The Olympus XZ-2 is a worthy successor to the XZ-1. With a better sensor, interchangeable grip, manual controls and bright lens, the XZ-2 is a competent advanced compact camera. Its high-resolution tilting touchscreen display helps in capturing shots, but does add on to the camera's size as well. But size isn't the XZ-2's major hurdle, it is the rest of the competition.
The last year saw a slew of advanced compact cameras released in the market. And despite all of them having some slight shortcomings, they are all quite good. And that's where the problem lies. The XZ-2's closest competitors are the Panasonic Lumix LX7 and the Samsung EX2F. The Panasonic LX7 has a faster lens and slightly smaller build, though it has a fixed rear display and costs S$101 more. The Samsung EX2F features a swiveling display that definitely provides more creative options than the XZ-2's tilting display, has a faster lens and has one of the best "smart" functions for either social sharing or offering other creative shooting and photo transfer options. But compared against the XZ-2, the Samsung EX2F produces images that are slightly less vibrant in color.
For S$698, the Olympus XZ-2 is good value for money, though you will need to be aware of its shortcomings. It has good overall day-to-day image quality and manual controls that will appeal to the photography enthusiast. However, its aggressive noise control, shutter lag and poor autofocus performance in low light also work against it. Size and weight isn't that much different from the Samsung EX2F but if these factors aren't important, then you should take a look at the XZ-2. For its price point, the performance and controls are certainly decent. We could only wish for a better menu system to appeal to more non-enthusiasts.