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Olympus creates XZ-2 iHS fast lens, CMOS enthusiast compact camera

By dpreview staff on Sep 17, 2012 at 09:00 GMT
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Photokina 2012: Olympus has unveiled the XZ-2 enthusiast compact camera with a 12MP 1/1.7" back-illumination CMOS sensor and touch-screen. The XZ-2 features the same 28-112mm equivalent F1.8-2.5 lens as the XZ-1 but adds a more modern sensor, screw-on hand grips, tilting touch-screen and a two-mode control dial around the lens. In one mode the dial features click-stops, allowing control over discrete features such as aperture or exposure compensation, but flip the switch on the front of the camera and the ring rotates smoothly, and switches to controlling zoom or manual focus. The XZ-2 will sell for around $599/£479.99.

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Press Release:

The Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS® Takes THE Compact CAMERA category to the X-Treme

Point. Shoot. Be Amazed with an Ultra-Bright Lens, Ultra-Easy Operation and Ultra-High Image Quality, Making It the Powerhouse Compact for Serious Photographers

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 17, 2012 – Olympus pushes the compact digital camera to a new X-treme with the introduction of the Olympus STYLUS XZ-2, its game-changing, flagship high-performance point-and-shoot. The STYLUS XZ-2 is a hybrid that combines optical brilliance, the manual controls of a DSLR and the unbeatable convenience of a lightweight compact in a body every imaging enthusiast should love. Inheriting the 4x optical / 4x Digital zoom iZUIKO® DIGITAL f1.8-2.5 large-diameter lens found on its predecessor, the award-winning Olympus XZ-1®, the Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 builds on its low-light performance with new features: the world's first hybrid control ring, customizing controls so ambitious photographers easily capture the shot; a new fast, touch-sensitive tilt screen; the powerful TruePic VI image processor; Full HD movie recording and FlashAir® compatibility to share images immediately on social networks.

The digital lens of the Olympus XZ-2 (iZUIKO f1.8-2.5 (28-112mm*), a 4x compact version of legendary ZUIKO Digital lenses, is designed for clear, high-quality photographic performance, whether set at its maximum f1.8 aperture for amazing wide-angle shots, or at f2.5 for 112mm* telephoto images. The result is expressive background defocusing and sophisticated bokeh, plus the flexibility to use short, blur-free exposure times in low light. The camera’s iHS technology and the large-aperture lens work together to deliver high-sensitivity, low noise and blazing auto-focus performance that translates to the highest image quality of any Olympus compact camera.

The newly developed 12.0 megapixel, 1/1.7" high-sensitivity back-lit CMOS sensor, working with the TruePic VI processor, the same processor used in the Olympus OM-D E-M5™ system camera, provides faster recovery time and shutter release to capture images with true-to-life colors, rich details and low noise. To complement the speed of the f1.8 lens, the camera’s low-light mode automatically adjusts the ISO sensitivity up to ISO 12,800 to take sharp, full-resolution photos in dim conditions, and an easily accessible built-in pop-up flash and AF illuminator brightens low-lit subjects, reduces red-eye and fills in dark areas.

The Olympus XZ-2 is equipped with the world's first hybrid control ring, built around the lens, which allows users to easily assign function settings to their preferences as well as switch between analog and digital operation of the ring. The digital operation provides a solid click on controls, whereas the analog operation offers a smooth, gliding feeling. When the Fn 2 lever next to the lens is placed downward, the ring around the lens switches to analog control so it can be used as a focus or a zoom ring. If the lever is placed at an angle, the ring around the lens switches to digital control to change exposure-related settings quickly and easily. This feature enables fine-tuning of the focus in macro, composition selection when shooting, and exposure adjustment all without looking away from subjects.

Basic operations and settings of the Olympus XZ-2, starting with touch controls and Live Guide, as well as a new graphic user interface will be familiar to Olympus PEN® and OM-D shooters. Instantly activate the Touch AF Shutter function to select the subject you want to focus on and activate the shutter simply by touching the swivel 3.0 inch, 920,000 dot LCD screen. The XZ-2 design is enhanced with a removable grip that offers the option for a sleek style grip, and metal is used throughout the body for a strong and sharp look.

The Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 is packed with additional technologies including DUAL IS, which combines with high-sensitivity shooting to reduce camera shake and subject blur, providing double image stabilization. HDR backlit correction captures multiple images with a single shot at different exposures and automatically merges them into one image, and Super Resolution technology expands zoom power up to eight times with minimal image degradation. iAuto mode automatically identifies up to 30 different scenes. The XZ-2 also features 11 Art Filters and 5 Art Effects that easily bring artistic visions to life.

In addition to superior still image quality, the 1080p Full HD Movie capability with stereo sound captures movies in the best quality currently available in compact cameras. Multi-Motion Movie IS image stabilization corrects for the common gradual camera shake that occurs when shooting on the move, delivering more stable, higher-quality movies. Beautiful movies can be shot even longer with a 1920 x 1080 High-Definition size and MOV/H.264 movie compression that has an excellent compatibility with computers.
The Olympus XZ-2 is also designed to make sharing your amazing images even easier. Using the smartphone connection function, simply set up a compatible Toshiba FlashAir SDHC card with an internal wireless LAN to make a Wi-Fi connection. With the Olympus Image Share smartphone application (to be released in September), easy image upload onto a smartphone via a thumbnail index, adding Art Filters to images on a smartphone, and sharing images on various social networking services is possible.

A wide range of creative and practical accessories is available to adapt the Olympus XZ-2 for specific needs, including three alternative grips in a variety of colors (red, beige and purple), a body jacket and underwater housing. There’s also a sleek, matching black LC-63A lens cap that opens and closes automatically whenever you activate the camera. To expand the camera’s versatility, the XZ-2 includes an accessory port for compatibility with a growing range of Micro Four Thirds® accessories.

*35mm equivalent.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 will be available in November 2012, and ships with a USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack, Li-Ion Battery Charger, Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS ib® software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card.

Estimated Street Price: $599.99 (Available in black)

For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1627&page=specs

Olympus XZ-2 iHS specifications

Body type
Body typeCompact
Sensor
Max resolution3968 x 2976
Other resolutions2560 x 1920, 1280 x 960
Image ratio w:h4:3
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor size1/1.7" (7.44 x 5.58 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary Color Filter
Image
ISOAuto (100 -1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes (2)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
File format
  • RAW (12-bit lossless compression)
  • JPEG
  • RAW+JPEG
Image parameters
  • 4 levels (Auto, Normal, High key, Low key)
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–112 mm
Optical zoom4×
Maximum apertureF1.8 - F2.5
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range60 cm (23.62)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points35
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots920,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic (optional)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Programme
  • Aperture priority
  • Shutter priority
  • Manual
  • Scene select AE
  • Art Filter
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • e-Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Sport
  • Night
  • Night + Portrait
  • Candle
  • Sunset
  • Documents
  • Panorama
  • Fireworks
  • Multiplex exposure
  • Beach & Snow
  • Underwater - Wide
  • Underwater - Macro
  • HDR
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range8.60 m (ISO 800)
External flashYes (via hot-shoe, wireless)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Wireless
Drive modes
  • Single-frame shooting
  • Sequential shooting
  • High-speed shooting
  • BKT
  • Self-timer
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (2 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (-/+ 7 steps in A-B/G-M axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included55 MB
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini HDMI type-D)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (Optional RM-UC1)
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion Li-90B rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)340
Weight (inc. batteries)346 g (0.76 lb / 12.20 oz)
Dimensions113 x 65 x 48 mm (4.45 x 2.56 x 1.89)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Additional images

XZ-2 iHS showing 920,000 dot rear screen XZ-2 iHS with front grip removed
XZ-2 iHS with optional red grip XZ-2 iHS with optional beige grip
74
I own it
37
I want it
10
I had it
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Olympus XZ-2 iHS

Comments

Total comments: 156
Jery99
By Jery99 (Dec 23, 2012)

XZ-1 have perfect OLED display,
XZ-2 have LCD display!! this is big step back! WHY??
XZ-2 is bigger and heavier than XZ-1(and also from back look odd , realy nasty "STYLUS" word under screen and strip on the left side of screen)
Only real improvment i can see is, in the grip and slightly better sensor.
I have to wait next 2 Years for XZ-3 and hope in realy improvment over my XZ-1.

