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Old Nov 25, 2011, 11:08 AM   #1
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Default Olympus XZ-1 VS Fuji X10

Hi everyone,

I'm more of an enthusiast than a professional photographer at this point. I've outgrown my Sony TX-7 and recently purchased a Rebel XT but I'm getting rid of it mainly due to it's size, complexity, and pieces / parts. I've been looking for something that's more pocketable, but gets as close as possible to the image quality and controls to an SLR (pipe dream, I know, but as close as possible). The other cameras in this class I've ruled out are the Panasonic LX-5, Sony S95/S100, Canon G12, Nikon P7000, and Samsung TL500. I was pretty much decided on the XZ-1, but then I discovered the X10. At this point, I want to like the x10, but I'm leaning towards the XZ-1 for the reasons below. Here are the pros and cons that matter to me...I'd greatly appreciate any insight you guys could share:

  • The XZ-1 appears to have better bokeh due to the fact that it's f1.8, and gets to 2.5 even at the telephoto end. The x10 goes to 2.8 at telephoto end. I'm looking for something that can take somewhat professional portraits with blurred backgrounds, and as I understand it, the x10 is limited in this regard unless you're super-close to the subject, like for macros, etc. The XZ-1 also has a built-in ND filter, which as I understand it, is useful for DOF photography.
  • Again, due to the aperture capabilities mentioned above, the XZ-1 appears to handle itself better in low light photography. This is a selling point for me as I tend to take lots of outdoor night photos. However, the x10 has a CMOS sensor as opposed to the XZ-1's CCD sensor, which is just another confusing point for me, as CMOS sensors are reportedly better for low light.
  • I've looked at thousands of sample pictures for both cameras, and unless I'm imagining it, the X10 appears to just yield more professional results. They just seem to pop. This, of course, may very well be due to the target market of the x10, which are probably more professional photographers, as opposed to the XZ-1, which probably are more casual users. If any of you have had experience with both cams, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
  • I keep hearing conflicting reports on the XZ-1 pertaining to noise levels at ISO 800 and above. It's unclear to me at this point whether this just applies to the JPEGs, or to the RAW files as well. It's also unclear whether the X10 has the same noise issues at higher ISOs.
  • The x10 has a viewfinder, which would be awesome, but I haven't read anything as to how the LCDs on the two cameras compare.
I apologize in advance for the rather lengthy post, but I'd appreciate any and all feedback or suggestions. Thank you!

Last edited by BenjeeNy; Nov 25, 2011 at 12:26 PM.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 2:16 PM   #2
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The XZ-1 is quite a bit smaller, ligher and cheaper.

Neither is good for portraits with background blur. Their lenses are just too short for that. However you can get a bit, and there will essentially be no difference between them in this regard.

The X10 is probably about 1 stop better in low light, it has a larger sensor and the actual light gathering ability of its lens is just a tiny bit more than the XZ-1 despite the apparently larger f-stop of the Olympus.

The maximum actual focal length of the X10 is 28mm (112 equiv) 28/2.8 = 10mm aperture. The maximum actual focal length of the XZ-1 is 24mm (112 equiv) 24/2.5 = 9.6mm. So the aperture is essentially the same size and therefore has the same light gathering ability.

Fuji also has a newer EXR sensor, CMOS v CCD.

All of which combine to give the X10 an estimated (by me with no proof) 1-stop advantage in low light conditions. Which is contrary to the impression you have formed.

I think the Fuji lens will have the edge on the Olympus.

Olympus and Fuji have the two best JPG engines in the business, both are great. Both cameras allow RAW shooting.

The X10 of course has an optical viewfinder which the Oly lacks.

The XZ-1 is only 60% of the price of the X-10, which I think is pretty reflective of the differences between the two cameras.

You have to see them side-by-side to be able to make a choice.
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Old Nov 25, 2011, 3:45 PM   #3
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I'll have to do a side-by-side test just to be sure, but I think I've just made my decision - Hello, Fuji. Thank you!

PS. I see you have an x100 blog, which the x10 is supposedly a mini-me version of. Hopefully that's a good thing as well.

PPS: Here are two links to portraits using each of the cameras. They both seem to have achieved a decent background blur, but I guess that's probably due to how close they are to the lense.

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Old Nov 25, 2011, 8:06 PM   #4
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From what I've seen of uploaded images on various websites- the X10 would be a clear winner- though to be expected as it's far more expensive..!
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Old Nov 26, 2011, 11:05 PM   #5
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True, but probably worth it! Wonder if it'll go down after the holidays, though. Hmmm.
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Old Nov 27, 2011, 3:55 AM   #6
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Unlikely.

I mean, it will eventually, but new camera models don't go on sale. Not unless they bomb completely in the market, and that's not the case with the X-series so far. If anything the opposite.
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 6:08 AM   #7
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Default XZ-1 v X10

Dear Peripatetic moderator - 'The XZ-1 makes it a clean sweep with a magnificent performance here. For a base ISO shooter, the XZ-1 stomps this copy of the X10.' Completely the opposite of what you sugggest - and based on proof by photograph. So much for tech spec based opinion...
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Old Jul 22, 2013, 6:22 AM   #8
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Nothing so helpful as a timely rejoinder.

To a comparison between two cameras that are no longer even being made.

You left out the link by the way.

Perhaps we should be comparing the X20 to the XZ-2...
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