For some time now I've been looking for a new compact camera, something to use on travel or when going out, rather than a large DSLR and bulky lenses. I already have the Canon G9 but I am not completely pleased with it, it's a bit too bulky and ,well I don't know exactly what, but not great. I had a few cameras in mind: Canon G12, but too similar to G9, the Panasonic Lumix LX5, the Canon S95 and the Olympus XZ-1. I knew I wanted a camera that handled RAW. I looked at many reviews and finally I settled on the XZ-1 and so far I have been very pleased. It's not shirt pocket size but not too bulky. It feels very solid and secure in your hands and not at all flimsy, and a very fast lens at 1.8 to 2.5 along the zoom which beat all the others. The zoom range is restrictive enough at 28-112 (35mm equivalent) but equal or better than the competition mentioned above. I haven't tried the HD video which I believe is not great but I have the Panasonic TM700 for video. It's noisy at high ISO levels, but so far I've been very pleased with it. It has some ART settings which are inbuilt "photoshop" filters, some of which are quite effective. The only problems so far, the lack of a viewfinder (though you can buy an accessory viewfinder which is half the price again!), not sure about the lens cap, and when the art filters are used it does still create a RAW image of the pre filter image which is great, and a JPEG of the art filter. But you can't see both in Lightroom!
last week the club headed out to take some photos of the local golf club and unfortunately the light was not good, but I did have fun with the Dramitic Filter here are some of the shots.
Some of the other shots taken on the day at the course can be seen here.