Posts Tagged ‘Cameras’

Nikon Announces Seven New COOLPIX Cameras

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Nikon has added seven new cameras to their COOLPIX lineup, including the 10.3MP CMOS sensor P100, which shoots full HD video (1080p) and has a 26x Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED lens; the 14.2MP 26x optical zoom S8000; and the 12.1MP 15x optical zoom L110.

From Nikon:

At the forefront of product innovation and market firsts, Nikon Inc. today introduced seven new COOLPIX compact digital cameras, marrying performance and design for an enhanced user experience. Building on the success of the COOLPIX brand, Nikon continues to lead innovation in game-changing categories, including the introduction of a CMOS sensor and 26x optical zoom lens into the flagship Performance Series with the new COOLPIX P100. Because of the growing popularity of content-generation and High Definition (HD) video, Nikon has equipped five of its new COOLPIX cameras with HD movie capabilities, making creating and sharing memories fun and easy. A hallmark of the COOLPIX line, Nikon offers elegantly designed compact cameras in vibrant must-have colors to suit personal style, including the new COOLPIX S8000, COOLPIX S6000, COOLPIX S4000, COOLPIX S3000 and COOLPIX L22. Additionally, the new COOLPIX L110 offers 15x super zoom and HD video recording with stereo sound and easy shooting versatility.
“These latest Nikon COOLPIX cameras reflect the easy-to-use technology in compact and stylish cameras that consumers have come to expect from Nikon,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “With new features such as HD movie and long-zoom shooting capabilities, these COOLPIX cameras empower consumers with powerful, yet easy-to-use features that also serve as an expression of personal style.”
The Nikon COOLPIX cameras incorporate Nikon’s world-class NIKKOR lenses, delivering accurate detail and brilliant color, as well as Nikon’s EXPEED™ digital image processing concept, which helps to ensure high-quality pictures with stunning color and sharpness. A new enhancement in select camera models is Advanced Flash Control, which creates a more natural-looking appearance in low-light settings. Other COOLPIX features include Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization, which minimizes blur that may appear in pictures, even in low-light or unsteady conditions while shooting handheld; and Scene Auto Selector, which automatically recognizes the shooting situation and adjusts camera settings accordingly.  Also, the new Night Landscape Mode found in the P100 combines a series of consecutive shots into a single, clearer image with low noise when photographing at night. Adding to the overall functionality, many of the new models sport an easily accessible video record button to make recording movies a one-step process. To make sharing images and HD video fun and easy, many of the new COOLPIX cameras also feature enhanced HDMI connectivity.
New COOLPIX P100 Digital Camera Features 26x Super Telephoto-Zoom Lens and CMOS Technology for Shooting Versatility
Nikon continues its commitment to high performance in the compact digital camera category, offering photo enthusiasts ultra long-zoom capabilities, high-speed action and shooting versatility in a compact body. New to the COOLPIX line, the P100 is the first Nikon COOLPIX camera to incorporate a 10.3-megapixel backside illumination CMOS sensor, which enables high-speed shooting at 10 frames per second (fps) at full resolution and exceptional image quality even when shooting in low-light settings. Other functions benefitting from the lower noise and exceptional image quality of the new CMOS image sensor include an in-camera high dynamic range (HDR) function, which merges images of the same scene to achieve a single image with a broader range of tonal detail.
Additionally, a Night Landscape Mode combines a series of consecutive shots taken into a single image, with reduced noise. An expansive 26mm wide-angle to 678mm super-telephoto 26x Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens brings users closer to the action, which can be utilized while capturing Full HD movies (1080p) with stereo sound recording. The P100 also features a high-speed Sport Continuous Mode for shooting up to 120 fps (1.1 MP) and a pre-shooting cache to help ensure users never miss a shot.
Additional COOLPIX P100 features include: 3.0-inch vari-angle 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD; Electronic Viewfinder; 5-way hybrid VR Image Stabilization System for crisp, blur-free photos; Mode Dial; Active D-Lighting; Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System.
The P100 will be available in March 2010, and retails for $399.95 MSRP.

