Friday, November 02, 2012

Olympus Stylus XZ-2 Review: PEN Lovers & Conclusions

Important Notes:
1. This is a user experience based review.
2. All images in this entry were post-processed, with color balance adjustments, exposure tweak and some cropping.
For straight out of camera images, please refer to my Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my review for Olympus XZ-2. 

This is Part 4 of my Olympus Stylus XZ-2 review series, and also the concluding blog entry. If you have not read my previous parts, please do so here: 

In my final part of XZ-2 review, I have used the XZ-2 together with an attached external flash, Olympus FL-50R for a photo-assignment, to cover an important event: the PEN Lovers 2nd Anniversary Lunch Gathering, which happened last Saturday (27th October 2012). So how does the camera perform in a more serious shooting environment, where results are to be expected at the end of the day? Also, I shall be doing into summary and conclusions of my four episodes Olympus XZ-2 reviews.

ISO800, F/2.3, 1/80sec
A Pen Lover trying out the Olympus E-PL5, with the new body cap lens, 15mm F8. Gotta admire the tilting screen !! Perfect for camwhoring. 

PEN LOVERS' 2ND ANNIVERSARY LUNCH GATHERING

Before we go on, let me describe the background of this momentous event. PEN Lovers was started by a dear friend and fellow Olympus PEN user, Koon Yik about 2 years ago. He initiated this non-profit independent group, as a local support group for new-comers to Olympus PEN and micro 4/3 system. Often new-comers to photography in general would be over-whelmed by technical freaks and nazis in online photography forums, hence the PEN Lovers acts as a friendly platform for Olympus PEN users to interact freely, share opinion and also to spur each other to shoot, and grow together, while shooting with Olympus micro 4/3 system. In last year's 1st Aniversary, the PEN Lovers group has reached more than 200 members,  and just last week, for the 2nd Anniversary, we have now more than 700 members, with many joining from all over the world as well. This is a group that is very special to me, and I actively participate in. If you know me well enough, I do not join photography forums or other online photography communities (you won't find me in 500px or Flickr), since there are just too many internet "trolls" around, and I have dedicated most of my time for this blog (in case you have not noticed, this blog requires tremendous amount of time to maintain). PEN Lovers has not only become a photography hobby group, but also a place for me to hang-out with like-minded people, and surely we have come a long way, and a celebration was in place !!


Shooting Conditions

The venue of the gathering was at a restaurant cafe in Petaling Jaya area. When I entered the cafe, I almost cried because the lighting was so uncomfortably dim. There were mixed source of lighting, firstly was some window light from outside, and then there was a few varying temperature and color cast tungsten lighting all over the place. If I were to shoot with available light, it would have been quite a tedious task to correct the color balance in post-processing. So I decided to use the external flash that I brought along, just in case. However, the ceiling was dark grey in color, which negates the use of bounced flash. Therefore, I deviced the following setup to cater for this specific shooting condition:

Camera Setup

Olympus XZ-2 Manual Exposure:
Shutter Speed varying between 1/60sec to 1/100sec
Aperture: Widest all the time
ISO setting: 400-800. If I was shooting wide angle, eg 28mm, the widest aperture is F1.8, hence I use ISO400. When I zoom into 112mm, the aperture changed to F2.5, hence the need to boost the ISO for matching exposure balance. 

External flash, FL-50R mounted on XZ-2's hot-shoe at all times. TTL-flash set to -0.7EV or -1.0EV. 
Flash head was tilted upwards 90 degrees, with supplied omni-bounce diffuser cap attached to the head. 

The purpose of using higher ISO setting (400-800), slower shutter speed (1/60sec) and widest open aperture, was to gather as much ambient light as possible, thus creating a more natural look and balance to the whole photograph. Then the flash was only used to "gently touch" the skin of my subjects, so the skin tone and color balance of my main subjects are well preserved. Hence the flash intensity was lowered down by tilting the head upward and using the diffuser cap to cut and spread the light. Further to that, TTL-control was dialed back down to -0.7EV or more, to cut the flash output. I wanted to achieve a balanced, even lighting, even though I did not have white ceiling for proper bouncing technique to work with. I wanted my subject's skin tone to appear pleasing, and not be destroyed by the lousy ambient available light. 


