Olympus XZ-2 iHS Brief Review


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  • 12 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 4x optical zoom with 28mm wide-angle, f1.8-2.5
  • 1080/30p HD video capture with stereo sound
  • 3-inch swivel toucscreen LCD with 920,000 dots
  • Dual-purpose mode dial for analog or digital control
  • Image stabilization
  • RAW capture
  • Manual modes
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2012-11-10
  • Final Grade: 85 4.25 Star Rating: Recommended

Olympus XZ-2 iHS
12 megapixel CMOS sensor; 4x optical zoom with 28mm wide-angle, f1.8-2.5; 1080/30p HD video capture with stereo sound; 3-inch swivel toucscreen LCD with 920,000 dots; Dual-purpose mode dial for analog or digital control; Image stabilization; RAW capture; Manual modes; Lithium-ion battery
By , Last updated on: 5/18/2014

A relatively dramatic upgrade from the aging but excellent XZ-1, the XZ-2 gains the iHS moniker that accompanies Olympus's latest high-speed cameras. This is due to the switch to a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor that should offer better high ISO performance than the XZ-1 and allows for 1080/30p video recording. The lens hasn't changed at all from the 28-112mm f1.8-2.5 found on the XZ-1, but Olympus has substantially increased both the size and weight of the new camera. This is in part due to the addition of a new control ring that users can switch between analog and digital control. The analog setting can modify zoom manually in click stops while the digital setting smoothly controls shooting functions like aperture or shutter speed. Panasonic could really learn a thing about controls for their next LX camera from this kind of implementation. The XZ-2's size change could also be due to the addition of a swiveling touchscreen LCD screen as well as the ability to add a screw-on grip. We aren't enthused about the larger form factor, honestly, and the $599 asking price seems silly when the RX100 can be had for just as much.

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Olympus Reviews

Olympus is a long-time camera manufacturer, but lately they've been offering innovative, compact imaging options that are well worth a look. While Olympus doesn't have a camera in every category like Nikon or Sony, their focus on the cameras they offer shows.

Olympus' main, and best, cameras are their mirrorless line. The OM-D line offers mirrorless cameras that rival professional results while their PEN options offer the most portability and affordability. Most of their mirrorless cameras have simple, retro designs that work really well. Their kit lenses are often a bit higher quality than most. The Olympus mirrorless cameras we've been able to test have shown excellent image quality and usability.

While most of Olympus' focus seems to be on their excellent mirrorless line, we haven't been disappointed with any of their compacts we've put through our tests either. The TG-3 and TG-4 are among the best waterproof compacts on the market. And when we put the super zoom SP-100 to the test, we were quite happy with the image quality and performance.

Olympus may not have a camera in each and every category, but they've really put a lot into their existing cameras, making them excellent options.

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