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New COOLPIX S8000 Digital Camera Boasts 10x Zoom, Ultra-High Resolution 3.0-Inch LCD Screen and Enhanced Creativity with Class-Leading* Slim Design
Built on the success of Nikon’s previous long-zoom compact cameras, the new 14.2-megapixel COOLPIX S8000 is the thinnest camera in its class*, featuring a powerful and versatile 10x (30mm to 300mm) telephoto Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens to capture incredibly sharp, crisp images. Additionally, the S8000 has the ability to record HD movies (720p) at 30 fps with built-in stereo sound recording, and also features a 3.0-inch ultra-high resolution 921,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD for composing and sharing images or movies.
Allowing the user to enjoy more creative freedom with convenient in-camera functions, the COOLPIX S8000 features the Creative Slider, a fun new way to apply effects when shooting in Auto Mode. Brightness, saturation and hue can be adjusted using the Rotary Multi Selector, all while watching a real-time preview on the camera’s LCD monitor. The COOLPIX S8000 also features new functions to enhance image quality in dark settings, including Advanced Flash Control to enable users to create more natural-looking flash shots by utilizing higher ISO settings and faster shutter speeds in low light.
Additional COOLPIX S8000 features include: High ISO up to 3200; 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; ultra-fast start-up; Sport Continuous Mode up to approximately 3 fps for 45 frames (3 MP); Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and an ultra-stylish design.
The COOLPIX S8000 will be available in February 2010 for $299.95 MSRP in a choice of colors, including black, red, bronze and champagne silver.
The New COOLPIX S6000 Digital Camera Delivers Super Slim Design and Fast Response
The new COOLPIX S6000 blends style and performance into a compact, go-anywhere package. Measuring at only 25mm (approximately 1.0-inch) in depth, the COOLPIX S6000 is the thinnest in its class**. With a versatile 7x wide-angle Optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens, users can capture the action near and far. The COOLPIX S6000 includes a bright 2.7-inch 230,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD and the ability to record HD movies (720p) at 30 fps.
Additional COOLPIX S6000 features include: 14.2-megapixel resolution; ISO 3200; 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; Ultra-fast start-up (approx. 0.75 sec.); HDMI Connectivity; Sport Continuous Mode approximately 3 fps for 45 frames (3 MP); Advanced Flash Control; Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and a sleek design.
The COOLPIX S6000 will be available in March 2010 for $249.95 MSRP in a choice of colors, including champagne silver, black, red and bronze.
The New COOLPIX S4000 Digital Camera Combines Stylish Design with Intuitive Touch Controls
Integrating sleek design and intuitive touch operation, the new COOLPIX S4000 digital camera is all about the user experience. Whether it’s recording HD movies or exploring creative possibilities, the COOLPIX S4000 places the camera’s controls at the touch of a finger. The COOLPIX S4000 incorporates a new 3.0-inch, high-resolution touch-panel 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD which makes it easy to compose, review and share pictures. Advanced touch features include Touch Shutter, allowing users to select their subject with a single touch on the screen to adjust focus and exposure, and to automatically release the shutter, as well as Subject Tracking to automatically follow and focus on a subject selected by touching the screen.
The COOLPIX S4000 features 12-megapixel resolution; a 4x wide-angle Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens; ISO 3200; HD movie (720p); 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and a sleek design.
The COOLPIX S4000 will be available in March 2010 for $199.95 MSRP in a choice of vibrant colors, including plum, champagne silver, pink, red and black.
New COOLPIX S3000 Style Setter in Sleek Design, Vivid Colors
Sleek design, eye-catching colors and innovative technology make the COOLPIX S3000 the ideal tool to express one’s personal style. Measuring at just 19mm (approximately 0.8 inches) in depth, the COOLPIX S3000’s stylish looks and color options make it a great camera for capturing and sharing memories on the go.
The COOLPIX S3000 features 12-megapixel resolution; a 4x wide-angle Zoom-NIKKOR lens; ISO 3200; 4-way VR Image Stabilization System; Subject Tracking; Scene Auto Selector Mode; Nikon’s Smart Portrait System and a colorful yet compact design.
The COOLPIX S3000 will be available in March 2010 for $149.95 MSRP and comes in a vivid array of colors, including orange, green, blue, plum, black and champagne silver.

