First Impressions: Olympus XZ-2

Olympus XZ-2

For the first time since the less-than-optimal Canon G10 have I had the chance to play around with a compact camera. Coming from the SLR world, I was curious to see if I could find a nice one to have with me at all times. So lets take a look at the Olympus XZ-2.


Product Specifications

-12 Megapixels

-RAW Capture

-4x Optical Zoom

-Available Manual Focus

-Tilting LCD Screen

-Customizable grip


Build quality is excellent. The camera has a solid feel to it and some brushed metal accents that lend a nice touch. It can feel a little chunky at times and certainly won’t fit in your jeans pocket (unless you wear really loose jeans). The screen can rotate flat for covert street photography or 45 degrees down for those quintessential top-down party shots. You’ll be able to perfectly frame your drunken friends making fools of themselves!

Olympus XZ-2 Flip Screen #1

Olympus XZ-2 Flip Screen #2


The XZ-2 has a decent touch-to-focus system that is however restricted to about 2/3rds of the frame, meaning if you touch the edges you get nothing. Otherwise though the AF is pretty darn quick and fairly reliable. For fans of manual focus there’s a nice feature in that it zooms into the images the minute you touch the focusing ring and automatically zooms out when you’re done to let you recompose. Its a really nice touch that I found myself really falling in love with.

Image Quality

Pretty good. This is a higher end compact and that’s apparent in the resolution and clarity of the images. I can’t wait until Lightroom comes out with support for the camera so I can test the RAW capabilities.

Olympus XZ-2 Example Shot #1

Olympus XZ-2 Example Shot #2

Olympus XZ-2 Example Shot #3

So Far

It’s tough adjusting to a compact after years of shooting with a high-end DSLR. You can’t have the same expectations of a camera that’s meant to be carried in a jacket pocket or lightly dangling from your neck. But I am looking forward to testing this camera because I like its covert appearance, slick black, brushed-metal look and ability to shoot RAW. In the end, having all that extra data to play with will give you a lot of options when it comes to processing your files and I have high hopes for it.

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