0 upvotes
HunterGuy2
By HunterGuy2 (Oct 24, 2012)

Darn. I was hoping against hope that the XZ-2 would be a miracle with Rx100 form factor/sensor size, and Olympus colors/bokeh. I guess physics can only be bent so far...

0 upvotes
Axel Vercauteren
By Axel Vercauteren (Oct 24, 2012)

Test: Noise of XZ-2 compared to LX7/G15 etc.

See for yourself: http://www.focus-numerique.com/test-1570/compact-olympus-xz-2-bruit-electronique-12.html

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Oct 12, 2012)

Yes the price is +-100$ in the enthusiast camera market, but it still worth it if it delivers on the image quality. i will get it over 3x pany with wider lens, 5x canon g5 lens, ~7x nikon p7700 lens and even 1" sensor of rx100 if it delivers on i quality as XZ-1 delivered against its competitor.

The dilemma of Bigger than this size sensor paired with smaller (aperture) lens is they offer big aperture+sensor combination on smaller focal lengths, where smaller aperture is usually more useful and they offer small aperture over the larger focal lengths where larger aperture is more benefitial (portrait work), so the DOF got restricted and with narrower apperture higher iso is required to compensate camera shakes. So even if their big sensor high ISO is good, compartive results of base ISOs are still not impressive.

Couple with that lack of external controls on basic big sensor cameras always make enthusiasts feel unsatisfied.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Oct 12, 2012)

Awesome camera, love the specs and cant wait to see the results of IQ. DPReview why you havent given us any preview on it .. like you prepared on all other compact enthusiast!

1 upvote
Mapel
By Mapel (Oct 4, 2012)

Nice camera but a little too expensive... hoping in a nice IQ improvement over the xz-1 at least...

0 upvotes
vapentaxuser
By vapentaxuser (Sep 27, 2012)

I bet the sensor used in this camera is the same Sony sensor used in the Nikon P7700.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Sep 22, 2012)

To me, this is an XZ-1.1 - not xz-2, here's why:

It has welcome improvements in the looks department. Love the handle, love the moving away from the s95-like anonymity - very nice over all design. Love that Olympus continues to set the pace with beautiful retro-like designs.

But the lens is similar. Very similar: nice, bright, reasonable zoom range.

And despite the sensor being a BSI, it is slightly smaller (1/1,7" versus 1/1,6") and with a higher pixel count - so the pixels are either the same size (at best) or may even be slightly smaller than on the previous model... which leads to the obvious question: are the images better? Or have things stayed much the same?

Definitely, it's a welcome rejuvenation as an XZ-1.1, getting an update in the marketing-hype department (12MP bsi), but...
...I can't wait to see the REAL XZ-2 (whatever they are going to call a "real" successor to the XZ-1/2).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 26, 2012)

How is increasing the resolution to 12 mp, and giving it BSI "marketing-hype"? That's what all you guys said about the 36 mp D800 - marketing. And the D800 turned out to have the best IQ possibly ever for a DSLR.

The XZ-1 as it was had some of the best IQ for a high end P&S, and I'm sure the XZ-2 will improve on that superb foundation. Besides with that pin sharp lens, the added grip and tilt LCD, how can they go wrong?

All that said, I think the release price of 599 USD is too high. An LX7 with a faster f.14-2.3 zoom, and better 1080p60 plus 720 120 fps high speed AVCHD, and similar ability to take an EVF is 499 USD. I also think the EPM-2 at the same price will eat up way too many XZ-2 sales. At 499 I'd buy it, at 599 I'm already thinking NEX-5N, NEX-F3 or EPM-2. If I must have a high end P&S, I'm looking at the LX7, X10 or GRD 4 all of which can be had for less.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Cephalotus
By Cephalotus (Oct 1, 2012)

the XZ-1 has an excellent lens and an outdated sensor.

Now the XZ-2 keeps the lens and adds a sensor that is 2-3 generations younger,it adds faster processing power (see video for example) and a tilting screen.

How much differentiation do you need?

Do you really want a new lens, when the old one is superb?

On the other side the camera got significantly larger, so for those searching the most compact camera the XZ-2 will probably not fit...

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Oct 12, 2012)

Well if IQ is better and featureset as advertised, then why not. I trusted on Oly XZ-1 on my last trip to Israel, for its compact size and sielent shutter over other DSLR and m43 bodies i had that time and am happy i chose xz-1 over them. Bigger sensor doesnt mean it suits your nead. The only complain was bad sensor and Oly is replacing it with something coool iHS. No I wont get an EPM or EPL etc over XZ-2. Tiny APSC or m43 cameras has no space in my travel bag. I prefer external controls of enthusiast cameras, compact and more flexible lenses. However if ultimate IQ is required I dont mind FF!

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Sep 22, 2012)

Well $600, no. But as soon as they announced this, in fact even before, I bought an XZ-1. It's really not bad. Not quite as clean as the X10 but IMO, a lot easier when you just want to point and shoot vs. deciding if the scene would be best addressed using 6 megapixels @ DR400 or 12 megapixels @ DR 100 or EXR low light, or EXR Auto, or EXR DR, or...aw, forget it.

2 upvotes
unbelievable
By unbelievable (Sep 19, 2012)

Seems that the major improvements over the XZ-1 are operational:
- (Most likely) much faster performance due to new engine.
- User interface seems to have become stellar with the hybrid control ring and the function buttons. Changing settings in the XZ-1 is not really a joy or really not a joy

920K screen over 640K screen is a further improvement. That it is tilting is a not essential bonus imo.

Image wise I'm wondering whether there will be a real improvement, shifting from a 10 MP CCD to a 12MP CMOS. The image quality of the XZ-1 is already a joy.

Downside is that it increased its weight by 30% and that the file-size is most likely larger.

I sincerely hope that they improved the mechanism/software to manually "capture/set" the white balance setting in a low light environment. That works 100 times better on the Panasonic LX3.
Of course you can should only raw, but I prefer nice looking jpegs straight out of the camera

Pity they did not make it slightly wider .... 24mm?

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

"Pity they did not make it slightly wider .... 24mm?"

For some reason, all of the 1/1.7-inch sensor cameras have fixed zooms starting at only 28mm, and not at 24mm UWA. And focal length equivalent figures for Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is even more confusing, according to RX100 specs.

Fortunately, these days we have fixed (non-removable) zoom lens digitals with UWA starting at just 22.5mm equivalent, and also plenty of models when the zoom starts at 24mm equivalent. Personally, I need one of these -- widest focal setting should be 22.5mm to 24mm in FF 135 equivalent.

Good old 28mm is okay, I suppose, but when you are shooting indoors and in crowds, or even for architectural and landscapes, you really wish you had something with shorter wide angle.

1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (Sep 19, 2012)

I suppose you always want to have a wider option than you usually use, right? I generally shoot compacts at 28mm. Almost exclusively in fact. 24mm would be nice and I'm sure I would use it from time to time but I've shot with bridge cameras that start that wide. I do generally zoom in just a little even for my typical wide shots. To me, 28 is a requirement where 24 is a luxury. Everybody likes luxury but there are plenty of other requirements I would sacrifice the luxury of 24mm to have.

0 upvotes
unbelievable
By unbelievable (Sep 19, 2012)

@Francis
Not entirely. The (even brighter) Panasonic LX7 (with 1/1.7") starts at 24mm (but stops at 90).

The LX3 (2008) also started at 24mm, but (unfortunately) stopped at 60mm

I fully agree though that 22.5 would be even nicer... ;-)

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

"I suppose you always want to have a wider option than you usually use, right?"

