/2.8. Things only get better up to f/4 then diffraction kicks in a bit after that. Extreme depth of field is possible at f5.6 and beyond so I don't recommend going any higher than f/5.6 for that purpose.

Battery Life

The XZ-10 runs off a LI-50B battery giving just 3.7V/925mAh, not a lot of battery power. I found that using the art filters can drain the battery life more because it puts a strain on the processor (just as video will). Overall the battery life is average for a camera of this class for still shooting and when you use the art filters or video you'll get even less time with it. Charging is kind of pain but also convenient depending on the method you prefer. If you want to charge from the computer most of the time its convenient if not, it's a bit of a pain because you are forced to use a tether cord from the main charger.

All in all for still shooting I'd say you can get about 200 shots, and for video and art filter shooting you can expect less life. Translation- get an extra battery if you want to shoot all day. Topping off the XZ-10 is highly recommended before taking it out each and every time.

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Conclusion
Olympus XZ-10 Instant Price Range Check
Breaking down the XZ-10 wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. As a pocket camera its quite capable and there isn't much it won't do well. It's price is questionable when compared to its competition (think vs. Canon S110). Currently running at $360-399.00 on Amazon right now, it's hard not to take a peek at an XZ-1 or Canon S110 which both run considerably cheaper on price. That however is not a completely fair comparison though because both cameras have been on the market for quite some time now and have endure several price drops.

Overall I'm impressed with the XZ-10 on many fronts. Image quality is definitely in my ball park of what I'd consider versatile for many tasks, and exceeded my expectation both from the lens and the sensor. Overall speed of performance is good too. Features wise there's not much missing here other than the lack of some customization of those features that would have been nice, especially for its price range.

There are a couple area's where I think the XZ-10 is a bit soft- battery life, and, the fact that it lacks an AEL toggle feature to set on a separate button away from the shutter release. There were some other areas that lacked customization in the menu too that I would have preferred to have (front control ring options for example) but none that annoyed me enough to remember them and report them here.

The XZ-10 however is a camera despite its' shortcomings is one that I'd love to carry around when size and weight are an issue. If I need to go light, this simply is a camera I'd highly recommend to others- as well as gladly use myself. When I compare it to my current ultralight pocket camera, the Canon S100, I'm giving it a tie score. The two cameras have an equally opposing pro and con sheet when you add it all up. To me, that's a big leap forward for Olympus when comparing to Canon who have ruled the compact sector for so long (especially the enthusiast sector).

Olympus has done well here; but be advised that they certainly have room for improvement - much of which can be done using a firmware upgrade to please its picky enthusiast targeted crowd.

Overall Score: Highly Recommended (with some reservations)

Be safe and happy shooting!

-Carl Garrard

This is how you help, if you so desire.  

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Advantages
  • Built in ND filter
  • Excellent white balance handling of fluorescent light and auto white balance as well
  • Very well built, feels all metal, solid, and precision made
  • Comfortable to hold for one handed shooting, good grips on front and back
  • Fast autofocus
  • Built in AF assist lamp
  • Excellent macro capability (an Olympus trademark with fixed lens cameras)
  • Jpegs are Excellent, some of the best I've seen for a camera of this class (mind you this comes after my custom adjustments of contrast sharpness etc)
  • Touch screen interface is much more useful than I expected
  • Includes some internal memory in case you forget a card (not a lot but better than nothing)
  • Sharp and very fast lens makes this camera much more versatile than you might think
  • Raw image quality is quite fine for such a small sensor, not much difference when comparing to its larger 1 1/7" sized competitors
  • Love the art filters, best in the business
  • Good video quality
  • Good 3" display with above average glare resistance
Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review- Disadvantages
  • No manual focusing option
  • No super control panel option * fact check
  • Not as customizable as you'd expect from Olympus (example, front control ring)
  • Battery life has not impressed, carry a spare
  • Charger is a bit cumbersome, use of a cord is vital (unless you buy another type charger)
  • No AEL lock/toggle feature at all (only half pressing the shutter locks exposure)
  • Touch screen options are pretty limited in the menu
  • Minor banding at 3200 ISO and above can restrict some uses

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review: Features (Courtesy of Olympus)
*Note: This camera is loaded with features and specifications. If you have any questions to the reviewer, please comment and we'll do the best we can to get you a prompt and accurate answer!


