Summary: The Olympus is priced at Rs. 25,999, which is almost at par with the pricing of the Canon PowerShot S95 and S100, which offer similar features and deliver similar results. The biggest advantages you get with the XZ-1 are bright F1.8 lens, OLED display and hot shoe. But you don’t get full HD video recording. On the other hand, Canon PowerShot S100 delivers better JPEG images and it has better control over noise, especially at higher ISO values.
Summary: The Olympus XZ-1 is an excellent compact camera with an advanced feature set and mostly efficient controls to access them. Just about every feature is covered and expansion options are unmatched. The ultra-bright lens is the headline specification, giving it access to lower-ISO than most its peers under the same conditions. Image quality is very good with no discernable noise until ISO 400.
Pros: Ultra-Bright F/1.8 lens, lets use lower ISO, Excellent lens sharpness, Uniform lens brightness, Extremely low distortion, Low image noise, Very good automatic white-balance, Conservative metering, Reliable autofocus, Above average shot-to-shot speed, Optional tiltable EVF, Built-in ND filter, Great build quality
Cons: Colors not entirely natural, Custom white-balance not perfect, Slow autofocus, Noticeable shutter-lag, Video recording lag, Impossible to setup framing for video, Not exposure-priority, Incorrect histogram, Poorly used rear control-dial
Excerpt: Olympus' stab at a serious compact. What is it? The Olympus XZ-1 is their top-end compact camera, one targeted at serious shooters desiring something small and compact. It's not quite in the shirt-pocket league of the Canon S95 or Panasonic LX-5, but it does fit some of my big men's shirt pockets and is certainly a jacket-pocket camera.
Conclusion: It may not have as versatile a focal length lens as the Nikon P7000 and Canon G12, or some of the direct controls, but the XZ-1 has a much wider maximum aperture and is considerably smaller. Its controls are also more responsive than the Nikon P7000's.
Summary: The XZ-1 combines simple direct controls with an excellent lens to create probably the best photographers' compact currently available. The output JPEGs are great and the balance of lens range, brightness and compactness make it a really appealing package, whether as an only camera or as a more pocketable backup for DSLR owners.
Pros: Fastest (brightest) zoom lens of any current compact, Really useful 28-112mm lens range, Lens impressively sharp with generally good corner sharpness at wide apertures, Reliable exposure metering and great color response make it easy to get good images, Good high ISO capability for a small-sensor camera (and rarely needed thanks to the bright lens), AF illuminator helps in low light, Simple control system still gives high level of manual control, Low light mode makes ...
Cons: Lack of AEL/AFL button rules out focus and recompose technique, No ability to adjust noise reduction level, No option to customize any buttons (though controls are generally very good), No direct access to ISO or White Balance, Auto ISO can use long exposure times in low light, Lens a little prone to flare in bright light, Video not up to the standard of the stills (and in the inefficient, though convenient, M-JPEG format)
Summary: All things considered, we really like the Olympus XZ-1. It's easy to use, yet it has good manual features. But most importantly, it's a fun camera to use and it has interesting art filters to play with. We also like the screen and the fact that it mostly displays exactly what will be captured to the SD card.
Excerpt: The Olympus XZ-1 is a compact camera that sells for $500. Is that completely insane? Maybe not, if you value the ability to take indoor photos without firing off a harsh, intrusive, skin-tone-unfriendly flash. The XZ-1 has a full range of sophisticated photographic capabilities, but what really sets it apart are two low-light-loving features: a fast f/1.8 zoom lens and an extra-large light sensor.
Excerpt: (1 items) When you compare the Olympus XZ-1's features with those of the vast majority of point-and-shoot cameras , it absolutely blows them out of the water. We're talking about things like an F1.8 lens, full manual controls and manual focus, raw shooting, a click-control ring around its lens to adjust in-camera settings quickly, exposure- and white-balance bracketing modes, a built-in neutral density filter, a 10-megapixel CCD sensor that's bigger than most, a hot shoe...
Pros: Unique scene modes and art filters, F1.8 aperture at wide-angle end; F2.5 at telephoto, Control ring provides quick manual adjustments
Cons: Lacks a hand grip, Underexposed images in iAuto mode, Autofocus struggles in low-light and macro modes, A lot of menu-diving required