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Olympus XZ-2

12-megapixel digital camera with 4X optical zoom

Item # 279XZ2

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Olympus XZ-2

Combining superior image quality and innovative manual controls, the Olympus XZ-2 is a sensible compromise between a compact point-and-shoot and a more sophisticated SLR. The XZ-2 features a fast f/1.8 – 2.5 lens capable of gathering plenty of light even with lightning-fast shutter speeds, perfect for capturing the fast-paced action of a football game or taking portraits of subjects offset against softly blurred backgrounds.

The sweet spot between your first digital camera and your first DSLR

Combining superior image quality and innovative manual controls, the Olympus XZ-2 is a sensible compromise between a compact point-and-shoot and a more sophisticated SLR. The XZ-2 features a fast f/1.8 – 2.5 lens capable of gathering plenty of light even with lightning-fast shutter speeds, perfect for capturing the fast-paced action of a football game or taking portraits of subjects offset against softly blurred backgrounds.

Getting it right in low light

If you're used to indoor shots coming out dull and grainy, the XZ-2 has just the solution. Its fast, bright lens teams up with a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and an SLR-grade image processor for excellent low-light performance. Indoor and evening photos will be high on detail and low on noise, even if you're unfamiliar with the ins and outs of exposure settings. Olympus's Intelligent Auto evaluates your subject and setting to optimize the camera for vibrant photos with just a press of the shutter button.

An assignable manual control ring

If you're interested in getting creative with your camera, the XZ-2 has full manual controls that are intuitive and customizable. The ground-breaking hybrid control ring around the lens lets you assign focus, exposure and composition selection functions as well as digital or analog control. Set it for analog focus control and the ring smoothly twists as you sharpen the edges of your subject before snapping away. Or switch it to digital exposure control and use the dial to click through shutter speeds manually — perfect for capturing your son mid-swing on the baseball diamond or creating an artistic image of blurred headlights on a darkened street.

Tiltable touchscreen display

When you're experimenting with different controls and settings, you'll want to review each shot. The XZ-2's high-resolution touchscreen monitor provides vivid detail when displaying your photos and 1080p video. Plus, the touchscreen makes adjusting settings a breeze while also letting you focus and snap photos with the tap of a finger. It even tilts up and down, perfect for lining up shots while holding the camera above or below eye-level. Throw in this camera's fast response time, lots of pre- and post-shot editing options, a built-in flash and accessory shoe, and Olympus has designed a strong midpoint between budget compact cameras and high-end SLRs.

Olympus XZ-2 digital camera

The XZ-2's touchscreen HD display pulls out and tilts up and down, perfect for lining up shots at odd angles.


    • 12-megapixel effective recording with backside-illuminated CMOS sensor
    • 4X optical zoom (2X digital zoom)
    • 3" tilting, high-resolution touchscreen LCD (920,000 dots)
    • 35mm equivalent focal length: 28-112mm
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    • compatible with Eye-Fi and Flash Air memory cards for sharing photos wirelessly
    Special Features:
    • f/1.8-2.5 iZuiko lens offers superior light-gathering ability
    • sensor-shift image stabilization for blur-free photos
    • TruePic™ VI Image Processor produces photos with clear detail, natural colors, and low noise
    • variable ISO (film speed equivalent) settings including a high sensitivity mode (ISO 12,800) for low-light and flash-free shooting
    • full-HD movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
    • full manual mode for more creative control of camera settings
    • hybrid control ring allows assignable digital and analog manual adjustments
    • Backlight HDR mode creates even lighting throughout a photo by snapping and combining multiple shots with different exposure levels
    • continuous shooting mode captures up to 5 frames per second
    • AF illuminator makes focusing easier in low-light settings
    • ePortrait mode lets you soften shadows or smooth complexions before or after shooting
    • 11 art filters and 5 art effects for stills and video include Grainy Film, Pop Art, and Frame Effect
    • accessory shoe for use with optional accessories such as flashes and external viewfinder
    • built-in flash
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • HDMI (micro), USB and A/V outputs
    • 4-15/16"W x 2-13/16"H x 1-15/16"D
    • weight (with battery and SD card): 12.20 oz.
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • rechargeable lithium-ion battery and charging station
    • USB cable
    • shoulder strap
    • lens cap
    • software CD-ROM

    What's in the Box:

