Olympus just announced a smaller, more affordable high-end XZ-Series compact digital camera. The new Olympus Stylus XZ-10 has a fast f/1.8-2.7 5x zoom lens (26-130mm equivalent), 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, manual shooting modes, RAW shooting, a customizable control ring, touchscreen LCD display and full HD video. The main difference between the XZ-10 and the more expensive XZ-2 is a larger 1/1.7-inch sensor for even better image quality. However, with an f/1.8 lens, a lot of the same features and for $200 less, the XZ-10 is a great choice for photographers who want a super-capable compact camera. Plus – the smaller XZ-10 is perfect for carrying in your pants pocket so you’ll always be ready for surprise photo opps. It also happens to be a damn fine-looking camera. I really like the white version.
Olympus Stylus XZ-10 Key Features And Specs:
- 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch backlit CMOS sensor with iHS technology
- 5x 26-130mm f/1.8-2.7 (equivalent)
- Sensor-shift image stabilization
- Customizable “Hybrid Control Ring” around lens and Fn button
- TruePic VI image processing
- P,A,S,M manual shooting modes for stills and video
- RAW mode
- 1920 x 1080 full HD video with built-in stereo mic
- 120 FPS 720p HD video
- Multi-Motion Movie IS image stabilization
- Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 6400
- 920k-dot 3-inch touchscreen LCD display
- 5 FPS full resolution high-speed burst
- Pop-up flash
The XZ-10’s 5x f/1.8 lens is a big deal – especially in a $400 camera. For those of you show don’t know, the larger f/1.8-2.7 aperture lets more light reach the sensor for better low light shooting. It also creates shallower depth-of-field, which can be used for creative effect with portraits and any other situation where you want your subject to stand out from the background.
I’m really impressed by how much Olympus has packed into the XZ-10. I’ve already mentioned the obvious stuff – the f/1.8 5x zoom lens, P,A,S,M shooting modes, RAW shooting, etc. Some of the less obvious but cool details are 720p HD video at 120 frames per second for super-slow-mo video clips; Touch AF Shutter, which allows you to focus and shoot very quickly just by touching your subject on the LCD display; Photo Story, which creates multi-image themed layouts for quick sharing (see the short demo video below); and Olympus’s Live Guide to help inexperienced photographers take advantage of the camera’s manual controls. The XZ-10’s 11 Art Filters and the Photo Story feature offer social media addicts tools for creating Instagram-like effects at higher quality, right in the camera. Just add a Toshiba FlashAir or Eye-Fi SD card and you can wirelessly transfer those images from the camera to your Smart Phone and share them from anywhere.
The Olympus Stylus XZ-10 is a great option for photographers who want a small, relatively inexpensive camera with a great lens and lots of features. It’s scheduled to be available in March (2013) in white, black and brown for a suggested retail price of US $399.99.
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