No, that would be totally wrong actually, mosc. I prefer use what I want, as delineated in my posting above. I can do that, since I would be having the full knowledge of the lens' specs before starting to use it on a camera, see?
"I generally shoot compacts at 28mm."

Good for you. I wouldn't, and fortunately, I don't have to, either. 24mm at the wide end is no problem with Fuji 2/3-inch sensor cameras now, either.

"The (even brighter) Panasonic LX7 (with 1/1.7") starts at 24mm."

And, and that was actually one of the camera models I was hinting at. 24mm UWA with F1.4 iris -- not too shabby at this price point, is it now?

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Sep 22, 2012)

I'm not sure that I understand what you mean... the XZ1 has a hybrid control ring as well... I owned one.
True, moving between cameras, the XZ1 could seem confusing (it was to me), but once you get used to it, the logic behind the user interface starts to come to light. I think it was better as an enthusiast's only camera, as it didn't harmonize with the philosophies behind other systems (which may not have been on their priority list).

28mm vs. 24mm?
I don't see what the complaining is all about... if this was the only game in town, ok... but there is the very worthy Panasonic LX7 that is exactly what our friend above is asking for... at least in this category there is now an abundance of choice, with a few very valorous contenders. (I'm sorry, but no matter how much you are sold on one brand-name, it's still a small sensor, so you may as well get what you want and forget about the label - especially with the other quality choices) ;-)

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Oct 12, 2012)

I think LX7 is a better deal for you, for what you want!

0 upvotes
tom1027
By tom1027 (Sep 19, 2012)

You can tell by the comments on this camera there are lots of people who don't have a clue what they're talking about.. So many complaints about the sensor size and comparisons to the RX100. If this camera had a larger sensor, they could not have this lens. Sure the RX100 has a big sensor, but at what cost? F/4.9 at 100mm? I'd take the LX7's or XZ-2's sensor and lens combination any day over the RX100. Unless your pixel peeping or printing poster size pics, you're not gonna notice a difference from that big sensor.
For those who get hard over big sensors, why wouldn't something like the GF5? The sensor's twice as big as the RX100 and the cam isn't much bigger with the power zoom lens...
Bottom line is, it just doesn't make that much sense to put a huge sensor in a camera this small. They will definitely sell lots of them, because so many fools think all that matters is a bigger sensor, but I wouldn't want one until they figure out how to build a better lens for it.

2 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 19, 2012)

Tom, you seem to think the ISO button is locked on these cameras or something. Larger sensor size means higher ISO numbers with equivalent noise. What happens when you use 4x higher ISO setting at full tele on the RX100 than the XF-1? I'll tell you what happens. You get near identical images. Why? The f2.5 on the XF-1 tells you only half the story, it tells you the light intensity. It doesn't tell you how much area that light covers. Taking into account the sensor size (dividing the aperture by the crop factor) gives you a better idea of the total light gathered in by the lens. This light being over a wider area and less intense equates to a different ISO but if the total light is equivalent, the picture is equivalent. Hence, the RX100 and the XF-1 are extremely close at the tele end. They are, however, nowhere near close at the wide end despite having the same aperture.

1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (Sep 19, 2012)

Let me try it another way. If you took the Olympus lens from the XF2 at put it at full tele f2.5 and stuck it in front of the RX100's sensor, the light would only shine on 35% of the sensor. You'd get a 7mp image surrounded by 13mp of garbage (that's right, the RX100's 20MP sensor has a LOWER pixel density). Now, if you took that same amount of light and now had some magic to spread it over 100% of the RX100's sensor area without losing any, the intensity per mm^2 would drop substantially. It would drop to the aperture equivalent of the difference in crop factors. f2.5 * 4.7 / 2.7 = f4.4. It's the same amount of light, just over a wider area. Less bright (intense), more coverage.

There is still a small difference. The XF-1 lens is 112 eqiv, longer than 100. It's also f4.4 equiv on the sony sensor, brighter than f4.9. Very close though. Nowhere near close at wide.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 19, 2012)

Done in reverse, the light from the Sony lens losslessly compressed down would be 28-100 f1.0-f2.8 on the XZ-2 sensor.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 19, 2012)

aaaand apparently I just referred to the olympus camera as the XF1 instead of the XZ1. Damn Fuji for releasing such a similarly named camera with similar stats and confusing me! Please use XZ1 or XZ2 for all those names up above.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

What re you two people even talking about here, I wonder?

This here is a press release about an Olympus camera named, enchantingly, a STYLUS XZ-2 iHS BSI. Does not roll off the tongue with any great ease and finesse, does it now?

Having academic discussions about optics and physics should perhaps be moved to a forum site.

0 upvotes
Jan Vondrak
By Jan Vondrak (Sep 19, 2012)

Well, this discussion is directly to the point discussed above - probably more so than the codename of a camera.

mosc is right that aperture is not the only relevant parameter. However, the sensor area of the RX100 is less than 4x that of the XZ-2. So theoretically the XZ-2 should perform better at the long end. That of course depends on what sensor technology Olympus actually uses for the XZ-2, and how much they managed to improve over the XZ-1, because the XZ-1 was quite underwhelming in this regard.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 19, 2012)

Jan, I covered that "There is still a small difference. The XZ-1 lens is 112 eqiv, longer than 100. It's also f4.4 equiv on the sony sensor, brighter than f4.9. Very close though. Nowhere near close at wide."

I was trying to stay exclusively on the lens but of course the sensor itself has a big effect on things as well as you said.

0 upvotes
Jan Vondrak
By Jan Vondrak (Sep 19, 2012)

True, I mentioned it just because you were talking about 4x higher ISO. I checked the sensor areas and the ratio is actually 2.8. So by laws of physics you would expect ISO 280 on the RX100 to be similar to ISO 100 on the XZ-1. Unfortunately Olympus sensors have performed worse than you would expect based on their size, so it might be actually a factor of 4 in practice.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 20, 2012)

"I'd take the LX7's or XZ-2's sensor and lens combination any day over the RX100. Unless your pixel peeping or printing poster size pics, you're not gonna notice a difference from that big sensor."

You don't need "pixel peeping or printing poster size" to see 2 stop difference in high ISO performance in low light. And indoors or in the evening you will be pushing 6400 or even 12800 in no time even with f/1.8, especially if there is some movement in the frame you want to freeze.

0 upvotes
Timmbits
By Timmbits (Sep 22, 2012)

Tom, you are being a bit heavy-handed calling everyone fools. I get it, that at the wide end, the RX100 is a disappointment. But if you look at that wonderful little table that DPR gave us on this page:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx100/
where we see that in terms of 135mm equivalency, the Sony and Olympus are f:4.9-13.4 versus f8.5-11.8 respectively.
If we were to use your same line of reasoning, criticizing the Sony at the tele end, then one could stand to reason that the Olympus is nothing short of shameful and embarrassing at the wide end, as compared to the RX100.
Now I wouldn't put things so radically. I would say however, that the Sony breaks new ground, and to do this they had to deal with significant constraints in the optics department, to attain their goal. Something had to be sacrificed... or there probably would have been no way they could squeeze that into such a small package (on budget and within size goals).

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Oddrain
By Oddrain (Oct 5, 2012)

mosc ... you raise a good point. Everyone is so hung up in sensor size that they forget to think about the sensor size/pixel density/ lens interaction. But for many the physics won't be important. Instead it will be real world samples compared at the same light levels and at the same on-screen or printed magnifications. Unfortunately reviews are so hung up on comparing at the same ISO level and 100% "pixel" views that its very hard to make these real world comparisons. Personally I would like to see comparisons off different cameras using the same shutter speed, their max apertures and a variable ISO with the objects in the image at the same size on screen. Too much to hope for I guess!