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New COOLPIX L110 Delivers Uncomplicated Awe-Inspiring Zoom
Optimized for action shots, high-powered zoom and simple operation, the COOLPIX L110 is equipped and ready to easily capture life’s precious moments up close or far away with stunning quality and clarity.  The ideal choice for consumers seeking a fully-featured long zoom camera at a great value, the COOLPIX L110 achieves its versatility through its 15x Optical Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens. Covering a focal length from a wide 28mm to 420mm super-telephoto, the lens’ broad focal range can readily handle the task of capturing all of life’s events, including action shots at the kid’s soccer game or stunning landscapes from the family vacation. The COOLPIX L110 also features Sport Continuous Mode, allowing users to capture the best highlights from the stands or the sidelines. The power-efficient L110 digital camera can shoot approximately 840 still images or record seven hours*** of HD video with a set of four AA Energizer® Ultimate Lithium batteries, which are included with the L110. Nikon EN-MH2 Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, which are available separately, can also be used for rechargeable convenience.

Additional COOLPIX L110 features include: 12.1-megapixel resolution; 3.0-inch high-resolution 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD; HD movie (720p) with Optical Zoom and Auto Focus while recording video and a built-in stereo microphone; 5-way VR Image Stabilization System; Smart Portrait System; Scene Auto Selector.
The COOLPIX L110 will be available February 2010 for $279.95 MSRP and will be offered in black or red.
New COOLPIX L22 Digital Camera is Compact and Easy To Use at an Affordable Price
The COOLPIX L22 is the ideal camera for consumers who are looking to easily capture all of life’s memories at an affordable price, but without compromising performance. The COOLPIX L22 features 12- megapixel resolution for stunning image detail, a 3.6x Zoom-NIKKOR lens for creative compositional freedom, while a huge bright 3.0-inch 230,000-dot LCD screen makes sharing and composing photos enjoyable.
Additional COOLPIX L22 features include: 3-way VR Image Stabilization System; Smart Portrait System; Easy Auto Mode and can be powered by two AA-batteries or Nikon EN-MH2 Ni-MH rechargeable batteries which are available separately.
The COOLPIX L22 will be available in February 2010, for $129.95 MSRP and will be offered in various colors, including black, red, blue and champagne silver.

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Olympus Announces PEN E-PL1

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Last week, we mentioned that Olympus was teasing a new camera, and ventured to guess that it was a follow-up to the E-P1 and E-P2. Today Olympus announced their third generation PEN, the E-PL1—a Micro Four-Thirds camera that the manufacturer bills as ideal for “shutterbugs who always wanted better pictures and considered a DSLR, but were intimidated by the bulky size and complex interface.” At $599.99, the 12.3MP Live-MOS sensor E-PL1 offers a retro body style, similar to that of its predecesors (but not quite as authentic looking), HD video (1280 x 720), built-in pop-up flash, Olympus’ now signature in-camera Art Filters, AF Live View, and more.

From Olympus:

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 3, 2010 – The new Olympus PEN E-PL1 is truly greater than the sum of its parts, with a surprisingly small camera body packed with technology normally found in bigger, bulkier and heavier professional Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras and High-Definition (HD) camcorders. This third-generation PEN is built for shutterbugs who always wanted better pictures and considered a DSLR, but were intimidated by the bulky size and complex interface. The new camera’s simple design and easy interface enable consumers to easily create amazing images never dreamt possible. It will make you wonder how Olympus managed to put all of these powerful features inside such a compact camera for only $599.99.

The E-PL1 equals an affordable and powerfully simple all-in-one package that travels with you to capture life in the high quality that your memories deserve.

“Many of today’s consumers want a camera with the professional still image quality of a DSLR and HD video in a compact body that’s as easy to use as a point-and-shoot,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Thanks in part to an image sensor that’s approximately eight times larger in size than what’s inside the average point-and-shoot camera, the E-PL1 delivers outstanding high-quality images. Add the flexibility of high-quality interchangeable lenses, the convenience of a built-in pop-up flash, in-camera creative features and technology designed to produce images effortlessly, and the E-PL1 is the total consumer-friendly, multimedia package.”

