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Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great compact camera for enthusiasts: first impressions..., 4 April 2013
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This review is from: Olympus STYLUS XZ-10 Digital Camera - Black (12MP, F1.8-2.7 5x i.Zuiko Wide Optical Zoom) 3 inch Touch LCD (Camera)
My XZ-10 arrived yesterday and since user-reports seem a little scarce I thought I'd share my opinion so far...

Size

Even though I'd read the specs and compared them with those of my other cameras, I was still surprised by how small the XZ-10 looked when I unwrapped it.

Nervous about dropping it with my clumsy hands I put the wrist strap on straightaway and intend to keep it on. It's very impressive to see so much functionality and quality packed into such a small unit.

Getting started

I'd pretty much read the instruction manual from cover-to-cover before the camera arrived, so it wasn't a problem getting set up. Charging the battery seems to take quite a long time; I'm pleased I have ordered a second battery and a separate charging unit, as it's frustrating having the camera tied up and unusable while the battery charges.

The camera controls are well laid out and pretty easy to figure out - there were a couple of things I had to look up in the manual, though. The display is lovely.

Usability

It's extremely easy to take photos with this camera! But here are some more useful thoughts: Some of the test shots I've taken have been in bright sunlight. In this situation it was almost impossible to see what was on the screen, so a bit of guesswork was required for compostion etc. I really missed having a viewfinder there, but I guess I'll get used to it. Many of my initial photos have a wonky horizon which I'm putting down to this.

I have found it a little too easy to rotate the "sub dial" on the back, which meant there was a tendency to dial in an over/under exposure compensation by accident. The the main control ring on the front is really useful - I'm trying to make my mind up if I want to swap the direction that it's currently working in. The option to touch the screen to focus (and fire the shutter) is really handy - I think I will definitely use that depending on the situation I'm working in. I had an hour playing with the Scenes and Art settings - they look a lot of fun, not sure if I'll ever use them!

Image quality

It's very, very important to say first of all that it's early days for me with this camera. I'm not sure what I was really expecting, but I have to say that I have not been "blown away" by the results I've achieved so far. Yet. I'll come back to this review in a few weeks to update if necessary.

In summary

As the specs suggest, this is a camera for the enthusiast. Sure, it does the fun stuff like art filters etc, but IMHO this camera would be wasted on someone just after a fancy "point and shoot".

I've no regrets so far with my purchase. The XZ-10 seems to be a great camera with masses of potential, but I certainly need to work on getting the best out of it! It was the same when I got my first DSLR. At this stage my feelings are that I'll not be leaving my DSLR at home on any photographic outings just yet, but my phone is getting demoted to other duties, like the occasional call...
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 May 2013 19:38:30 BDT
ChrisW says:
I'm very surprised that I seem to be the only person to have bought this camera! (This assumption based on the fact that whenever I look at Amazon it always says "3 left..." and also that there are no other reviews).

Popular theories on another site are that the camera is over-priced. I don't know, really. What I will say is that after approx. 2 months' use, I'm very satisfied indeed with it. Very good image quality, really good video quality, loads of functions, full manual control, control rings for quick adjustment of f stop/exposure compensation etc etc.

OK - it's not perfect: composing a shot in bright light is rather down to guesswork because there's no viewfinder and the images aren't as good as from my digital SLR - but of course they wouldn't be!

All crammed into a VERY small package. Maybe the recent price drop will inspire some purchases...

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2014 18:55:39 GMT
Plissken says:
I think a common complaint about this camera is the sensor size, as it's smaller than the class average, but then it does pack in a number of really great features. Did you compare the image quality to any other cameras in the class? Cheers.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Feb 2014 21:56:08 GMT
ChrisW says:
I've not seriously compared image quality but in my non-expert opinion I would say: this camera is capable of taking very high quality photos. Under good conditions the results are great and should compare very favourably with other cameras of the same size and age (must be 12 months now). However I've not found it to be reliable (too many out of focus/blurred shots) and am generally disappointed that I didn't get the ultra reliable high quality imaging device that I hoped for when spending £350. It doesn't seem to be able to cope with high contrast situations (blown highlights all over the place). Video quality is very good, however.

I reckon it's a relatively very good purchase for the current price of £164 - it is a well built camera capable of producing breath-taking images. I regret spending over twice that amount 10 months ago. I feel a little stupid in spending that much.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Feb 2014 17:39:49 GMT
Plissken says:
With your poor shots in high contrast situations, were you using the HDR mode? That's what it's designed for, as you probably know. These types of shots are always going to be tough for any camera if one isn't using HDR I would have thought but I'm no expert. I believe there is a manual focus mode - have you tried using that? I have read that cameras in general struggle with certain photo types when using AF, but again I'm going by what I've read here. The price for the camera right now is shockingly good value I think too. That's always the way, it's hard to know when to buy a camera, at the start when it's premium priced, or towards the end of its life cycle or when it's just been replaced. The price for a new camera at the start is never going to be good value in terms of functional advantage over its predecessor in most cases (if there is one) but one does pay for the novelty and having the very latest technology (you'd hope). The depreciation rate is quite shocking but there are worse technology gadget examples in this respect. Again I'm stating the obvious here. Import prices of the S110 and P330 are about even with this UK price right now. The S120 is nearly twice the price of the S110 but hardly twice as good - it still has the same sensor. Cheers.
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