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(Pocket-lint) - First shown at Photokina in 2010, Olympus has made the XZ-1 prototype a reality at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. 

The new camera, the Olympus XZ-1, will become Olympus’ new flagship model offering consumers something that sits just under the company’s Micro Four Thirds range and its regular compact models.


“The XZ-1 is ideal for camera-savvy amateurs and professional photographers looking for a second camera,” says Olympus and they would be right - our quick play so far shows us that this has a lot going for it when it comes to taking on the Panasonic LX5 and the Canon S95. 

Pocket-lintolympus xz 1 takes on canon s95 and panasonic lx5 image 11

The XZ-1 features a large, super-sensitive 1/1.63 inch CCD sensor, Olympus’ TruePic V image processor and a bright 1:1.8-2.5 i.Zuiko Digital lens with 4x optical zoom.

“The XZ-1 is the first compact camera to come with a lens from Zuiko, renowned as a leading manufacturer of the high-end optics that used to be available only in SLRs. It is also compatible with an ever-growing range of dedicated Olympus PEN accessories for mirrorless cameras.”

With that in mind, users will be able to add an additional external flash, electronic viewfinder or external stereo microphone, with more accessories still to come say Olympus.

The XZ-1 comes in a matt black or white lacquered body with a large 3-inch OLED screen and the sharp looks to match its professional spec. It will be available from late January 2011 for £399.

Like the Canon S95, the Olympus XZ-1 will come with a barrel ring on the front of the camera that allows you to have further control over the shutter speed, aperture and other areas of the camera.

Pocket-lintolympus xz 1 takes on canon s95 and panasonic lx5 image 10

Special options include shooting in RAW mode, multi-aspect ratio and six special effect Art Filters that even work in HD Movie mode. With super macro, wireless flash control and high-speed AF Tracking.

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The full list of features include:

1:1.8-2.5 super-bright 4x wide i.Zuiko Digitial zoom lens
(28-112mm*) for images with uniform clarity from macro to infinity

10 Megapixel 1/1.63” HS CCD

Dual Image Stabilisation

TruePic V image processor

HD Movie mode - 1280 x 720 pixels and a rate of 30 frames per second

3.0-inch OLED display (610,000 dots)

Manual controls

Live Guide and i-Auto

Lens ring and menu wheel

6 Art Filters for adding creative effects to HD movies and stills

Dramatic Tone

Accessory Port

ISO 6400


Multi-aspect ratios for the ideal format (16:9, 3:2, 4:3 or 6:6)

Bracketing functions for white balance and exposure

SD memory card (SDHC and SDXC compatible)

We are expecting to get our hands on the new camera again this week and will bring you the low down as to whether it lives up to the possible hype. 

Check out how the XZ-1 compares to the Panasonic LX5.

CES 2011 is now in full-swing,  be sure to check out our dedicated CES homepage for all of the news as it breaks, as well as detailed analysis.

Writing by Stuart Miles.