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Customer Review

181 of 207 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video killed the Photograph Star - XZ-1 vs. LX5, March 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My review of the XZ-1 is from the perspective of being proud father and the family member in charge of capturing memories (and a major geek). Through the years, I have tried just about every type of camera from the Fujifilm F30 to the Canon ti2, the Lumix GF1, GH1 and so on. My ideal camera is small enough to carry in a pocket (or in my case, a belt holster), has great low light capability, great video capability and some zoom capability.

Many enthusiast compacts and all Micro 4/3 cameras like the GF1, PL2 and so forth, don't fit in a belt holster. That leaves the S95, the LX5 and the XZ-1. The S95 is out due to no video autofocus and slow min. aperture at telephoto.

The XZ-1 fits in my hand better than the LX5 (more room for the fingers of my right hand w/o rubbing the lens barrel), and has a faster lens than the LX5 in a very meaningful and practical way. At the same shutter speed the XZ-1 will be ISO 320 where the LX5 will be ISO 640. At high and low ISO, the Olympus jpeg processing is much more pleasing to my eye than the LX5 (I don't have time to deal with RAW.) I also prefer the XZ-1 28mm over the wider LX5 24mm

But I'm returning the XZ-1 and keeping the LX5 because the XZ-1 video quality is unacceptably poor. The quality is so bad as to be distracting and useless for capturing family memories. Not just the wild focus hunting which would be enough, the compression codec makes everything look soft, digital and just awful. Anyone with a few years shooting AVCHD lite on these Lumix cameras like the old ZS3 will be heartbroken. That's why I have to give 3 stars.

If I didn't need video, the XZ-1 would be perfect.

BTW if you're looking for a killer belt holster for your XZ-1 or LX5 the Lowepro Napoli 30 is a perfectly snug fit and you won't need the lens cover anymore.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 31, 2011 12:13:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 31, 2011 12:14:00 PM PDT
PB2 says:
Totally agree. Still photo capability of the XZ-1 has no equal in its class, but the video is a joke. What was Olympus thinking?! Even my iPhone 4 takes much better video!

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 12:20:43 PM PDT
B. Humphrey says:
I have your exact role in my family and have looked at the same cameras you have tried (perhaps along with the more recent Panasonic G2 and GH2). What did you decide was the best for the job ? I had a D700 which I loved for it's super-fast focus. I never missed a shot. I was worried that the mirrorless cameras were just too slow for small kids. I do agree with the previous poster that iPhone movies are darned good. I lost my camcorder and never cared.

Posted on May 25, 2011 7:08:18 AM PDT
Had the same issue. Really love the stills but the video is not acceptable. Hoping it's a firmware fix!

Posted on Jul 24, 2011 7:16:58 AM PDT
niels says:
try a Panasonic GF3, it has a decent sensor and will fit in your holster...

I do wish they start making cameras with APS or micro 4/3 sensors without exchangeable lenses, but a lens like on the Olympus ZX-1 here.

at current prices, this thing makes limited sense in comparison with the APS-C sensor equipped NX100, which costs way less

Posted on Oct 22, 2011 6:38:15 PM PDT
pouncetrifle says:
Buy a video camera. Next!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2011 5:07:18 PM PST
Digitalcat66 says:
Seriously, what a jerk.....I have the camera and the video is so bad it should not even be installed

Posted on Jan 20, 2012 10:05:56 AM PST
Smaug says:
Great review. The pro review sites (eg dpreview) don't mention much about the video, except that the format is mpeg. They don't mention the lack of quality. How do you find the Leica lens on your Panasonic compared to the XZ-1 in sharpness? How do you find the intuitiveness of the controls on the Panasonic compared to the XZ-1?

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 8:29:50 AM PDT
Groch says:
RE: the LowePro Napoli 30 is a perfectly snug fit.

It looks like several Amazon customers took your advice on the Napoli 30 and are not happy. They say it is TOO snug even with the lens cover removed. Another Napoli owner says the LX-5 does not fit. I was about to purchase one based on your recommend until I saw that. Just warning others that whether the Napoli is a good fit or not is apparently a matter of opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 5:59:02 PM PST
TG says:
My guess is that the camera is for photos, not video. Yes, they are capable of some video, but is that really the purpose of this camera? No. That's why there are video cameras.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 6:02:00 PM PST
TG says:
well, just don't use the video. use a high def sony blogger camera for $70 ... perfect video cam, but a really poor camera to take pics with. The question is, what is the primary purpose of the camera?! There is the answer.
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