Olympus Announces New DSLR, Two Compact Cameras

Olympus America, Inc. introduced Monday an eight megapixel digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera and two compact digital cameras at 4-megapixels.

The Evolt E-300 Digital SLR (see photo below), is intended for amateur and professional photographers. The camera features the same Dust Reduction system found on the previous pro-oriented E-1 model that keeps microscopic particles of dust off the image sensor. It comes with a 1.8-inch, 134,000 pixel HyperCrystal LCD display for image review, which Olympusi press release says will offer a viewing angle of 160 degrees, and three times the contrast of standard LCD monitors. A built-in pop-up flash slides both forward and up when opened, and a hot shoe allows for the use of accessory flash units with x-sync at 1/180 second or less.

The E-300 comes with a Zuiko Digital 14 - 45mm f3.5 - f5.6 lens. Images are stored on either Type-I or Type-II CompactFlash cards, including Microdrives. Connectivity is via USB 1.1, and NTSC / PAL video output is also available. Power comes from a BLM-1 rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack. The camera sports a 64MB memory buffer and can capture 2.5 frames per second up to four frames in TIFF or RAW format at full resolution. The E-300 supports CompactFlash Type I and Type II cards and MicroDrive media.

(Photo courtesy of Imaging Resource)

The E-300 will ship in December, at an as-yet unannounced price.

The four megapixel Camedia AZ-2 Zoom is an update to the existing AZ-1 model, but thinner, shorter, lighter, but somewhat wider that ist predecessor. In the U.S., the camera will be sold as the limited edition Ferrari Digital Model 2004.

The AZ-2 features a prism-folded 2.8x optical zoom lens, a faster shutter speed at 1/1000 second, an ISO range of 80 - 400, and a VGA movie mode recording at 30 frames per second. The camera has a 2.5-inch LCD display.

The AZ-2 Zoom is shipping in October forUS$349.99.

The four megapixel, 3x optical zoom D-590 Zoom digital camera has an effective focal range of 35 to 105mm, and a 4x digital zoom. It accepts xD-Picture cards, and draws power from a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery with included charger. Images can be previewed or reviewed on a 1.8inch, 130,000 pixel LCD display and the camera supports the PictBridge standard for making prints on compatible printer models without the need for a computer.

The Olympus D-590 Zoom will ship in October for US$299.99.