Overall Rating:


Olympus Stylus XZ-2

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Price as Reviewed:


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...


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.

  • External mic: Yes – optional SEMA-1
  • Video: 1080p 30fps MOV H.264
  • White Balance: Auto, 7 presets, Kelvin plus custom setting
  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Output Size: 3968 x 2976 pixels
  • Viewfinder Type: N/A – optional VF-2 EVF
  • White Balance Bracket: No
  • LCD: 3in touchscreen with 920,000 dots
  • Sensor: 12-million-effective-pixel CMOS sensor
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/2000sec with pop-up flash
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Lens: 28-112mm (equivalent) f/1.8-2.5 4x zoom
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion LI-90B battery
  • Weight: 346g (including battery and memory card)
  • Exposure Modes: i-Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, 16 scene modes, 11 art filters
  • AF array: 35 points or 255 points in magnified view
  • Drive Mode: Approx 5fps for up to 200 JPEG images
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/2000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus up to 16mins
  • Colour Space: sRGB/AdobeRGB
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
  • RRP: £479.99
  • ISO: ISO 100-12,800
  • DoF Preview: Yes, via Live Guide
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, continuous, macro, super macro, AF tracking, face detection
  • Dimensions: 113 x 65.4 x 48mm
  • Metering System: ESP evaluative metering, spot metering, centreweighted, highlight and shadow
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI

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