Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
A worthwhile accessory but know the pros and cons
on April 21, 2013
I shake my head in amazement when I read some reviews downrate the entire Olympus XZ-1 camera because they don't like the lens cap. It appears they are used to the "leaf-type" devices used on cheap point & shoot cameras and don't realize how flimsy and vulnerable those are. A grain of sand or a poke with a pencil to a leaf-type lens cap can make the whole camera into an unusable paperweight. I don't know why XZ-1 users seem to be particularly sensitive about having a real lens cap instead of a leaf-type cap but the reality is that all "better" cameras use real lens caps, from the newer high-end compact cameras, to bridge cameras and all DSLR's. A real lens cap simply offers more protection.
But how cool is it that Olympus offers an option to install an auto-open cap if the owner chooses to. I did make that choice, but I will still keep the real lens cap, and here's why. Many times I am at events in which I want to be ready to shoot as quickly as possible. While the real lens cap pops off automatically and is retained by a string from getting lost, the action of it popping off and dangling is a distraction and there is a risk the cap may get into the picture.
The biggest downside of the LC-63A is that the leaves have a fairly substantial gap (see sample photo I uploaded). That is a major concern at events that are inherently dusty like parades, rodeos, races, etc. Given enough dust a pattern can form on the lens, having a very detrimental effect on the photograph. The blades on the LC-63A are also very thin, offering not much more protection than the built-in leaf type caps on cheap cameras. The upside is, unlike cheap cameras, if the LC-63A gets damaged you can unscrew it and throw it away, whereas with leaf-type caps you may end up throwing the whole camera away. So bottom line, my preference is to use the real lens cap for protection while traveling, or if I know I am going to be in a very dusty environment, and screw the LC-63A on while shooting where I need quick response.
A couple of other things to note ... the LC-63A is well designed and well put together and a bit overpriced, but considering that its function is to protect the lens on a high-quality camera, the price is not out of line. Because it is a smaller diameter and only a slight fraction thicker, it actually goes into my eveready case easier and there is no risk it can be accidentally knocked off. If you own a XZ-1, it is a nice accessory to have, but realize that it is more of a convenience than true protection for your lens.
NOTE: as the camera nears its end-of-life this lens cap seems to be getting more scarce. If you feel you want one, it's probably best to order soon. I didn't really "need" this but I have a gut feeling I won't be able to find it before long, so I bit the bullet and ordered one (direct from Olympus because it was discontinued at Amazon at the time and now the price has gone up substantially).