One of the main focuses of an enthusiast compact is always going to be the camera’s image quality performance. Although once again the Olympus XZ-10 does well in this area, it’s not without a few issues, and falls short of the this in this category.
As mentioned previously, the XZ-10 features a standard 1/2.3in sensor, much the same as your average compact camera as opposed to the slightly larger sensor found in competing enthusiast compacts.
One by-product of this sensor is that the XZ-10 doesn’t handle noise at higher ISO settings as well as some of its competitors. Results are fine up to ISO 800, but anywhere beyond that and the compact begins to suffer from noise reduction hampering the rendering of fine detail.
The sensor does, however, do a good job at rendering fine detail at lower ISO settings, with the 12.1MP resolution more than adequate for larger prints.
The XZ-10’s metering and auto white balance is a tad unreliable, too. The former sometimes suffers from being oversensitive and erring towards underexposur, while the latter presents the odd warmer result than desired.
Both of these issues are minor, however, and on the whole the model sports a good dynamic range, while colour reproduction is also pleasing.
The Olympus XZ-10 is a solid enthusiast compact camera that does many things well, but it still has some rough edges to fix.
Its most direct competitors are arguably the Canon S110 and Nikon Coolpix P330, both of which feature similar specifications and are available at a comparative price tag. If you’re looking to save a bit of cash then the P330 is a bit cheaper and does just as well.
On the other hand, the Canon S110 is the same price just about edges the Olympus when it comes to overall image quality and reliability, while the likes of Panasonic Lumix LX7 continue to edge down in price.
The Olympus XZ-10 is a solid all-round performer that features excellent AF performance, an impressive touchscreen and good design. But it’s let down by its small sensor and a few reliability issues.
Next, see how it compares to our round-up of the Best Cameras of 2013.