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Oct 12, 2012)

sorry mosc but thats plan wrong .. i admire your intentions but rx100 lens if will be used on xz1 sensor it will remain what it is. its not the size of the glass but the brightness. it will still give f4.9 at 100mm and will be spreading the light all over in the camera body outside the sensor area. this won't help.

Optics doesnt work like this, and its not easy to increase the optics brightness just by increasing the size of the glasses. otherwise all of them would be producing gigantic lenses with f1 and less for 1/1.7 sensors!

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

Bloody hell and back.....

A really small, 1/1.7-inch sensor camera....

With only an amusingly small 4x range zoom lens....

Without a viewfinder of any type..... and without a 3.5mm jack for an external microphone.

That records video clips in only a single frame rate.

And despite of all these shortcomings, the Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS is going to be listed for US$599.99.

I guess I am not getting this one at all, either. Quickly, somebody from the Oly camp pls explain what it is that we must just love with this cutie-pie new baby?

2 upvotes
tom1027
By tom1027 (Sep 19, 2012)

I gues image quality doesn't matter to you?

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 19, 2012)

Easy explanation:
You are looking for a video camera. Then get one.
XZ-2 is for photography.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

Michael, you should really check out today's newestfangled so called "digital cameras," you know. They can take still pictures -- and also take video clips. Really, they can.

Some -- like Panasonic, Sony, Canon, Nikon -- can do this better, much better than some of the others.

BTW, there are a whole lot of photographic folks commenting right here on this thread also "not getting" something about the Oly XZ-2, you know.

0 upvotes
dpgreg
By dpgreg (Sep 20, 2012)

What we love is the lense and sensor combination. Stop living in specs.

Having a large sensor is not everything. Some people have already explained it here, but having a large sensor and constrained glass (like many cameras in this price range) does not work.

I dont know if you've noticed lately, but the camera's in high end phones - like the iphone and the Samsung Galaxy S3, are able to take some really fanastic photos. You are artificially restricting your camera choices by focusing on the sensor. Small cameras do not pair well with big sensors, regardless of what you might think.

2 upvotes
simon65
By simon65 (Sep 18, 2012)

To boldly go - questions and answers

Sony DSC-RX100 versus Olympus XZ-2 iHS

The Weight incl batteries: DSC-RX100 - 240 g, XZ-2 iHS - 346 g

The Dimensions: DSC-RX100 - 102 x 59 x 36 mm, XZ-2 iHS - 113 x 65 x 48 mm

The Sensor: DSC-RX100 1 inch, 20.2 mp, XZ-2iHS 1/1.7" 12 mp

The price: DSC-RX100 $648, XZ-2iHS $600

The Question: What are Olympus on?

The Answer: Planet Zarg

Beam me up Scotty....

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Sep 18, 2012)

I have posted below that it should have a larger sensor because it has a huge lens. Ever wondered why the RX100 is smaller in size and its lens also smaller than the XZ despite the 1 inch sensor? There is a drawback, the corners are blurry and distorted. It surely has vignetting which is corrected in camera. See below:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sony-cybershot-dsc-rx100/14

From above, the XZ1 lens is excellent. Damn, Pana and Oly must have agreed to release larger sensors for the next generation.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Sep 18, 2012)

Dear Equivalence People,

Please check out this link:

http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/gallery/reviews/1294294/panasonic-lumix-dmc-lx7/173770

Notice that the small-sensor compact in this picture (LX-7) retains MORE DETAIL at ISO 800 than either the Nex 3 or GF5 at EQUIVALENT ISO 3200, because the small-sensor compact has a brighter f1.4 lens.

I am SO God-awful tired of this equivalence B.S...

Thank you for your time.

4 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 19, 2012)

bobbarber,

using DPR comparison tool, load XZ1@ISO800 and NEX5@ISO3200 (I trust DPR more than "expertreviews").
NEX5 beats XZ1 just slightly. That is to my eyes. Maybe to your eyes XZ1 beats NEX5 just slightly. Any way, it means that the brighter lens of the XZ1 is more or less equivalent to the bigger sensor of the NEX5.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 18, 2012)

Olympus started it all two years ago with the stellar XZ-1. Now, the competition is really hard and the choice got great but very difficult.

I see LX7 and EX2F as the closest competitors. X10 is still to consider.
And then there are the "smallness specialists" XF1 and RX100.
There is no clear winner here - all depends on your preferences.

My clear winner would have been an XZ-2 with
- a 2/3 sensor (like X10) but with 10 MP
- same lens, but then 25-100 (due to larger sensor)
- new processor for 8-10 f/s
- better firmware that kills XZ-1's deficiencies

There are so many excellent ideas spread between the current models - Oly simply needs to bundle them the right way! :-)

3 upvotes
ch01
By ch01 (Sep 18, 2012)

I think it's the most balanced camera, I mean, if you look at sensor size + lens aperture.

2 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 19, 2012)

You may also be interested in Panasonic's LX7. An in-depth review between the two would be very interesting.
Currently, I only see one major drawback with LX7: Color.

1 upvote
LaFonte
By LaFonte (Sep 18, 2012)

Why, oh why?
Now it is 25% heavier than xz-1 yet it still has the same fractional sensor...
The xz-1 was a great form and weight, why do we need PS with weight of m43 or small APS-C?

2 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Sep 18, 2012)

It has a great,huge lens but that is why I'm complaining about this new camera. The huge lens is good enough for a sensor size similar to the rx100.

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 19, 2012)

The weight increase probably comes from the bigger battery and the grip. I also don not like the increase of thickness by 0,5 cm.
Good thing: same lens.
Sensor: I really wonder, if a 2/3 fits behind the lens without losing aperture. i would not mind a loss of focal length, e.g. 25-100 instead of 28-112.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Sep 17, 2012)

Having owned an Olympus compact (C-7070) and an Olympus DSLR (E-510), and currently owning a Panasonic GH2 and Canon SX230, I think that other manufacturers have a ways to go to match the sharpness of the Olympic lenses and the jpeg processing engine.

I do agree that this camera seems expensive. Let's hope the price comes down.

The comments by the Sony posters about f2.5 and f4.9 being equivalent because of DOF are manipulative and designed to take advantage of people who know little about photography. The wider aperture allows more photos to be taken at base ISO for a given shutter speed. That's not an advantage? Please.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 18, 2012)

Regarding "The wider aperture allows more photos to be taken at base ISO for a given shutter speed.":

Yes, also in this respect the combination of sensor size and aperture is equivalently the same. If you have to go to ISO100 on a small sensor camera, then you can go to ISO400 or even ISO800 on an APS-C sensor camera and get principally the same IQ at the same shutter speed, but at differing apertures.

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Sep 18, 2012)

@Jesper,I've heard those theories millions of times on these forums, but I don't agree with them.

I shot with the C7070 and the E-510 side by side for many years. At base ISO the C7070 was as clean as the E-510. It may even have been cleaner. Things deteriorated rapidly after that (ISO 400 on the C7070 was not good, but it was on the E-510), but my point was about base ISO.

I wish people would back up these equivalence statements with more real life results. The theory doesn't seem to work as advertised in my experience when considering base ISO.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 19, 2012)

bobbarber.

Your requirement that base ISO must be used is an artificial limitation. If you have a camera that can provide good IQ at higher ISOs, then why not do so ?
To back up my statement, just open DPR RAW comparison tool and select f.ex. XZ1@ISO100 and NEX5@ISO400.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 17, 2012)

"In addition to superior still image quality, the 1080p Full HD Movie capability with stereo sound captures movies in the best quality currently available in compact cameras. "

That is simple not true. Looks like the press-release was written before RX100 either. Another era, simpler times... :)

Poor shmucks caught with their pants down...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
VLampa
By VLampa (Sep 18, 2012)

It's marketing speak. Any camera company's marketing team says as much about their products. It's you whose pants are already down with people laughing at you.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SamTruax
By SamTruax (Sep 19, 2012)

In Marketing Speak anything that produces full HD 1080 p would be considered the "best quality currently available". It's based on the spec...not the actual video that comes out of that camera.
Unfortunately if the video is anything like what the XZ-1 produced it will be crap... at least in comparison to any of the Sony models.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

Olympus is doing so great, Sony is taking them over. Err, it is a "strategic alliance" of Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a company whose own management had stolen billions from Olympus' coffers.

