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on 7 July 2013
I've had the Olympus XZ-2 for about a month now and am thrilled with the results. The camera itself, while not exactly pocket-sized, is comfortable and light enough to hold onto (with a wrist strap). But the results from this little marvel are a revelation to me (having come from a Canon SLR bkg). There are a full raft of manual options, the dial ring around the lens coupled with the thumbwheel at the rear is an intuitive, ergonomic and fast method of adjusting aperture and ss. Manual focus option with magnification assist (and the ability to switch effortlessly) is awesome, and this coupled with the flip screen makes the little XZ-2 a street-shooter's dream. The ultra close macro function gets you right into those little insect and flower faces! and the superfast f/1.8 renders (to my eye) nice, smooth bokeh. I find the menu system simple, easy and affording whatever level of granularity you need to suit your own shooting demands. Low-light shooting has turned up some nicely lit results for me and, shooting everything in RAW is simple with Olympus' bundled viewer/editor software which isn't a million miles away from Lightroom. I run my shots through Adobe DNG convertor and process in Photoshop but the results with Olympus Viewer software are more than adequate. Overall, I love my XZ-2. It's become my go-to camera, fits in my jacket pocket, is with me everywhere and has given me a lot of fun getting places and trying stuff that I'd previously felt encumbered while running with the SLR. I've had zero issues and would highly recommend. Thanks for reading.
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VINE VOICEon 30 June 2013
Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Overall Impression

The leap in quality from my old Canon Ixus to this Olympus XZ-2 is hard to describe. Suffice it to say that for the first two weeks of owning this camera I wondered whether it was actually possible to take a bad photo with this. From taking photos in the full sun on the beach in the south of Spain to shooting photos of my son's school play in a darkened hall - shots that would never have come out with anything I have used before just aren't a problem for this amazing piece of equipment. Photos are sharp - perfectly focussed and the colours are beautiful. As an every-day use camera I can't fault it.

The Niggles

It only gets four stars because of a couple of niggles.

(1) Useless instruction manual shipped
Much to my surprise and relief the box contained 180 page instruction manual. At last a technical device with decent instructions I thought. Unfortunately, a mere 6 pages were in English after which the same useless instructions were repeated in a further 28 languages. I wouldn't mind so much if those 6 pages told you even a quarter of what you need to know about the camera - but they don't even come close. So the first thing you have to do if you're anything like me is go to the Olympus website and print of the proper instruction manual (102 pages). Why oh why can't they put that one in the box?
Unfortunately as it took me a few weeks to get round to printing the manual off, I managed to loose an entire evening's photos as I hadn't realised that the lever on the front of the camera switched the auto focus off leaving me with a disastrous set of shots.
(2) Sometimes gets stuck when charging
A couple of times now it seems to have got stuck while charging (can't switch it back on) and I have had to take the battery out and put it back in to get it going again - not a major headache but a bit irritating.

Added benefits

I love the fact that the charger is built in so you can charge the battery directly by plugging the power in.
It also has an impressive range of modes and features that I will be working my way through now that I have the manual. However, I expect that for the most part I will be continuing to use it as an extremely high quality general use camera.
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on 2 January 2013
My wife has had an XZ-1 for a while now and the results she gets from it are amazing; sharpness and colour being top notch. And it is easy to use once you get used to the olympus menu layouts.
I have always been an olympus fan since the year dot and have been using an E-5 and an E-1 for sometime now. Great cameras and great series of Zuiko lenses.
I must admit I have always fancied a well made point and shoot camera which you can keep in your pocket for use at a moments notice, so I went for an XZ-2 at Christmas.
Well not being biased or anything(well maybe a little bit), I opted for an XZ-2 based on the positive experiences of the XZ-1. I have not been disappointed, indeed I have been absolutely delighted with my purchase.
Love the weight and balance of this little camera, its grip, the tilting LCD screen and the upgraded sensor. Its i-zuiko lens is nice and fast and gives a great sharp focus and the rich colours are really pleasing. Only being playing with this little beauty for a few days but already thinking olympus have a winner on their hands. Its performance in low light is excellent and the multi point AF system works well. Haven't really played with the video yet but not really interested in video anyway. Must admit it is a bit on the expensive side but based on my early brief experience, its worth every penny or maybe that should be 'pound'. Brilliant new compact camera, well done Olympus, a worthy point and shoot compact to sit alongside the equally excellent Pen range. Maybe that could be a problem for this super little camera as its price takes it into the Pen range pricing, especially the last generation Pens.
I'm really pleased I bought this camera!!!!
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Initially the XZ-2 felt awkward, I'm left-handed and this is designed for right-handed use, but after a little use it felt natural with all controls to hand and the front grip really helping for a good hold.

