Blog Olympus XZ-1 Camera Review - A Comprehensive Guide to Enhanced Photography

This blog is an in-depth review of the Olympus XZ-1 camera. The blog highlights the features and benefits of the camera to help photographers make an informed buying decision. The review is backed by both technical analysis and practical usage of the camera.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Olympus XZ-1 article cover photo

Key Features

Jan 26 2011


10 megapixels


Sensor Type1/1.63-inch

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Overview of the XZ-1

When it comes to photography, brands like Canon and Nikon might come to mind first. However, Olympus XZ-1 camera is a hidden gem that has earned its spot in the market by its exceptional performance and features. If you are looking for a compact camera that is easy to use, yet packs a punch, then Olympus XZ-1 could be the one for you. In this blog, we have compiled detailed information about the technical specifications, features, and benefits of the Olympus XZ-1 camera. We will also share our firsthand experience using the camera to give you an honest review. So read on to find out everything you need to know about the Olympus XZ-1 camera, and why it could be the next best investment for your photography passion!

Olympus XZ-1 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Olympus XZ-1 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Excellent image quality
Fast autofocus
Great low-light performance
Good lens range
Easy to use manual controls
Compact and portable
HD video recording
High-resolution LCD screen
Great zoom capabilities
Strong build quality


Limited battery life
Slow startup time
No built-in viewfinder
Limited ISO range
Limited dynamic range
Limited video recording options
Expensive compared to similar cameras
Limited manual focus abilities
Not the most modern camera on the market
Limited connectivity options

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Olympus XZ-1

Weather sealed
Dimensions111 x 65 x 42mm

Weather Sealing

The Olympus XZ-1 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic (optional)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution614k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 614k dots. This makes the Olympus XZ-1 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


XZ-1 includes a electronic (optional) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of n/a. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Olympus XZ-1 has a 10MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 10 pixels. Olympus XZ-1 has a native ISO range of 100 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Jan 26 2011


100 - 6400

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution3664 x 2752 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


34 / 102

Color Depth

18.8 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

10.4 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

117 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Olympus XZ-1 camera has average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the XZ-1 is poor

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/1.63-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life320 shots
Battery ModelLi-50B
Wireless Connectivity


The Olympus XZ-1 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Olympus XZ-1 uses the Li-50B model of battery pack. This is rated for 320 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Olympus XZ-1 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Olympus XZ-1 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Olympus XZ-1 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 11 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Olympus XZ-1?

The Olympus XZ-1 features a CCD sensor

Is the Olympus XZ-1 weather sealed?

No the XZ-1 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Olympus XZ-1 announced?

The Olympus XZ-1 was announced on Jan 26 2011

Does the Olympus XZ-1 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the XZ-1 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Olympus XZ-1?

The XZ-1 has a native ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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