Olympus XZ-2 review

The heavyweight compact Olympus Stylus XZ-2 is more than just a point-and-shoot

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The XZ-2's super-fast i.Zuiko Digital lens has to be this camera's standout feature, offering ultra-wide apertures and an impressive focal length range of 28-112mm, which sails past many of its hottest contenders, and produces sharpness straight out of the camera, which many of its peers fail to match.

Thanks to the lens, this camera is a must for low-light enthusiasts as it catalogues impressively crisp captures, even at lower ISOs, helped by the camera's image stabilisation technology that cements details even when shot at noticeably slow shutter speeds, and when executed hand-held.

We liked

The Olympus Stylus XZ-2 delivers much more than an average compact and essentially that's where its key strengths lie.

The manual focus ring, customisable function toggling, manual and semi-manual modes, touch-screen technology, tilt screen and creative filter palette are the most impressive aspects of its advanced functionality.

We disliked

Less intuitive to operate than many of its competitors, the XZ-2's menu systems aren't the most helpful or straightforward, and some of its operation processes are needlessly convoluted.

Also, priced at £479.99/AU$649/US$599.99, it is in keeping with its high-end compact peers, yet the relatively expensive price tag may put some shoppers off.

Final verdict

Although handling the device isn't as straightforward as Canon's Powershots or as intuitive as Nikon's Coolpix range, it does offer a plethora of shooting choice to cater for all levels of shooter; with manual and semi-manual controls for advanced enthusiasts, a dedicated auto mode (iAuto) and scene selector for novices, plus an art palette for keen creatives.

Overall the price tag is a little steep, considering that some low-end to mid-range DSLRs and CSCs can cost a lot less, but for those seeking an all-encompassing compact camera with a solid lens performance the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 has to be one of the best currently on the market.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyStylus
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Eye-Fi Card, Flash Air
Image StabilizationDigital, Optical
Optical Zoom4x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Orientation Sensor, External Flash Shoe, Eye Detect, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC, MOV
Weight (Approximate)346 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Image Sensor Size1/1.7" (7.60 mm x 5.70 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution3968 x 2976
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height65.4 mm
Width113 mm
Depth48 mm
Focal Length6 mm to 24 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelXZ-2
Product NameStylus XZ-2 Compact Camera
Product LineStylus
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV101020BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Point. Shoot. Be amazed.

Combine the ease-of-use of a point and shoot with the image quality of a more advanced camera and you get the Olympus XZ-2. This premium compact helps you push the creative envelope with an arsenal of amazing technology. A super-fast f1.8 iZuiko lens and a large, high-sensitivity BSI (Backside-Illuminated) CMOS Sensor help capture brilliant low light shots. Experienced photographers will love how the XZ-2's full manual controls are effortless to access and use. Feed your creative side with 11 Art Filters and 5 Effects, one-touch HD video and an accessory port for flashes and viewfinders. The XZ-2. Pro features packed in one awesomely creative compact.

Package Contents
  • Stylus XZ-2 Compact Camera
  • LI-90B Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • CB-AVC3 Audio/Video Cable
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Card
  • Lens Cap
  • Software CD-ROM
Limited Warranty2 Year