Since the great success and extreme popularity of Panasonic LX3, many other camera manufacturer now start to look into the so called "Advance Compact" or "Luxury Compact" market segment again.
It's like an eye opener to the rest of them, you can imagine it this way;
Canon suddenly said, "What the fuck? How come Panasonic can be so successful, they're no body in camera industries many years ago, we were there all along, but seriously - what the fuck... let's make our own and steal the market share from this new comers..."
And then Nikon say; "What the fuck? if Canon do it then we also should do it, we shall not lose to Canon"
And by that time Panasonic and Olympus also working a plot creating another segment, the so called "mirror-less Micro 4/3rd system" or what ever they call it - and it seems that Panasonic and Olympus are doing well with it. Panasonic with their Panasonic G1, GH1, G10 and G2, GF1 and the new GF2 while Olympus with their Olympus PL1 and EP2.
Sony and Samsung then decided to show to the world that they shall challenge Panasonic accordingly and thus we start to see Samsung NX10 and NX100 while Sony with their highly acclaimed Sony NEX5 and NEX3.
That's basically how the story goes in the past 3 years or so.
Not long ago the so-called "Advance Compact" or "Luxury Compact" market segment was one of the most lucrative segment for the major camera manufacturers - that is before the price of DSLR camera started to become cheap and more affordable to the mass market.
This high-end, advance, luxury compacts usually features full manual control and DSLR ergonomics and excellent image quality and they are quite popular amongst enthusiast photographers.
Panasonic LX3 has certainly become a classic now and last year Panasonic introduced the LX5 which looks almost the same but with some minor but important improvement to the already excellent model.
As a counter attack to the successful Panasonic LX3, Canon launched the G10 followed by G11 and G12. From what I gathered, G10 is a little bit disappointing but G11 makes things right and G12 improved it further and on top of this Canon also launches the Canon S90 followed by S95.
Nikon also wanted a slice of the cake by introducing their P6000 and followed by P7000. I read several reviews for P7000 and most of them did mentioned that the performance is slow though there is no doubt that it can produce brilliant image just like the competitors (Panasonic LX3, Canon S90 amd S95, and possibly the Canon G11 and G12).
And suddenly this year, Olympus introduced the Olympus XZ-1.
Note: I do not claim any rights on the above images. These images were copied from Olympus official website below for non-commercial and informative use only;
All image credits and copyrights belong to the Olympus.
You can see more photos of this product below;
From my personal point of view, the most important thing that makes me attracted to this model are as below;
1- 1/1.63” High-Sensitivity CCD sensor (the same like Panasonic LX3 - is that a coincidence?)
2- Fast lens with Aperture of F/1.8 (WA) to F/2.5 (T)
3- 4x optical zoom - (28mm to 112mm) with Stabilizer
4- Full Manual control
5- Option to use external flash
If you interested, you can view the full specification from Olympus website below:
The above 5 things are enough to make me considering to get this camera - hopefully within this year, as soon as possible maybe though another "X factor" that I need to wait is the pricing.
According to Photography Blog, the release price in The UK will be GBP 399.00 - that's roughly about SGD 800.00 like that... not cheap eh, you can get an entry level DSLR from Canon (Canon EOS 1000D with a standard 18-55mm lens kit) for about that price.
Nonetheless, from my point of view, just like Panasonic LX3, this Olmpus XZ-1 have big sensor for a compact digicam, just like the LX3 it offers 10 Mega Pixels only rather than useless 14 MP or 16 MP and just like LX3 it is quite small in size. Thus it is logical for me to say that this camera maybe is the suitable replacement for my LX3 - the fast lens (F/1.8) with a more conventional zoom range (4X) is yummy!!!
The marketing magic words from Olympus are;
X-CEPTIONAL PICTURE QUALITY.
X-CELLENT LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE.
X-CESSORIZE WITH THE HOT SHOE & ACCESSORY PORT.
Thankfully they never mention anything about X-Men or X-tra hour of intercourse or XL size penis though.
The words "X-Cessorize" seems to be fun, that means we can use (and need to buy) additional accessories to pimp the XZ-1, if we want to.
Basically for now, at least from the spec sheet, this XZ-1 managed to stimulate my desire and the next step is to wait for the review from around the internet.
After the price concern, my next concern will be the performance and the actual image result of the camera, so for now let's wait and see. Basically, if the price is expensive during release, the trick is to wait after several months or maybe after a year and hopefully the price will go down a bit (and hopefully we can still find it in the market). As for performance side, if it's sluggish, then even a cheap price wont make me buy it.
In fact this camera is almost similar to that Samsung EX1. However, although Samsung also offer F/1.8 Aperture on the EX1 but the zoom is only 3x while this Olympus XZ-1 offers 4x optical zoom.
Furthermore, for me personally, when it comes to camera, I would still prefer the Japanese brand though that doesn't mean I dislike the Koreans - it's just this Samsung sponsors Chelsea FC and that is really a serious concern for me.... I'm a big fan of Chelsea's rival - can you guess who?
I for one love digital cameras - I'm not really an expert photographer by all means, but I just love camera and the fun stuff that you can do with it.
I remember those days during the film era, with 12 or 24 films inside the camera, we have to be stingy with photo shooting and have to plan everything carefully - candid moment is really a luxury that not many of us can afford at that time.
Now during this digital era.... we can keep on fucking - err, I mean keep on shooting as much as we can till the memory card is full or till the last drop of the sperm - I mean, till the battery dies... LOL