The battery is charged in the camera using a USB8 cable and mains adapter. The USB socket, together with the HDMI socket, is under a plastic flap, which felt a little flimsy. The flash hot-shoe and accessory connector are under a plastic cover. There is a pop-up flash which is surprisingly powerful for its size.

No case is supplied but you do get a lens cap and a shoulder strap.

The camera has a multitude of picture taking modes, e.g., full auto, programmed, aperture priority, shutter priority, scenes, art etc. plus the ability to set custom versions on the dial. For the various settings the ring around the lens can be click-stopped, e.g. setting aperture, or free running, e.g. focus. There is also a wheel around the control dial at the rear for more settings. In panorama mode the camera doesn't hold a portion of the previous frame for alignment which is a bit unusual. The camera supports RAW images and you can also elect to have jpeg and RAW together.

Picture quality, as you would expect, is very good.

There are 3 modes on the touchscreen, off, select focus point and select focus point and take picture. I've tried to show them in the video. In addition various options can be swiped in from the right-hand side in auto and a Live Control panel appears in Program, Shutter priority, Aperture priority and Manual, which allows control over, for example, flash operation. The touchscreen is nice and bright and I had no problems in sunlight. Autofocus in low light didn't seem to be an issue; the autofocus light is very bright.

In playback the pictures can be scrolled across and full picture information is available.

There is a dedicated video button and there are left and right microphones on the top plate. In playback the volume of the speaker can be adjusted but it isn't great and there is no audio socket for headphones. An audio note, up to 4 seconds, can also be added to each picture.

In the video I've tried to give an impression of the camera, it is a very good camera and can be used in auto mode to produce excellent pictures or can be switched to manual for more control.
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on 10 October 2014
Many detailed reviews about the functions etc. included so far. Not repeated here save to say that it is a very good camera. So expensive on Amazon, I bought a new one on eBay for half the price.
A few items that I did not see in the many reviews.

1) The manual included in the box is a total waste of time unless you want to say XZ-2 in 28 languages. There is a full manual on the Olympus web site: you pick your language and download a pdf file. I changed its name to 'XZ-2 Manual' from the gobbldigook numbers and letters name it comes with. The XZ-2 comes with an amazing number of features, without the manual you will not get anything much out of this camera. Don't bother printing the manual (108 pages), most of us only need some of it.

2) When you switch it on, the Olympus lens cover pops off automatically. Great but if you don't catch it (and miss that photo) then you will loose it / forget to pick it up. There is an alternative lens cover, the Olympus LC-63A sold separately. This does work. I use a squeeze blower to ensure that there is no dust in the mechanism. No room for a lens protecting filter as with dSLRs.

3) The LCD screen is very good. Unfortunatly when the sun shines on it all you see at best is your own refection. The solution is a viewer that fits onto the hot shoe. As usual this is an extra. I have a VF-3 (smaller, older, less costly and XZ-2 compatible). What it shows is the LCD screen complete but not the touch screen features. There is also a VF-4 which is Olympus' latest viewer. Gives a bigger image, is much larger than the VF-3 and considerably more expensive. Remember that in some parts of the world harmless tourists have 'point and shoot' cameras. When you stick the viewer on some may think of you as a 'professional' taking iffy photos.

