Olympus XZ-10 review

Will this make the ideal pocket snapper?

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Olympus says that the XZ-10 is around 40 per cent smaller than the Olympus XZ-2. We think this makes it a more appealing camera for those looking for something small and light to use every day.

It does mean sacrificing certain elements (no room for a tilting or articulating screen, or a wide array of dials and buttons), but we can forgive something this sleek for that.

Despite its small size, it's still weighty enough to give it a quality feel. The grip is much less pronounced than on the Olympus XZ-2, but a rubberised texture helps to give purchase, especially when you're shooting one-handed.

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The depth of the camera is much smaller, and as such the grip on the back is also less pronounced, but again, a small area of rubberised coating is present.

The layout of the Olympus XZ-10 is very similar to the Olympus XZ-2, albeit on a smaller scale. One of the key differences, though, is the lack of a second Function button, found on the front of the Olympus XZ-2.

The most notable difference, however, is the screen, which on the Olympus XZ-2 is a tilting device. Here instead is a fixed screen - it's still touch sensitive though.

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You can select an autofocus point via the touchscreen, simply by tapping on whichever bit of the screen you want to set the point to. Alternatively, you can also elect to have the shutter triggered in this way - tapping the screen will focus and release the shutter at the point you choose. If you prefer not to use the touchscreen at all, you can switch off via the screen itself.

To change the AF point without the touchscreen, you need to press a dedicated button on the back of the camera - acting as the left directional key on the four-way pad. After pressing it, use the arrow keys or the scroll dial to the point you want.

It's great to see a touchscreen on a camera of this calibre, and it's something that elevates it above the Nikon P330. It's very responsive in use and makes grabbing those quick shots very easy, and takes the frustration out of changing the autofocus points. It's particularly useful when shooting at wide apertures or in macro focusing mode.

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Navigating the rest of the Olympus XZ-10's controls is very similar to the Olympus XZ-2, and indeed, many of the other cameras currently on offer from Olympus - perhaps most notably the PEN series. If you're familiar with any of these models, this would make an excellent second shooter for your pocket.

At the top of the camera is a mode dial for quickly switching between the various modes on offer, including fully automatic, semi-automatic and fully manual. It's also here that you can access art modes and the new montage (Photo Story) feature.

This is a fun new feature that enables you to frame a set of pictures together in one montage. There are many apps available for smartphones that do this, so it's nice to see a similar function making an appearance here. A range of presets are available, which are good fun to play with.

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Similarly, anyone who's familiar with Olympus products will know of the company's love for digital art filters, and many of those available on the PEN and OM-D range show up here.

Around the Olympus XZ-10's lens is a ring that can be customised for different uses, including altering the aperture and shutter speed (when in semi-automatic and manual modes). This ring changes function depending on the mode you're shooting in - for instance, in Art mode, the ring switches between the different filters. A dial around the four-way navigational pad is used to alter exposure compensation.

On the back of the camera is a Function button for quickly accessing other key parameters, such as white balance and ISO. This can also be customised to only include the functions you use most frequently.

It's not necessary to delve into the main menu too frequently, because a sort of quick menu can be accessed by pressing the OK button in the centre of the four-way directional pad. Here you'll find fairly in-depth access to settings such as white balance, ISO, aspect ratio, art filter and more.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
Product FamilyStylus X
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card, Flash Air, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, HDR, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)221 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4032 x 3024
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height61.1 mm
Width102.4 mm
Depth34.3 mm
Product SeriesX
Focal Length4.70 mm to 23.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelXZ-10
Product NameStylus XZ-10 Compact Camera
Product LineStylus
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV101030BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

If you're looking to shoot top-quality stills and Full HD movies with all the right creative tools - but without all the size and weight of an SLR camera - the XZ-10 could be just perfect for you. It is equipped with iHS technology, bolstered by a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and the same high-performance image processor used in our leading OM-D model. The i.ZUIKO DIGITAL 5x optical zoom lens (26-130mm, 35mm equivalent) has an extra-wide, super-bright maximum aperture (1:1.8) giving you super-sharp images in dim conditions without having to use a tripod or flash. The lack of noise is a big advantage when you zoom up close - you can boost magnification to 10x with no noticeable pixilation with the Super-resolution Zoom. Furthermore the XZ-10 lets you assign manual functions to the control ring around the lens so you can adjust settings including aperture, exposure time and program shift like a professional photographer - without taking your eye off your subject. You can also assign ISO or metering to the Fn button on the back, or PASM modes to the function wheel next to the LCD.

The 3.0" display has 920,000 dots and is touch-sensitive, enabling one-touch 'manual' autofocus. On top you can shoot in the Full HD Movie format or produce high-speed films at 120 fps for slow-motion playback. Alternatively, produce imaginative compositions from your stills with the Photo Story feature or spice up your work with one of 11 Art Filters - then share it all directly from your camera in your social networks via an external FlashAir™ card.

It's hard to believe that all this is packed inside our smallest compact X series camera to date!

Package Contents
  • Stylus XZ-10 Compact Camera
  • LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery
  • F-2AC AC Adapter
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • Touch Pen
  • Hand Strap
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Card
  • Software CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year