Olympus XZ-10 review

Will this make the ideal pocket snapper?

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Olympus has once again produced a very capable premium compact camera in the Olympus XZ-10, that in some respects is more of a follow-up to the Olympus XZ-1 than to the larger and more unwieldy Olympus XZ-2.

For those looking for something to easily slip into a jeans pocket, while retaining appealing aspects such as full manual control and a wide aperture lens, this is perhaps the better option out of the two - which are at very similar price points at the moment.

Image quality from the camera is impressive, while lots of fun can be had with the art filters and Photo Story option. Being able to shoot in raw format while using art filters is a particular bonus, because some other manufacturers - such as Sony - don't have this option.

Having that f/1.8 aperture lens is also a great creative bonus, because it enables you to achieve some impressively shallow depth of field effects, and also boosts the camera's ability to shoot at lower sensitivities in low light.

There's not too many handling quirks to worry about here, with most of the operation carried out from within the "quick" OK menu. Having a function button is also a bonus, while the ring around the lens is a nice touch for advanced photographers. It's also useful that this lens ring can be used when in automatic modes to control other aspects.

Having a touchscreen on this camera is a plus point, especially when it comes to setting autofocus point. It's a shame that some of the menu operation can't be controlled by the touchscreen, though. Being able to swipe through images in playback is a nice touch for those used to smartphone operation.

We liked

There's plenty of things to like about the Olympus XZ-10, most notably the lens, touchscreen and art filters that are available. It's a nifty little compact camera that fits snugly into a jeans pocket and would make a good backup camera for both existing Olympus users and those using other brands.

We disliked

It can be difficult to think of problems with cameras such as this, but we would perhaps have liked to have seen a few more customisable function buttons on the body of the camera for quicker access.

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Final verdict

The premium compact camera market is one that is packed with some serious competition, but the Olympus XZ-10 more than holds its own against most of the competition.

Images are great, and for the most part handling is also a good experience, while bonuses such as the touchscreen and art filters make it more appealing than some of its rivals - such as the Nikon P330.

That said, Canon has managed to include Wi-Fi in the S110, while Sony has opted for a larger sensor in its RX100. So, while this is a good all-round performer, there's nothing overly exciting about it that gives it a niche selling point - it'd be nice to see Olympus experimenting a bit more in this area of the market.

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