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Olympus' Stylus 740 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus announces all-weather Stylus 740
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 01:00 EDT)

Featuring a pocket-friendly all-weather chassis, the Olympus Stylus 740 features an Olympus-branded 5x optical zoom with a useful 36 - 180mm equivalent focal length range and F3.3 - 5.0 maximum aperture, a cut above the 3x zooms offered on most point-and-shoot cameras.

This is coupled with a 7.1 megapixel imager and 2.5" LCD display with a higher-than-average resolution of 215,000 pixels. As is common on many digicams these days, this LCD is the sole method of framing images, as the Stylus 740 forgoes any form of optical viewfinder. Autofocus is via contrast detection, and ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 1600 equivalent (2500 being the maximum in some scene modes), and can be controlled automatically or manually.

The Olympus 740 also offers what the company calls "Digital Image Stabilization" mode - which should not be mistaken for true hardware image stabilization, where either lens elements or the image sensor are moved based on sensors that detect camera shake. The 740 does have a gyro sensor to detect the amount of camera shake, but the correction is made in software by compensating with blur removal after the exposure, plus increased sensitivity, faster shutter speeds, tweaks to sharpening, etc.

By default, exposures are determined with Olympus' Digital ESP multi-pattern metering, with spot metering also available. Users can also tweak the exposure with +/-2.0EV of exposure compensation, in 1/3EV steps. Shutter speeds range from 1/1000 to 4 seconds, and the Olympus Stylus 740 offers automatic or preset white balance control courtesy of six presets, but no custom white balance mode. The 740 also includes a four mode internal flash good to a distance of 12.5 feet at wide angle, and offers beginner-friendly control over images courtesy of a very generous 23 scene modes.

As well as still images, the Stylus 740 can capture movies at VGA or lower resolution, at a rate of 15 frames per second. The 740 also has a twelve second self-timer to let you get into your own pictures. The camera stores images on xD-Picture cards, or 17MB of built-in memory, and also offers both video and USB 2.0 Full Speed computer connectivity (rather slower than the USB 2.0 High Speed connections on many cameras these days). Powercomes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery, of Li-42B type.

The Olympus Stylus 740 ships from September in the USA, priced at $350. A separately available PT-034 underwater housing will allow the camera to be used underwater at depths of up to 40 meters, and is priced at an additional $250.

Olympus Stylus 740
Olympus' Stylus 740 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type Compact
Manufacturer Olympus
Model Number 740
Dimensions 3.8 x 2.1 x 1.0"
96.0 x 54.0 x 24.3mm
Weight 114.0 g
4.0 oz
Planned Price $349.99
Planned Availability Sep 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.3" CCD
7.40 megapixels (total)
7.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Dimensions 3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)2304 x 1728 (4.0 megapixels)2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)1024 x 768 (0.8 megapixels)640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.5", 215,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 10.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Olympus lens
5x optical zoom
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 6.4 - 32.0mm (actual)
36 - 180mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/3.3 (wide) / f/5.0 (tele) - ???
Focusing System CCD contrast detection, iESP Auto / Spot AF
Focusing Range Normal: 29" - infinity (70 cm - infinity)
Macro: 1.2" - infinity (3.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speed 4 - 1/1000 second
Exposure Modes Program
Metering Modes Digital ESP Auto Multi-Pattern TTL, Spot Metering
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent1, Fluorescent2, Fluorescent3
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: Wide: 12.5ft. (3.8m), Tele: 8.9ft. (2.7m)
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Landscape, Landscape & Portrait, Night Scene, Night & Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Museum, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Shoot & Select1, Shoot & Select2, Beach & Snow, Under Water Wide1 / 2 / Macro
Digital Zoom 5.6x
Self Timer Yes, 12 seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format QuickTime Motion JPEG with audio
640x480 and 320x240
Max. frame-rate: 15 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium xD Picture Card, Built-in
File Format JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes
Computer USB 2.0 Full (LOW) Speed
Other DC input
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary LI-42B
Product Bundle
Software OLYMPUS Master software
Battery / Charger Proprietary LI-42B Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 17.0MB built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
More Photos
Olympus' Stylus 740 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 740 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 740 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 740 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 740 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

OLYMPUS TAKES SLEEK, STYLISH CAMERA TO GREAT LENGTHS WITH NEW 5X OPTICAL ZOOM STYLUS 740

Ultra-Compact 5x Optical Zoom, All-Weather Camera Packed with 7.1-Megapixel CCD, Digital Image Stabilization and Bright Capture Technology

Center Valley, Pa, August 23, 2006 – The new Olympus Stylus 740 digital camera delivers the long distance image capture benefits of a 5x optical zoom lens tucked inside a streamlined, All-Weather body design. The camera’s ultra-slim form contains a wealth of features not typically found on a camera in such a compact size, including:

  • A 5x powerful zoom lens that combines with Digital Image Stabilization to ensure crisp, sharp images in any situation – group shots of friends and family, landscape vistas or zooming in on the action at a sporting event;
  • A large 2.5-inch LCD and Bright Capture Technology that makes composition, capture and review of images in all lighting situations a snap; and
  • Olympus’ exclusive TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor, which renders brilliant blue skies and accurate flesh tones, is coupled with a 7.1 megapixel image sensor to produce crisp, high-quality, large-format prints.