ISO800, F/2.5, 1/60sec
Say hi to Encik Senyum


ISO400, F/1.9, 1/80sec
Phoebe working her PEN to document the event as well. 

ISO320, F/1.8, 1/80sec
Yeow, Phoebe and KoonYik

ISO400, F/1.9, 1/80sec
We booked 4 tables for the day, so we had the entire corner for ourselves

ISO400, F1/1.8, 1/80sec
Shooting high angle was no problem with the tilt screen of the Olympus XZ-2. 

ISO400, F/1.8, 1/60sec
We had an attendance of 44 PEN Lovers members for the anniversary luncheon. 



ISO400, F/1.8, 1/60sec
Olympus Malaysia was also present with their latest products for the PEN Lovers to touch and try. The products are: PEN E-PL5, XZ-2, 60mm F2.8 macro lens and the 15mm F8 body cap lens

CAMERA PERFORMANCE FOR EVENT SHOOTING

I strongly believe that there are many ways that we can test and review a camera. Ultimately, whether the camera can truly perform and deliver results, we can truly tell when we do something serious with the camera, for example, using it for a photo-assignment. EVERYTHING about the camera has to be good enough to be able to deliver results. You need good high ISO performance, you need good handling and control for long hour shooting, you need fast enough autofocus to quickly capture moments, you need good straight out of camera files to minimize your post-processing workflow, you need good lenses to work with. Only in real life shooting that the camera is really stretched to its limit. 

I find the Olympus XZ-2 performing very well for this particular event shooting. Firstly, the 28mm-112mm zoom lens was quite a versatile and convenient lens to work with. The zooming was fast, and the focusing at every focal length was quick enough that I rarely missed any shots (if I did it was my own fault). Images from the lens come out sharp, from wide angle to the tele-photo end. High ISO shooting, as expected was very usable, from ISO400-800, which I utilized for this shooting session, as necessary to gather as much ambient light and to properly balance the flash fill to blend into the available light. Even at ISO800, the images come out clean of noise, and are still very sharp and detailed. Color captured from the event, with the use of flash, was very warm and pleasing. Do take note that I de-saturated the color of the images, for a more "neutral" and less aggressive look. I shot everything in RAW, and did some post-processing to the images. I find myself tweaking some exposure balance, which was the usual case for event shooting, because it is impossible to nail 100% accurate exposure for each and every shot, especially when you are dealing with flash. However, it was just minor tweaking with some shots being slightly under-exposed, due to my intentionally "under-powered" flash settings. 

Now I am sure the biggest question mark you have in your mind right now would be: "Robin, are you insane?  Mounting that gigantic FL-50R flash on the tiny XZ-2?" Surely the handling felt a little bit off, and imbalanced, but to be entirely honest, I did not find it to be all that bad either. I admit, I come from using the much larger and heavier Olympus DSLR E-5, coupled with not so small and light lens, and usually for event shooting I also have that same flash attached on the camera. Therefore, it is logical to say that even with the FL-50R flash mounted on the XZ-2, the combination is still fairly light and manageable. I know that if I use a neck-strap, the whole thing will not be balanced (surely the flash head would be pointing downward), hence I decided to use a wrist-strap instead. I did not find my wrist to be strained, or having any difficulting handling the camera. Yes, I understand this is probably not the best way to use the camera, but to me, achieving balanced image output, with good exposure balance and good color are my priorities. That FL-50R saved my ass for the event shooting. 

Camera operation was smooth, fast and extremely efficient, with no signs of slowing down or lagging, which was really impressive for a compact camera being used in a challenging shooting condition. There was almost no shot-to-shot delay, but I did turn the preview off. Not having to preview every single shot, I managed to conserve the battery life, and I managed to squeeze about 600 shots before the battery died off completely. As I changed the battery to my only spare one, it was toward the end of the event already, and I sighed a huge relief, because battery life was one of my major concerns while shooting this assignment. 

