Olympus XZ-1

Olympus XZ-1 front
  • 10MP - 1/1.63" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 28-112mm (F1.8-2.5) lens
  • 275g - 111 x 65 x 42mm
  • Revealed January 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus XZ-1 overview

Olympus XZ-1 is Olympus's Small Sensor Compact digital camera originally released on January of 2011. It uses a 10 MegaPixel, CCD 1/1.63" sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 3664 x 2752.

The XZ-1 is rated #29 out of 261 in Small Sensor Compact cameras and all around #673 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to try our Advanced camera search to find camera results based on your customized criteria.

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Here is a graph of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Olympus XZ-1 Pros and Cons

Below is a collection of pluses and minuses of the Olympus XZ-1 based on features which are oftentimes viewed as essential in a digital camera.

above average min ISO (100)
built-in flash
built in lens has zoom (28-112mm 4.0 x zoom)
comes with HDMI socket
fast at the long end (f2.5)
fast max aperture (f1.8)
features face detect focus
features tracking focus
great battery (320 per charge)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
manual focus
OLED tech
really wide (28mm)
saves RAW files
screen is a decent size (3")
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
lacks phase detect auto focus
low frames per second (2.0 frames per second)
low res video (1280 x 720 pixels)
megapixel count low (10MP)
missing headphone socket
missing microphone socket
missing Timelapse recording
more heavy than competition (275g)
pixelated screen (614 thousand dots)
screen does not articulate
screen isn't selfie friendly
sensor is very small (1/1.63")
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Olympus XZ-1 Sensor specifications

The Olympus XZ-1 is run by the TruePic V processor. The sensor spec in the Olympus XZ-1 is 8.07mm x 5.56mm (1/1.63"). The 45 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 3664 x 2752 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). Sensor stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization as the latter can easily produce cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 10MP and supports a standard ISO range of 100 - 6400. RAW photos are saved so the user has wider room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath illustrates the XZ-1's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The XZ-1 sensor comes with a crop factor of 4.5 and is pointed out in green.

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To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus XZ-1 dimensions

Olympus XZ-1 weighs 0.61 pounds (275 gr / 9.70 ounces) and features outside size of 111mm x 65mm x 42mm (4.4" x 2.6" x 1.7"). The weight of normal Small Sensor Compact camera is 174 gr so the Olympus XZ-1 is heavier when compared to other competitors.

Photography Glossary

Here is a image of the Olympus XZ-1 besides a soft drink to help you have a sense of its scale.

Olympus XZ-1 dimensions scale

The top view under will provide the button design on the XZ-1.

Olympus XZ-1 topview buttons dials

Olympus XZ-1 Lens specifications

The XZ-1 comes with a fixed lens featuring a focal range of 28-112mm giving it a 4.0 x zoom which might not be perfect nevertheless it may be convenient in some circumstances.

At the widest 28mm, the lens will have an aperture of f1.8 and that's useful in low light events and capturing good bokeh. It will also allow you to use a much lower ISO and get better shots. For the tele end, 112mm comes at f2.5 which is really decent and means that you can use high shutter speeds.

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Olympus XZ-1 Connectivity

The XZ-1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras with NFC and / or Bluetooth connectivity can be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily copy files and sometimes change settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Some applications even allow a Liveview and click the shutter whenever you aren't near the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI out, it can be attached to an external monitor. The majority of cameras enable you to recharge the battery through the USB port.

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Olympus XZ-1 Video specifications

The maximum video resolution in the Olympus XZ-1 is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is terrible by today's standards. You should target at least 1080p resolution for video recording. The camera doesn't feature a mic and / or headphone jack so you have little control over your audio. It is perhaps a better idea to buy another model in case you need better audio in your videos.

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Olympus XZ-1 Weather Sealing

There is no weather sealing for the Olympus XZ-1 so you need to be cautious in wet or dusty situations.

Olympus XZ-1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Olympus XZ-1 houses a 3 inch fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 614 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the display offers no touch support.

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The View Finder details regarding Olympus XZ-1 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Electronic (optional)

In those sunny outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and difficult to view, viewfinders can be pretty useful.

Olympus XZ-1 Shutter specifications

Olympus XZ-1 has the ability to shoot continuously at 2.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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Olympus XZ-1 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Olympus XZ-1 boasts both built in flash plus external flash ability.

