Olympus' New Flagship XZ-2 & Discussion with Seiki Yamamoto

Olympus' New Flagship XZ-2

Olympus' New Flagship XZ-2 Comes with Fast Lens & Hybrid Control Ring

The Stylus XZ-2 is Olympus' new flagship digital compact camera, succeeding the nearly two-year old XZ-1. The XZ-2 is noticeably bigger than the XZ-1, but boasts the same bright f/1.8-2.5 lens with 4x optical zoom. It comes with a new 12MP backside-illuminated sensor and what Olympus is calling the world's first hybrid control ring. The XZ-2 has a new touchscreen swivel LCD and a Touch AF Shutter function with which you can touch to focus.

The lens has the same aperture settings and focal length as the XZ-1, with a 28-112mm focal length (in 35mm equivalent) which works out to 4x optical zoom. The XZ-2 comes with 11 Art Filters and five Art Effects, as well as Dual IS (CMOS shift-type image stabilization). Like the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5, the XZ-2 can use the Toshiba Flash Air SD card to share images wirelessly using the Olympus Image Share app on Android and iOS.

Here's a quick comparison between the XZ-2 and its peers.

  Canon S100 Fujifilm X10 Nikon P7700 Olympus XZ-2 Panasonic LX7 Samsung EX2F Sony RX100
Aperture f/2(W)-5.9(T) f/2(W)-2.8(T) f/2(W)-4(T) f/1.8(W)-2.5(T) f/1.4(W)-2.3(T) f/1.4(W)-2.7(T) f/1.8(W)-4.9(T)
Focal Length (35mm equiv.) 24-120mm 28-112mm 28-200mm 28-112mm 24-90mm 24-80mm 28-100mm
Optical Zoom 5x 4x 7.1x 4x 3.8x 3.3x 3.6x
Megapixels 12.1MP 12MP 12.2MP 12MP 10.1MP 12.4MP 20.2MP
Sensor Size 1/1.7" 2/3" 1/1.7" 1/1.7" 1/1.7" 1/1.7" 1"
Max. Video Resolution 1080/24fps with stereo 1080/30fps with stereo 1080/30fps with stereo 1080/30fps with stereo 1080/60fps with stereo 1080/30fps with stereo 1080/60fps with stereo
Battery Life (by CIPA) 200 images 270 images 330 images 340 images 330 images Unlisted 330 images
Dimensions 99 x 60 x 28mm 117 x 70 x 57mm 73 x119 x 50mm 113 x 65 x 48mm 111 x 67 x 47mm 112 x 62 x 29mm 102 x 58 x 36mm
Weight 198g 350g 392g 346g 298g 294g 213g
Release Price S$699 S$999 TBA TBA S$799 S$699 S$999

Hybrid Control Ring

The XZ-2 features a hybrid control ring which allows users to switch the control style and functions, as well as switching between the analogue and digital ring for the dial around the lens. There is a lever next to the lens, push it downwards and the ring around the lens switches to analogue control for focus or zoom - it feels like you're using a focus or zoom ring on a SLR lens.

When the lever is pushed up, the ring around the lens switches to digital control, which lets you change exposure settings like aperture and exposure compensation quickly. What controls are available will depend on what mode the camera is in. It's an interesting feature, akin to taking the control dial and moving it to the lens, and is comparable to similar control ring dials found on the Canon S100 and Sony RX100.

A New Sensor

The XZ-2 comes with a newly developed 1/1.7" back-illuminated CMOS sensor, and the TruePic VI image processing engine found on the OM-D E-M5. 1/1.7" is larger than the sensors of most digital compact cameras, but slightly smaller than the 1/1.63" sensor found in the XZ-1. 1/1.7" is a size shared by its peers like the Canon S100, Panasonic LX7 and Samsung EX2F, only the Fujifilm X10 and Sony RX100 have larger sensors.

Pricing & Availability

The Olympus Stylus XZ-2 will be available from November onwards, with the local retail price to be announced.

Other Features

  • 3" 920k dot swivel touchscreen LCD.
  • Full-HD MOV/.H264 movies with Multi-Motion Movie IS image stabilization.
  • High 1/2000 sec. maximum shooting speed.
  • Internal ND filter.
  • Minimum 1cm focusing distance.
  • AF illuminator for dark conditions.
  • Noise reduction On/Off settings.
  • Continuous shooting at 5 fps (12MP), 15fps (3MP), 60fps (3MP).
  • Supports Flash Air as well as Eye-Fi SD cards
  • Customizable grip


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