Based on the standards of Olympus DSLR lenses, with the XZ-10's 5x wide-angle optical zoom and 5x digital zoom, you can get close to the action. But due to the F1.8 lens it allows for shallower depth of field than most compact point and shoot cameras.


All the capabilities you need in one compact lens. The 5x optical zoom gets you close to the action while the 26mm Equivalent Wide-Angle Lens lets you capture group shots and breathtaking panoramas.

IHS TECHNOLOGY with 10x Super-Resolution Zoom

The powerful TruePic VI, SLR-quality Image Processor and a cutting edge BSI CMOS sensor come together to dramatically improve image quality with spectacular low-light performance and blazing autofocus speed. These are combined with enhanced Intelligent Auto for spectacular scene and 10x Super-Resolution Zoom allowing you to capture close-ups images without any loss of image quality even in movie mode.


An amazing 12 million pixels in the High-Sensitivity, High-Speed BSI CMOS sensor deliver unmatched image quality with less noise and improved image detail, especially in low-light situations.


The new design of the XZ-10’s interface takes full advantage of the 3-in., 920,000-pixel VGA display. Menu navigation is made easier with a sleek and easy-to-see design, and is the same that is used in the PEN models.


The XZ-10 pairs a high sensitivity 12 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor with the TruePic™ VI Image Processor to produce clear and colorful photos. The image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.


Shooting into backlight typically results in washed out, overly bright images. Backlight HDR Adjustment takes a collage of images at various exposure levels and blends them into one, perfectly exposed image.

ISO 12,800

The XZ-10 captures difficult, low light photos with an increased ISO sensitivity to 12,800.


The XZ-10 also features an AF illuminator to make it simple to focus in low-light situations.


The XZ-10 has an easily accessible built-in pop-up flash to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas.


Capture your shots instantly with the XZ-10's FAST AF and responsive touch screen. Just touch the screen to focus on your subject and release the shutter. Whether composing still images or HD videos, photographers will appreciate the XZ-10’s sharp 3.0-inch tilt and touch LCD to frame and show off still images and High Definition (HD) movies. The LCD displays 920,000 dots in vivid color, reproduces colors and shades more accurately with deeper black tones.


The XZ-10 offers advanced manual controls that experienced photographers expect. But, with the XZ-10, advanced features are easy to use. Similar to the XZ-2, the XZ-10 is equipped with a hybrid control ring, built around the lens, which allows users to easily assign function settings to their preferences.


Express your creativity with special effects for your photos & HD Videos. Olympus’ Art Filters infuse familiar scenes with new an unexpected moods ranging from the exciting to the serene and from the whimsical to the mysterious.


You can easily create a combination of photos by selecting one of four themes. Each theme applies selected Art Filter effects automatically, letting you create a photo story with a certain flair with just a single touch.


The XZ-10’s easy-to-reach record button on the back of the camera body makes recording videos a breeze. Add style and artistic flair to your moves with Olympus Art Filters and Effects.


For easy photo and video playback on your HDTV. The XZ-10 makes sharing your content easier than ever. Using the HDMI output, just connect the XZ-10 to your HDTV with an HDMI cable (not included) and navigate the camera's menus from the comfort of your couch. This is perfect for sharing your pictures and movies with an audience.


Dual Image Stabilization combines Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to capture crisp, clear images in any situation.


Corrects blur for slow and large movement caused by physically moving while shooting movies.


Share images to your Smart Device. Olympus allows for the usage of PENPAL BlueTooth Device, Eye-Fi Card or the new Flash Air media card. Check out the Olympus smartphone and ipad apps.


Bracketing functions allow you the flexibility to focus on the type of shot you want and view it in different ways so you can choose the best shot.


Never miss a moment. With 5fps high-speed continuous shooting, capture the perfect shot by taking a sequence of images all at once.


Slideshows have never been easier or more fun to create. The XZ-10’s enhanced playback functions allow you to employ effective fade-in/fade-out techniques, control the movie/still mix and speed.


The XZ-10’s Live Guide system allows you to preview effects as you adjust them – before the image is even captured. Simply select Live Guide and turn the wheel on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects, such as brightness, color saturation, tone, etc.

Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Review: Specs (Courtesy of Olympus)

*Note: This camera is loaded with features and specifications. If you have any questions to the reviewer, please comment and we'll do the best we can to get you a prompt and accurate answer!