ISO400, F/1.9, 1/60sec
Our host for the event, Yap Tzee Meng. Do check out his wonderful blog here (click). 

ISO400, F/1.8, 1/40sec
Yap Working the crowd

ISO400, F/1.9, 1/50sec
The members who have joined PEN Lovers official outings before, please stand up !

ISO400, F/2, 1/60sec
Koon Yik, the founder and leader of PEN Lovers Group. He was showing the official Malaysia postage stamps for PEN Lovers

ISO500, F/2.1, 1/60sec
Yong from Olympus Malaysia, highlighting some updates from Olympus

ISO400, F/2.1, 1/50sec
OMD attacking lunch

ISO400, F/1.8, 1/60sec
Thian Jin showing how to use the E-P3's touch screen AF

I have covered all parts of review for the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 that I have intended to do. Here are the summary of what I have reviewed so far:

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE OLYMPUS STYLUS XZ-2

1) Amazing sharpness and image resolution 
Shooting at minimal ISO settings (ISO100-200) the amount of fine details captured by the XZ-2 is simply stunning. The sharpness of the image output from the XZ-2 rivals, and may even surpass that of entry level DSLR with kit lens. 

2) Great i.Zuiko 28-112mm F1.8-2.5 lens
Versatile and flexible zoom range with very bright aperture opening from F1.8-2.5, allowing for use of the camera in low light shooting condition. Also, zooming in at 112mm, with wide open aperture of F/2.5, the lens can render shallow depth of field to a certain degree, with smooth and creamy bokeh. The Zuiko branding pays homage to the legendary line of Zuiko optics, delivering sharp images with very minimal technical flaws (little to no trace of Chromatic abberation, sharp from edge to edge and good distortion control) within all zoom range. I have not tested many compact cameras out there, but this XZ-2 may have the best and sharpness lens out there for digital compact camera category. 

3) Very Good HIGH ISO Shooting
Inspecting the images being taken at High ISO settings, XZ-2 delivers clean and detailed results up to ISO1600 with minimal trace of noise, and still usable at ISO3200 and 6400 with reservations (properly exposed images, shot in RAW for better noise reduction in post-processing). Due to the Trupic 6 image procesing engine, I could barely see any chroma noise in the images, even up to ISO6400. At ISO1600 and 3200, plenty of good details in the image are well preserved. That new 12MP Back-Side Illuminated CMOS Image Sensor is doing its job well. 

4) Fast and Reliable AutoFocus
Generally autofocus was fast and reliable, with minimal hesitation and hunting only occurring at longest tele-photo end occasionally. Touch AF operation was also useful in many situations

5) Hybrid Control Ring
Inclusion of the new Hybrid Control Ring added great convenience and improved quick access to important controls of the camera: Zooming, Exposure control and Manual focusing. 

6) 920k  Dot Resolution Tilt Screen with Touch AF
The new LCD screen having 920k dot resolution is the best LCD monitor screens of all newer Olympus cameras, with better resolution and brightness than even the OM-D E-M5 and PEN E-PL5. Having tilt screen capability allows for easier low and high angle compositions. Touch AF with immediate shutter release, a unique feature from OM-D and PEN series is also available now for XZ-2, which is a huge plus. 

7) Useful Super Macro Mode, with Reservations
The super macro mode is very useful for close up shooting, but I have some issues with it, which I shall discuss in "what I wish could have been better" part of my summary. 

8) That Great Olympus Signature Color !!
I believe this is a valid and strong reason why this is a great camera !!


ISO400, F/1.8, 1/80sec
Table of goodies for "gift-exchange"

ISO500, F/1.8, 1/60sec
Drawing the lucky number

ISO500, F/1.8, 1/60sec
What is that wrapped in white paper?

ISO500, F/1.8, 1/60sec
More than just an umbrella

ISO500, F/1.8, 1/60sec
Kelvin !!


