Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My new shiny toy…


With my Washington DC / New York trip just three weeks from now, I figured its high time to replace my old crummy digital camera for a new one. Back then in 2004, my 4MP Canon IXUS served me well, but technology being what it is has evolved so fast, bringing higher imaging quality and more consumer-ready features, rendering it literally obsolete… Hence, now is the time, like Beyoncé always says: lemme lemme upgrade u!

I did only some cursory research on what type of camera that would suit my needs and budget. I have no designs to be a professional or photographer enthusiast, so the DSLR types would just be too bulky and screams of ‘tourist’. So I settled for the next best thing…

Presenting my newest shiny toy; the OLYMPUS XZ-1





Winner of the TIPA awards 2011 for the Best Expert Compact Camera and the reddot design award 2011, this ‘semi-pro’ premium compact digital camera offers the right balance of performance and portability. Do not be fooled by its 10 mega pixels image density, for image quality does not depend on bits alone. More importantly is the ability to satisfactorily shoot pictures in low light conditions such as indoors or night time. And this is where the XZ-1 truly shines, by offering an ultra-bright 28-112mm equivalent f/1.8-2.5 aperture range as well as 4X Optical zoom lens courtesy of its heritage Zuiko range lenses which used in all high-end Olympus cameras. Also, the images are made crisp thanks to its larger than average 1/1.63 inch CCD imager with sensor-shift image stabilisation. Equally coveted features are its two control dials (including an S90-style dial around the lens) for manual fine-tuning, the generous 3” brilliant OLED screen and HD recording capabilities. The camera normally retails for RM1,799… but thanks to the PIKOM Digital Lifestyle Expo held last weekend, I managed to obtain the gadget at RM300 less (i.e. at my maximum intended budget) plus loads of accessories and freebies Smile.


The proof, of course, is in the pudding. So to test out the camera’s capabilities, I snapped this night-time picture of the majestic Stadium Nasional just outside my window… without the use of flash! (Pretty impressive eh)



Naturally my kitty Stokin’ also did not want to miss out on all the fun. And I am more than happy to make her my ANTM model, hehe… (btw, do you think she is preggers or just simply getting fat? Winking smile )



Overall, I am quite satisfied by this camera and felt that I have made the right purchase. Cant wait to learn all of the features, especially the basics of apertures and shutter speed. Now I am ready to go snap happy when strolling down the White House or Time Square (and Zurich too!)


Olympus XZ-1 specification highlights:
  • High Sensitivity 10MP CCD sensor
  • 28-112mm equivalent lens
  • F1.8-2.5 maximum aperture
  • CCD-shift image stabilization
  • Twin control dials, including one around the lens
  • ISO 100-6400
  • New TruPic V processor (as used in the company's PEN series)
  • Large 3.0" 621k (VGA equivalent) OLED display
  • 720p movie mode (30 fps in Motion JPEG format)
  • Micro HDMI connector
  • 6 Art Filters (As per the PEN series)
  • In-camera RAW conversion
  • Built-in flash, hotshoe and remote flash control
  • Built-in ND filter

1 comment:

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