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Olympus Stylus 1 vs XZ-2

The Olympus Stylus 1 and the Olympus XZ-2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2013 and September 2012. Both the Stylus 1 and the XZ-2 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/1.7-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 11.8 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Olympus Stylus 1
versus
Olympus XZ-2
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus XZ-2
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
28-300mm f/2.8 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
11.8 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor 11.8 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-12,800 ISO 100-12,800
Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots 3.0 LCD, 920k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
7 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
410 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
116 x 87 x 57 mm, 402 g 113 x 65 x 48 mm, 346 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus Stylus 1 and the Olympus XZ-2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus Stylus 1 and the Olympus XZ-2. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Olympus Stylus 1 vs Olympus XZ-2
Compare Stylus 1 versus XZ-2 top
Comparison Stylus 1 or XZ-2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus XZ-2 is notably smaller (27 percent) than the Olympus Stylus 1. Moreover, the XZ-2 is markedly lighter (14 percent) than the Stylus 1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Stylus 1 nor the XZ-2 are weather-sealed.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 410 n Oct 2013 699 i
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599 i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799 i
4.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799 i
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 119 mm 72 mm 60 mm 423 g 470 n Aug 2014 599 i
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599 i
8.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549 i
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s 116 mm 87 mm 57 mm 402 g 450 n Apr 2015 699 i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL2 114 mm 72 mm 42 mm 362 g 280 n Jan 2011 599 i
11.
 
Olympus E-PL3 110 mm 64 mm 37 mm 313 g 300 n Jun 2011 599 i
12.
 
Olympus XZ-1 111 mm 65 mm 42 mm 275 g 320 n Jan 2011 499 i
13.
 
Panasonic LF1 103 mm 62 mm 28 mm 192 g 250 n Apr 2013 499 i
14.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The XZ-2 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the Stylus 1, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/1.7-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 4.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Olympus Stylus 1 and Olympus XZ-2 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 11.8 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the Stylus 1 and the XZ-2 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the Stylus 1 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the XZ-2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the Stylus 1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Olympus Stylus 1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The Olympus XZ-2 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

Stylus 1 versus XZ-2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.711.6179 51
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.3216 49
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.8581 58
4.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.7230 54
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.8644 60
6.
 
Fujifilm X30 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
7.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p...... ..
8.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.7200 54
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p...... ..
10.
 
Olympus E-PL2 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024720/30p21.410.2573 55
11.
 
Olympus E-PL3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.910.3499 52
12.
 
Olympus XZ-1 1/1.7 10.1 3664 2752720/30p18.810.4117 34
13.
 
Panasonic LF1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60i20.811.6211 52
14.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.3208 49

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the Stylus 1 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the XZ-2 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the XZ-2 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the VF-2. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus Stylus 1 and Olympus XZ-2 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 11440 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0 Y Y
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
4.
 
Canon G16optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2 Y Y
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm X302360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
7.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
8.
 
Nikon P7800921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s1440 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 7.0 Y Y
10.
 
Olympus E-PL2optional n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
11.
 
Olympus E-PL3optional n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n Y
12.
 
Olympus XZ-1optional n 3.0 614 fixed n 1/2000s 2.0 Y Y
13.
 
Panasonic LF1200 n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
14.
 
Pentax MX-1none n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0 Y Y

The Olympus Stylus 1 and the Olympus XZ-2 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the Stylus 1 and the XZ-2 have zoom lenses built in. The Stylus 1 has a 28-300mm f/2.8-2.8 optic and the XZ-2 offers a 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Stylus 1 and XZ-2 provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the XZ-2 has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The XZ-2 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Stylus 1 and the XZ-2 write their files to SDXC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus Stylus 1 and Olympus XZ-2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereomono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon G16Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Fujifilm X30Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereomono--micro2.0---
8.
 
Nikon P7800YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1sYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Olympus E-PL2Ystereo---mini2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-PL3Ystereo---mini2.0---
12.
 
Olympus XZ-1Ymono---mini2.0---
13.
 
Panasonic LF1-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
14.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereomono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the Stylus 1 offers wifi support, while the XZ-2 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the Stylus 1 and the XZ-2 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The Stylus 1 was replaced by the Olympus Stylus 1s, while the XZ-2 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus website.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus Stylus 1 better than the Olympus XZ-2 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Olympus Stylus 1:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 920k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 340) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 1 month after the XZ-2).


Arguments in favor of the Olympus XZ-2:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.8).
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 116x87mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 56g or 14 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the Stylus 1 emerges as the winner of the contest (8 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

Stylus 1 08:06 XZ-2

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus Stylus 1 and the Olympus XZ-2 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Stylus 1 and the XZ-2 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus Stylus 1..+ +..4.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 699 i
2.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599 i
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark II3/5+77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i
4.
 
Canon G164/5+..4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799 i
6.
 
Fujifilm X304/5..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i
7.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599 i
8.
 
Nikon P78003/5....4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549 i
9.
 
Olympus Stylus 1s.......... Apr 2015 699 i
10.
 
Olympus E-PL23/583/10071/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 599 i
11.
 
Olympus E-PL33/5+ +72/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599 i
12.
 
Olympus XZ-14/5..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 499 i
13.
 
Panasonic LF13/5+..4/54.5/5 Apr 2013 499 i
14.
 
Pentax MX-13/5..74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Olympus Stylus 1:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus XZ-2:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Olympus Stylus 1 vs Olympus XZ-2

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus XZ-2
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 28-300mm f/2.8 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date October 2013 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 699 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus XZ-2
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/1.7" Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 7.6 x 5.7 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 43.32 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 9.5 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 4.5x 4.4x
    Sensor Resolution 11.8 Megapixels 11.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3968 x 2976 pixels 3968 x 2976 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.91 μm 1.91 μm
    Pixel Density 27.26 MP/cm2 27.26 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VI TruePic VI
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 51 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 20.7 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.6 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 179 216
    Screen Specs Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus XZ-2
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.58x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus XZ-2
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus XZ-2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus XZ-2
    Battery Type BLS-5 Li-90B
    Battery Life (CIPA)410 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 116 x 87 x 57 mm
    (4.6 x 3.4 x 2.2 in)
    113 x 65 x 48 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.9 in)
    Camera Weight 402 g (14.2 oz) 346 g (12.2 oz)

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