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Olympus Debuts Premium XZ-1 Line of Compact Cameras

Olympus XZ-1 Olympus XZ-1

Fresh on the market, Olympus has created a new line of point-and-shoot cameras with the XZ-1 series. With a relatively large 10-megapixel sensor, a quicker image processor, and faster built-in lens, the XZ-1 has been marketed as the company's "premium" ultra-compact camera.

The XZ-1 houses an aiZuiko f/1.8-2.5, 6.0-24mm lens, which allows for better low light pictures. Combined with dual image stabilization, an autofocus illuminator and an ISO range from 100 to 3200, the camera offers much more clarity and reduced grain in each picture. This is the first of Olympus's compact cameras to use aiZuiko lens — a newly-developed 4x compact version of the Zuiko digital lenses featured on their DSLRs.

Like most digital cameras on the market today, the XZ-1 comes equipped with 720p HD video capabilities. Users can switch easily between video and film on this device with a single press of the video button.

In addition, there are full manual controls, in-camera panorama mode, six creative art filters (pop art, soft focus, grainy film, pinhole, diorama and dramatic tone), a live guide adjustment and "quick tips" mode, and 3-inch monitor.

The camera also is also compatible with a range of optional external flashes — including the Olympus FL-14, FL-36R and FL-50R — a microphone adapter, the VF-2 electronic viewfinder and a MAL-1 macro light.

The XZ-1 comes or black and white and retails for $499.

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