Olympus Announces The Long Awaited XZ-2

After Olympus killed off the XZ-1 of their X series, we have been anticipating what they would throw at us next. Well, ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the latest XZ-2. Olympus has taken what made the original XZ great as a point and shoot and took it to the next level.

Featuring a 12mp 1/1.7″ CMOS sensor, the XZ-2 is capable of the highest image quality Olympus has to offer. It is equipped with a 6-24mm f/1.8-2.5 lens that goes up to 4x optical zoom. The shutter speed goes from 1/2000 to 60 seconds. The image stabilizer comes in three modes: dimensional activation, dimensional activation for when you’re in landscape mode and another for when you’re in portrait mode.

The XZ-2 will process through your photos with Olympus’s PEN technology TruePic VI engine that you would normally find in the Olympus Pen E-P3, E-PL3 and E-PM1.

With the capabilities to shoot high quality photos, it makes sense that the XZ-2 will be able to shoot in either 12-bit RAW or JPEG formats. For your HD video recordings (1920×1080), they’ll come out in .MOV format. The XZ-2 stores your files using only SD memory cards, Eye-Fi, or FlashAir.

To display your photos, Olympus uses a 920k dot 3-inch swivel touch monitor that allows you to take advantage of new and unique angles that you wouldn’t normally be able to do, such as during macro shots. It is a VGA LCD panel screen that has anti-fingerprint coating to prevent those nasty smudges and annoying smears nobody likes.

The XZ-2 integrates a large majority of the camera’s functions with touch control. Now you will now be able to AF simply by touching your subject of choice. There are also touch shutter release, touch enlargement, and a variety of control options in the Touch Control Panel.

Olympus is introducing their newest and the world’s first hybrid control ring that supposedly will enhance the overall user experience and operation with the XZ-2. It features an analog control that allows manual focus or zoom while digital control transforms the same focus ring into an exposure control dial. These controls can be set to your own personal preference as well.

An interesting mode you’ll find along side the usual priority modes on the XZ-2 is the ART mode which provides 11 different art filters to best suit your subject and location.

When it comes to compact point and shoots, we tend to go crazy with the accessories that we accumulate throughout the years. Thankfully, the expensive external flashes and conversion lenses that were designed for the XZ-1 will be compatible with the newest version. There are also some new accessories that Olympus has added that are specific to the XZ-2 such as removable leather grips and an underwater case.

There has yet to be any concrete news on a release date or pricing, but expect for more information and in depth details once Photokina kicks off.

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