EASILY PEN YOUR STORY WITH A BRAND NEW PEN

This third generation of the Olympus PEN series combines powerful features in an easy-to-use package that will make capturing your life more fun. The new direct record button makes taking videos easier than ever and the new Live Guide functionality makes it simple to learn photography techniques without requiring the skills of a pro shooter.

New Direct Button for HD Movies
Recording HD movies with the E-PL1 is simple, thanks to an easy-to-reach red “direct button” (red record button) on the back of the camera body. If you’re about to snap a photo and you realize a video would capture the spirit of the scene even better, simply press the record button and instantly you’re capturing videos! Easily toggle back and forth between capturing stills and videos by using your index finger to press the shutter button or your thumb to press the red record button. Having the ability to shoot still images and videos opens up a world of imaging possibilities.

New Live Guide Sets the Scene Before You Shoot
The E-PL1’s new Live Guide interface simplifies great photography and gets the results you desire at the touch of a button. Want more vivid or muted color in your shot? Want warmer or cooler color? Want a brighter or darker subject, or a sharper or softer background? Or maybe you want to capture the fast-moving action of your subject with a little artistic blur, or perhaps freeze the action? Simply select Live Guide and press the up and down arrows on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects. Make adjustments and watch the LCD as the effects are made live – before the image is captured! Don’t worry about learning technical things like f-stops, shutter speed and white balance; jump right in by composing, adjusting exposure and more before the shot is taken.

Seeing the results before snapping the image ensures you are getting the shots you want, and it will change the way you photograph. Shooting Tips are also included with Live Guide, so you can leave the manual at home.

Automate Everything
Live Guide is just the start of automated technologies on the E-PL1 designed to free you up to focus on your subjects instead of focusing on your camera’s settings.

* 19 Scene-Select Modes: From portraits to sunset shots, the E-PL1 is equipped with 19 Scene-Select modes for effortless picture taking, including Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro and Panorama, to name a few. Capturing beautiful portraits is easy with the ePortrait Mode that enables you to smooth your subject’s complexion.
* Intelligent Auto (iAuto) Mode: When you don’t want to use the scene-select modes, the iAuto mode automatically identifies what you’re shooting and adjusts settings for you to capture the best result depending on the situation.
* Face Detection: Reduce the chance of blurred subjects in images by recognizing up to eight faces, tracking them within the image area, and automatically focusing and optimizing exposure for sharp portraits.
* In-Camera Panorama: Capture three images and stitch them together to create one amazing, seamless panoramic picture. Or use the included OLYMPUS [ib] software to stitch up to 10 images together for the ultimate panorama.
* iEnhance: With this mode the warm yellow and orange colors of a sunset are heightened to a dramatically lifelike color that’s truer to what you see with the naked eye. iEnhance can be used in any mode, and automatically engages when using iAuto to enrich color in any subject.
* Share: Just connect the camera to an HDTV with an optional HDMI cable and use your TV remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus from the comfort of your personal front-row seat. The E-PL1 records to SDHC (Class 6 recommended) media cards that can be plugged directly into many devices and accommodate large files, including videos.

New Powerfully Simple Pop-Up Flash
The E-PL1 is the first camera in the Olympus PEN series with a built-in pop-up flash that makes it easy to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas. The camera is also compatible with a range of optional external flashes, including the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R, which can be controlled wirelessly by the E-PL1 so you can dynamically control lighting as your photography skills grow.

PRO-QUALITY IMAGES

How do professional photographers capture the stunning images you see in the pages of glossy magazines and coffee-table books? Talent matters, of course, but you also need the right equipment. Rest assured that the E-PL1 has everything you need to produce vibrant, professional-quality images: a large image sensor, in-body Image Stabilization, Imager Autofocus, the proven Olympus Dust Reduction System and the TruePic™ V Image Processor.

Big Sensor, Not a Big Body
At the heart of the E-PL1 is a large-size image sensor that’s the same sensor as the one inside the Olympus E-30 and E-620 DSLR models. The only difference between this sensor and what the pros use is that this big sensor is inside the much smaller body of the E-PL1. This high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor (eight times larger than the average point-and-shoot camera sensor) delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity, and a state-of-the-art amplifier circuit to reduce noise and capture fine image details in both highlight and shadow areas.

