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Olympus XZ-1 Enthusiast Camera with Bright Zoom

Olympus XZ-1 in black front view

January 6th, 2011

Olympus Corp. has announced the Olympus XZ-1 enthusiast oriented compact camera with an impressive feature set.

The 10 megapixel Olympus XZ-1 sets itself apart from the competition with a bright F1.8-2.5 optical zoom providing a focal range from 28-112mm in 35mm terms (4x), a large 3-inch high resolution 614,000 dot OLED display, the option to shoot in the camera's RAW format (as well as JPEG) and the ability to record 720p HD video at 30 frames per second (fps) with stereo sound.


Additional headline features of the Olympus XZ-1 include; a dedicated hot-shoe for attaching an optional external flash, manual exposure control (Manual, Aperture and Shutter Priority), numerous user friendly Auto Scene modes, an HDMI output connection to a TV or monitor and a wealth of customization options. Power is supplied by a Li-Ion rechargeable battery (one battery and a charger is included). The Olympus XZ-1 comes in black and white and is expected to be available by the end of January 2011.

•  Olympus XZ-1 Press Release
•  Olympus XZ-1 Specifications

Olympus XZ-1 back view

Olympus XZ-1 Press Release

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 5, 2011 – On the heels of the PEN interchangeable lens digital camera revolution, Olympus takes their compact digital cameras to the X-treme with the introduction of an ultra-compact flagship camera and first of a new series, the XZ-1. Developed for the photographer or enthusiast who is looking for the ultimate high-quality, high-performance premium compact camera, the XZ-1 offers all of this, and more without sacrificing image quality. Never fear the darkness with the XZ-1’s super-bright built-in Olympus iZUIKO lens – the first built-in Zuiko® lens on a compact digital camera. The X-factor that achieves this category-defying quality: A combination of three state-of-the-art features: the X-tremely large, super-sensitive CCD sensor, the X-tremely fast TruePic™ V image processor and the X-tremely bright, fast f1.8-2.5 iZUIKO digital lens. Further proof that Olympus lets you capture it all.

“The XZ-1 features one of the world’s brightest built-in lenses on a digital compact camera to enable you to shoot high-quality still images and HD videos in any shooting environment, including difficult low-light conditions,” said Katie Roseman, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “This camera will give you the versatility needed to take on any challenge without weighing you down.”

Outstanding features:

• X-factor Style - full manual controls in a slim, stylish pocket-sized camera;

• X-ceptional Image Quality - a range of new features offer superior image quality, together with 10 megapixel CCD sensor with the TruePic™ V Image Processor to produce sharp photos;

• X-cellent Low-Light Performance - iZUIKO f1.8-2.5 6.0-24mm lens for improved shooting in low-light scenarios, enhancing image clarity and drastically reducing grain. Also featuring Dual Image Stabilization and an AF Illuminator to maximize performance in low-light settings; and

• X-treme Creativity - The XZ-1 offers six Art Filters, each of which uses different settings to create incredible photographic effects that would otherwise require additional lenses, filters or complex editing. Additionally, the Live Guide on-screen setting offers quick tips for shooting different subjects (kids, pets and flowers, for example) assists the photographer with some of the more complex in-camera settings (aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, for instance).

X-factor Style
Whether you’re an experienced Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) or PEN shooter who wants a second smaller camera for trips and nights out, without sacrificing image quality or performance, or the aspiring enthusiast who is ready for a higher-powered camera, the new trendy XZ-1 has the features you need for high-quality images. With its thin, attractive matte black body, you’ll be inconspicuous while you use the XZ-1 to take candid photos and videos in the shadows at a wedding reception. The XZ-1’s body is small enough to easily fit in your pocket, yet feels solid in your hands and you can easily take it with you everywhere.