    • Black digital camera
    • LI-90B Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.6 Volts/1270 mAh)
    • F-2AC-1B AC adapter (DC output: 5.0 Volts/500 mA)
    • Lens cap
    • Lens cap string
    • Neck strap
    • 27" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and proprietary connector on other end)
    • Olympus Setup CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide (En/Fr/Sp)
    • Warranty card

    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size 3"
    Adjustable-angle LCD Yes
    Wi-Fi No
    Touchscreen Yes
    Waterproof No
    GPS-enabled No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent 28-112mm
    Optical Zoom 4x
    Digital Zoom 2x
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Manual Focusing Yes
    Manual Exposure Yes
    Built-in Flash Yes
    HDMI Output Micro
    Internal Memory 39MB
    Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Sensor Size 1/1.7" CMOS
    Megapixels 12
    Image Stabilization Sensor Shift
    Highest Resolution 3968 x 2976
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
    Width (inches) 4-15/16
    Height (inches) 2-13/16
    Depth (inches) 1-15/16
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 12.2
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

    Recording Images

    Displaying and Editing Images

    Supplied Software


    Overview: The Olympus Stylus XZ-2 is an advanced point-and-shoot camera with high quality features. It has a bright, fast iZuiko lens, a high sensitivity CMOS image sensor, and a 3" adjustable touch screen monitor. It can record beautiful still images and Full HD video.

    Optics: The XZ-2 is equipped with a bright and fast F1.8-2.5 4x zoom lens. The lens has a focal length of 6.0-24mm (equivalent to 28-112mm in 35mm photography). The 28mm equivalent wide angle lens allows you to capture expansive landscapes and group pictures, while the 4x zoom lets you get closer to the action. The 2x Digital Tele-converter doubles the zoom power without degrading the image.

    Adjustable LCD Touch Monitor: The camera is equipped with a 3.0" LCD touch screen monitor with approximately 920,000 dots. You can adjust the angle of the display upward to 80° and downward to 50° to get a better view for high- and low-angle shooting. The XZ-2 lets you adjust the brightness and color temperature of the monitor between -7 and +7. Using the touch screen, you can change the shooting mode and playback mode, adjust settings on the super control panel, use the live guides, and tap the subject to focus and take a picture.

    Accessory Port: The XZ-2 has a proprietary accessory port on the back for optional electronic viewfinders (VF-2 or VF-3), flashes, lights, or the SEMA-1 microphone adapter set.

    Control Ring: The camera has a hybrid control ring around the lens with both analog and digital operations for assigning function settings. With the Fn 2 lever in one position, the control ring has a precise digital control with solid clicks as you turn the ring to change exposure-related settings. Move the lever to another position, and the ring switches to a smooth analog control so it can be used as a focus or zoom ring.

    iHS: iHS technology is a combination of the high-sensitivity, high-speed 1/1.7" 12MP backlit CMOS sensor and the exceptionally fast TruePic VI image processor. The result is fast auto focusing, an enhanced iAuto shooting mode that recognizes multiple scenes and subjects, and 2x Super Resolution Zoom that lets you zoom in farther than the optical zoom without degrading the image.

    Recording Media: The XZ-2 records still images or movies onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory Cards. For test images, or when the memory card becomes full, you can shoot a small number of images onto the camera's 39 MB internal memory. Still images are recorded in JPEG format. Movies are recorded in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 with sound.

    Eye-Fi and FlashAir: When you use an Eye-Fi or FlashAir memory card in the XZ-2, you can transfer photos wirelessly to smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi.

    Dual Image Stabilization: The camera combines Sensor-shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds, so you can capture sharp, blur-free images, even if your subject is moving.

    Multi-Motion Movie IS: You can activate a special IS Movie Mode to reduce the blur caused by camera shake while shooting movies.

    Focusing Range: The focus range for the normal and macro shooting modes is 2" to infinity for wide angle and 8" to infinity in telephoto. Super Macro mode allows you to take shots as close as 0.4"

    AF Illuminator: The camera has a built-in LED illuminator that assists in Auto Focusing, or illuminates a subject in shadows. It can be set to automatically illuminate when the shutter button is pressed halfway.