Stabilize All of Your Lenses
Instead of selling more expensive lenses that have image stabilization inside them, Olympus takes a different approach by having image stabilization built right into the body of the E-PL1. This means that any lens (Micro Four Thirds™, Four Thirds and any third-party lens) attached to the E-PL1 will deliver blur-free images thanks to three modes of In-body Image Stabilization that automatically compensate for camera shake, including in low-light situations or when shooting without a tripod. Since the PEN cameras are the world’s smallest interchangeable-lens cameras with image stabilization built inside the body, you can take the E-PL1 with you and capture great images, and it won’t weigh you down.

Track Your Subjects Wherever They Roam
The E-PL1’s Continuous Autofocus (C-AF) Tracking and Autofocus (AF) Target Registration locks your subject into focus and constantly adjusts focus and brightness whether you or your subject is moving. With this mode, a simple push of the shutter release enables you to keep moving subjects in focus – tracking them from left to right and from front to back – within the frame, automatically ensuring that even active subjects, like kids playing sports, are captured clearly.

The E-PL1’s Imager Autofocus in Live View enables you to compose, focus and capture the shot quickly and easily without ever taking your eyes off the camera’s large, 2.7-inch full-color, high-contrast HyperCrystal LCD for an easy, seamless viewing experience when shooting still images or videos. The LCD also provides a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees, which ensures that images can be composed from even the most obscure angles.

This Camera Leaves Others in the Dust
If you’re just starting out with a camera that has interchangeable lenses, you don’t have to worry about dust spots on your sensor ruining the perfect image every time you change lenses. Spend more time shooting with the E-PL1 and less time worrying about dust with the proven Olympus Dust Reduction System that produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter™, a patented ultrasonic technology that vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor, capturing them on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on.

True-to-Life Color
The E-PL1’s Live MOS image sensor is complemented by Olympus’ TruePic™ V Image Processor, which produces clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible. The image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings (ISO 100 to ISO 3200), enabling great results in low-light situations.

EASILY EXPAND YOUR CREATIVE HORIZONS WITH BUILT-IN EFFECTS

Express yourself with in-camera creative features. Professional images are rarely unedited images. Video and still image pros use computer-editing software to render their images with effects that set their shots apart from the pack. Olympus appreciates that you may not have hours to spend retouching your images at the computer, so the E-PL1 incorporates editing effects inside the camera to save you time. Whether you apply in-camera creative effects while shooting an image, or apply them later to images captured without the effects, all are inside the E-PL1, so you can achieve dramatic results on the go without a computer or editing software.

The E-PL1 has six in-camera Art Filters, including a new filter called Gentle Sepia. This filter gives your images and videos a soft, warm sepia cast similar to historical images from the early days of photography. The sepia tones are softer and the blacks are a true black, unlike traditional sepia images. The new filter joins Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pin Hole, Grainy Film and Diorama (the filter that makes everything look as small as the E-PL1).

With the E-PL1’s Multiple Exposure function available for still image capture, you are free to tell a visual story your way. The image capture options enable you to shoot one shot, then another and combine them in real time, or capture both shots separately and combine them within the camera later. Take a shot of your significant other, and overlay your self-portrait on top to figure out what your kids will look like. If you have kids already, overlay your kid’s face on top of a shot of his or her favorite cartoon character for laughs. Your ability to manipulate space and time makes this new creative multimedia device a veritable time machine.

You often can achieve greater photographic expression by framing a scene in a unique way. The E-PL1 provides four aspect ratios that serve as masks to frame your image to the desired proportions, including the standard 4:3 aspect ratio that is suited to an 8 x 10-inch enlargement; the 16:9 aspect ratio that will display beautifully on a widescreen television; and other popular aspect ratios, such as 3:2 and 6:6. The Multi-Aspect Shooting further expresses your creative vision when combined with in-camera Art Filters and Multiple Exposures.

With the E-PL1, you have your own living library of still images, HD video and audio to remix at your command. In playback mode, you can seamlessly mix stills and movies inside the camera to create a multimedia slideshow, and dub in one of three built-in dramatic background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation. With so many creative options, there’s no limit to what you can create. Choose whether or not you want to play back just pictures, just movies or a combination; also control playing back the whole movie or just a clip.