X-ceptional Image Quality
Whether composing still images or HD videos, photographers will appreciate the XZ-1’s sharp 3.0-inch OLED monitor to frame and show off still images and High Definition (HD) movies in detailed 720p. The LCD displays 610,000 dots in vivid color, reproduces colors and shades more accurately with deeper black tones and consumes less power. The monitor also provides a wide-viewing angle ensuring that images can be composed from even the most obscure angles. A new graphic interface makes it easier to read text and find the settings you need on the fly, and Live Control enables intuitive operation allowing you to shoot photos while viewing the effects on the camera’s LCD.

Shooting video is as easy as ever with the new Olympus XZ-1 camera. The camera captures all the action in crisp 720p HD video at 30 frames-per-second. The XZ-1’s easy-to-reach record button on the back of the camera body makes recording videos a breeze. If you’re about to snap a photo and you realize a video would capture the spirit of the scene even better, simply press the record button and instantly you’re capturing videos! Easily toggle back and forth between capturing stills and videos by using your index finger to press the shutter button or your thumb to press the record button. Having the ability to shoot still images and videos opens up a world of imaging possibilities.

The Olympus XZ-1 pairs a high sensitivity 10 megapixel CCD sensor with the TruePic™ V Image Processor to produce clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information from each image to provide the best digital images possible. The image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings (ISO 100 to ISO 3200), enabling great results in low-light situations.

Olympus XZ-1 top view

The XZ-1 also offers the advanced manual controls that experienced photographers expect from digital SLR cameras. Shoot full manual, and also with a control ring around the front of the lens and the wheel controller on the back, the XZ-1 gives immediate access to the most important manual settings like ISO, aperture and shutter speed to make it easy to adjust the camera on the move. Three levels of exposure control using a neutral density (ND) filter distributes light offering greater flexibility to change the aperture and exposure time in different situations while allowing the photographer to take the best picture in any condition.

X-cellent Low-Light Performance
The iZUIKO f1.8-2.5 6.0-24mm (28-112mm equivalent angle of view in 35mm cameras) digital lens is a newly-developed 4x compact version of the legendary, high-quality ZUIKO digital lenses featured with Olympus DSLRs. With a minimum aperture of f1."8" at wide-angle and a maximum aperture of f2."5" at telephoto, this lens boasts super-fast shutter speeds for sharp, low-light images. This aperture range also allows photographers to take portraits that highlight the subject by defocusing the background, a capability that is not normally possible in compact cameras. The lens is specifically designed for clear, high-quality photographic performance. Apart from the speed of the f1."8" lens, the camera’s low-light mode automatically adjusts the ISO sensitivity up to ISO 3200 to take sharp, full-resolution photos in dark places. The camera’s iAuto mode automatically detects low-light scenes and adjusts the ISO accordingly for the best image quality. The camera also features an AF illuminator to make it simple to focus in low-light locations. The XZ-1 also features a low-light mode for even quicker access to maximize low-light situations.

If you’re going to an evening at the theatre, the XZ-1 also offers Dual Image Stabilization to further assure you’ll get the shot you want while holding the camera. Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization compensates for camera movement in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower while Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blurry images often caused by a moving subject.

The Olympus XZ-1 has an easily accessible built-in pop-up flash to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas. The camera also is compatible with a range of optional external flashes, including the Olympus FL-14, FL-36R and FL-50R, so you can dynamically control lighting as your photography skills grow.

X-treme Creativity
Olympus pioneered easy-to-use in-camera Art Filters for still images captured inside its E-System DSLRs and was the first company to offer the ability to apply Art Filters to HD video recordings captured with the PEN cameras. The XZ-1 features six Art Filters that photographers can apply to still images and HD video: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama and Dramatic Tone. You even can create an in-camera slideshow that mixes still images, movies and sound. The camera incorporates five kinds of background music as well as slideshow control functions, including still image fade-in/out, sound recording volume and background music volume adjustment.