4) I shoot RAW / Manual all the time. Note that RAW photos are much larger than the jpeg ones: about 19-20 Mb each. Not an issue but you will need a much larger and faster memory card: mine is a 32GB Sandisk Extreme 4; yet another sold separately item. RAW images include very fine detail not available on 'cooked' jpg ones: the combination of a good lens and a good sensor is very good on this camera. No experience of Olympus software, I use Lightroom 4 (which I already had).

5) For those very sunny shots, there is a Neutral Density Filter option in the menu (NB on/off it is called). Two further options: 1. it prevents the sky from being a blown out highlight and 2. by slowing down the speed you can do other things with the apperture / depth of field.

6) This camera is ISO sensitive. I use mostly 100 ISO, 200 ISO when needed. More than this and there is noise in the photos and loss of detail. I never use the auto ISO, no control and strange results. This is not a high end dSLR that can take high ISO pictures in its stride.

7) There is digital zoom beyond the lens zoom. It works by expanding the central part of the sensor. Two items here: 1. It causes loss of detail in the photos and 2. To use this amount of zoom hand held, make sure the speed is fast (see above for ISO).

8) The lens is good. However, used wide open (f2.8 etc.) it causes the photos to be a bit soft (most people will not even notice this). Close the apperture by a couple of points for very sharp results. On a wide zoom setting there is quite a lot of barrel distortion. This can be corrected in a good software editor.

9) I always have a spare battery with me. The spare Olympus batteries are very expensive. The third party Ex-pro one is very good. Works just like the Olympus one that came in the box and lasts as long. Yet another item sold separately.

10) If you want a bag to carry this camera about, it will have to be large. I settled for a Lowepro Format 140. This has room for the camera with the neck strap, the VF-3 viewer, spare battery, tripod detachable head (the bit that fits onto the camera) plus a few pockets not yet used. Not that large, a good dSLR needs an even bigger one.

Conclusion: Very good camera but expensive and all the extras are additional costs. More expensive than a dSLR? Maybe a cheap one and you will still need the extras. At least the XZ-2 is smaller and easier to carry about.
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on 29 May 2016
All great... except the noise it makes when you are recording video. Very capable for it size and I'm still able to use my FL-36R flashgun mounted on it or wirelessly from this camera. I used it in rough terrain, rainy weather, snow blizzards and, to my surprise, it's still working. I wouldn't have attempted all that with my SLR.
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on 15 January 2014
The Olympus XZ-2 is an excellent camera with sharp lens (f 1.8) and excellent colour, the build quality is great, haven't had any focus issues with firmware 1.3, lovely camera you can use as an point and shoot or manual with control over all the settings, very nice tilt-able screen to avoid reflection.
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2013
Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm going to keep this simple because frankly it doesn't need to be complicated... it produces a stunning image at all resolutions and unlike most cameras in this style can also support RAW for really good high definition shots, the touch LCD makes selective focusing very very easy and the fact you can tilt the screen means you can work at all kinds of angles and still get a perfect photo every single time.

it's even got a manual focusing ring for near SLR grade control, if you're looking at a bridge camera, SLR, or a micro 4/3 (like the Nikon One) then please please please give this gem of a camera a look, its well featured and will deliver on the promises that the features say it will do. I can say that for my upcoming holiday the big SLR might be staying at home this time.
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on 11 February 2014
This replaced an earlier model, which my husband dropped, he will often use a 'proper ' camera, but this ,in his opinion is THE best little digital camera. He takes it everywhere, as well as the larger camera and the pics are top quality. Amazing features. Would definitely recommend .
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on 1 January 2015
A big step up from my panasonic lumix fs35 point and shoot. Although this is a point and shoot, it is of the advanced kind with full manual controls and a list of optional controls as long as your arm! As noted in other reviews the autofocus sometimes doesn't lock on in low light (happens in wildly contrasting light sometimes) but other times its worked a treat so can't complain overly much and let's face it its not a dedicated DSLR what it is, is a cracking compact camera with a fast lens that takes cracking pictures (especially macro!) a tilt and touchfocus sceen, the ability to change settings on the fly with the control ring on the front lens. It was expensive when it came out 2 years ago but now is a steal at such a low price!
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