OPEN SYSTEM EASILY GROWS WITH YOUR ABILITY

With a basic point-and-shoot camera, you get one lens built into the camera. One lens, that’s it. And it’s likely a small lens, which doesn’t allow a lot of light through to hit the image sensor. So, you may have a difficult time in low-light conditions. And without the option of adding more lenses, you’re limited to what that one point-and-shoot lens can do. The E-PL1 solves these issues by accepting a variety of lenses to maximize its functionality. Whether shooting still images or HD video, you can add everything from an extreme wide-angle fisheye lens to a super-telephoto lens for a wide range of expressive options.

The M. ZUIKO DIGITAL Micro Four Thirds lenses are designed to be more compact and portable like the E-PL1. Choose from the ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 zoom lens (28-84mm equivalent in 35mm cameras) sold with the E-PL1, the ED 17mm f2.8 lens (34mm equivalent), the new super wide-angle zoom ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 lens (18-36mm equivalent) or the high-power wide to telephoto zoom ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 lens (28-300mm equivalent).

If you want to have even more options, the MMF-2 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter makes the E-PL1 compatible with all Olympus ZUIKO Digital Specific™ lenses and other Four Thirds System lenses from Sigma, Panasonic and Leica. Olympus OM film-based lenses can be attached to the E-PL1 with the MF-2 OM Lens Adapter, and there are third-party adapters developed for lenses from most other manufacturers.

SOFTWARE AND ACCESSORY OPTIONS WHEN YOU’RE READY

The E-PL1 incorporates an accessory port for connecting the optional VF-2 live-finder, a detachable electronic viewfinder, or the new optional SEMA-1 external microphone adapter set (which includes the EMA-1 adapter, the ME-51S stereo microphone and a cord) for those who want to capture enhanced audio with any microphone that has a 3.5mm plug. These optional accessories easily slide into the camera’s accessory port and hot shoe.

Consumers who wish to hold the E-PL1 up to their eye rather than use the LCD will appreciate that the optional VF-2, which provides 1.15x magnification and a 100 percent field of view with sharp resolution, brightness and contrast. The viewfinder refreshes quickly to minimize image ghosting on fast-moving subjects. It also rotates up to 90 degrees to enable photographers to look down into it, which is useful when shooting subjects from challenging angles. The built-in diopter adjustment and high magnification offer easy viewing with and without glasses.

The E-PL1 offers OLYMPUS [ib] software that includes photography workflow, browsing, editing and unique photo-organizing functions. You can organize your photos by person with automatic face-recognition technology, by location with a Geotagging function or by event. You can easily view photos on an HDTV or on the camera’s LCD with the Photo Surfing or Slideshow functions. The name [ib] stands for image bridging, image browsing and image brightening. The software will be available for Windows operating systems only.

Underwater Housing for Aquatic Adventures
The new camera’s compact design makes it the perfect companion for all of your dive trips. The PT-EP01 underwater case has been specially customized for the Olympus E-PL1 and is waterproof to a depth of 40 meters (approximately 130 feet). With its durable, high-quality polycarbonate construction, this Olympus housing protects the camera from water while also cushioning it from knocks and bumps on land. The housing enables viewing from either the camera’s LCD screen or an optional electronic viewfinder. The flash connectors allow optional use of up to two UFL-2 underwater flash units via fiber optic cable. A nonremovable front lens port accommodates multiple Micro Four Thirds lenses.

New Exterior Design, Same PEN DNA
The E-PL1 streamlines the Olympus Micro Four Thirds PEN series form and is available in three new body colors, including Black, Champagne Gold and Slate Blue. Thanks to its compact size (4.51″ W x 2.84″ H x 1.63″ D excluding protrusions) and light 10.4-ounce body, the E-PL1 won’t weigh you down when you’re on the go.

AVAILABILITY

The Olympus E-PL1 will be available in March 2010. It includes the E-PL1 Body, M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zoom, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLS-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCS-1), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
E-PL1 Body with M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zoom Lens
Estimated Street Price: $599.99

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Coming Soon: Olympus E-P3?