ISO500, F/1.8, 1/60sec
Say hi to Sanjit Singh, an Olympus user, amazing photographer, and wonderful videographer that I worked with during my OM-D reviews. Also, he has recently won the IPA pro award !!

ISO500, F/1.8, 1/60sec
Ng Yuen Ling, she took a very nice photo of me which I will show at the end of this blog. Thanks !!

ISO500, F/1.8, 1/60sec
Simon Leong, tears of joy

WHAT I HOPED COULD BE IMPROVED IN OLYMPUS STYLUS XZ-2

1) 28mm wide angle not wide enough
This is probably just a personal preference, but for most of my wide angle shooting needs, I do find the 28mm to be not wide enough, and hoping for it to be slightly wider to fit in that extra bit into the frame. I would say, 24mm at the widest end is the ideal focal length for wide angle shooting. 

2) No Flash, No Wireless Flash and No Manual Focusing for Super Macro
Super macro mode is quite a useful feature to have, allowing very close up images to be taken, but the function is crippled with the inability to fire the built in flash, thus I was unable to use the wireless flash technique that I normally do for macro shooting. Also, at such close distance to the subject (as close as 1cm) autofocus may suffer (camera not to be blamed), and for critically accurate focusing, manual focusing will allow for more flexible control. Yet manual focusing is not possible for super macro mode. 

3) Limit of Shutter Speed to 1/2000sec
Having the fastest shutter speed of 1/2000sec is quite a restriction when shooting outdoors, under bright sun. Imagine shooting at full zoom 112mm at F/2.5 to achieve as much background blur as possible, you might need 1/4000sec or higher. Of course, the camera is built in with digital ND filter to solve this problem, but such solution is different from what could have been accomplished with faster shutter speed. 


OLYMPUS XZ-2 VS OTHER CAMERAS

I strongly believe that the main concern when considering the purchase of an Olympus XZ-2, would be the justification of its pricing. Currently there are many compelling options in the market with very stiff competitions from other manufacturers, some offering even better specifications and others selling at cheaper price than the XZ-2. Indeed it is not exactly a bad thing to have options and more choices when it comes to purchasing a high end compact camera system. 

The strong advantages that Olympus has would be the amazing Zuiko lens, which I know, should be unmatched in terms of sharpness and image technical excellence. Image sensor is only one part of the equation, having a great lens, as most DSLR and interchangeable lens camera users will tell you, is just as important. Since you are using a compact camera with a fixed lens (non-interchangeable), it is crucial to consider getting one that does its job well. 

Olympus XZ-2 may not be the king in terms of high ISO shooting in the face of many competitions offering larger size sensors that promises better low light shooting capabilities. Nonetheless, looking at the images produced by XZ-2 in my high ISO torture tests, I am very pleased and impressed with the XZ-2's high ISO images. Even if XZ-2 is not the best performer in low light shooting department, I dare say it is not lagging behind my much, and the difference here is not a game-changer. There are many, many, many other important things to consider when we look at a camera system as a whole. Just because that other camera has slightly better high ISO performance does not justify the fact that it is the overall winner. 

In case you were wondering how it looked like, Fl-50R on XZ-2
Image courtesy of Ng Yuen Ling

Image Courtesy of Thian Jin

WHERE DOES OLYMPUS XZ-2 STAND?

If you are an existing Olympus micro 4/3 system user, and you are looking for a second camera, it is obviously more advisable to get an Olympus PEN mini body, since you can share lenses and accessories with your main micro 4/3 body (PEN or OM-D). The PEN mini should cost about the same as the XZ-2, and there really is not that much size difference between the two. 

From the way I see it, this Olympus XZ-2 is not targeted toward inter-changeable camera users. There is still a strong demand for high-end compact cameras, users who prefer to shoot with something more straight-forward and simpler, without the need to change lens and all the other technical complications that come along with that. Just one camera, with everything built in, great lens, flash, ease of use, and massive amount of controls for creative growth. The compact camera should be powerful enough, yet still small and light to be easily carried around, at all times. 

