Enthusiast compact camera roundup
Olympus Stylus XZ-2
12MP 1/1.7" BSI CMOS sensor | 28-112mm equiv. F1.8-2.5 zoom | Touchscreen
What we like:
- Fast lens
- Great JPEG color
- Excellent ergonomics
What we don't:
- High ISO images lag best in class
- Autofocus disappointing in low light
- Not quite pocketable
The XZ-2 is a little bulkier than its predecessor, resulting from the addition of a flip-out touchscreen and small handgrip. However, that touchscreen, combined with the control ring makes it one of the best-handling cameras in this class, if you want to change shooting settings. It's a unique, two-mode control ring, with a switch that enables click-stops for controlling stepped settings, or a smoothly rotating mode for manual focus or zoom.
"Attractive JPEGs, a fast, usefully rangy lens and class-leading ergonomics make it very appealing"
The XZ-2 offers the same, attractively colored JPEGs that we've liked so much in other Olympus models, and the impressively fast lens gives a reasonable amount of control over depth-of-field for such a small camera. The fast lens also lets you continue to use low ISOs in failing light - that's fortunate, since the camera's high ISO performance isn't up with the best of its rivals, and focusing can become uncertain in low light.
Overall, the XZ-2's combination of attractive JPEGs, useful zoom range, and class-leading ergonomics makes it very appealing. However, the addition of the flip-up touchscreen means it's not really pocketable - which will rule it out for some applications.