    Flash: The camera's built-in flash operates in the following modes:

    • Flash Auto: The flash fires automatically in low light or backlight conditions.
    • Red-eye Reduction Flash: This emits pre-flashes for red-eye reduction.
    • Fill-in Flash: The flash fires regardless of the available light.
    • Slow Synchronization: Slow shutter speeds are used to brighten dimly-lit backgrounds
    • Slow Sync/Red-Reduction: Combines slow synchronization with red-eye reduction.
    • Flash Off: The flash does not fire.

    Optional Wireless Flash: You can use an optional external flash unit to achieve a flash suited to your needs. Compatible external flash units can be mounted to the camera via the hot shoe. These compatible flash units have a remote control mode that can be used for wireless flash. Compatible flash units include the FL-14, FL-36R, FL-50R, FL-300R, and FL-600R.

    Self-Timer: You can take pictures of yourself using the 12-second built-in self timer. The 2-second self-timer also aids in preventing camera shake.

    Power Requirements: The XZ-2 is powered by the LI-90B Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.6 volts, 1270 mAh). The battery charges in the camera in approximately 5 hours when it is connected to the supplied F-2AC-1B AC adapter via USB. You can also charge it via USB from your computer in about 10 hours. A fully charged battery lasts for approximately 310 shots, with 50% flash usage.

    Note: The LI-90B battery can be inserted in either direction. You must make sure the contacts line up properly before inserting the battery.

    Recording Images

    Recording Images and Movies: The Stylus XZ-2 can record still images and Full HD movies in the following resolutions:

    • Still Pictures: JPEG and RAW (Large only)
      • Image Size:
        • Large: 3968 x 2976
        • Middle: 3200 x 2400, 2560 x 1920, 1920 x 1440, or 1600 x 1200
        • Small: 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, or 640 x 480
      • Compression: SuperFine (1/2.7), Fine (1/4), Normal (1/8), Basic (1/12)
      • Aspect Ratio: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, or 1:1
    • Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
      • Normal: Full HD: 1920 x 1080, HD: 1280 x 720
      • Maximum Recording Length: 29 min or 4 GB file size

    Shooting Modes: The top-mounted mode dial lets you choose between several shooting modes:

    • iAuto: The camera automatically selects the optimal shooting mode for the scene.
    • Program: The camera automatically sets shutter speed and aperture, but allows you to make changes to a wide range of other settings, such as exposure compensation, white balance, etc.
    • Aperture Priority: You control the aperture to sharpen or soften background details.
    • Shutter Priority: You control the shutter speed to express the motion of moving subjects or freeze motion without blur.
    • Manual: You control both aperture and shutter speed. You can shoot with long exposures for fireworks or other dark scenes.
    • C1/C2: You can save shooting settings in either of two Custom modes in advance, then quickly recall those settings when shooting.
    • Scene: Lets you select from the following pre-programmed settings: Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night Scene, Night+Portrait, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Multi Exposure, Beach & Snow, Underwater Wide, Underwater Macro, and Backlight HDR.
    • Art: You can choose from the following Art Filters: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone, or Key Line.

    Sequential Shooting: The camera can take one frame at a time, or a sequence of pictures at a time by holding down the shutter button. During sequential shooting, the focus, exposure, and white balance are fixed when the first frame is shot. Normal Sequential Shooting records up to 200 photos at about 5 frames per second. During High Speed Sequential Shooting, photos are taken at about 15 fps.

    Bracketing: While shooting in P, A, S, or M mode, you can take a series of shots with varying settings. There are 5 types of Bracketing:

    • AE Bracketing: Two or three shots are taken with varying exposures in 0.3EV, 0.7EV, or 1.0EV intervals. The camera brackets the currently selected exposure.
    • WB Bracketing: Three images with different white balances are automatically created from one shot, starting with the value currently selected for white balance. White balance can be varied by 2, 4, or 6 steps of Amber-to-Blue and Green-to-Magenta.
    • FL Bracketing: The camera varies flash level over three shots in 0.3EV, 0.7EV, or 1.0EV intervals.
    • ISO Bracketing: The camera varies sensitivity by 0.3EV, 0.7EV, or 1.0EV intervals over three shots, bracketing the currently selected ISO setting.
    • Art Bracketing: Each time the shutter is released, the camera records multiple images, each with a different art filter setting.

