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Olympus XZ1
Ilse Jurriën : January 6th 2011 - 09:55 CET
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OlympusOlympus XZ-1 digital camera : First came the PEN revolution in the Micro Four Thirds category, now Olympus has torn up the rule book once more - with the new XZ-1, its game-changing pocket-sized flagship that sets a new benchmark for rival compacts to follow. The Olympus XZ-1 is ideal for camera-savvy amateurs and professional photographers looking for a second camera. In addition to Olympus’ trademark stunning design, it delivers clear pictures even in low light, to SLR standards. The X factor that achieves this category-defying quality? A combination of three state-of-the-art features: the x-tremely large, super-sensitive CCD, the x-tremely fast TruePic V image processor and the x-tremely bright f/1.8-2.5 i.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens.

Olympus XZ1

Olympus XZ1 high-end Zuiko camera
The Olympus XZ-1 is the first compact camera to come with a lens from ZUIKO, renowned as a leading manufacturer of the high-end optics that used to be available only in SLRs. It is also compatible with an ever-growing range of dedicated Olympus PEN accessories for mirrorless cameras. To further boost the quality of stills and movies, users can add an external flash, electronic viewfinder or external stereo microphone, with more accessories still to come. The compact Olympus XZ-1 comes in a matt black or white lacquered body with a large 3-inch OLED screen and the sharp looks to match its professional spec. It will be available from January 2011 for €449.

Olympus XZ-1

Olympus XZ-1 camera features
Whether it’s High Definition movies or beautiful still photographs, the Olympus XZ-1 delivers remarkable image quality for a compact. In fact, for any size of camera. Precious few non-professional cameras can compete with the shining, corner-to-corner clarity of the images it captures - thanks to the unique combination of Olympus lens, large sensor and processor. The dedicated 1:1.8-2.5 super-bright, 4x wide-angle i.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens ensures a pure supply of light with reduced ghosting and flaring. From 1-cm macro shots to sweeping landscapes, from portraits to groups of friends at a party, its 70-year pedigree is reflected in every shot. The larger size of the Olympus XZ-1’s 1/1.63 inch CCD sensor complements the lens. Unlike with regular compacts, users can reduce depth of field in their images to capture close subjects in sharp focus while leaving the background blurred. In combination with Olympus’ high sensitivity TruePic V image processor, these top-class components give XZ-1 users the sensational imaging potential of an SLR in a camera not much bigger than a smart phone.


14 megapixel Olympus XZ1 camera
The holy trinity of lens, processor and sensor combine with an array of high-end features to ensure the Olympus XZ-1 captures stills - and movies - that stay sharp and radiant from corner to corner even in low light. Compared to a regular 14 Megapixel CCD sensor, the light-receptive area of each pixel on the Olympus sensor is twice as large. Together with the sensor and ultra-bright lens, Dual Image Stabilisation, ISO 6400 sensitivity and AF illuminator (for focusing in dark conditions) users can shoot clear, low-noise images in poor light without ruining the atmosphere by using a flash. The XZ-1 also performs in very bright conditions. To offset the ultra-bright lens, it features one of the fastest shutter speeds on a compact camera (1/4000 sec.), reducing the risk of over exposure and blurring in sunlight, snow - or when using the flash.


Special options of the Olympus XZ-1
The Olympus XZ-1 allows every artistic impulse free reign. For ambitious, ‘hands-on’ users, the front lens control ring and menu wheel give pro-style access to the full complement of manual shooting modes (P/A/S/M). Special options include shooting in RAW mode, Multi-Aspect ratio and six special effect Art Filters that even work in HD Movie mode. With super macro, wireless flash control and high-speed AF Tracking, it’s never been easier for compact users to express their creativity.

Olympus XZ1 camera

Olympus XZ1 lens
ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses, first developed for Olympus cameras in 1936, provide precision and quality for professionals and amateurs alike. The 1:1.8-2.5 lens design exploits the full potential of the Olympus XZ-1’s digital image sensors, resulting in clear photos with strong colours and sharp contrasts, right to the edges of the image. AF tracking tracks a moving subject automatically and keeps it continually in focus - for optimally focused and exposed pictures. It even memorises the subject when it goes out of frame and resumes tracking when it reappears.

