Olympus has unveiled its latest enthusiast compact camera in the shape of the Stylus XZ-10, which forms a smaller, more affordable partner to their top of the range XZ-2 snapper.
Lurking inside is a 12MP 1/2.3″ type backlit CMOS sensor offering ISOs up to 6400, backed by sensor-shift image stabilisation for keeping the photo-wobblies at bay.
The zoom lens traverses a moderate but useful 26-130mm equivalent range and is fairly nippy with its 1:1.8-2.7 aperture.
Movie recording is taken care of with 1080p Full HD support, plus stereo sound and Multi-motion Movie IS to reduce blur while walking and filming – which can sometimes be a very precarious idea.
Awaiting your inspection around the back is a 3-inch, touch sensitive 920k dot LCD, but unlike its bigger brother the XZ-10, this screen isn’t for turning and is fixed. There’s also no hot shoe support or EVF support.
To keep tweaking types satisfied, there’s a full set of manual controls onboard as well as the rather splendid customisable control ring around the lens.
The Olympus XZ-10 should be exposing itself in UK shops from March 2013, priced at £349.99 and available in black, brown or white finishes.
Scroll down for all the facts you could ever hope for as Olympus go all gushy in their press release.
Ultra-portable, ultra-usable and still ultra-bright. New XZ-10 cements STYLUS’ high-end compact crown
Olympus adds super-lightweight XZ to class-leading compact range
London, 30 January 2013 – For photography enthusiasts looking for a high-end compact that delivers outstanding images even in low light, the game-changing STYLUS XZ range stands out from the rest. And now Olympus has made the range even stronger, with the addition of the slender STYLUS XZ-10. Even by XZ standards, the XZ-10 is extremely compact and light, but it is also extremely well equipped and boasts many of the features that make the flagship STYLUS XZ-2 such a remarkable camera. It has a super-bright 1:1.8-stop zoom lens, pro-style manual settings, ISO 6400, a 12-Megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and the powerful TruePic VI image processor used in the Olympus OM-D. The lens gives you 26mm* wide-angle flexibility, a 5x optical zoom and excellent 1:2.7-aperture brightness even at maximum zoom. The XZ-10 also boasts a host of clever feature upgrades such as 120fps high-speed HD movie recording and Photo Story, which lets you shoot a group of still photos with Art Filters straight into attractive, pre-prepared layouts that are ready for sharing without the need for more work on a computer. The XZ-10 offers an ideal combination of optical brilliance, pocket-sized design and the usability required to shoot and share every day on the fly. It will be available from late March 2013 for just £349.99, in black, brown or white.
A perfect 10
For people who like to carry their camera with them all the time, the STYLUS XZ-10 is the perfect high-end compact. It’s about 40% smaller by volume** than the classic STYLUS XZ-2, but still offers all the advantages of a super-bright, large-aperture i.ZUIKO DIGITAL 1:1.8-2.7 wide zoom lens that retains its brightness right across the zoom range. The XZ-10 delivers light-rich, 1.8 f-stop performance at a 26mm* wide angle and 1:2.7 at maximum 5x zoom. Together with ISO 6400 plus Olympus’ advanced iHS image processing and CMOS sensor technologies, this superb lens gives you new creative potential by expanding the range of shots you can take. From 1-cm macros to expansive landscapes and expressive portraits to inspirational mixed-light scenes, you can be confident of getting just the effect you have in mind. You can defocus the background to generate professional-looking bokeh. Or shoot blur-free images in difficult light without a tripod – by selecting a short exposure time and Handheld Starlight Mode with Flash. Even at high ISO settings, iHS technologies deliver low noise and radiant colours with crisp details and rich gradation in both dark and light parts of your shot.
Unlike most compacts, the XZ-10 lets you work your settings like a pro. Just like the STYLUS flagship XZ-2, it has a customisable control ring around the lens for adjusting key parameters manually, without taking your eye off your subject. Aperture, exposure time and program shift are some of the settings available via the control ring. Alternatively, for fast access to ISO or metering, you can assign these to the Fn button on the back of the camera to ensure quick, easy handling on the go.
On top of the manual settings, an array of practical features makes the XZ-10 one of the most intuitive high-end all-rounders to use. If you prefer to let electronics do more of the work, you might start with the 3-inch, quickresponse touch-sensitive LCD. With one tap of your finger, it can focus on fast-moving subjects and trigger your shot. Alternatively, simply switch on Live Guide or enhanced i-Auto. Transferring stills and 1080p Full HD movies is just as intuitive. The XZ-10 is FlashAir™ compatible so you can connect to your cloud or a social network website using your familiar smartphone interface and an optional FlashAir™ memory card.
Colour No.2 for the XZ-2
From February 2013, the award-winning STYLUS flagship XZ-2 will be available for the first time in white (as well as black), for £479.99. Professionals and ambitious hobby photographers appreciate the XZ-2 for its outstanding image quality that stems in part from its large 1/1.7” backlit CMOS sensor. It’s also popular for its full range of customisable manual controls and accessories, which are reminiscent of a system camera. The LCD on the XZ-2 is tiltable to help with shooting low down or above head height and it goes one better than the new XZ-10 with a digital/analogue customisable hybrid control ring. Like a system camera, the XZ-2 has an accessory port and is compatible with a wide range of dedicated add-ons that includes an external flash, electronic viewfinder, automatic lens cap, body jacket and a dedicated underwater housing.
XZ-10 outstanding features:
1:1.8-2.7 super-bright, large aperture 5x wide i.ZUIKO DIGITAL zoom lens (26-130mm*) for superb image resolution
iHS technologies for capturing exactly the shots you want with rich colour and low noise, irrespective of shooting conditions
12 Megapixel backlit 1/2.3” CMOS sensor for high-resolution, superb quality full-size movies, stills and prints
Powerful TruePic VI image engine for faster recovery time and shutter release plus excellent image quality
Low Light Mode for sharper, more atmospheric shots in low light
1080p Full HD Movie with stereo sound for capturing movies in the best image quality currently available in compact cameras
Multi-motion Movie IS for recording Full HD movies with reduced blur while walking
HDR Backlight Adjustment for ideal exposure when shooting against the light
Handheld Starlight Mode with Flash for shooting perfectly lit, blur-free photos at night without a tripod and despite contrasting light
10x with Super-resolution Zoom for digitally extending the range of the optical zoom with virtually no loss of image quality
3.0” touch-sensitive LCD (920,000 dots) with fast response
Touch AF for focussing automatically on the subject you touch
Manual controls for fast and easy professional adjustments
Customisable control ring for fast, intuitive control of key program parameters Live Guide and i-Auto for easy operation – even by beginners
Creativity & Flexibility
11 Art Filters and their variations for adding creative effects to HD movies and stills: Cross Process, Diorama, Dramatic Tone, Gentle Sepia, Grainy Film, Key Line, Light Tone, Pale & Light Colour, Pin Hole, Pop Art and Soft Focus
Photo Story for automatically capturing, storing and sharing photos in a stylish, ready-made, collage-style layout
Storage & Sharing SDHC™ and SDXC™ memory card compatible, including UHS-I support FlashAir™ card compatible for transferring password-protected images to selected smartphones and social networks
Free iOS and Android software downloads for editing and sharing images in social networks via smartphone or tablet PC
Eye-Fi Card compatibility for automatic wireless uploading of images to a website or PC
High ISO up to 6400 for excellent imaging despite poor light
Multi-Aspect ratios for the ideal format (16:9, 3:2, 4:3 or 1:1)
* 35mm equivalent
** based on external dimensions