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Olympus XZ-10 Review - Design and Performance Review


Olympus XZ-10 – Design

As is ever the case with this type of enthusiast compact, keeping the body small and pocketable is primary concern. As a result, the XZ-10 fits easily into most trouser pockets, and is small enough and light enough to be your take-everywhere compact.

On the whole, the XZ-10 is a well-designed bit of kit. It has a number of well thought out and welcome features, and none more so than the control ring.

This encircles the camera’s lens and can be customised and gives you direct access to any of the camera’s main shooting controls, including aperture and shutter speed. This control ring is a feature that quite a few enthusiast compacts lack, and it really adds to the shooting experience. It’s a serious plus in the XZ-10’s favour.

Although the mode dial is on the small side, it too benefits from some smart design. The dial itself is unobstructed from the side and as such can be turned with ease while shooting, while it also features a prominently milled edge to allow for a firm grip while turning.

The only real criticism of the camera’s design is that it could benefit from a slightly more substantial grip on both its side and its rear, but it’s not a serious complaint.

Olympus XZ-10 – Performance

While the overall level of performance of the XZ-10 is satisfactory, there are a few areas in which it is a little disappointing

One area of concern is the LCD screen. It features auto adjustment technology that acts swiftly in changes in light conditions. This can work to the screen’s detriment however, resulting in a relatively dark feed in light conditions.

The screen also suffers from image glare and, on occasion, can suffer from a slightly peculiar blue cast. That being said, you can of course adjust the screen manually to suit your shooting conditions, although it would be preferable for the camera to operate well straight out of the box.

On the plus side, the touchscreen element of the screen is excellent. It’s one of the most responsive units we’ve tested, featuring an impressively prompt level of touch focus in particular.

But it’s XZ-10’s AF system that’s the real highlight of the camera’s performance. The XZ-10 acquires focus in an instant at either end of the model’s focal range, and performs particularly well in good light, but with only a slight drop-off in darker conditions.

It’s also fast in general in operation, with start-up times in keeping with similar enthusiast compacts. Write speeds are also respectable, with the XZ-10 managing to capture five Raw and JPEG files simultaneously before the camera’s buffer fills and it begins to slow down.

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