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Olympus is teasing a new camera on their website now, just in time for the fast approaching PMA show. We’ll bring you the announcement when it happens at PMA, or sooner, but it may well be the update to the Micro Four-Thirds format E-P2. As Electronista speculates, “The image doesn’t provide many hard details but appears to show a camera much like (but different than) the E-P1 and E-P2.” [via Electronista and Gizmodo]

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Pentax Announces Three New Cameras

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Pentax‘s new 12.1MP Optio I-10 seems to have taken its style cues from Leica, the way Sigma’s DP2 and Olympus’ E-P2 recently have—conjuring the classic film SLRs.  Also announced were the equally retro looking 12.1MP Optio H90 and the super affordable 10MP Optio E90.

From Pentax:

PENTAX Imaging Company announced three new digital cameras with designs so unique that not one can be labeled as “just another silver digital camera.”
Most unique is the slim and stylish PENTAX Optio I-10 with a design inspired by the classic look of film SLR cameras.  This head-turning first model in the new Optio I line features a flash unit and speaker in the upper mid-section of the SLR-shaped body while the camera’s front panel is embellished with high quality leatherette texture and the classic PENTAX logo placed front and center. The Optio I-10 features a wide angle, 5X optical zoom lens (28mm-140mm equivalent), a 12.1 megapixel  high resolution CCD sensor, a 2.7 inch widescreen LCD, and HD video capture at 720p and 30 FPS.  For optimal image capture, the camera features a mechanical sensor shift Shake Reduction system and improved Pixel Track Shake Reduction technology for blur-free images as well as Smile Capture, Blink Detection and improved Face Detection that spots up to 32 faces including dogs and cats.  The Optio I-10 is remote control compatible (sold separately) and will ship in February 2010 in a choice of Classic Black and Pearl White for $299.95 USD.

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PENTAX also announced the Optio H90 digital camera with a clean, contemporary design that is as in style in a museum of modern art as at a concert or sporting event.  Developed with the concept of “functional beauty” in mind, the fashionable and affordable Optio H90 offers a full assortment of features to capture a variety of subjects and scenes.  This first model in the new Optio H line features a wide angle 5X optical zoom lens (28mm-140mm equivalent), a 12.1 megapixel high resolution CCD sensor,  and widescreen HD video capture at 720p and 30 FPS.  Improved Pixel Track Shake Reduction technology captures blur-free images and the Face Detection, Smile Capture, and Blink Detection functions help users create better portraits.  The Optio H90 will ship in February 2010 in a choice of Orange-Silver, Matte Black and Ceramic White for $179.95.
Both the PENTAX Optio I-10 and Optio H90 offer Eye-Fi connectivity capability for use with Eye-Fi wireless memory cards.

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The latest model in the easy-to-operate, affordable Optio E series is the PENTAX Optio E90.  Priced at just $99.95 USD, the Optio E90 features a 10 megapixel CCD, a 3X wide angle zoom (32mm-96mm equivalent) and a large 2.7 inch LCD housed in a luxurious rubber coated body for a sure grip.

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Olympus FE-5020 Review

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Text and Photos by Allison Gibson

A Super Wide-Angle Point-and-Shoot

When shopping for a compact point-and-shoot camera, there are a slew of features to consider, and they vary based on what is most important to you as a photographer. If you have kids who play sports, you probably want to look for a camera that has a fast shutter speed or maybe a scene mode meant for precisely that type of shooting. If you like to have a camera handy for parties, you want to make sure the image quality is good in low-light. Other things to look for are: zoom, flash, shooting modes, video, battery life, display and ergonomics. The slim, 12-megapixel CCD image sensor Olympus FE-5020 is a slick and stylish point-and-shoot that, for only $159.99 (MSRP), boasts high marks in many of the above categories.

Super Wide-Angle

The 4.3-21.5mm f/3.3-5.8 Olympus lens lives up to the hype of the FE-5020 being a “super wide-angle” camera, as it’s being billed by the manufacturer. To get closer to specific parts of the action, the FE-5020 offers 5x optical zoom, controlled by a quickly responsive thumb toggle to the right of the LCD. It is an unpleasant but not surprising detail to many photographers who prefer to compose shots with a viewfinder that this low-priced point-and-shoot lacks one. However, the large, bright 2.7-inch LCD offers expansive coverage of the wide shots.

