Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS Digital Camera Review
The XZ-2 is a solid upgrade to the beloved XZ-1, but it falls behind in terms of image quality.
Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
Olympus is known to provide some of the best scene modes and creative filters in the business, and the XZ-2 is further evidence to support that argument, packing 15 scene modes and 11 art filters. The scene modes encompass practical situations like fireworks, underwater shooting, landscapes, and portraiture, as well as more creative options like multi-exposure compositions, panoramas, and HDR shooting. All of the art filters can be fine-tuned, either to control the intensity of the effect or to add further filters on top of filters, like artsy frames and vignetting.
In general, the art filters work very well, instantly adding mood, pop, or depth to photos that might otherwise be drab and ordinary. If you find yourself shooting on a grey and dreary day, they might just save your shots—or at least keep you entertained.
Neutral Density Filter
A built-in neutral density filter blocks some of the light entering the lens, allowing a camera to shoot at a slower-than-normal shutter speed. It's a boon to shooters who like to employ shallow depth of field or flash work in bright daylight conditions, where normally shooting at f/1.8 (as the XZ-2 can do) would lead to massive overexposure. Like many recent advanced compacts (including the Canon G15, Nikon P7700, and Samsung EX2F), the Olympus XZ-2 is equipped with this feature, and it does indeed come in handy from time to time.
Toshiba FlashAir WiFi Card Support
Like the latest PEN-series Micro Four Thirds bodies, the XZ-2 accepts Toshiba's FlashAir cards, which create their own wireless hotspot from within the camera. This feature allows your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to connect directly to the camera and browse or transfer the files on the memory card.
Colored Accessory Grips
In addition to making the XZ-2's grip larger, Olympus also made it removable. As such, they're providing add-on grips in a variety of colors, including red, beige, and purple. We would have preferred that they make different grip sizes and shapes available instead, but we suppose that task will be left up to third party manufacturers.
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