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Olympus XZ-10 review

Will this make the ideal pocket snapper?

Our Verdict

For

  • Touchscreen
  • Art filters
  • f/1.8 lens

Against

  • Occasional slow processing times
  • General metering sometimes fails

The Olympus XZ-10 occupies the lucrative premium compact camera space that seems to be ever-growing in the number of options available to consumers.

These cameras offer much more than a bog-standard compact, and certainly much more than a smartphone. Generally offering full manual control, other inviting features include fast aperture lenses and raw format shooting.

Olympus already has the XZ-2 at the very top of its lineup, so this XZ-10 is intended to be the "Lite" version of that camera, with similar specifications in a smaller body, and at a slightly cheaper full price point of £349.99 / US$399.99 / AU$499.

Canon EOS 700D review

As such, the Olympus XZ-10 is in direct competition with the likes of the Nikon P330 and Canon PowerShot S110, both one step below in their respective company's compact lines. It's also up against the Panasonic Lumix LX7 and, arguably, also travel superzoom compacts such as the Panasonic TZ40.

The Olympus XZ-10 is smaller than the Olympus XZ-2, but still manages to house a 12 million pixel sensor. At 1/2.3 inches, it is physically smaller than the Olympus XZ-2's offering, though.

Along with full manual control, there's also semi-automatic modes such as aperture priority and shutter priority. Fully automatic shooting is also available, along with a range of creative modes such as Photo Story and Art Filters. Raw format shooting is a possibility, too.

Canon EOS 700D review

Unlike the Canon PowerShot S110, Wi-Fi isn't built into the body itself, but the camera is compatible with Toshiba's FlashAir Wireless LAN SD cards, which enable image sharing between smartphones and tablets, but not remote shooting.

At its widest point, the Olympus XZ-10's lens boasts an f/1.8 aperture. This rises to a still fairly impressive f/2.7 at the telephoto end of the optic. It's a 5x optical zoom lens, with an equivalent focal length of 26-130mm (in 35mm terms).

Like with the Nikon P330, an inbuilt ND filter is integrated to help with exposure control in bright conditions. Digital zooming is also available, with Olympus' super resolution zoom boosting the lens capability up to 10x. Around the base of the lens is a control ring for altering aperture.

Canon EOS 700D review

The Olympus XZ-10 is equipped with the same True Pic VI processing engine as the latest PEN and OM-D cameras, which helps to facilitate Full HD video recording and high sensitivity shooting. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100-1600 in the native range, and can be extended up to ISO 6400.

A touch-sensitive, 3-inch, 920k screen is at the back of the camera. You can use this to set the autofocus point or fire the shutter itself. There's no viewfinder, and unlike the Olympus XZ-2, there's no hotshoe or port to attach one, so you'll have to rely on the screen for composition.

The contrast detection focusing system has 35 AF points. Single AF and Super Macro focusing are available. Super Macro promises to enable you to get as close as 1cm from the subject. Fast shooting at up to 5fps is included.

Canon EOS 700D review

Olympus is well known for its love of creative options, and the Olympus XZ-10 is packed with several. Art filters from the OM-D/PEN series have been brought across, including Cross Process, Dramatic Tone and Key Line.

These can be used within the fully manual and semi-automatic shooting modes, as well as having a dedicated mode on the dial. Each art filter is customisable, with different frames and effects being available for each one.

A new feature, PhotoStory, is also included. This enables you to create montages of a number of images taken in quick succession. These are saved as one JPEG file, and can be customised in a number of different ways. Some editing can be done post-capture, such as resizing and red-eye reduction.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
GPSNo
USBYes
Product FamilyStylus X
Image StabilizationOptical, Electronic
ColourBlack
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesFace Detection, Live View, HDR, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)221 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Minimum Focus Distance10 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4032 x 3024
Maximum Frame Rate240 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution12.8 Megapixel
HDMIYes
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedLI-50B
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card, Flash Air, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Height61.1 mm
Width102.4 mm
Depth34.3 mm
Autofocus Points35
Product SeriesX
Focal Length4.70 mm to 23.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsPCM, WAV
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelXZ-10
Product NameStylus XZ-10 Compact Camera
Product LineStylus
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV101030BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

If you're looking to shoot top-quality stills and Full HD movies with all the right creative tools - but without all the size and weight of an SLR camera - the XZ-10 could be just perfect for you. It is equipped with iHS technology, bolstered by a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor and the same high-performance image processor used in our leading OM-D model. The i.ZUIKO DIGITAL 5x optical zoom lens (26-130mm, 35mm equivalent) has an extra-wide, super-bright maximum aperture (1:1.8) giving you super-sharp images in dim conditions without having to use a tripod or flash. The lack of noise is a big advantage when you zoom up close - you can boost magnification to 10x with no noticeable pixilation with the Super-resolution Zoom. Furthermore the XZ-10 lets you assign manual functions to the control ring around the lens so you can adjust settings including aperture, exposure time and program shift like a professional photographer - without taking your eye off your subject. You can also assign ISO or metering to the Fn button on the back, or PASM modes to the function wheel next to the LCD.

The 3.0" display has 920,000 dots and is touch-sensitive, enabling one-touch 'manual' autofocus. On top you can shoot in the Full HD Movie format or produce high-speed films at 120 fps for slow-motion playback. Alternatively, produce imaginative compositions from your stills with the Photo Story feature or spice up your work with one of 11 Art Filters - then share it all directly from your camera in your social networks via an external FlashAir™ card.

It's hard to believe that all this is packed inside our smallest compact X series camera to date!

Battery Life240 Shot
Package Contents
  • Stylus XZ-10 Compact Camera
  • LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery
  • F-2AC AC Adapter
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • Touch Pen
  • Hand Strap
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Card
  • Software CD-ROM
Display Resolution920000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesMicrophone, Speaker