Happy shooting, everyone! I wonder just how long before all Olympus cameras will have the name "SONY" stamped on them?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 17, 2012)

I like Oly in general, but at $600... you must be mad not to prefer Sony RX100 instead. XZ-2 should be $300, for price-conscious who cannot spring a little higher for much better cameras. Even $500 Pana LX-7 and Samsung EX2F are better cameras, and cheaper.

2 upvotes
VLampa
By VLampa (Sep 18, 2012)

And you are basing these on just reading spec sheets? Amusing way to gauge cameras.

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 18, 2012)

No he is right.
Unless Oly has done something miracolously with the 1/1.7" sensor, then the RX100 is in completely different class than XZ2.

300$ is a tad unrealistic. S95 trades at 330$ at the moment. S100 at 380$. I think 450$ will be the right price for XZ2.

3 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

$450 is just about correct, considering that for $400, one can get much better spec'd cameras for Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Samsung.

I just "live" how Olympus is pricing their products way out of the realm of reason. Of course, when you have corporate management at Oly swindling the company for billions of dollars, their corporate bean-counters have to make up the shortfall somehow, hmmm?

1 upvote
Arn
By Arn (Sep 17, 2012)

I hope they improved the incredibly stupid "auto" ISO of the XZ-1, which had a range of 100-200... In other ways the XZ-1 is a very good camera and much sharper than for example the Canon S95 (I own both). Gotta love the fast lens.

2 upvotes
VLampa
By VLampa (Sep 18, 2012)

Yeah, I don't know why they didn't let users set the Auto ISO range for the XZ-1. Otherwise, I'm happy with that camera.

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 18, 2012)

The thing that has bothered me most with my ZX-1 is the lens cap. Does anyone know how they have addressed that issue on the ZX-2?

3 upvotes
Jay Jenner
By Jay Jenner (Sep 17, 2012)

I think this looks like a brilliant little camera. I am very familiar with the excellent build quality of Olympus cameras and their stellar lenses. It is also very important to me how a camera handles and this looks like it would be a pleasure to shoot with. The grip is important, as is the lens ring and other manual controls
The cost is steep but not stupidly so. The larger sensor of the Sony is tempting for sure, and that looks like a super little camera, but all things considered I think I would rather have one of these.
It does help that I already have a couple of Oly flashes I guess.

2 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (Sep 17, 2012)

The key is image quality, how the lens mates to the sensor and processing. To my eye, Olympus has always been more three-dimensional imagery than Sony, although Sony focus and resolution are always excellent, but I am speaking about much older digital cameras.

1 upvote
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 17, 2012)

I agree Jay, I have not been disappointed by the Oly's I've owned so far and the ZX-1 has been a favorite of mine. This new one shows a lot of promise and I''ll have to decide if it's the G15 or the ZX-2. I really liked my G7 and this new Canon looks interesting even without the tilt screen. Image quality is always the decider and I like shooting in low light or macro shots. These two are my picks.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

Actually, calmwaters, when it comes to little cameras with smallish 1/1.7-inch sensors, for most folks it is probably going to be the choice of going with the Canon PowerShot G15 or the Nikon Coolpix P7700.

Canon has F1.8 lens with a 5x zoom range.

Nikon has F2 lens with a 7.1x zoom range.

Sorry, Oly, but your STYLUS XZ-2 iHS BSI (nice long name, wow!!!!) only has an F1.8 4x range lens on it. Pretty lame, really.

And yet, the Olympus costs $100 MORE (!!!) than the above cited Canon or Nikon alternatives go for.

I'll be hot danged if I can justify Olympus pricing. We should perhaps ask Oly directly, where this XZ-2 thing of theirs is so pricey, huh?

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 19, 2012)

I have used my ZX-1 a lot and I have researched the Nikon and owned the Canon G7. The image quality is not there with the Nikon coolpix. Yes a longer zoom but the image quality doesn't hold a candle to the ZX-1. The Canon G-12 is close but again it can't beat the F1.8 Zuiko lens. The only thing that the G15 has over the ZX-2 is a longer zoom but the Oly has a tried and true lens with some other feaures that I think will be the decider for me. The price will come down. The ZX-1 was $595 asking and I got it for $495 in March of 2011.

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 19, 2012)

Francis, the fact that you think the F1.8 Zuiko lens on the ZX-2 is lame is not a good indication of your camera knowledge. Read the Gold medal review for this camera here on this site if you want to learn something. Compare it to the Nikon and see if you still feel that way. Either way I know what I like.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 17, 2012)

Soo many comments about f2.5 being better than f4.9 comparing this to an RX100 at tele. Wow, do the math!

This camera is f11.8 equivalent at 112. The Sony is f13.4 at 100. Complain all you want about it but at least do the math correctly people.

or realize the real difference here is that one has a hot shoe, an option for an externa viewfinder, and is intended as a general purpose camera where the other is a carry anywhere compact designed for indoor shooting without an external flash at wide. The user who picks the Olympus and uses it without anything in the hot shoe probably made the wrong purchasing decision. Similarly, the user who never brings the sony with him because it doesn't have a viewfinder or external flash probably should have gotten the olympus.

2 upvotes
tom1027
By tom1027 (Sep 17, 2012)

Mosc, I think you're a little mistaken in your comparisons to the rx100. The aperture equivalent numbers you are using only are only useful when comparing depth of field. If you're comparing low light performancethose numbers are pretty meaningless. So at 90 mm the f/2.3 of the lx7 or xz2 is big advantage over the approx f/4.5 of the rx100.

3 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Sep 18, 2012)

"So at 90 mm the f/2.3 of the lx7 or xz2 is big advantage over the approx f/4.5 of the rx100."

Not the if high ISO of the XZ-2 is anything like the XZ-1. It'll be interesting to see how many stops advantage the RX100 has, and whether that lens makes up for it.

1 upvote
Dennck
By Dennck (Sep 18, 2012)

From the result against XZ-1, RX100's ISO advantage seems to benefit from ISO800 and up.

0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 18, 2012)

If you get the VF2 for the XZ2, wont it then be a total 880$ ?
That is a heck of a lot of money based around an 1/1.7" sensor.
Naahhh... I think the price has been set so high just so that resellers can quickly offer steep "discounts".

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 18, 2012)

tom, no. You have it wrong. The Sony is gathering light with it's lens and shining on a wider area. The light intensity per pixel is f2.5 vs f4.9, but the total light gathered by the sensor (what you really care about in low light) is a factor of the aperture AND the sensor size. That's why compacts need more light than a 35mm full frame to focus. The equivalent light can be measured by dividing the aperture by the crop factor. Indeed, both cameras gather the equivalent light in of about f12 on a 35mm camera with a 100mm lens. It's not just depth of field equivalent

Because the sensor is larger, you can use a more sensitive ISO without noise. If you force both cameras to shoot at the same ISO, then the aperture will be the same light gathering regardless of sensor size. That doesn't make much sense in the digital world though where you can change ISO. The RX100 can shoot at higher ISO's than the XZ-2. The equivalent light gathering is apeture divided by crop which compensates for this

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
flipmac
By flipmac (Sep 22, 2012)

@mosc:

Doing math is one thing, but you need to check your logic. So do try to keep up...

It is true that even though XZ-2 has a much faster tele end (f/2.5) than the RX-100 (f/4.9), actual amount of light gathered by both sensor is about the same (provided that the shutterspeed and ISO are the same). But this fact remains: for the same unit of area at the above f-stops, the XZ-2 is getting more light; almost 4x in fact. Therefore, the RX-100 will require a much higher ISO or slower shutter speed to properly expose the same scene at the tele end.

