Center Valley, PA—Olympus says its new high-performance point-and-shoot 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 f/1.8-2.5 large-diameter lens found on the Olympus XZ-1, this model builds on its low-light performance with new features: a hybrid control ring to customize controls; a touch-sensitive 3.0-inch tilt screen; the same TruePic VI image processor used in the OM-D E-M5 system camera; Full HD movie recording with stereo sound and image stabilization; and FlashAir compatibility to share images on social networks.
The digital lens is engineered for performance, whether set at its maximum f/1.8 aperture for wide-angle shots or at f/2.5 for 112mm-equivalent telephoto images—with background defocusing and the flexibility to use short, blur-free exposure times in low light. The company says the camera’s iHS technology and the large-aperture lens work together to help deliver high-sensitivity, low-noise and fast autofocus performance. To complement the speed of the lens, the camera’s low-light mode automatically adjusts ISO sensitivity up to 12,800 to take full-res photos in dim conditions, and a built-in pop-up flash and AF illuminator brighten low-lit subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas.
The XZ-2 boasts a 12.0 megapixel, 1/1.7-inch high-sensitivity back-lit CMOS sensor and a hybrid control ring, built around the lens, that lets users assign function settings to their preferences as well as switch between analog and digital operation of the ring. Digital operation provides a solid click on controls; analog operation offers a 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 switches to digital control to change exposure settings. This feature enables fine-tuning of the focus in macro, composition selection when shooting, and exposure adjustment—all without looking away from subjects.
Other features include: a live guide; touch AF shutter to select the subject users want to focus on and activate the shutter by touching the LCD screen; a removable grip that offers the option for a style grip; dual IS; HDR backlit correction; Super Resolution technology that expands zoom power to 8x with minimal image degradation; iAuto mode that automatically identifies 30 scenes; 11 art filters; five art effects; and an accessory port to accommodate a growing range of Micro Four Thirds accessories.
To make sharing images easier, utilizing the camera’s smartphone connection function, users can 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 app, they can upload images to a smartphone via a thumbnail index, add art filters to images on the smartphone and share images on social networks.
Available accessories include three alternative grips in a variety of colors (red, beige, purple), a body jacket, an underwater housing and a matching black LC-63A lens cap that opens and closes automatically whenever the camera is activated.
The Olympus Stylus XZ-2 will ship in November with a USB cable, video cable, Li-Ion battery pack/charger, strap, ib software CD-ROM, manuals and registration card. $599.99. olympusamerica.com