Product Type Product type Compact digital camera
Memory SD Memory Card(SDHC, SDXC, *UHS-I compatible), Eye-Fi
 * UHS-I :Available for 104MB/s
Screen size 6.150 mm (H) x 4.612 mm (v)
Image Pickup Unit Product type 1/2.3" CMOS Sensor
Pixels number (Effective Pixels number, Total no. of pixel)/Total no. of pixels/Aspect ratio 12 million pixels / Approx. 12.76 million pixels / 1.33 (4:3)
Dust reduction -
Filter array Primary color filter (RGB)
Lens Structure 10 elements in 8groups
Aspheric Surfaces 6
Focal length(35mm equivalent) 4.7mm to 23.5mm(26mm to 130mm)
Maximum aperture 1.8-2.7
Optical zoom 5x
Super Resolution Zoom 2x
Digital tele
Imaging range W:10cm to infinity,T:30cm to infinity
Super Macro:1cm to 60cm,Wide-angle edge fixing
Recording(Still) Recording format DCF, DPOF compatible/Exif, PRINT Image Matching III
File format RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG
Recording image size [RAW] 3968 x 2976 pixels
[JPEG] 3968 x 2976 pixels - 640 x 480 pixels
File Size RAW: 4032(H)x3024(V) (approx. 1/1.5 lossless compressed) Approx. 13.9MB
Set1(LF): 4032(H)x3024(V) (1/4 compressed) Approx. 5.9MB
Set2(LN): 4032(H)x3024(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 2.7MB
Set3(MN): 2560(H)x1920(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
Set4(SN): 10
Image stabilizer System  Built in (Imager shift image stabilizer)
mode 1 modes (IS:2 dimensional activation ), OFF
Live View Live View display modes Image Exposure Level,
Shadow adjustment and face detect mode,
Grid Line Mode,
Histogram Mode,
Magnified View Mode,
OFF Mode
Field of view 100%
Display Mode Normal Mode, Grid Line Mode(4 types), Histogram Mode, Off
Monitor information Aperture value, Shutter speed, Auto Bracket, AE Lock, AF mode, IS, Shooting Mode, Battery Check,  Internal Temperature Warning, Face  Detection, Histogram, Number of storable still pictures, Record mode, ISO, Sequential shooting, Self-timer, White Balance, AF confirmation mark, Exposure Compensation Value, Spot metering Area
Flash Mode, Flash Status, Flash intensity Control, Super FP,
Focal length, Tone control, Eye-Fi condition, Super-ResZOOM, Battery check
Display of Face Detection Max 8 frames of face detection can be displayed.
Monitor Monitor type 3" Touch control with 920K dots
Touch function Touch shutter release, Touch Live Guide, AF area selection, Frame advance/backward, Enlargement playback,  PhotoSession
Tilting angle -
Brightness control/Colour temperature ±2 levels / ±7 levels
Color setting Vivid / Natural
Vivid / Natural
Focusing AF  imager AF
Focus mode Single AF (S-AF) / SuperMacro Mode 
Advance AF Only movie mode is available.
Maginified Spot AF -
Face priority AF Available
Focusing point/Focusing point selection 35-area multiple AF / All target, Single target
AF illuminator Available
AF lock
Manual Focus Assist -
AF tracking -
Exposure Control (Still) Metering system Digital ESP metering , Center weighted average metering, Spot metering
Target frame linkage light measurement  Available
Metering  EV -3 - 17 (Digital ESP metering, Centre weighted average metering, Spot metering)
Exposure mode (1) i Auto (2) P: Programme AE (3) A: Aperture priority AE
(4) S: Shutter priority AE (5) M: Manual (6)Photo Story (7)Scene select  AE (8) Art Filter
Scene select AE Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Sport,Hand-HeldStarlight, Night, Night + Portrait,  Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Multiplex exposure, Beach & Snow,
ISO sensitivity AUTO ISO 100 - 6400  (customizable, Default 100-1600)
Manual ISO 100 - 6400, 1/3 EV steps 
Exposure Compensation Ranfe ±3 EV in 1/3 EV steps 
AE lock Locked at 1st release of shutter button (can be set to Fn1)
Metering standard value adjustment
Shutter Product type Lens shutter
Shutter speed 1/2000 - 30 sec.
Flash Flash intensity control method TTL Auto, Auto, Manual
Built-in flash Available
Mode Auto, Red-eye reduction,  Fill-in, Off, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow sync, Full,1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64