The RX-100 being better at higher ISOs (like 800+) is the result of its pixel having a much larger area than XZ-2's, which yields a better SNR. So, the RX-100 can use a higher ISO with acceptable noise levels to compensate for the slow tele.

That said, I won't be zooming in with these P&S in low-light often, so I would actually pick the the LX-7 over the RX-100 and XZ-2; it goes wider, brighter and is cheaper.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 17, 2012)

I realise that it is like comparing apples and oranges, BUT...
at 600 list price it is too close to the 649 list price for RX100.
Even Canon S100 is now down to under 400.

A fine camera no doubt, but 600 list price is too much.

3 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (Sep 17, 2012)

You're really comparing apples and oranges... this camera has a lens so fast that the RX100 and S100 cannot even dream of, a tilting screen, metal casing, the hybrid control ring... this is the camera I was waiting for, and IMHO sits well above the RX100 and S100.

0 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 17, 2012)

tompabes2, if you look at equivalences compensating for sensor size, the RX100 is faster through most of the range. It's slower only at the tele end of the lenses. Maybe you shoot a lot of tele with a compact but I don't. They are indoor cameras primarily for me so yes, there is a big difference, the RX100 is a hell of a lot faster equivalent at wide.

4 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 17, 2012)

Both S100, RX100 and XZ2 have metal bodies.
Sure XZ2 has a brighter lens at the long end than S100 has, but that is a tradeoff for the pocketability that the S100 really has.

Another comparison:
LX7 is essentially the same as XZ2, exept LX7 has an even brighter lens F1.4..F2.3 (!) and it sells for 440 USD (!!).
XZ2 is priced 100 USD too high at least.

3 upvotes
Vernatropius
By Vernatropius (Sep 18, 2012)

@jasper,

And yet Lx-7 doesnt have tiltable touch screen hig res LCD that XZ-2 has, yes its F2.3 at tele end but it cannot match the 112mm of XZ-2.

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 18, 2012)

@Vernatropious.

These cameras have differences. One camera beats the other in one department and vice-versa.
XZ2 is just not 160 USD better than LX7. And not 220 USD better than S100. And how can you ignore that for 50 USD more you can get the RX100 which is in a whole different class.

1 upvote
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 17, 2012)

You can't have a fast bright camera that is compact with a big sensor. Look at the Canon G1 X. Big sensor, big lens, big camera and only a F-2.8. The whole point of the G 15 is the bright F1.8 lens. It's great in low light and for macro photos, boke etc. If that's not what you are looking for then buy a Sony or whatever. I will stick to my ZX-1 or maybe the new ZX-2 or the Canon G15. They do what I want my camera to do and with a small sensor. A bigger sensor will not fit behind these lens! Period!

1 upvote
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Sep 17, 2012)

But lens with 1.8 at the wide end fits Fuji XF1. (of course F4.9 at tele end) But 2/3" CMOS sensor with proper pocketability. I would have traded tele end brightness for larger sensor if I were Oly. Way too close to the bigger sensor competitors in this price range if we totally forget the overall usability which gives the points to XZ-2.

2 upvotes
Piggy the bad
By Piggy the bad (Sep 17, 2012)

Totally agree

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 18, 2012)

The Fuji doesn't have a hot-shoe and lacks many other features that I have on my ZX-1. They are 2 different niches and the XF-1 is not for me.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

Canon PowerShot G15: comes with 5x range zoom lens, optical VF, priced at $500.

Nikon Coolpix P7700: comes with 7.1x range zoom lens, high-rez articulating LCD screen, external microphone input capability. Also priced at $500.

Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS BSI: Well, it's 600 dollars, you know.

All 3 of these have a 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor, BTW.

0 upvotes
magneto shot
By magneto shot (Sep 17, 2012)

didnt olympus read about Sony RX1 ? these all small sensor cams are now obsolete in news...

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 17, 2012)

??????Obsolete????What?? Are you taking crazy pills or something? That is the most ridiculous statement made here today.

5 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

As long as someone is making something, it is not "obsolete."

The 1/1.7 inch sensor models are getting an upward squeeze towards 2/3" and 1' sensor sizes, that is true. But the success of the Nikon P7700 and the anticipated success of the Canon G15 shows that the 1/1.7-inch sensor size form factor is very much alive and well.

For me, it all depends on the lens' brightness and zoom range, as well as whether camera has an external 3.5mm jack for a mike, since I want to use it mostly for travelogue videography.

But also let's look at the hundreds of makes/models out there of late edition 1/2.3-inch sensor cameras. And some only have 1/4-inch or 1/6-inch sensors.

So, 1/1.7, 2/3, and 1-inch sensor sizes are all pretty interesting nowadays for fixed zoom lens digital cameras.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Sep 17, 2012)

This is everything I want but the sensor! The lens is huge. I'm sure it could accept a one inch sensor and compromise on maximum aperture or some vignetting wide open. I was hoping a larger sensor to compete against the Sony.

1 upvote
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (Sep 17, 2012)

If you want a larger sensor, go with Sony, I prefer the f/2,5 aperture at telephoto! Much more useful for a camera of this kind. You will be able to use 2-3 stops less, so you will get the same quality, but you'll be able to use shorter exposure times and avoid image blur.

1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (Sep 17, 2012)

tompabes2, what are you talking about? It's f11.8 vs f13.4. 2-3 stops!?! you're nuts. It's virtually indistinguishable at tele.

1 upvote
sorinx
By sorinx (Sep 17, 2012)

@tompabes2 : you really don't understand what aperture means. Oly has about the same aperture as RX100 at tele and much smaller at wide end.

1 upvote
Kirppu
By Kirppu (Sep 17, 2012)

Panasonic FZ200, F2.8 at 600mm equivalent at tele end. No reason to buy XZ-2 for tele needs if you ask me.

1 upvote
Dennck
By Dennck (Sep 18, 2012)

f/2.5 at the tele end is a very desirable feature as faster shutter speed can be used. Its not 3 but a 2-stop faster advantage over the Sony until its over ISO800 then the low noise sensor of RX100 kicks in and narrow the gap.

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Sep 18, 2012)

RX100 has usable ISO6400, XZ-1 has usable ISO1600. XZ-2 will be closer to XZ-1 rather RX100. There's your tele two stop lens advantage gone in low light.

1 upvote
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Sep 18, 2012)

Also, the XZ-1 is pocketable, just (I know, I have one). This is not.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Sep 18, 2012)

I don't know why I missed the Sony RX100 DPR review but I noticed that the RX100 has vignetting and distortion at the corners but the XZ1 stayed very sharp, it's actually the sharpest. If you would notice, the XZ1 still has a larger lens compared to the RX100 and Olympus could just install a large sensor and be better.

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 17, 2012)

@MJ Jones the pm1 is a micro four thirds camera that is not in the same class as the ZX-1 or ZX-2. You need to buy lens for it and it doesn't have the same compactness as the ZX series. There are many reasons why I and many others haven't gone this route and I shouldn't have to explain their differences. Oly obviously saw a need to build two different cameras. If you don't see the niche that the ZX-1 or 2 fills I can't help you.

0 upvotes
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Sep 17, 2012)

@marike6, I agree with you but I'm not sure autumn 2012 is the best time to make such a decision unless one is desperate or can afford to upgrade quickly.

Nikon with the 1 series, Sony with the RX100, Fuji with the X10 Nokia with the Pureview 808 all showed that the 1 inch or 2/3 sensor formats can make a real difference in still image IQ which hasn't improved that much (and some years regressed) over the last 5 years or so when most camera companies concentrated on the video capabilities of their new offering.

Moreover, pressure from the iPhone which is now the most used cam in the world, forces them to do better. Soon rather than later if they want their products to leave the stores' shelves.

1 upvote
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Sep 17, 2012)

@calmwaters Yes the XZ1 was an excitiing camera when it came out almost 2 years ago. But today you can buy a refurb or 2nd hand pm1 with a Pana 14 mm 2.5 prime for $330... So I can't help feeling there's a disappointing gap.

