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High performace flagship compact from Olympus

January 6, 2011: Coinciding with the announcement of the PEN E-PL2, Olympus has also released details of a new, high-performance flagship digicam, the XZ-1.

Scheduled to go on sale in late February, the XZ-1 features a 1/1.63 inch CCD sensor with 10-megapixel resolution and high-sensitivity range. This sensor is relatively large for a compact digicam – but roughly one quarter the size of the sensor in Olympus’s interchangeable-lens cameras.

The XZ-1 sports a bright, 28-112mm (35mm film format equivalent) f1.8-2.5 zoom lens and is the first Olympus compact digital camera lens to feature the company’s Zuiko brand, which indicates superior imaging performance. The sensor is coupled to a TruePic V image processing engine, which is also featured in the professional Olympus E-5 DSLR and PEN mirrorless camera range.

A 3-inch, 610,000-pixel OLED monitor that provides a good platform for high-quality image playback. The control interface includes a front-of-camera control ring and dual-function rear control dial that provide quick access to key controls. The XZ-1 offers a full complement of manual exposure and semi-automated exposure modes, including an iAUTO (intelligent automatic) shooting mode with scene detection, 18 pre-programmed Scene Modes and a built-in Live Guide that supports on-screen camera adjustments plus shooting tips.

The XZ-1 supports four aspect ratios including the ‘square picture (6:6)’ option and offers Raw file capture as well as the standard JPEG format. A dedicated movie button is provided for instant HD movie recording (M-JPEG AVI 1280 x 720, 30 fps with stereo soundtracks) and an HDMI terminal enables users to view photos and movies on an HD TV set. Six built-in Art Filters allow users to apply a range of creative effects in-camera. Options include: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pinhole, Diorama and a new Dramatic Tone effect.

Other features include Dual-IS stabilisation that combines CCD-shift with high ISO sensitivity, multi-motion stabilising for shooting movies while walking, Tracking AF for keeping a moving subject in focus, Bulb exposures up to 8 minutes and a mechanical built-in ND filter. A PEN-type accessory port is provided for added functionality with PEN system accessories, including the VF-2 electronic viewfinder, SEMA-1 external stereo microphone adapter kit and FL-14 and FL-36R external flash units.

The XZ-1features a metallic outer finish and will be available in black and white.

Courtesy Photo Review Australia

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