I hope you have enjoyed my four-part review of Olympus XZ-2, and find them useful. I have spent unexpectedly a lot more effort and time than I initially intended for this particular review, but hey, I thoroughly enjoyed myself in every single process of shooting and writing this blog. 

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to say something in the comment section on this blog entry, or email me directly at hamish7ian@gmail.com

36 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great review... what to ask for? Macro, wide angle, low light, flash... you've got all the topics covered with real life examples on what the xz2 can do. I've learned a few tips on how to balance flash and ambient light from this blog which is very cool. As always nice review and great pics. The xz2 kicks ass for a compact but I want an EPM2 or even an EPL5 for my next camera... btw the flash looks monstrous on the tiny compact xz2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Johan,
      Thanks for the kind words !!
      Yes the flash is indeed monstrous !! But I really needed that extra bit of light boost to get the color balance and exposure right.
      I would support your decision on going for E-PM2 and E-PL5 instead, more flexibility and surely better image output.

      Delete
  2. Nice job again Robin. Funny looking combo with the F50. hehe. As you know I've used my LX5 with the FL-36R ( slighlty smaller) and have fun with that combo.... it gets lots of comments. I find I hold the head of the flash with my left hand, with my right hand of course on the camera grip. btw, on the LX5 the flash works in macro focus mode and actually functions well with seemingly an appropriately scaled back output. (This would be at full zoom in of 90mm-e and focusing at min. focus distance of 30cm/12".) Wish you could get a hold of the new LX7 and give it a test drive. I'd love to know your impression of lens sharpness, focus speed and acccuracy... compared with XZ-2. I think it is great that I can use my FL-36R interchangeabley on both pany and oly, as is the case also with the Metz FL-50 which I just purchased.

    Thanks again for your great report.

    Peter F.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Peter,
      Thanks for the kind words. Glad to know that you also use an external flash on a compact camera, and surely you must have seen how it has improved the results greatly, when flash is really needed.
      Unfortunately I won't be able to get hold of an LX-7, unless Panasonic approached me somehow. I don't think any of my closer friends (those that are willing to lend me their gear without much fuss) will buy one.

      Delete
  3. Hello Robin,

    sounds like the XZ-2 has some advantages over the XZ-1

    Like:
    a)Grip
    b)2-way lens ring
    c)Flip screen

    But some weaknesses are still there like:
    d) shutter speed (1/2000)
    e) Maximum of F8

    What is about the lens cap? Is it the same annoying piece as used for XZ-1?
    Is the tripod mount still not "centered"?

    Have you tried the panorama mode? On XZ-1 it takes very long and was limited to 3 pictures. The results are very different from attempt to attempt.

    Regards
    Gerrit

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    Replies
    1. Hello Gerrit,
      Sorry I am not able to answer all your questions, as I have returned the camera to Olympus. I did not have the chance to mount the camera on the tripod. And yes, the lens cap has the same issue with XZ1, though I dont find that troublesome, coming from DSLR background when I need to take the cap off everytime I shoot.
      I did not try the panorama mode.

      Delete
  4. Hi Robin: good review on XZ2 and sounds like a great camera for those that want lightest and most advanced compact as an all day carry along camera.

    I am considering a second body for low light and faster AF capture in new Pens though. What exactly is the main differences between EPM2 and EPL5 besides tiltable screen and control wheel on top. As it should have the same sensor as OMD in both new Pen models, would one conclude that the final image quality capability is the same, just some control features are different. Would both new models have same anti aliasing filter or same inside components like fast processor? What is your opinion. Have you seen a new EPM2 mini yet. We do not have either in stores yet here, just pre-orders but should be soon I think. I tried a EPM1 in stores and the AF was pretty fast. Do not need a tiltable screen, although would be handy for those that use it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Adrian,
      I have not seen the E-PM2 yet, and have not studied it further either. I would say the image quality should be about what you would expect to get from E-PL5 and OMD, there should not be much difference.
      I am not too sure whether the "no anti-aliasing filter" claim is even true for now. All we have is a confirmation from a source which could be fake.
      If you don't need a tiltable screen, then I would say the E-PM2 surely is good enough !!