2 upvotes
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Sep 17, 2012)

Excerpts from an interview of Oly SLR boss on amateurphotographer UK:

"While, Watanabe was guarded over future developments, he said new system camera technology, to be rolled out in the ‘short term', would be ‘trickled' down to future ‘high-end compact cameras'..."‘We have a roadmap and there are some key technologies but I can't disclose... Basic technology development-wise, we will focus on high-end models and mainly compact system cameras.'

I have a strong feeling that the XZ3 will be built around Sony 1 inch sensor.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

So what? By that time, probably all Sony cameras will have APS-C sensors in them, except for the entry-level ones with 1/2.3-inch midget imagers.

Olympus had just announced their XZ-2. Why are you theorizing about an XZ-3, I'm not getting that part, really.

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 17, 2012)

What a lot of people don't get with this camera is the image quality. There are no cameras in this class with as bright and fast a lens as the Zuiko used on both the XZ-1 and XZ-2. I searched and compared long and hard for a camera in this price range, for this image quality and compactness. The Canon G-12 was the closest but was lacking where the XZ-1 wasn't.

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Sep 18, 2012)

Err, the LX7 has a f1.4-f2.3 lens, and is basically the same size as this camera. You are right that it isn't in this price range though, it's cheaper.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

"There are no cameras in this class with as bright and fast a lens as the Zuiko used on both the XZ-1 and XZ-2."

Huh? How about the 5x zoom in the Canon PowerShot G15? F1.8-2.8. And it only costs $500.

And not only that, the Canon comes with a barrel/parallax view OVF, whereas the Olympus comes with NO VIEWFINDER at all, i.e. no OVF and no EVF.

0 upvotes
calmwaters
By calmwaters (Sep 17, 2012)

A lot of people are whining about a camera they know nothing about. I have the XZ-1 and it is a fantastic camera and deserved all the acculades it received at the beginning of 2011. The XZ-2 is an improvement with a better lens cap, better video, focus ring, battery and some small adjustments. The sensor is the same(wait for a more in depth review). The reason why this camera is so much like the previous one is because they got so much right the first time. Until you have used this camera or the XZ-1 you don't really know what you are talking about. Bigger sensor means bigger lens which means bigger camera. Can't be avoided.

6 upvotes
Yinle
By Yinle (Sep 17, 2012)

Can't be more agreed with you. Bought XZ-1 for my girlfriend and it was a very promising compact, being the compact with brighter less (not brightest because of f1.4 on EX2F & LX-7), but brightest in telephoto, it' more usable when zooming in low-light.

XZ-1 was revolutionary as it has the first f1.8 lens on a compact p&s. XZ-2 in my opinion, should be addressed as an improvement.

2 upvotes
Piggy the bad
By Piggy the bad (Sep 17, 2012)

Yep, you are right. Now I've got xz1 + vf2 I hardy use dslr. Awesome bit of kit from Olly.

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Sep 18, 2012)

Agree until you start looking at video. The XZ-1's video was pathetic. Hopefully that is fixed in the XZ-2.

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

I just don't see how this camera would work any good in video mode, really. Olympus and video -- just not a good combination, I fear.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 17, 2012)

Everybody seems to think that RX100 has obsoleted all P&S. Having used the RX100, it's f4.9 at the long end aren't great for subject separation nor is the slippery, grip-less body great ergonomically. For this reason, compacts like the XZ-2, LX7 and X10 are not obsolete at all.

I always loved my XZ-1 when I had it and some of my favorite images came from this camera. Whether or not buying a small m43 or APS-C camera is better may be determined by needs. Many DSLR users aren't interested in investing in yet another ILC, but just want a compact camera with raw, and great IQ. The XZ-2, LX7, RX100, x10, or GRD IV are such cameras.

1 upvote
SHood
By SHood (Sep 17, 2012)

You do realize that the DOF at f4.9 on the RX100 is about the same as the XZ-2 at f2.5. Very little difference due to the larger sensor in the RX100.

3 upvotes
mosc
By mosc (Sep 17, 2012)

They should all specify in 35mm equivalent f-stops like they do for their equivalent lens ranges. You ever hear Olympus refer to this lens as a 6-24mm? No? Me neither. Then why the hell do they call it f1.8-f2.5?? They should just call it a 28-112 F8.5-11.8 and then we can compare it directly. For example, the f11.8 really isn't that different from the RX100's f13.4. They're both crappy.

What's not the same is at 28mm obviously. The f4.9 vs f8.5 are pretty f-ing different.

These comments about bokeh at tele with this camera are absurd. It's not measurably different than the RX100 at 100mm. Not even a stop.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
flipmac
By flipmac (Sep 18, 2012)

@mosc:

"You ever hear Olympus refer to this lens as a 6-24mm?"

It's stamped on the lens.

"They should all specify in 35mm equivalent f-stops like they do for their equivalent lens ranges"

That's stupid. The equivalent FL in 35mm is a useful reference for FoV. The equivalent f-stop in 35mm partially gives you an idea of DoF ONLY! It's useless otherwise. Also, I said partially as DoF is affected by subject distance.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
mosc
By mosc (Sep 19, 2012)

It's not DOF only. f2.5 only tells you part of the story, it tell you the light intensity over the sensor. That's the same amount of light in the RX100's f4.9 practically because the sensor sizes are so drastically different. Same light stretched over more area. In practical terms, it means you can raise the ISO setting on the RX100 at the telephoto end to give results very similar to the XF-1 at it's telephoto end. Different ISO's and apetures but nearly identical light gathering.

What isn't identical is the light gathering at wide angle.

It would be far more informative and more telling of a camera's capabilities to post the 35mm equivalent aperture along with the focal length.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Jan Vondrak
By Jan Vondrak (Sep 20, 2012)

Hey mosc,
You're doing a good job but people just don't want to listen. I agree completely: If you want to specify focal lengths normalized to full frame, then do it with f-numbers too. That's what matters, for DOF as well as light gathering. In fact ISO could be also normalized (divided by sensor area), and then it would be apples-to-apples independent of sensor size.

0 upvotes
MJ Jones
By MJ Jones (Sep 17, 2012)

Agree it's disappointing. Only 2 advantages it has versus other expert compacts is the tilting screen and accessory connector which makes it possible to add an external mike (and evf for those who have the cash). But a 2nd hand or refurbished EPL-3 isn't more expensive...

0 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Sep 17, 2012)

Between the Sony EX100 (mainly for the sensor) and the Fuji XF1 (partly for the sensor, partly for the host of features and the nice design in a smaller package) this camera is DOA.

4 upvotes
NotTarts
By NotTarts (Sep 17, 2012)

Both of those cameras are F4.9 at the shortest end...

0 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Sep 17, 2012)

I think you meant the RX100, not EX100.

2 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Sep 17, 2012)

@NotTards It's sad that that's the only thing the Olympus can be proud of.

@logbi77 You are right. I wish companies were more creative with names... It seems this is the year of the X: RX this, RX that, G1X, GX1 (!), XF, XE, XZ...

0 upvotes
Ergo607
By Ergo607 (Sep 17, 2012)

With te two-mode dial, the Olympus add sth to the mix, the other two don't have, namely better ergonomics. The RX100 mode dial is not clickable (see review), which makes it a pain to use for sth else than zooming; the Fuji otoh has a manual zoom, true, but voor shooting video footage that will be a pain...

I like this olympus, and boy are we spoiled: three Canons, two Sony's (when the ff rx1 will be announced) together with the like from Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic... Nice one!

0 upvotes
NotTarts
By NotTarts (Sep 17, 2012)

@Antonio Rojilla:
Sad? The wide aperture at >100mm was the reason I bought the XZ-1 in the first place, and the reason it continues to blow away the competitors in terms of flexibility and creative potential even though they have larger sensors and more features.

