With its predecessor having attained something of a cult status, Olympus’s latest high-end compact camera, the Stylus XZ-2, has a lot to live up to. Read the Olympus Stylus ZX-2 review...

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Olympus Stylus XZ-2

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Olympus Stylus XZ-2 review


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Image: Noise reduction is very obvious in this ISO 400 image

Thankfully, Olympus has been sensible with the improved resolution of the new XZ-2, increasing it by around 1.5 million pixels. The 12.76-million-pixel, 1/1.7in (7.6×5.7mm) back-illuminated CMOS sensor should offer improvements in image quality, rather than big increases in detail resolution. Given the size of the sensor, this is a wise decision from Olympus, and one that bodes well when we look at image quality more closely later.

However, like all other high-end compact cameras, the XZ-2 will face stiff competition from the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 and its large, 1in-type, 20.2-million-pixel sensor. The sensors in most other high-end compacts all seem somewhat underwhelming compared to the size and resolution of the RX100.

Powering the XZ-2 is a version of the TruePic VI processing system found in Olympus’s OM-D E-M5. This newer processor should help to reduce image noise, while speeding up the camera’s functions. When combined, the new sensor and processor provide a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800, which is 1EV greater than the ISO 100-6400 range of the XZ-1.

One feature that has remained the same is the 6-24mm (28-112mm equivalent) f/1.8-2.5mm lens. On the XZ-1, this lens has proven to be very sharp, although it does suffer from curvilinear distortion. Sadly, the XZ-2 suffers identically, and JPEG files aren’t corrected for this in-camera.

Most of the other major new features of the XZ-2 are to do with the camera’s build and handling, and the LCD screen, so more on these later.

  1. 1. Olympus Stylus XZ-2 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. Metering
  5. 5. Autofocus
  6. 6. Dynamic range
  7. 7. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  8. 8. White balance and colour
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD and video
  10. 10. Our verdict
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