      Delete
  5. Great review series Robin. This XZ-2 packs a serious punch although I think Olympus priced it too aggressively high. As you said, the E-PM2 seems to be a better value at the same price. Heck, the best value is to pick up an E-PL3 or E-PM1 as they are getting heavily discounted now. I would be willing to pay a premium for a superzoom with this sensor and quality Zuiko glass. I think that's a market with more potential.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Wataru,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      Superzoom is a difficult camera to make, it is quite impossible to create a lens with such wide zoom range, without compromise of image quality !!

      Delete
  6. I am still debating about getting this camera, my main concern is high ISO and low light shots, the sample for high ISO have lots of noise, and I don't shot RAW, I don't have time for post processing, would you say suffer the noise with this one or go somewhere else like the rx100?

    Anything else I like the camera, but like some people say, hard to justify the price when you can get that other camera from Sony and get better high ISO -low light shots but without the features of the xz-2, what would you say?

    Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Robin,
      If high ISO shooting is your main concern, get a Pen E-PM2 or E-PL5 !! The ISO performance of these cameras surely surpass what R100 can do, yet still priced about the same. And you have future possibilities of upgrading to wider choice of lenses.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the suggestion, one question, if I wanted to get a lens that would give me something like what the xz-2 offers what should I be looking for, I am all for pancake lens, but it is my understanding those don't go as far as the 1.8 or 1.4, I am trying to keep it compact.

      Delete
  7. Hi Robin,

    Thanks for the great review. I have been waiting for a high grade compact which i can take everywhere i dont want to lug my DSLR and the Oly XZ2 seems to fit the bill for the most part. Amazing colour / detail / foreground isolation and sharpness at low ISO and love the macro shots !

    I also looked at the Sony RX100 and was absolutely blown away by its High ISO performance. Despite its small size and super image quality tho i am a little concerned about its handling etc (it really is too small!) and the fact that the lens whilst good is not great and no tilt screen or option for EVF. This XZ2 on the other hand has the tilt screen (which i absolutely love!) a nice grip, a super lens (albiet i would have liked a 24-120 types .. hehe :)a built in ND Filter (RX100 doesn't have one) and an option to attach a viewfinder. A much more complete package in my opinion. My ONLY concern is its high ISO image quality. Most of your images (indoors/night/low light) below show substantial noise and smudging of detail even at ISO400 (i am looking at the hair and black tees in most of the pics above.

    Now i know that this camera doesn't have the relatively larger sensor of the RX100 but was wondering how the camera handles noise reduction out of the box. I believe you shoot most of your images in RAW and then convert, but i would like to see some low light / indoor / night shots at ISO 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 with standard incamera noise processing. That would be really useful for me to make a decision since i dont really shoot RAW. Would be great if you could post some.

    Thanks a lot again for the great review

    Hoshner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello hoshner,
      please read my part 2 review for high ISO performance. I provided download of full resolution samples too.

      Delete
    2. Thanks will download them, are these raw converts or jpegs straight from the camera tho ?

      Delete
  8. Robin, thank you for (a series of) very well done, accurate, complete, and objective field reports on this amazing little camera. As always you crank out great shots with any camera, but I must say that this little compact has me very tempted indeed. Sure, maybe some cameras have better high ISO performance but that is not that important to me - it's the whole package.

    Not enough light? Lower the shutter speed or open the aperture. Duh. Or use flash. Duuuh. All this crazy-high-ISO stuff is nice for trolls and nazis on forums to wage pointless wars over. I can imagine you don't like forums. I don't either. Intelligent and polite conversation is going the way of the dodo these days, certainly on forums.

    Anyway, great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andre.
      I tried my best to show how the camera would perform in real life shooting conditions, and I brought the camera out for some of the subjects that are commonly encountered. from the photographs and shooting experience then I was able to write my review, with plenty of photographs to illustrate my opinion and thoughts on the camera.

      I think these days expectations can be quite ridiculous. People are no longer happy with shooting ISO200 or 400. My goodness.. for a compact camera !!