I would love to see you try to take a photo like this...
http://i.imgur.com/cLYvo.jpg
...with an RX100 or XF1. Tell me how it turns out.

0 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Sep 17, 2012)

@NotTarts First, you already own a ZX-1 so you are going to defend the XZ-2 no matter what. I respect your decision but you don't need to trow us you post-purchase rationalization.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization

Second, what do try to prove with a close-up shot?

1 upvote
sorinx
By sorinx (Sep 17, 2012)

@NotTarts: Rx100 is about the same as Oly at tele (if you consider the sensor size) and it is much better at wide.
It is wrong to compare the apertures between different cameras without looking at sensor size. A bigger sensor will allow you to use higher ISO.
The "fast" m43 F2.8 lenses are only F4 compared to APSC and F5.6 compared to a full frame for both DOF and exposure time (remember: FF will have 4x better high ISO than a m43). The problem is that majority of people cannot understand this and they pay a lot of money for what is it in fact just a standard 50usd kit lens for SLRs.

1 upvote
RAG64
By RAG64 (Sep 17, 2012)

Seriously?? This is what we waited almost 2 years for? A bulging grip and a few gadgets?!

No large sensor, no extended zoom range, no ND filter, no compact body… Really, even IF they fixed NR and video, this is last year's camera at best. Oly should have been announcing a XZ-3 by now!

Maybe Sony snatched all of Oly's developers away right after they released the XZ-1. This camera is DOA

:-(

10 upvotes
NotTarts
By NotTarts (Sep 17, 2012)

Give me a break.

You can't have a large sensor, high zoom, compact body AND an f1.8-2.5 aperture range. Look at the RX100 - it's f4.9 at 100mm. The XZ-1 is f2.5 at 112mm.

Cameras are not like processors or displays - there are optical limits that can't be improved upon. You're going have to compromise in at least one area.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
RAG64
By RAG64 (Sep 17, 2012)

Nobody's asking for everything. Any one of those improvements alone would have sufficed...

4 upvotes
NotTarts
By NotTarts (Sep 17, 2012)

But you can't improve any of those areas without affecting another. Bigger sensor? Compromise on size and aperture range. High zoom? Compromise on aperture range and sensor size. Compact size? Compromise on all areas.

1 upvote
RAG64
By RAG64 (Sep 17, 2012)

With 2 years development time you'd expect at least a little progress in one area or another.

And $600 is going to be a hard sell.

7 upvotes
NotTarts
By NotTarts (Sep 17, 2012)

Well, we don't even know what they've improved yet. The main problems were video quality and noise reduction (software) and sensor quality/noise. There wasn't really any problem with the specs, so I don't see why they've feel the need to change them.

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

"There wasn't really any problem with the specs, so I don't see why they've feel the need to change them."

Then why did Olympus have the need to come out with this new model at all? And expecting to collect US$600 for one of these XZ-2s is gonna be an uphill battle post-Photokina 2012, I tell you.

0 upvotes
photophile
By photophile (Sep 17, 2012)

Noise Filter at High ISO setting Off, Low, Standard, High

Noise Reduction at Slow shutter speed Off, On, Auto
Auto: effective when shutter speed is slower than 1/2 sec.

From Oly's own website.

1 upvote
RAG64
By RAG64 (Sep 17, 2012)

Finally!

0 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Sep 17, 2012)

No built-in ND filter?

1 upvote
Paul T.
By Paul T. (Sep 17, 2012)

It DOES retain the ND filter.

1 upvote
logbi77
By logbi77 (Sep 17, 2012)

Where does it say it retains the ND filter?

It's not listed in the Olympus America website.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1627&page=specs

1 upvote
Paul T.
By Paul T. (Sep 17, 2012)

The UK site has an excellent overview of the XZ-2. Although there is no mention of the ND filter in the specifications page, scroll down to the bottom of THIS page:

http://www.olympus.co.uk/site/en/c/cameras/digital_cameras/creator/xz_2/xz_2_features_l.html

and you'll see mention of the filter.

2 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Sep 17, 2012)

Thank you very much. Hopefully this will clarify things.

1 upvote
iudex
By iudex (Sep 17, 2012)

So downgrading from 1/1,63" sensor to 1/1,7" sensor and asking 600 bucks for it? Hmmm, what a progress...

4 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Sep 17, 2012)

AFAIK, the XZ-1 did not use the whole 1/1.63" sensor area and only uses a crop of around 1/1.7" area from the sensor.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

0 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (Sep 17, 2012)

Maybe you are right, but I did not read anything like this. I only know the LX7 does it like this. Anyhow we will see.

0 upvotes
logbi77
By logbi77 (Sep 17, 2012)

Found a quote from the DPR review of the XZ-1

"Rather than expanding to use different regions of the sensor, the Olympus crops into the 4:3 image size. The result is that it is exposing an area very similar to the 1/1.7" sensor used by many of its peers."

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/OlympusXZ1/3

6 upvotes
CameraExpert
By CameraExpert (Sep 17, 2012)

@iudex... you have it all wrong. The smaller the sensor size ratio, the bigger the sensor is. 1/1.7 is bigger than 1/1.63. Just like in aperture where the smaller the f-stop number is, the bigger the diameter of the lens!

Like they teach in math class, the bigger the diameter, the larger the ratio!

0 upvotes
nosnoop
By nosnoop (Sep 17, 2012)

Sorry, "CameraExpert": you are the one who got it wrong.
1/1.63" is bigger than 1/1.7", which in turn is bigger than 1/2.3" (sensors found in most consumer compacts); while it, itself, is bigger than the 1/3.2" sensor found in iPhone 4S.

3 upvotes
mpeman
By mpeman (Sep 17, 2012)

Yup. CameraExpert is wrong on this one!

Plus, to those who say the ZX-1 crops down in size...that may be true, but that does not change the size (nor quality) of the pixels

2 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Sep 19, 2012)

@ CameraExpert, you are some expert when it comes to figuring out which particular sensor size is larger or smaller, I tell 'ya. Gee-sus, phew....

1 upvote
flipmac
By flipmac (Sep 22, 2012)

One word, "fractions".

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
mrdc76
By mrdc76 (Sep 17, 2012)

Nice camera, but not really pocketable. *sigh* RX100 looks like a better and better choice.

3 upvotes
Deeso
By Deeso (Sep 17, 2012)

The camera specs are well balanced and the size *it's* pocketable unless you want to slip it in really tight jeans. The only problem is the price. Just under 50$ under the far more advanced Sony DSC- RX100 makes no sense. This camera should be $500 at most. We all know only the ones preordering it pay such prices, anyway

1 upvote
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 17, 2012)

"Pocketable" is sooo debatable.
I have an S95 just because it is actually really pocketable.
Shirt pocket: S95/S100=yes, RX100=just, XZ1=no
Jacket pocket: S95/S100=yes, RX100=yes, XZ1=yes
Jeans pocket: NEVER PUT YOUR CAMERA IN A JEANS POCKET !!!

3 upvotes
stevepix
By stevepix (Sep 17, 2012)

Shirt pocket : bend forward => cam falls out, stay upright => shirt will be lop-sided
Jacket pocket : all cams fit => no selling points for the smaller
Jeans pocket : aggree for more reasons than hurt to the camera :)

3 upvotes
JesperMP
By JesperMP (Sep 18, 2012)

stevepix, what to do when you dont wear a jacket ?
As to lop-sided, yeah, but the S95 will make the shirt far less lop-sided than XZ2.
As to falls out, no you need to have the strap around your neck as well.

0 upvotes
lodp
By lodp (Oct 12, 2012)

i have no problem fitting a camera in my jeans pocket )

1 upvote
Seagull TLR
By Seagull TLR (Oct 12, 2012)

<As to falls out, no you need to have the strap around your neck as well.> Using neck strap on a pocket camera? Why bother to having a pocket camera then : )

0 upvotes
Total comments: 156