Here are some general test shots taken with the XZ-1 as stated to give an idea of performance ability when it comes to image quality, colour rendition and the kind of results achievable with Olympus’ much trumpeted built-in Art Filter effects, when used in moderation. We’ve focused on this feature because it provides a notable point of difference over the camera’s immediate rivals.
As we’ve noted in the main body of our review, the XZ-1 shoehorns in a range of digital effects under the umbrella of Art Filters. This is an example of what’s achievable with Dramatic Tone selected. Pick the right subject and this particular filter is very effective indeed, results somewhat akin to a high dynamic range shot with detail maintained in both sky and foreground lending it a distinctly otherworldly feel.
And here’s an image that has been taken with the Diorama mode selected instead, which narrows the area of the image in focus to a central band and blurs the rest. The idea is that full-size subjects are rendered as if in miniature. We found results a bit hit and miss – occasionally it can just resemble a lens fault – with the example here being one of our better attempts at using it to its full potential.
Three side by side shots to show how deploying select Art Filters on the same subject can produce results that we’d argue work equally well, just in a different fashion. From the top we have the most natural, true to the scene image taken in regular Program mode, the middle image with the enhanced contrast and colours is recognisably the Dramatic Tone filter, whilst the third (bottom) example is with Pop Art deployed. Again, notable for its boosted colours somewhat reminiscent of the results achievable with a set of poster paints on canvas.
Score in detail
Image Quality 9