Flash intensity control Up to ±3 EV in 0.3 EV step
Colour Temperature 5500±400°K
Wireless Flash Control Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-300R, FL600R
Remote Flash Control type Built-in flash
External Flash intensity type TTL Auto
Channel No.  1ch 
Group No. 1ch, 1Groups (External flash : 1group )
Drive Drive mode Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, High-speed shooting, BKT, Self-timer
Sequential shooting  maximum speed 5fps(Sequiential shooting)、15fps(High-speed shootingu)
Max. recordable pictures
on sequential shooting
Self-timer Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec. (cancel available)
Wireless remote control Not Available
Bracketing Exposure bracketing 3 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV steps selectable
Art Filter Mode Pop Art (I, II / a.b.c.d.e.)
    Soft Focus ( - / c.e.)
    Pale & Light Color (I, II / a.b.c.d.)
    Light Tone ( - / d.)
    Grainy Film (I, II / b.c.d.)
    Pin Hole (I, II, III / d.)
    Diorama ( - / d.)
    Cross Proscess (I, II / b.c.d.)
    Gentle Sepia ( - / a.b.c.d.)
    Dramatic Tone (I, II / b.c.d.e.)
    Key Line (I, II / a.b.c.d.e.)
  Art Effect a. Soft Focus Effect
    b. Pin-Hole Effect
    c. White Edge Effect
    d. Frame Effect
    e. Star Light Effect
Photo Session Standard (Type I、II、III、IV)
Speed (2Pics、4Pics、5Pics)
Zoom In/Out (Type I、II)
Fun Frame (Instant、Film、Square)
Movie Recording format MOV(MPEG-4AVC/H.264)
Movie Mode  Full HD: 1920(H)x1080(V), 30p(29.97fps)Recording
            18Mbps,  Aspect 16:9 
HD: 1280(H)x720(V), 30p(29.97fps)Recording
               9Mbps,  Aspect 16:9 
Maximum Recording Time Full HD:29min, HD:29min
Full HD:29分, HD:29分
Movie Function -
IS for Movie OK/Shifting electronic image (so called Digital IS, IS1 mode only)
AE Lock Available
Exposure Control(Movie) (1) i Auto (2) P: Programme AE (3) A: Aperture priority AE (4) S: Shutter priority AE
(5) M: Manual  (6) C1: Custom1 AE  8) SCN: SCN AE
(9) Art Filter: ART Filtr AE
 * S mode and M mode : Shutter speed is limited in less than 1/30 sec.
 * C1/ C2 : Registered Mode is followed.
File Size MOV Format : Max 4GB
Recording(Sound) Recording format Wave Format (Stereo linear PCM/16-bit, Sampling frequency 48kHz)
  Mic/Speaker Stereo/Mono
  Mic function Wind Noise Reduction, Audio dubbing possible for still pictures (up to 30 sec.)
Maximum Recording Time Picture with Sound: 4sec.
Movie: depend on Movie Recording Time
White Balance WB mode Auto WB, 7 Preset WBs, 2 Capture WBs, Custom WB(Kelvin setting)
White balance compensation ±7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis   * Except for Custom WB
Auto WB system
Preset white balance 7 preset WBs (3000K - 7500K)
   - Sunny(5300K), Shadow(7500K), Cloudy(6000K), Incandescent(3000K), Fluorescent(4000K), 
CWB (Kelvin setting) 1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature, 2000K to 14000K.
One-touch white balance 2 custom settings can be registered
Colour Mode Colour space sRGB
Picture Mode Mode Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Art Filters
Gradation Auto, Normal, High Key, Low Key     [except Art Flters]
Adjustment parameter 4 levels (Auto, Normal, High key, Low key)
Filter effect Neutral, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green for Monotone
Picture tone -
Noise Filter at High ISO setting Off, Low, Standard, High
Noise Reduction at Slow shutter speed Off, On, Auto
  On : effective when shutter speed is slower than 1 sec.
  Auto : effective when shutter speed is slower than 4 sec. (at ISO 200 or higher) or 8 sec. (at lower than ISO200)
Multi Exposure Number of picture/Functions 2 frames / Auto gain, Live View
Multi Aspect Aspect Ratio 4:3(Default) / 3:2 / 16:9 / 1:1 
Process RAW: Aspect ratio is recorded as Exif data, JPEG: JPEG image is produced based on the aspect ratio
Level Gauge Detection -
One push Tele-converter   -
Super-ResZOOM x2:Super-ResZOOM
