Olympus Stylus XZ-2 iHS Digital Camera Review$599.99
Speed and Timing
The XZ-2 has a primary, full-resolution continuous shooting mode, as well as a secondary high-speed mode that shoots much faster, but at a lower resolution. It also has two self-timer options—certainly not the most we've seen in this class, but enough to get the job done in most cases.
The baseline continuous shooting mode achieves about 5 frames per second, and it can shoot like that for about 10 seconds before reducing speed to clear the buffer. Once the speed drops, it can shoot pretty much forever—or at least until the memory card fills up.
Self-timer options are 2-second or 12-second presets. Unlike some competing models, the XZ-2 does not offer a customizable timer option, nor does it have an interval shooting mode.
In good light, the XZ-2 focuses quickly and very accurately, though it will often fail when trying to lock on to low-contrast targets. To a certain extent, this characteristic is shared by all contrast-detect autofocus systems (and therefore all compact cameras). However, the XZ-2 fails more often than some of its competitors (most notably the Canon G15). In dimmer light, it uses its orangey-red AF assist light early and often, but even so it often has trouble locking on when the illumination drops below a certain level.
The XZ-2's manual focusing action is superb for a compact camera, thanks in large part to a sharp LCD and the excellent feel of the "analog" lens ring. Sure, it would have been better if Olympus had seen fit to include focus peaking technology (which helpfully outlines the edges of in-focus objects), but we suppose we can always hope for a firmware update.