Kirk helps me Compare Vintage Olympus and Fujifilm Compacts

Kirk Tuck at El Mercado - Austin, Texas (Olympus XZ-1)

Kirk Tuck at El Mercado – Austin, Texas (Olympus XZ-1)

Kirk Tuck at El Mercado - Austin, Texas (Fujifilm XQ1)

Kirk Tuck at El Mercado – Austin, Texas (Fujifilm XQ1)

My friend Kirk, who you may know from his popular photography blog, was nice enough to help me compare a couple of vintage compact cameras. I made these photos at El Mercado South, back in November, during a very enjoyable lunch with fantastic Tex-Mex and stimulating photography talk.

I’ve enjoyed the Olympus XZ-1 and shot a lot of photos with it after I bought it in June. The Fujifilm XQ1 was a more recent acquisition from November.

Both photos of Kirk are lightly tweaked RAWs, matching crops and exposures. The colors were not altered. Tastes will vary, of course, but I generally prefer the Olympus’ XZ-1 colors. Low light performance is not nearly as good as the Fuji, but I think there’s a certain look that I really like. I’ve claimed it might be due to the old-tech CCD sensor.

Enchiladas, El Mercado - Austin, Texas (Olympus XZ-1)

Enchiladas, El Mercado – Austin, Texas (Olympus XZ-1)

Enchiladas, El Mercado - Austin, Texas (Fujifilm XQ1)

Enchiladas, El Mercado – Austin, Texas (Fujifilm XQ1)

These photos are an even better example of native, unaltered color and exposure. Completely untouched, out of camera photos, except for the cropping. Incidentally, these were some of the best enchiladas I’ve had in a while. Highly recommended.

My conclusion after shooting both cameras extensively. I prefer the Olympus XZ-1 for the color and a certain look that might be hard to explain. There’s a character to the images that I really like. The camera works best in good light.

The Fuji has better low-noise performance, but not good enough compared to my newer and more able cameras. What this camera gives me, however, is the ability to print Instax images sent via Wi-Fi to a Fuji printer. Thus, the Fuji XQ1 makes for a great party snapshot camera.

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5 thoughts on “Kirk helps me Compare Vintage Olympus and Fujifilm Compacts

  1. Are these straight out of the camera JPEGs? Did you use an in camera film simulation on the Fuji? Did you use auto white balance in camera for the Olympus? So many unanswered questions.

    1. Hi Khürt, I used the standard Provia simulation for the enchiladas. RAW for the portrait. Auto white balance used for all photos both Fuji and Olympus.

      There are no right answers for color, of course. Just stating my preference.

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