Customer Review

70 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great camera overall but a worthwhile upgrade from the XZ-1?, February 24, 2013
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This review is from: Olympus XZ-2 Digital Camera (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I think the Olympus XZ-2 is a great, if overpriced camera but there is one key aspect that upgraders from the XZ-1 might think about before going to this model.

The camera feels solid and well made and comfortable to shoot with. It's a little bigger with its predecessor so it's not as compact. But it's not as big as the Nikon P7700. The LCD is decent on back. The touch screen works very well for touch shutter/touch focus. However, one thing I've noticed that autofocus performance suffers a bit using the touchscreen vs. using the shutter button on top. It's not really bad but you do notice it. I suspect a firmware upgrade might fix that.

The dial up front is great. It feels much more solid than its predecessor and now, like on Canon's S-series, you can customize it to adjust whichever settings you want. I personally am not a manual focus person but if you are into manual focus, this is the best enthusiast compact you can buy. With a flip of that switch on the front of the camera, the lens ring can be used to manually focused and it works very well. Battery life could use some improvement, it seems like it drains very quickly when using the touch screen.

The camera has very good autofocus performance for the most part and in most shooting conditions. Shot to shot times are good. And I encountered no delays when shooting in RAW and writing to the card (but it is advisable to use a Class 10 SD to maximize performance). The lens is a little slow to zoom in and out, which other enthusiast compacts have that issue, but some don't (Canon G15).

The menu system could use some streamlining, to be honest. I really hate having to dig into the menu system to adjust things like exposure compensation when other cameras in this price range have it as a physical dial. It's highly recommended that you read the manual first to find out where everything is. It's also important to read the manual, so you can understand the depth of the features on this cameras. Olympus really went all out to put an enthusiast feature set on this camera.

As far as image quality is concerned....I would say the camera overall does have a noticeable improvement over its predecessor in a lot of areas. But one area which I think the XZ-1 still does better is color performance. Not that the XZ-2 is terrible in that regard, but the XZ-2's colors just lack the punch that the XZ-1 had and aren't as contrasty. You can of course adjust the parameters as you see fit but even so, I still think the XZ-1 has better colors in most instances. The XZ-2, however, has a little bit better detail capture and much improved ISO performance. Photos at ISO800 on the XZ-2 look much cleaner than from the XZ-1 and much more detail is retained. However, with such a fast lens, it's possible that you may rarely have to use ISO800 for shooting. The camera also has a tendency to overexpose, so it's important that you dial in some negative exposure compensation.

I think the XZ-2 is a solid camera and competitive in a number of areas. But if you are an existing XZ-1 user thinking about getting the XZ-2, there's a chance you still might like your daylight photos from the XZ-1 better due to the reasons mentioned above. You just have to decide whether the other aspects of the camera make it a worthwhile upgrade. If you're deciding between this and the Sony RX100...I think the Sony RX100 has better image quality but the XZ-2 provides a more enjoyable shooting experience overall (and still produces decent photos). You might find that XZ-2 offers a lot more features for the money and deem it worthwhile to sacrifice sensor size for a camera that packs a lot more into it.
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