    Sensitivity: The higher the ISO value, the greater the camera's light sensitivity and better its ability to shoot in low light. The XZ-2 can automatically set the camera's sensitivity according to the conditions around the subject. To minimize blur caused by a moving subject or camera movement, the camera can automatically use a higher sensitivity (compared to Auto). Manual settings include ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 and 12800 equivalents.

    Exposure Compensation: In some situations, you may get better results by adjusting the exposure slightly using exposure compensation. You can adjust from -3.0 to + 3.0 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

    Still Image Audio Recording: When activated, you can record up to four seconds of audio and attach it to a recorded picture.

    Displaying and Editing Images

    Image Playback: Once still images or movies have been captured, the camera gives you several options for playing them back:

    • Manual Playback: view images manually one-by-one
    • Slide Show: play still images back as a slide show. You can select to include all, or images from a single event, or in a specific collection created with PC software. You can choose from five types of background music, intervals of 2-10 seconds, and three types of transitions.
    • Index Display: For viewing multiple images at once, you can create an index display of 4,  9 or 25 frames.
    • Playback Zoom: During playback, you can use the control ring to zoom in for close-up playback.

    Outputs: The XZ-2 is equipped with an HDMI Micro Connector (Type D) for connecting the camera to an HDMI-equipped HDTV. The output can be set to 1080i, 720p, or 480p (576p if PAL is selected). If the connected HDTV is compatible with HDMI Control, you can set the camera to be controlled by the TV's remote control. The camera also has a proprietary multi-connector used as a USB port (with the supplied USB cable) or an audio/video output (with an optional CB-AVC3 AV cable).

    Editing Pictures: If a picture you have taken turns out less-than-perfect, you can edit it using one of the following:

    • Image Size: You can save a high-resolution image as a separate image with a smaller size to use in e-mail attachments or other applications. You can choose 1260 x 960, 640 x 480 or 320 x 240. Only 4:3 images can be resized.
    • Aspect Ratio: You can change the aspect ratio of 4:3 images to 3:2, 16:9, or 1:1.
    • Cropping: You can zoom in using the cropping frame, and create a new image.
    • Shadow Adjust: You can brighten areas that are dark due to backlighting of other reasons
    • Redeye Fix: Red-eyes caused by flash shooting can be retouched.
    • Rotate: You can rotate the image to the proper orientation.
    • e-Portrait: Makes skin look smooth and translucent.

    Erasing/Protecting Images: Unwanted images can be erased one at a time or all at once. You can protect important images to avoid accidentally erasing them. Once an image is protected, it cannot be erased during a single-frame erase or all-frame erase function. Protected images are erased when the memory is reformatted.

    PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compliant printer. PictBridge is a standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

    Print Reservation: Applying Print Reservation (Print Order) to your pictures allows you to take the memory card to a DPOF-compatible photo lab for printing, or print them on a DPOF-compatible printer at home, without using a computer. DPOF is the Digital Print Order Format and allows you to add information to your picture files such as which pictures to print, the number of prints desired, add the date and time to each image, etc.

    Supplied Software

    Supplied Software: The XZ-2 iHS comes with Olympus Viewer 2 software on CD-ROM. The disc also includes a full Camera Instruction Manual. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows XP (SP2 or later)
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Mac OS X v10.4.11-v10.7

    Mass Storage Device: When the camera is used as a Mass Storage device, you can connect it to computers running the following operating systems:

    • Windows XP Home Edition/Professional
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Mac OS X v10.3 or later

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Staff Reviews

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

    A sweet little camera

    Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 2/1/2013 2:39:00 PM

    Two things impressed me the moment I took the XZ-2 out of the box. The first was the substantial feel of the camera. It weighs three-quarters of a pound, and I could tell that weight came from the quality matierials used in the construction.

    The second thing that impressed me was the size of the display. The 3-inch screen made it easy to see what I was shooting. And the detail was nice and crisp on it, too. The display is also hinged so you can tilt it out from the camera. That's a welcome feature if you're shooting outdoors or under bright lights that wash out the display. I've shot blind plenty of times because of glare, and always regretted it.

    The camera also has a good selection of artistic effects. Not only could I make my photo sepia tone, or solarized, but I could also add a diorama effect and make real scenes look like scale models. This was a fun camera to try out, both in the Labs and outside. A great choice for someone ready to move a little beyond the limitations of a traditional point-and-shoot.

    What are the Labs?