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Canon S95 VS Olympus XZ-1

In Camera Review by Andrew TjahyadiLeave a Comment

I managed to acquire these 2 high-end Point & Shoot (P&S) cameras just a few days ago and I’d like to share what my thoughts on these cameras.
They are both a 10 Mega Pixels P&S cameras and very close in specs.

Olympus XZ-1

Camera size: They are both compact P&S cameras and they are pretty small. However, Canon S95 is much smaller and lighter.

Lens Specs:

  • Canon S95: f/2.0-4.9, 6-22.5mm
  • Olympus XZ-1: f/1.8-2.5, 6-24mm

Lens Specs (Layman terms):

  • Olympus lens is better taking picture in low light situation, even with the zoom feature.
  • Olympus lens can slightly zoom in farther than the Canon.
  • At wide open (f/1.8) Olympus lens has a very short DOF (Depth of Field), this will create a bokeh (background blur) effect

Sensor Sensitivity (ISO) specs:

  • Canon: 80-3200
  • Olympus: 100-6400

Sensor Sensitivity (ISO) specs (Layman terms): Olympus sensor is better at low lighting condition because it is more sensitive (ISO 6400).

Enough with the specs, I had used both of the cameras and I found there are surprising elements with these cameras.
All of the pictures are taken in RAW format and the review is measured based on this format.
These are high-end cameras and there is no point of buying them if you are not using RAW format (there are cheaper alternatives).


Based on real life test, this is what I think about these 2 cameras:

Canon Pros:

  • Camera sensor is much more sensitive (better sensor)
  • Intuitive & easy to use buttons
  • Superb image quality, even in the low light (better image processor)

Canon Cons:

  • Auto Focus sometimes cannot focus
  • No Multi Point Auto Focus
  • Tracking focus does not work well
  • Flash pop-up can be really annoying

Olympus Pros:

  • Multi Point Auto Focus
  • Sharper image if there is enough light
  • Super Macro focus (it can focus 1cm from an object)

Olympus Cons:

  • Changing aperture, ISO, focus, shutter speed is very hard
  • Image quality is mediocre at low light
  • Focus setting has to be correct, otherwise the camera cannot focus

Conclusion: I’d pick Canon because it is more suitable for real life situation. Olympus is good for staged setting. I am very sure that most people don’t have that kind of luxury. I’d prefer to use an SLR camera if I have this kind of luxury.