Inside the compact inch-thick body of the Olympus Stylus-7010, the company has selected both a 1/2.33"-type twelve megapixel CCD image sensor and an Olympus-branded 7x optical zoom lens which offers focal length equivalents from a generous 28mm wide angle to a useful 196mm telephoto - likely a much more useful range than the rather more telephoto lens in the previous Stylus-7000 model. A 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution offers the Stylus-7010's only option for framing and reviewing images, as there's no optical viewfinder on this model. The display has the same resolution as that of the Stylus-7000, but is a third-inch smaller on the diagonal. Usefully given the telephoto strength on offer, the Olympus 7010 does offer true mechanical image stabilization, - one half of Olympus' "Dual Image Stabilization" system for fighting blur. The other half is what Olympus refers to as "Digital Image Stabilization" - essentially a setting that causes the camera to raise ISO sensitivity (along with shutter speeds and image noise) in an attempt to freeze motion. ISO sensitivity ranges from a low of ISO 64 to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent - a useful step over the Stylus-7000's ISO 1,600 maximum.
The Olympus 7010 employs a contrast-detection autofocus system operating off data streaming from the camera's image sensor, and interestingly the Stylus 7010's face detection function is linked not only to the autoexposure and autofocus systems, but is also used to assist the camera's Shadow Adjustment Technology function. We've seen Olympus Shadow Adjustment function on the company's digital SLRs in the past, and here it helps ensuring that your subjects' faces are captured with appropriate brightness without blowing out the background in backlit scenes. Olympus' face detection function also allows for tracking of a subject's face as it moves around the frame, once detected.
A total of 15 scene modes are offered in the Olympus Stylus-7010, allowing users some degree of control over their images without needing to understand the subtleties of shutter speeds and apertures. There's also an Intelligent Auto mode which can automatically select the correct mode from a subset of these - either Portrait, Landscape, Night + Portrait, Macro or Sports. Another interesting feature carried over from the Stylus-7000 is a Beauty Mode which softens shadows, and smooths wrinkles and blemishes on your subject's face. It's also possible to retouch images in-camera after capture using the Beauty Fix mode, and choosing from options such as Clear Skin, Dramatic Eye, or Sparkle Eye.
The Olympus Stylus-7010 has video output connectivity, although it isn't immediately clear from the specifications whether this is standard-definition like most cameras, or if the HDMI connectivity of the Stylus-7000 has been retained. Images can be transferred to a PC over a USB 2.0 High-Speed connection. A rechargeable LI-42B Lithium Ion battery with charger is included with the Stylus-7010, although information on battery life wasn't available at press time. Also included is Olympus' Master 2 software for viewing and modifying photos. Images are stored in 36MB of internal memory - upgraded from 16MB in the Stylus-7000 - as well as on xD-Picture Card memory cards. As with the company's other cameras since August 2008, Olympus is also including an MASD-1 microSD to xD-Picture Card adapter in the Stylus-7010's product bundle, allowing the use of microSD cards in the camera as well.
The Olympus Stylus-7010 will be on offer in the USA from August 2009 with pricing of about $200.