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Customer Review

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars XZ-10 ... fine but flawed and not (I believe) money well spent, 2 Feb. 2014
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)
this is a fine camera that produces good results but it really is NOT easy to use and getting good 'consistent' results has proven (for me) to be troublesome and complicated. it might be that my poor experience with the camera is down (by and large) to user error...but I do not believe that to be the case. if I am wrong about the cameras 'ease of use' (or lack thereof) I will gladly listen to and yield to a more informed user experience.
so .. for the sake of informing prospective buyers of my experience I will now go on to explain why I believe the iAUTO mode (and camera in general) is flawed/faulty.
the manual states the following for the iAUTO mode: "A full auto mode in which the camera automatically optimizes settings for the current scene. The camera does all the work, which is convenient for beginners".
THIS IS TOTALLY UNTRUE and MISLEADING. anything evaluated (by the camera) to invoke a shutter speed of below 1 x 30th of a second would (you might reasonably consider) mean there was a need to use the flash. when activating the flash (popping it in the up/on position) and pressing the shutter button the flash will (as often as not) NOT fire off.
if you leave the camera in iAUTO mode and leave the flash raised you might (reasonably) believe that the camera will activate/fire off the flash as and when it's needed. IT DOES NOT! the flash will periodically fire off but there is no consistency in the evalauation of what picture is being taken and as often as not the camera will take pictures (for example at 1 x fifth of a second) at very low shutter speeds and the flash will remain inactive/unused...and (most obviously) pictures taken at low shutter speeds will not (in hand held mode) yield good results.
all of this renders the iAUTO mode as unusable and it (iAUTO) is most obviously NOT the automatic mode as defined by olympus/the manual. at this juncture I must point out that this NON auto mode/issue is not a problem with my camera. other users have reported the same problem and at this moment in time olympus are not classing it as a problem that is in need of being addressed/corrected. it is fair to say that in P mode the (displayed on the camera) shutter speed and aperture digits will flash if there is a perceived (by the camera) need for flash...thus making this (the P mode) an easier to use type of automatic setting; however there is no consistency in the evaluation (by the camera) of flash being needed in either th P mode or any other mode. all of this (with regard to the cameras evaluated use or non use of the flash) makes for a very messy/complicated use of the camera. it is my experience that when using a camera in its automatic or its varying other (P, S and A) modes: IF there is a need for flash the camera will inform the user of this need and when it is activated by the user: the flash will fire off. if (alternatively) there is not a need perceived by the camera for the flash it will remain unused. sadly .. this is NOT the case with the XZ-10 and I (for one) do not believe that money spent on this camera is money well spent.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Feb 2014, 22:21:39 GMT
mypleasure says:
Have you found a suitable replacement for this camera? Can you suggest a better alternative?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2014, 08:06:17 GMT
stefan 22 says:
a fuji x10.
fuji sell refurb cameras online and the x10 can be bought for £180.
excellent camera. remarkable build quality. very good pictures.
alternatively: a pentax mx1.
it comes up periodically on this site for £180
something less expensive and good value is the ricoh cx5.
l have one (for sale) with case, card and screen guard for £70

Posted on 28 Feb 2014, 10:40:42 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Feb 2014, 10:41:57 GMT
IT Crowd says:
You seem to have little to say about this camera, other than expressing disappointment at how the flash operates in full-auto mode. This doesn't make for a very useful or balanced review.

The XZ-10 simply favours NOT using the flash whenever possible, and once this is understood I don't see it as a problem. In fact, personally it suits me perfectly: I usually prefer no flash at all in low light, since with most cameras builit-in flash... peoples' faces generally end up ghost-white like fluorescing albinos. (I usually only use a built-in flash for fill-in when the subject is backlit).

Compared to other pocketable compacts, the XZ-10 also excels in low light thanks to its fast maximum apertures, and rarely needs the flash anyway. In full-auto mode it will indeed often refuse to fire the flash, even at quite slow shutter speeds.

If that's not what you want, my solutions are: either switch to a semi-automatic mode and force the flash to fire (or not) according to your judgement not the camera's... or take care to hold the camera steady.

I don't consider either of those options unreasonable, given that this is an "enthusiast" compact - and personally that is how I use the camera anyway. Besides, the camera's image stablisation works quite well for slow shutter speeds, and I have been very successful taking hand-held photos indoors without flash.

Mind you, when the XZ-10 DOES fire the flash, it seems to control the power very well indeed. Faces in "selfies" I have taken at very close range (arm's length) came out looking quite natural, not the white-outs I expected.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Mar 2014, 10:26:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2014, 07:30:19 GMT
stefan 22 says:
this is the only camera I know of that has such a problematic 'all too regular' non functioning (AND flawed I believe) flash. the evaluation by the camera as to when it needs and fires off the flash makes no consistent logical sense whatsoever. the (bought) camera that fires off its flash when it is raised (and/or on) and does not when it remains recessed (and/or off) makes for a more logical use of a flash system. this way when flash is desired it's available or when not desired it's unavailable .. thereby making the use or non use of the flash entirely down to user choice. had olympus used (in all modes) a flash on (and/or up) or flash off (and/or down) choice, the use of the flash (or otherwise) would be fine .. but they have not opted for this method. instead they have some (seemingly) totally random evaluation (and worse in iauto mode) of when the flash either does or does not fire off. it makes for a messy complicated use of the flash and puts (for me) a serious question mark against the usability of the camera and makes (I believe) for a flawed camera. for the record I believe this (my) evaluation to be be HIGHLY USEFUL and TOTALLY BALANCED and INVALUABLE to/for the would be buyer..
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