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XZ-1 ... IMO, a poor choice for an underwater camera

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by BCSGratefulDiver, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    73,592
    57,958
    113
    I recently purchased an XZ-1 with the Olympus housing as a gift for a dive buddy. She isn't a very sophisticated camera user, and so I had three requirements ...

    1. Is simple to operate

    2. Should be able to operate in Auto mode

    3. Must have full manual capability

    Despite the requisites, it turns out the XZ-1 offers none of those capabilities for underwater shooting.

    1. Operation of the camera is simple ... on land. Once in a housing, selecting modes and changing simple things like aperture requires a sequence of going through menus and pressing buttons that just doesn't seem consistent or logical.

    2. For some reason, selecting the camera's iAUTO mode disables the flash! Despite spending a couple hours with the manual, and several attempts at just pushing buttons, I haven't been able to figure out if there's even a way to force it. Underwater, this mode is useless ... no flash means no strobe.

    3. Full manual mode works great out of the housing, but the Olympus housing doesn't allow you any way to select shutter speed ... you need to set it prior to putting the camera in the housing, which reduces you to selecting Aperture and working the strobe intensity while shooting underwater.

    The fast lens and relatively wide angle are nice ... but they're more than offset by how easy it is to inadvertently disable your flash by selecting the wrong shooting mode or setting. Add to that the fact that you have to remember to manually pop up the flash when inserting the camera into the housing ... or you have no lighting capability during the dive at all.

    I will probably end up buying a different model for her at some point. This seems like a very nice land camera ... particularly for a camera geek who enjoys playing with buttons and having an extreme choice of settings and modes. But feature rich wasn't the priority, and I'm finding that for someone who just wants to snap & shoot, this is a poor choice ... particularly for underwater photography.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  2. cardog

    cardog Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Enumclaw, Washington, United States
    801
    67
    28
    If you have the camera we should get together soon. I had the XZ-1 for a while and changing ap and shutter speed were no problem. I never used the i Auto mode underwater so I would assume that the only reason it wont fire is because of a bright focus light......
     
  3. Wisnu

    Wisnu Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Katameya Heights, New Cairo
    1,611
    511
    113
    Bob,
    I bought this camera for my younger daughter, she's 12y, and she love this camera so much, much more than our G9 which now retired.
    She always use manual mode for UW. Actually, you don't really need lot of setting.
    Anyway, trying to answer your question:
    1. Indeed can be daunting, but once you familiar, you'll see the logic.
    2. The iAuto is fully automatic, you let the camera to select the optimal shooting scene for you. If you want to have automatic but flash control, use P mode. However iAuto is not for UW.
    3. Yes, in Manual mode you can select both Aperture and shutter speed. Press ^ and < or > to adjust the shutter speed.

    If you check my galery album Bali 2011 and Donggala 2011 - most of macro were taken by her.
     
    BCSGratefulDiver likes this.
  4. koen4162

    koen4162 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Belgium
    6
    0
    1
    Did you pop up the flash before you put the camera into the UW housing?
     
  5. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    73,592
    57,958
    113
    I did that ... whenever I would press < or > the setting would jump back to Aperture.

    Yes ... well, I popped it up before closing the housing, but it's easier to put the camera into the UW housing with the flash in the closed position.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  6. Wisnu

    Wisnu Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Katameya Heights, New Cairo
    1,611
    511
    113
    You press ^ (the +/-) first then < or >, it should work
     
  7. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    6,019
    1,763
    113
    My wife has and likes this camera but she always shoots in p mode
     
  8. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    73,592
    57,958
    113
    Well, as frustrating as last night was, I downloaded the pics this evening ... not too shabby ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those were shot in manual, with the shutter set to 160 and aperture at 7.1, and varying the strobe output as needed ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  9. Doubler

    Doubler Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Bremerton, WA
    1,606
    316
    83
    Nice shots Bob, looks like you are figuring it out.

    Jim
     
  10. decidedlyodd

    decidedlyodd DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle
    172
    31
    28
    My buddy has this camera with a Sea&Sea YS-02 strobe and loves it, but he also has the Nauticam housing. It exposes all camera controls and has better ergonomics, but costs quite a bit more.
     

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