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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Recording Options

The XZ-2 doesn't really give you any choice when it comes to video compression. You have the option of shooting at either 1080/30P or 720/30P, each using a H.264 codec in a.MOV container. There's not even a standard definition (VGA) recording option. To be honest, we don't miss it in the slightest, but those who don't yet have a HDTV may disagree. Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content

Video Controls

It would appear that the only manual control available during video recording is manual focus (it's actually integrated rather well, using the "analog" setting on the lens ring). All other adjustments—shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and so on—are set automatically by the camera, regardless of the shooting mode you've selected.

Auto Controls

You can shoot videos using scene modes and art filters with the XZ-2. To do so, simply turn the mode dial to SCN or ART, select the creative effect you want to use, and hit the big red button to start recording. Most scene modes do not affect the video framerate, but the art filters cause massive framerate lag, to the point that your video looks like a relatively fast-moving slideshow of blurry stills. Unless you're specifically going for a funky look, we can't really recommend it.

Focus

As described above, the XZ-2 allows for direct control of manual focus during video, using the customizable lens ring. If you choose not to avail yourself of that option, the camera will attempt to focus for you. In general, it's very accurate but also pretty slow. Tap-to-focus doesn't work during video, as it does during stills shooting, presumably because you can't shut off the automatic focusing without going to full manual.

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Audio Features

The XZ-2 features an on-board stereo microphone that does a pretty good job of picking up clear sound. Like most other built-in mics, it also picks up the sounds made by the camera itself, which can be distracting if you do a lot of zooming or refocusing during a take. The built-in mic does have a wind cut feature, and it can be completely disabled if the user prefers. There is no traditional jack for an external mic, but the Olympus accessory port built into the hot shoe can be used to mount the SEMA-1 microphone adapter.

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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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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