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Olympus XZ-10 review



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Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus XZ-10
  • Olympus HZ-10
  • Olympus HZ-10
  • Olympus HZ-10


Our Score:



  • Fast AF performance
  • Excellent f/1.8 to 2.7 aperture
  • Very responsive touchscreen


  • Small sensor means so-so ISO performance
  • Average video quality
  • Screen very reflective

Key Features

  • 1/2.3in CMOS sensor, 12MP resolution; ISO 100-6400; 3-inch, 920k-dot touchscreen LCD; 1920 x 1080 HD video capture; Full manual shooting control
  • Manufacturer: Olympus
  • Review Price: £300.00

What is the Olympus XZ-10?

While the enthusiast compact market is long-established, it's an area Olympus has only recently entered. The is its first attempt XZ-10 – a camera that includes full manual control, Raw capture, an built-in Neutral Density filter and many other features that set it up to fare well in a competitive market full of great cameras, like the Panasonic Lumix LF1, Nikon P330 and plenty other besides.

Not what you're looking for? Try our Best Cameras of 2013 round-up.

Olympus XZ-10 - Features

The XZ-10 has a 5x optical zoom that covers a modest focal range of 26-130mm. Rather than opting for a longer focal range, Olympus has instead placed the emphasis on the camera's maximum aperture. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 at the wide end, and this maintains up to an impressive f/2.7 at the tele end of the zoom.

If you're looking for a longer focal range then you'll be pleased to know that the camera sports Olympus's 'super resolution' technology that offers a larger 10x zoom, although the range from 5x to 10x is covered through a digital zoom rather than optical zoom. Sensor-shift stabilisation is on hand to keep such shots steady, too.

Although the XZ-10 features full manual controls and Raw capture, the sensor is something of a let down when you consider its enthusiast compact status. The sensor has a respectable 12MP resolution, but it measures in at just 1/2.3in. That’s the same size sensor as found in regular compacts, rather than the much larger ones found in rivals, and raises concerns about noise handling at the higher end of the 100-6400 ISO range.

The sensor also allows for full HD video capture at 30fps, and those of you that are interested in more advanced video features will appreciate the presence of 120fps and 240fps slow-motion capture modes.

The camera features a 3-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 920k-dots. It’s touch sensitive, too, so allows for touch focus and touch shutter should you prefer.

Paul Morris

July 10, 2013, 12:19 pm

"While the enthusiast compact market is long-established, it's an area Olympus has only recently entered. The is its first attempt XZ-10."

If you mean that the XZ-10 is Olympus's first attempt, it isn't. It already released the pro compacts the XZ-1 and XZ-2. both with larger 1/1.6" sensors. Sure they are a little bigger than the XZ-10, but both are still most definitely compacts.

Geoffrey Jackson

July 12, 2013, 8:06 pm

Very good point. This camera suffers from occupying one of the slots next door to the XZ-2 in the Olympus range. If they equipped the XZ-10 with all the bells and whistles of the XZ-2 it wouldn't attract the criticism leveled at it here, but no-one would buy the XZ-2 and Olympus wouldn't have anything to sell where this item would just have left a gap.

Surely reviewers need to criticise within the boundaries of a product's target market? If not then a Fiat Panda would be "useless for being less comfortable than a Bentley Mulsanne", and a Bugatti Veyron would be "terrible for being more expensive than a Citroen C-1"... I chose automobile analogies out of cowardice, being in fear of the flak that photography analogies would have spawned.

antonio sesto

June 1, 2014, 10:26 am

I don't know why photographic reviews never contain information significantly different from what an interested reader may find in the camera brochure. If this is forgivable in the case of a basic camera, it is unacceptable in a review focusing on pro- or enthusiast-level equipment: enthusiasts look for answers that cannot be found on the official recommendation. I even find video reviews indicating the shutter release button and the on-off one.

Almost every enthusiast knows that a bigger sensor (or, more precisely, bigger light receptors) results in cleaner photos. So there is no point in writing that the Canon S110 saves better (noise-wise) pictures. There is no point in writing that this camera is physically smaller than the various XZ-2, LX-7, etc.

Better said, there is no point in writing *only* this information.

So, what information is missing? I have had a Canon S100: I sold it because the very slow lens forced me to always shoot at high ISO. The lens was f2 only at 24mm, but very very slow at the rest of the zoom range. Furthermore, with the lens zoomed in, the Canon S100 was able to focus in a reasonable time (without hunting) only at noon in a very sunny day of August spent on the Italian beaches. With dim light the camera was basically not able to acquire a focus point.

Question. In dim light, how does this camera compare with that Canon S110? Does the zoom lens allow to use low ISO settings? What's the point in providing SNR data: in the same place, same conditions, how do the two camera get the pictures? Is it possible to use low ISO settings with the XZ-10? In order to answer this question you need to actually use the camera because the answer depends also on the IS system.

Your review does not say anything that cannot be read on the producers' sites. Nothing that cannot be read on the various brochures.

But not only your review: basically all the reviews on the internet look like they have been written without having ever touched the camera.

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