With the addition of a BSI CMOS image sensor, an adaptable tilting/ touchscreen LCD screen, and a convenient removable grip to the Olympus XZ-2, this camera is at the top of its class. The fast lens and responsive autofocus make it easy to use and hard to put down. But when you throw in exceptional image quality the camera commands serious attention.
The Olympus Stylus XZ-2 boasts a zoom range that is on par with the competition, but lacks the telephoto range in which we have become accustom. The RAW shooting options are wonderful for those wanting more control over their work. The handy one-touch video capture gives users a pleasant experience.
Although a stretch to call this camera a point and shoot due to its size, bulk and processing power, the XZ-2 manages to dive into the already overpopulated mix. It supersedes the majority of its competitors with its outstanding features. However, with a steep MSRP of $600 we question the XZ-2's ability to outsell its counterparts on specs alone.
As good as the still image quality is out of the XZ-2, the video isn't far behind. Maximum clip length is 29 minutes at HD resolution. Nevertheless, there's the noise performance issue with both the still and video images- while a bit better than the average compact digital, it gives way to pixel deterioration once sensitivities reach at least 800 ISO and above.
In the point and shoots market, the XZ-2 soars to the top. Yet one of its biggest rivals may actually be Olympus' own E-PL5. At only $100 more, the E-PL5 comes complete with a higher megapixel count, a higher ISO range and an interchangeable lens system. But if interchangeable lenses scare you and a high performing point and shoot is what you are after, the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 will undoubtedly give you what you need.
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