Who says you can’t reinvent the wheel? Olympus launches XZ-2 premium compact


posted Monday, September 17, 2012 at 5:01 AM EDT


Special care was taken to differentiate the Olympus Stylus XZ-2--yes, the Stylus brandname has been resurrected--from a close competitor, the Panasonic LX5/LX7. The surprising result is that the camera body grew a bit, both in size and price. As I've noticed from their other recent cameras, Olympus is still watching the competition and innovating as well, with a new approach to the front ring control that could make the Olympus XZ-2 more versatile than other premium pocket cameras. Shipping in October for a cool $600, the Olympus XZ-1 is indeed quite a premium camera.

Starting with a 12-megapixel sensor upgrade, the Olympus XZ-1's new imager is a 1/1.7-inch backlit CMOS design. Next, the Olympus XZ-2 has what camera fans long for: a big, bright, light-loving lens. The 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 iZUIKO Digital lens is essentially the same as that in XZ-1, which according to our tests was pretty impressive in the XZ-1, besting the competition at the time. It's what surrounds the lens, though, that'll get your attention.

So what surrounds that lens? Come read our hands-on preview of the Olympus XZ-2, and get the full story!

Your eyes don't deceive you: there's a control ring around the Olympus XZ-2's lens barrel. There's more to it than that, though. Read our preview to find out what!