Olympus XZ-1

January 6, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Digital Compact Cameras | Comment |

The Olympus XZ-1 is a new flagship compact digital camera. Targeted at amateurs and professional photographers looking for a second camera, the XZ1 features a 10 megapixel 1/1.63 inch CCD sensor, fast f/1.8-2.5, 4x wide-angle i.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens, 3-inch OLED screen and 720p HD movies. 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 Olympus XZ-1 will be available for £399 / €449 from January 2011.

Olympus UK Press Release

Olympus’ new compact flagship turns camera class on its head

XXX rated: The ultra-bright, ultra-high quality XZ-1 – only for adults

Hamburg, 6 January 2011 – First came the PEN revolution in the Micro Four Thirds camera 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 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 uniformly clear pictures even in low light, to SLR standards. The XXX rating that achieves this category-defying quality? A combination of three state-of-the-art features: the
x-tremely large, super-sensitive CCD sensor, the x-tremely fast TruePic V image processor and the x-tremely bright 1:1.8-2.5 i.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens. The 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 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 late January 2011 for £399.

X-ceptional picture quality
Whether it’s High Definition movies or beautiful still photographs, the 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 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.

X-cellent low light performance
The holy trinity of lens, processor and sensor combine with an array of high-end features to ensure the 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.

X-treme creativity
The 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.

Celebrated for the classic retro design of the slightly larger, mirrorless PEN series, Olympus designers have created with another masterpiece in the XZ-1, 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.

Outstanding features:
Image Quality
• 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 with 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 crystal clear movies suitable for playback on a big HD TV

• 3.0” OLED (610,000 dots) display for improved playback and visibility during shooting with 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 and menu wheel for precise manual control and quick selection of modes and settings

Creativity & Flexibility
• 6 Art Filters for adding creative effects to HD movies and stills: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone
• Accessory Port for compatibility with a growing range of accessories including an external flash, electronic viewfinder and external stereo microphone

Other key features
• 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)**

* 35mm equivalent.
** SD is a trademark of SD Card Association.

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