The XZ-1’s Live Guide interface simplifies great photography and provides the results you desire at the touch of a button. Want more vivid or muted color in your shot? Want warmer or cooler color? Want a brighter or darker subject, or a sharper or softer background? Or maybe you want to capture the fast-moving action of your subject with a little artistic blur? Simply select Live Guide and press the up and down arrows on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects. Make adjustments and watch the LCD as the effects are made live – before the image is captured!

To expand the camera’s versatility, the XZ-1 includes an accessory port so photographers can attach optional accessories like the SEMA-1 external microphone adapter, the VF-2 electronic viewfinder or the newly introduced MAL-1 Macro Light. These optional accessories easily slide into the camera’s accessory port and hot shoe.

The new camera’s compact design makes it the perfect companion for all of your dive trips. The PT-050 underwater case has been customized for the Olympus XZ-1 and is waterproof to a depth of 40 meters (approximately 130 feet). With its durable, high-quality polycarbonate construction, this Olympus housing protects the camera from water while also cushioning it from knocks and bumps on land.

The XZ-1 makes sharing your content easier than ever. Just connect it to your HDTV with an optional HDMI cable and use your HDTV’s remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus from the comfort of your couch.

Colors and Availability
The Olympus XZ-1 comes in black and white and will be available in January 2011. It includes the XZ-1, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack, Li-Ion Battery Charger, Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card.

Olympus XZ-1 front view

Olympus XZ-1 Specifications

Sensor Type 1/1.63" High-Sensitivity CCD
Effective Pixels 10M (3664 x 2752)
Focal Range 6.0mm to 24.0mm(28mm to 112mm)
Zoom Optical 4x. Digital Approx. 4x
Aperture Range F1.8-2.5
Image Stabilizer Built in (Imager shift image stabilizer)
Mode: 2 dimensional activation, OFF
Effective compensation range: Approx. 2EV steps
Electronic Image Stabilization with Multi-Motion function
Focus Range Normal: 60cm to infinity, Macro:W:10cm to infinity,T: 30cm to infinity. Super Macro: From 1cm
Wide-angle edge fixing
File Format RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG

Recording image size: [RAW] 3648 x 2736 pixels

[JPEG] 3648 x 2736 pixels - 640 x 480 pixels
Image Size RAW: 3648 x 2736 (approx. 1/1.5 lossless compressed) Approx. 17MB
Large: 3648 x 2736 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 5.5MB
3648 x 2736 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 3.1MB
Middle: 3200 x 2400 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 4.4MB
3200 x 2400 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.9MB
2560 x 1920 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 2.4MB
2560 x 1920 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.3MB
1600 x 1200 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 1MB
1600 x 1200 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
Small 1280 x 960 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.7MB
Movie File Format AVI Motion JPEG (30fps)
Movie Modes HD: 1280(H)x720(V) Aspect 16:9
SD: 640(H)x480(V) Aspect 4:3(VGA)
Movie File Size Max 2GB (limited by AVI format)
Maximum Recording Time HD: 7min, SD: 14min
Sound Recording Wave Format Base
Stereo PCM/16bit, 44.1kHz
Live view Display Grid Line + Histogram Mode
Display of Face Detection Max 8 frames of face detection can be displayed
Monitor 3-inch OLED, 614,000 dot resolution
+2 levels and -2 levels Brightness Control
AF System Imager Contrast Detection AF system
Focus Mode Single AF (AF) / Manual Focus (MF) / Macro mode / SuperMacro mode / AF tracking (TR)
Focus Point 11-area multiple AF with the contrast detection system (Auto, selectable in option)
Focus Point Selection Auto from all 11 area, Single area from 11 area
Auto from almost all area when Face detection is ON
Free selection (from 225points) when Magnified View Mode is selected
AF Illuminator Yes
Manual Focus Assist When rotation of Control dial is detected under MF mode, LV is magnified automatically
Shooting Modes P (Program Auto), iAUTO, A (Aperture priority), S (Shutter priority), M (Manual shooting), C (Custom shooting)