Olympus XZ-1 Autofocus specifications

Olympus XZ-1 boasts just Contrast Detect Autofocus and is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more snappier & accurate when compared to Contrast Detect focusing. The camera boasts Face detection which is helpful for people photography.

The Sensor boasts 11 focus points to pick from. It also comes with Tracking Autofocus for things that move. Olympus XZ-1 features manual focus when needed during low light conditions or you need to have more exact control on focus.

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Olympus XZ-1 Battery life

The battery (Li-50B) for the Olympus XZ-1 is made to last for 320 photos with respect to the CIPA requirements which is higher than average when compared to its class. The general Small Sensor Compact camera battery life is 241. Fujifilm X30 has got the highest possible (470) battery life within this range of cameras.

Here is a listing of Small Sensor Compact cameras that come with the best battery life:

Olympus XZ-1 for specific categories of photography

The following illustration gives a overview of the Olympus XZ-1 for specific categories of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Olympus XZ-1 Portrait photography info

The Olympus XZ-1 has a rating of 45 which is awful, meaning that it is not really suitable to use for portrait photos. Shooting portraits leans heavily to sensor resolution, RAW support along with the potential to use external flash.

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has manual focus
includes face detect autofocus
saves RAW formats
MP count low (10 megapixels)
very small sensor (1/1.63")

Olympus XZ-1 as a Street photography camera

With a decent rating of 59, the Olympus XZ-1 is fairly adequate to buy for street photography. A good street photography camera provides a good balance of picture quality and portability.

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has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
supports RAW formats
screen does not articulate
sensor size is very small (1/1.63")
heavier than competition in class (275g)

Olympus XZ-1 Sports photography highlights

A awful sports photography score of 38 indicates the Olympus XZ-1 is not really suitable for shooting sports. A camera really should have very good tracking plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Photography Glossary
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
features tracking focus
better than average battery pack (320 shots)
slow fps (2.0 frames/s)
low resolution (10 megapixels)
tiny sensor (1/1.63")
lacks phase detect autofocus

Olympus XZ-1 Travel photography features

Portability is very critical when choosing a travel camera. All round, the Olympus XZ-1 gets a nice 62 as a travel camera which is a good option to take with you on your trips.

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good battery pack (320 per charge)
has built in flash
relatively wide (28mm)
very good max aperture (f1.8)
no Time Lapse function
heavier than competition (275 grams)
low resolution (10 megapixels)
does not contain selfie friendly display

Landscape photography with Olympus XZ-1

If you are looking to choose a digital camera for landscape photos, the most vital factor is going to be image quality. The Olympus XZ-1 with it's average rating of 54 for a landscape camera is reasonably adequate within the current marketplace.

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you can focus manually
rather wide (28mm)
very good maximum aperture (f1.8)
screen is a decent size (3 inch)
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
delivers RAW formats
good battery life (320 per charge)
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
MP count low (10MP)
small sensor size (1/1.63")
no Timelapse function

Vlogging with Olympus XZ-1

A camera for vlogging ought to posses a moving screen, mic input and ideally IBIS. Taking everything in to account, the Olympus XZ-1 is not really suitable as a vlog camera as it delivers a awful rating of 31.

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rather wide (28mm)
great max aperture (f1.8)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
comes with face detection focusing
screen is not selfie friendly
video res low (1280 x 720 resolution)
missing external mic support
heavier than competitors (275g)

Olympus XZ-1 Alternatives

If you are shopping for replacements to the XZ-1, below is a list of the highest placed cameras that fall within the category of Small Sensor Compact.

The diagram followed below will give you a summary of the XZ-1 versus it's highest ranking rivals suggested earlier.

Following are several cameras you may view as alternate options. To read a comprehensive comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Olympus XZ-1
Small Sensor Compact
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
TruePic V
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
8.07 x 5.56mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
3664 x 2752
RAW format
Highest native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detection focus
Contract detection focus
Phase detection focus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28-112mm (4.0x)
Max aperture
Macro focus distance
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen size
Screen resolution
614 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Screen tech
Viewfinder Information
Electronic (optional)
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Slowest shutter speed
60 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/2000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
2.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
8.60 m (ISO 800)
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in
External flash
WB bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
275 grams (0.61 lb)
Physical dimensions
111 x 65 x 42mm (4.4" x 2.6" x 1.7")
Battery life
320 photos
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
Card slots
Launch pricing