Olympus XZ-1 camera

Olympus XZ-1 offers Dual Image Stabilisation
Dual Image Stabilisation is providing two-fold protection, this special function helps to avoid image blur caused by camera shake or fast-moving subjects. Its combines high ISO values with a CCD-based mechanical image stabilizer, where a built-in gyro sensor detects camera movement and adjusts the CCD accordingly. High Definition video (HD video) delivers a high-quality movie experience when played back on an HD TV. In HD Movie Mode, the Olympus XZ-1 captures HD video using the advanced Motion JPEG movie compression format at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and a rate of 30 frames per second.

Olympus XZ1 digital camera

Olympus XZ1 incorporates a CCD sensor
The High Sensitivity CCD Sensor is larger than the sensors usually found in compact cameras and its pixels are larger than those in comparable 14 Megapixel sensors, too. It provides outstanding image quality in any lighting conditions, including twilight, low light, dusk and dawn. The Olympus XZ-1 lets photographers choose one of four aspect ratios so they can frame scenes individually and add expression to shots. The ratio selected shows up on the camera’s LCD. Users can choose from 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, and 6:6.

Olympus XZ-1 digital camera

iA mode on the Olympus XZ1 camera
The “intelligent-Auto” mode uses advanced automatic detection technology that enables the camera to automatically recognize the most commonly shot scenes. This makes it possible to capture perfect photos without the need for manual settings. Organic light-emitting diode displays emit light directly and offer significant advantages over LCDs: better power efficiency, deeper black levels, increased contrast, more realistic colours, wider viewing angles and improved brightness.

Olympus XZ1 review

Olympus XZ1 image processor
The TruePic V image processor is Olympus’ cutting edge image processing engine. It automatically enhances important aspects of image quality, including colour reproduction (colour range, saturation and brightness) and picture sharpness (reduced image noise, improved edge reproduction), as well as providing faster processing speeds. Furthermore, the Olympus XZ1 supports Art Filters, HD Movie recording and high sensitivity shooting at up to ISO 6400 - for unprecedented creative expression.

Olympus XZ-1 review

Olympus XZ1 review, price & availability
Celebrated for the classic retro design of the slightly larger, mirrorless PEN series, Olympus designers have created with another masterpiece in the Olympus XZ1, available in matt black or with white lacquering. Compact and lightweight, it slips easily into a pocket, so users can capture sharp and striking images wherever they want to. The Olympus XZ-1 will be available for €449 from January 2011. As soon as we receive an Olympus XZ-1 test sample, we will publish a photo gallery with high resolution pictures, followed by an extensive Olympus XZ1 review.

Olympus XZ1 test

Olympus XZ-1 specifications
• 1:1.8-2.5 super-bright 4x wide i.ZUIKO DIGITAL zoom lens
• (28-112mm) for images with uniform clarity from macro to infinity
• 10 Megapixel 1/1.63” HS CCD high sensitivity sensor for outstanding shots
• Reduced depth of field
• Dual Image Stabilisation for blur-free, fast-moving shots
• TruePic V image processor for supreme colour reproduction and less image noise
• HD Movie with sound for capturing movies suitable for playback on a big HD TV
• 3.0” OLED (610,000 dots) display for improved playback and visibility
• Enhanced contrast, brightness and angle of view
• Manual controls for fast and easy professional adjustments
• Live Guide and i-Auto for easy operation - even by beginners
• Lens ring & menu wheel for manual control and selection of modes and settings
• 6 Art Filters for adding creative effects to HD movies and stills:
• Accessory Port for compatibility with a growing range of accessories
• ISO 6400 for excellent imaging despite poor light
• HDMI TV interface for easy camera operation during playback via the TV remote
• Multi-Aspect ratios for the ideal format (16:9, 3:2, 4:3 or 6:6)
• Bracketing functions for white balance and exposure
• SD memory card (SDHC and SDXC compatible)
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