      Delete
  9. Hey Robin,

    great review. You realy showed the potential of this superb compact.
    I think about to buy a second camera for travel and every day photography. My Nikon DSLR is often to big and heavy.
    What would your suggestion be: E-PL5 with the Kit Lens and an a 20mm for low light or better get the XZ-2?

    Thanks a lot!

    Felix

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Felix, thanks for the kind words.
      Of course ,the E-PL5 is a better choice !! Go for it. However, I would strongly recommend 25mm F1.4 !

      Delete
    2. Thanks Robin,

      the 25mm is a nice lens, but a little big and expensiv too.

      Delete
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  13. UNREALISTIC REVIEW FOR THE MASSES!

    Hi Robin,

    This is a great camera, but folks who come across your review may get an unrealistic expectation.

    You used a professional level flash ***that retails for $499 on Amazon*** to obtain great results that a typical user would never be able to recreate.

    For anyone reading Robin’s review, the lesson is if you want professional quality photos, sometimes you need professional quality equipment.

    In any case, I moved from Canon DSLR to Olympus M43 largely because of your review on the 45mm 1.8. Love the focal length and the PEN size.

    All the best.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Robin, thanks for this great review.
    You are helping me a lot to decide which high-end fixed lens cam to buy.

    Could you please clarify on some points that are important to me ?

    - You wished 28mm eq. should be 24mm or more; could you attach Vivitar, Raynox, etc wide and fisheye converters with the CLA-12 adapter ?

    - Super-macro with no flash and no manual zoom ; did you ever put your hands on the macro LED lights from Olympus ?

    Do the flash and manual focus work with the regular macro ?

    If manual focus works with regular macro, could you use it with something like Raynox 2.5x macro converter attached to the CLA-12 ?
    In that case maybe it's possible to solve both problems and use manual focus and flash with super-macro !?

    Thanks a lot.

    T.K.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hello Robin,

    I really appreciated reading your reviews. Unfortunatly it makes my decision for a prosumer camera even more complex. I was at the point to go for a Fuji x10 respectively the next model fujis x20. I start with Photography now and want to have a versatile all around camera easy to take with me and with perspective to grow with.
    Can you help me here and tell me something about the Advantages/ Disadvantages of XZ-2 in comparison with Fujis x 10 (x20)?

    Thank you,
    Leonard

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Robin,
    Thanks for your great review! I'm very pleased to have run into your blog. You have a "Class" site.
    I've owned a Canon 10D & 30D with 2.8 glass. Absolutely loved the setup-glass. However, I ran into financial issues and made the BAD decision to sell the lens and replace them with f4’s. I haven’t been happy since. After looking through many reviews, I’m leaning towards the XZ2 and then complimenting that with a 4/3 somewhere around the corner. (OM D-E or PEN) I’m trying to stay away from having to spend $2K plus on lens. I’m just not in the financial shape that I use to be in to justify such expense.
    Any recommendations on the Fuji line? Compared to Olympus?
    Take care,
    Randell Tober

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Robin,

    I really learned a lot from your XZ 2 review which resulted in me buying the camera a couple of months back and took with me on a couple of trips. Yes, totally agree that it is a great camera and images have been excellent. I am now trying to invest in a viewfinder. Is VF 3 compatible with XZ 2

    Thanks.
    joseph

    ReplyDelete
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  21. Robin,

    Hi I have a question about your xz-2 review if you don't mind.

    You mentioned a couple of times that you tried hard to ensure the images you presented were the highest quality and you certainly achieved that.

    I was wondering however, given how sharp and in focus the images are if you used the manual focus or if you found the touch screen focus method was adequate?

    I don't understand how that works , can you select a place on the screen that you want in focus ? I was thinking of the cat behind the bars for example, as I'm sure any auto focus would pick the bars rather than the cat behind?

    Regards,
    Alistair

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi there Robin - thanks for a great "real world" review (as always).
    Did you by any chance experiment with the bulit-in ND filter for "slowing down" moving water?

    ReplyDelete