cameras

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.

October 31, 2012
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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.

Other Features

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.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Hardware
  4. Photo Gallery
  5. Image Quality
  6. Sharpness
  7. Color
  8. Noise Reduction
  9. Dynamic Range
  10. Low Light
  11. Distortion
  12. Video
  13. Usability
  14. Ease of Use
  15. Handling
  16. Controls
  17. Speed
  18. Features
  19. Extras
  20. Video Features
  21. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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