Olympus Stylus XZ-2 is a digital compact stuck in a mirrorless camera’s body, we go hands-on
By Zach Honig posted Sep 17th 2012 5:00AM
Olympus Stylus XZ2 is a digital compact stuck in a mirrorless camera’s body, we go handson
Looking to boost your compact capabilities, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of swapping lenses? You might take interest with the Stylus XZ-2 — Olympus’ most powerful point-and-shoot model. Admittedly, we’re having a bit of difficultly working through the appeal of this latest fixed-lens snapper, given the $600 price tag and a body that’s comparable in size to the PEN E-PL5 and even larger than the E-PM2. In the model’s defense, it does include an impressive f/1.8-2.5, 28-112mm 4x optical zoom lens, though its 12-megapixel 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor is smaller than what’s included with its interchangeable-lens cousins, and the camera’s sensitivity tops out at ISO 12,800. It does, however, offer 1080p shooting and a higher-res swivel 3-inch 920k-dot LCD with Touch AF Shutter control. Still, we would have liked to see these features included with the company’s latest Micro Four Thirds cameras, rather than on a model with a smaller sensor and no interchangeable lens.
If you’re set on the XZ-2, you’ll be plenty pleased with the design — it’s quite similar to the E-PL5, and therefore quite capable. There’s an option to swap in red, beige and purple grips (the camera body itself is only available in black), and you can add a body jacket and an underwater housing. There’s also a built-in flash, which pops up from the top left corner, and you’ll find PEN-like controls, to boot. We spent a few minutes with the XZ-2, though the battery was dead during our demo, unfortunately, so we weren’t able to shoot. Still, the design felt practical, and the camera seemed solid overall. The hybrid control ring is a “world’s first,” according to Olympus, and offers the same functionality in both a click mode, which provides feedback, and a smoother silent mode, which won’t produce any noise or vibration when shooting videos. The Stylus XZ-2 will ship a bit after the new PEN models, in November, but you can take a peek now in our gallery just below.