Low Light, Art Filter, SCN (Scene)
Exposure Control TTL Image Sensor metering system

(1) Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering) (2) Center weighted average metering (3) Spot metering
Metering Range 0 - 17 EV
Exposure Modes (1) i Auto (2) P: Programme AE (3) A: Aperture priority AE (4) S: Shutter priority AE (5) M: Manual (6) Low Light (7) Scene select AE (8) Art Filter
Scene Select AE Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Indoor, Self Portrait, Sport, Sunset, Fireworks, Multi Exposure, Cuisine, Document, Beach & Snow, Under Water Wide, Under Water Macro, Pet, Panorama
ISO Sensitivity AUTO: ISO 100 - 800 / Manual ISO 100 - 6400, 1/3 EV steps, Movie ISO 200-1600, Low light ISO 100-3200
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV in 1/3EV steps
Exposure Bracketing Available
White Balance Auto WB, 6 settings (3000K - 7500K) Lamp (3000K), Fluorescent 1 (4000K), Fluorescent 2 (4500K), Daylight (5300K), Cloudy (6000K), Shade (7500K) , Under Water Auto, One Touch WB
White Balance Compensation ±7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis (in Auto WB / Preset WB mode / One touch WB)
CWB (Kelvin setting) 1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature (2000K - 14000K)
One-touch white balance Available
White Balance Bracketing 3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis.
Picture Mode Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone
Picture Mode Adjustment Parameter Contrast, Sharpness and Saturation level available in 5 steps for Vivid, Natural, Portrait and Muted

Contrast and Sharpness level available in 5 steps for Monotone.
Filter Effect Yellow, Orange, Red or Green filter available for Monotone
Picture Tone Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green tone available for Monotone
Gradation 4 levels (Auto, High key, Normal, Low key)
Shutter Speed 60 - 1/2000 sec.

Bulb: up to 16 min.

1/3 steps
Self-timer Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec. (cancel available)
Remote Cable Release Available (with optional RM-UC1 Remote cable.)
Drive Mode Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, High-speed Sequential shooting 1, High-speed Sequential shooting 2, Self-timer
Sequential shooting Approx. 2 frames/sec.
Max. recordable pictures RAW Mode: Max. 8 frames

JPEG mode: Depends on compression ratio and no. of pixels (Large normal mode: approx. 23 with Toshiba Super High Speed type "Class 6" 4GB)
Built-in Flash Yes
Compatible external flash E-system Flash(FL-36R, FL-20, FL-14,FL-50R)
*FL-50R(Can only be used with wireless. Cannot attach to body)
External Flash Modes Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow sync at 1st curtain, Slow sync at 2nd curtain, Fill-in, Off.
Flash Intensity Control Up to ±2 EV in 0."3" EV steps
Art Creative Filters Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, and Dramatic Tone
Multiple Exposure 2 frames with Auto gain
JPEG Editing Shadow adjustment, Red-eye fix, Trimming, Monotone, Sepia, Saturation (colour depth), Resize (producing another file, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240), e-portrait
Computer Interface USB 2."0" High Speed for storage through Multi-connector(MTP mode is available)
TV / Monitor Interface HDMI (HD/Stereo Sound), VIDEO-OUT (SD/Mono Sound)
USB Connector Dedicated multi-connector (Video: NTSC/PAL selectable, Optional Remote cable RM-UC1, USB cable is available)
Battery Rechargeable Li-50B (included)
Number of Recordable Pictures
50% with Flash
Approx. 320 shots
Internal Memory 54.6 MB
Dimensions 110.6 mm (W) x 64."8" mm (H) x 42."3" mm (D)
Weight 275g (body, battery and media)
In the box • XZ-1 Digital Camera
• Quick Start Guide
• USB Cable & Charger (F-2AC)
• Instruction Manual and IB Software CDs
• Audio/Video Cable
• Neck Strap
• Lithium-Ion Battery (LI-50B)

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