Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS review: promising point and shoot or prospective pro-level camera?

By Kevin Carter - Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Camera Review
Introduction | Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS sensor performance | Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS versus competition | Conclusion

This year’s theme for high-end compacts is undoubtedly the switch over from CCD to BSI CMOS sensors, but maker’s are having to work hard to make the cameras attractive to those users who might also be tempted by interchangeable lens based mirror-less models. Olympus’ upgrade to the original XZ-1 sees plenty of promising features including the new 12-Mpix BSI CMOS chip, but how well does it fair in our exhaustive tests?

High-end enthusiast orientated digital compact cameras like this one promise high-quality imagery in a very small form factor. The Olympus XZ-2 iHS measures just 113 x 65.4 x 48mm (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.9") and weighs 346g (12.20 oz ) but packs a 12Mpix 1/1.7-inch type (7.44x5.58mm) backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor.

This is attached to a stabilized platform, much like the firm’s 4:3 cameras and features a 6-24mm f/1.8-2.5 (28-112mm equivalent in 35mm terms) iZuiko-Digital branded zoom lens.

One nice control feature of the XZ-2 is the Hybrid control ring surrounding the lens, it can be used to alter a number of settings including aperture values, shutter speeds and adjust EV compensation among others.

The XZ-2 also has a tilting 3-inch touch-sensitive screen and provision for an optional electronic EVF (the same finders as the firms’ 4:3 models) although at $600, the addition of either the $160 VF-3 or higher-res $249 VF-2 makes the combination pricey. Like rivals, the upgrade to CMOS technology allows Full HD video (1080p) as well as 720p video at 30fps, and a doubling of sensitivity up to ISO12800.

Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS sensor performance

Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS versus competition

Conclusion