Playback Playback mode Single-frame, Information display, Index display (4/9/25 frames),  Enlargement (2x - 14x), Movie (with sound, FF/REW/Pause), Picture rotation (auto), Slideshow *(with BGM/BGM+Sound/Sound)
     * Slideshow : Still/Movie/Still+Movie,   When a camera is connected to HDTV with HDMI cable, 3 new slideshow effect can be selectable.(Still)
Information display Histogram (independent luminance / RGB available), Highlight/Shadow point warning, AF frame, Photographic information, OFF
Menu Languages 39 languages selectable :
   - Japanese, English, French, Germany, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Russian, Czech, Danish, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese(por), Portuguese(bra),
Norwegian, Finnish,Croatian, Slovenian, Simplified Chinese, Greek, Slovak, Turkish, Latvian, Estonian, Swedish, Lithuanian, Serbian, Rumanian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Malay, Thai, Hebrew
Reset & custom setting Custom mode 1 settings recordable
Image Editing Editing function RAW development, Gradation auto, Red-eye fix, Resize (1280x960, 640x480, 320x240), Trimming, Aspect, e-Portrait, Postrecording
RAW picture editing RAW development based on settings of the camera(including Art Filter)
JPEG editing Shadow adjustment, Red-eye fix, Trimming, Aspect, Black&White, Sepia, Saturation, Resize, e-portrait
Image Overlay -
Erasing function Single frame, All, Selected frames (from Index)
Protect function Single frame, Selected frames, Release protect (Single/All selected)
Print Print function Print reservation (DPOF), Direct print (PictBridge compatible)
Input/Output USB/Video/RemoteContoroller connector Dedicated multi-connector     [USB: USB2.0 Hi-Speed,  Video: NTSC/PAL selectable.]
HDMI Micro HDMI (Type-D)
Flash attachment -
Accessory attachment -
  PC interface USB2.0 Hi-Speed
TV interface HDMI (HD/Stereo Sound), VIDEO-OUT(SD/Mono Sound)
DC-in -
Power Requirements Battery Li-50B Li-ion battery (included)
Power battery holder Not Available
AC/DC Adaptor F-3AC
Sleep mode Available (1/3/5 min. off selectable)
No. of recordable pictures
(with 50% flash light)
240 shots
Dimensions/Weight Dimensions  102.4mm (W) x61.1mm (H) x34.3mm (D) 
  [CIPA guideline compliant, excluding protrusions]
Weight Approx. 221g     [CIPA with BLN-1 battery and Memory card]
Operating Environment Temperature 0 ~ +40℃ (operation) / -20 ~ +60℃ (storage)
Humidity 30 - 90% (operation) / 10 - 90% (storage)
Box contents Box contents Body,Li-50B , F2AC , USB/Video Multi cable, Touch Pen,Hand strap,
CD-ROM(ib and OLYMPUS Viewer2), Instruction manual, Warranty card.
Splash proof Splash proof No
Exterior   Material Metal
Color Universal design
Super control panel Information (shooting) -
Live control Information (shooting) Battery information, Shooting mode, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure compensation value, ISO sensitivity,
Exposure compensation indicator, Exposure indicator, Flash intensity compensation indicator, Date, Auto BKT setting,
NR setting, WB, Record mode, Flash Status, Image size,
Drive mode, Flash intensity compensation value, Metering mode, Recordable still image number, Focusing mode,
AF frame, Internal Temperature Warning, IS activating mode, Face detection, My Mode, Multi Exposure, Aspect Ratio
Live Guide Setting Menu Color saturation, Color image, Brightness, Blur Background, Express Motion, Shooting Tips
Specifications and design are subject to change without notice.


  1. Nice Review Carl, especially the Pictures. :) But i'd recommand a used Olympus XZ-1, simply
    because of the stunning Zuiko Lens and the bigger Sensor: 1/1.63". Apart from this, amazing
    what Oly made out of that way little 1/2.33" Sensor - which is the typical Digicam Size.


  2. Yep 1 2/3" sensors aren't what they used to be. I remember the first good one was in the Ricoh GXR 28-300mm module that stunned me.

    Remember too that compact size like this accounts for something, the XZ1 although a good deal isn't as compact or light. This one fits in a pocket all day without floppin around or pulling your shirt down your neck.