Shooting Modes

Magic Filters: The FE-5020's Fisheye filter
The FE-5020 offers Intelligent Auto (iAuto) shooting mode, Program Auto mode and Digital Image Stabilization Plus mode, as well as a large assortment of specialty Scene Modes, including: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach + Snow and Pet. Additionally, there are “Magic Filters,” which include: Pop Art, Pinhole and Fisheye—if you can get to them in the LCD menu, that is. You can only access the Magic Filters option from the Menu button if you are in the Program Auto shooting mode, and once you get to them in the digital menu, they are untitled and offer only a dark thumbnail shot of what the filter will look like when applied. But however difficult Olympus makes it to get to the Magic Filters, they do deliver good results once they are in use. The Fisheye filter offers a much truer rendition of the effect that a real Fisheye lens gives, as compared to the Fisheye Art Filter in the recently reviewed Pentax K-x D-SLR.

The FE-5020 also shoots video (640×480, 30/15fps)—though not High Definition—with sound, which does well to capture sharp footage if the available light is sufficient.

Highs & Lows

PC120022

With its sophisticated looks, compact size, super wide-angle lens and 5x optical zoom, the Olympus FE-5020 is a well-priced point-and-shoot camera, however not without a few issues. The shutter release button has a wobbly, unstable feel to it, making it difficult to focus and take quick, precise shots instantly. The shot-to-shot lag time also leaves much to be desired. The built-in flash is much too bright, washing out shots with its overly harsh light in most ambient lighting situations.

The image quality is good, however, in low-light if you punch up the ISO. From ISO 64-400 it does great, and at 800 only a little noise starts to show up. At ISO 1600 you begin to see heavy noise.

The FE-5020’s AF (auto focus) Tracking, which Olympus bills as “automatically tracking moving subjects and continuously adjusting the focus and brightness to capture them sharply with ease,” didn’t always meet that standard for me in capturing a busy, low-lit Los Angeles outdoor night scene.

A great thing about this camera, though, is the outstanding battery life. It uses a Li-ion Rechargeable Battery (LI-42B), which lasts 150 shots according to the manufacturer, and seemed to last even longer than that for me—which was impressive considering that the LCD is always on due to the lack of a viewfinder.

The FE-5020 has 48MB of internal memory, and is xD-Picture Card and microSD (with optional adapter) compatible, which was admittedly inconvenient for me, as my card reader didn’t read the Olympus xD-Picture Card that I tested the camera with. A more accessible SD or SDHC would be a better choice for Olympus to go with. Of course, the camera comes bundled with a USB cable to retrieve images.

Overall, the thin and lightweight Olympus FE-5020—which comes in an assortment of jewel-toned finishes, including wine red, royal blue and dark gray—is a well-priced point-and-shoot with many of the features you may be looking for, plus more. It has a large, bright LCD, a large assortment of auto shooting modes and filters, advanced Face Detection (up to 16 faces), and the TruPic III Image Processor delivers sharp results that you can blow up to poster sized prints.

Olympus FE-5020

  • MSRP:
  • $159.99
  • Size/Weight:
  • 3.65”W x 2.2”H x 0.97”D; 3.8 oz., without battery
  • Image Sensor:
  • 12-megapixels
  • Still Recording Format:
  • JPG
  • Memory:
  • xD-Picture Card (1GB, 2GB); microSD (MASD-1 is required)
  • Display:
  • 2.7-inch LCD (230,000 pixels)
  • Exposure Metering:
  • Digital ESP Metering, Face Detection AE (when Face Detection AF is selected)
  • Special Features:
  • Magic Filters, 14 Scene Modes, Panorama (Up to 10 frames automatically stitchable with OLYMPUS Master software), Perfect Shot Preview, Frame Assist, Voice Recording, Playback Edit Effects (Still Image: Red-Eye Fix, Shadow Adjustment Edit, Beauty Fix, Resize, Cropping)
  • Video Recording Mode:
  • 640×480 (30/15fps) in .AVI format
  • Power Source:
  • Li-ion Rechargeable Battery (LI-42B)
  • Contact:
  • www.olympusamerica.com
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