Olympus XZ-2 Compact Digital Camera

Next to the 2011’s Olympus XZ-1, the company has released another of its kind; the XZ-2 that shared some features from its antecedent but has robust upgrades anyone would love. Priced relatively fair at $599, the XZ-2 of Olympus features a full-touch 3” tilting LCD display, support for wireless media sharing via its app, a TruePic VI Image Processor, and the best feature is its having the ‘world’s first hybrid control ring.’

The Olympus XZ-2, when looked from afar, seemed very simple with the least of dials expected for a DSLR. Though this is rather a point-and-shoot digital compact camera than a DSLR technically, the XZ-2 possesses a body photographers of any level would love. While the material is almost perfectly made out of a premium black plastic material, the overall aesthetics and build looked and felt premium at an instant even up to controls.

As aforementioned, the Olympus XZ-2 has a touch-sensitive display. The display has the best supporting hinge so far as I’ve seen, however, tilting the display for a good angle can only be done on standing mode (or vertically, so to say). Nevertheless, the 920-k dot display is surely of great help in assisting even new photographers to quickly focus on a subject in just one tap, an action which can be optionally set to trigger the flash; if you do not want to enjoy such benefits, such sensitivity can be turned off. Lastly, the display seemed like it’s compensating the camera’s need for an external EVF.

Other than having a not-perfectly-accurate touch display, the XZ-2 of Olympus is good in having a pop-up flash that is in no way aesthetically prepared. On top of the camera, there’s also a hotshoe, though this compartment, which is promised by the company to be among the most versatile is actually not since only a few units can fit. Along with the same top surface, we have the power button, the shutter release button, the zoom lever that swivels side by side, and the well-funded model dial.

Considerably for its price, the Olympus XZ-2 also markets the device’s very first zoom lens with relatively larger aperture at f/1.8, and is equivalent to a 28-112mm zoom lens. Adding to this feature, the said hybrid ring also adds up to the camera’s unique blend of features. What the ring does is that users can switch ‘modes’ through an Fn lever to choose between digital or analogue mode. The digital mode allows the ring to work as a tweaker to exposure-related settings and other ‘digital’ stuff like aperture and shutter speed, while the analogue mode makes the ring work as a zoom or focus tool. The lever can be found on the lower right of the camera when it is front-faced to you.

Aside from having a direct video button, the XZ-2 of Olympus also features full HD 1080p video shooting with low-light performance at par. Video coverage is but fun; thanks to the touch-focus feature, a dual image stabilization technology, and of course, its very own BSI CMOS sensor at 12.3 million pixels. For users to enjoy more these specs, the company offers a but-average RAW image processing aside from JPEG, wireless TTL flash control, an expanded zoom at 4x for optical (up to 8x for digital), and lastly, the inclusion of 11 Art Filters, 30 iAuto scenes, and 5 Art Effects of which I only found in this camera.

Lastly, the Olympus XZ-2 is about to be the first cameras to give real attention to FlashAir capable-devices especially made by Toshiba. The cards allow the camera to enjoy a wireless feature but it only locks to communicating with a specially designated app. The device then to where the app is available will be the one to upload the captured photos on cloud or on social media sites. If users prefer a wired way of transferring files, thankfully, the premium package comes with a USB cable, a video cable, and the proprietary software disc.

For me, the Olympus XZ-2 is but one of the best entries I’ve witnessed this year for its class, though it still needs some push to features to make this camera truly modern as a fashionable item, and truly equipped for professional photographers. Image qualities did well especially with low lights, and the acceptable responsiveness in the tilting display is but truly an amazing experience when capturing both photos and videos.

Olympus XZ-2 Digital Camera Price in Singapore Dollar (SGD): Approximately S$ 750.00

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