“With the Stylus-series digital cameras, the convenience of compact portability is matched by premium styling and innovative technologies that optimize image quality even in the most challenging shooting conditions,” said Tomoko Matsunaga, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The addition of a 5x optical zoom makes the Stylus 740 among the most versatile cameras on the market, ideal for active lifestyles.”

5x Optical Zoom
Olympus incorporates new lens technology into the Stylus 740 that enables the 5x optical zoom lens (36mm – 180mm, f3.3 – f 5.0 equivalent in 35mm photography) to bring the action five times closer in an ultra-slim body design. Olympus’ lenses are known worldwide for producing sharp, vibrant, high-quality images. This is achieved through a number of key technologies, such as Olympus’ high-refractive-index lens elements and dual super aspherical lens elements, designed specifically for digital cameras.

Stylish, Ergonomic Design
The Stylus 740 is defined by high-performance, durability and style. In addition to the All-Weather construction that made the Stylus famous, the Stylus 740 features a metal body, clean lines and smooth, rounded edges that make it comfortable to hold and easy to handle. In an ultra-slim size that’s less than one inch thick – 3.8 inch (W) x 2.1 inch (H) x 0.96 inch (D) – the camera fits snuggly into a pocket and won’t crowd a purse or briefcase.

Digital Image Stabilization
The Stylus 740 includes a Digital Image Stabilization Mode, which boosts ISO sensitivity and shutter speed for capturing crisp, clear pictures – free from the blur sometimes caused by camera shake or moving subjects in virtually any shooting situation.

All-Weather Durability
Typically, water and photography are a bad combination, limiting outdoor photography options when rain, sleet or snow are involved. The compact, All-Weather Stylus 740 can brave the elements and go virtually anywhere. The metal body construction is durable and lightweight with rubber gaskets throughout the interior to ensure that rain, snow and dust won’t get in the way of great photos.

Bright Capture Technology for Easy Low-Light Photography
There are times when you want to photograph subjects in low light without having to use a flash, for example, trying to capture the softness and warmth of a candlelit dinner or natural skin tones in subdued lighting. Olympus’ revolutionary Bright Capture Technology makes it possible to clearly compose subjects on the LCD. With specific scene modes for high sensitivity settings (up to ISO 2500) and rapid auto-focus, even fast-action photos can be captured under low levels of light. Plus, Bright Capture Movie lets enables users to record the moments in the dark even after the candles are blown out!

7.1-Megapixel Image Sensor for Superior Image Quality
The 7.1-megapixel CCD image sensor inside the Stylus 740 delivers high-quality images that are consistently sharp and vivid even when printed in large formats – up to poster sizes as large as 16 x 20 inches.

Large 2.5-Inch LCD
With a bright 2.5-inch LCD, the Stylus 740 easily doubles as a portable digital photo album. The larger LCD makes it easier to view images clearly both when shooting and sharing photos with friends without having to download images to a computer.

TruePic TURBO™ for High-Speed Response
Olympus’ exclusive TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor enhances image quality for brilliant blue skies and accurate flesh tones and delivers faster overall processing speeds for rapid start-up, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBOTM enables the Stylus 740 to capture information from all 7.1 million pixels with pixel “micro-smoothing” that delivers clearer and more color-accurate photos. The fast start-up of less than one second and nearly instant shutter release time ensures a high-speed response so the camera is always ready to take great pictures.

27 Selectable Shooting Modes
With 23 pre-programmed scene modes, such as Beach & Snow, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, and even Under Water Macro, the Stylus 740 makes it easy to capture beautiful images in a variety of lighting and shooting situations. Plus, with QuickTime® Movie Mode, the camera can also record VGA-quality videos with sound, limited only by the size of the internal memory or xD-Picture Card™ in the camera.

Built-In Help Guide
With the Help Guide function, each of the camera’s features is easily accessible even to novice users. By simply holding down the Guide button on the back of the camera, users can access brief descriptions of each of the camera’s functions and scene modes. An improved auto-set Shooting Guide provides users with an explanation of which features to use in a given situation and then sets the camera automatically for the selected feature in the Guide.

One-Touch EASY Print – No Computer Necessary!
The power of PictBridge? technology enables photos to be printed directly from the camera to any PictBridge?-enabled printer without using a computer. The one-touch “Print” button makes printing a single-step process. Printing and sharing images has never been easier!

In-camera Editing
Users can edit photos anywhere with ease by utilizing in-camera editing features, which include red-eye fix, resizing, adding frames around images, inserting text such as “Happy Birthday,” and adjusting color brightness and saturation.

Underwater Photography
The large 2.5-inch LCD, 5x optical zoom, compact body size and three underwater scene modes make the Stylus 740 the perfect camera to take along diving. The new PT-034 underwater housing is constructed of transparent polycarbonate with safety-locked o-ring seals, enabling the Stylus 740 to safely travel down to 40 meters below the surface. Large red grips, a responsive shutter button and a precision zoom lever make it easy to operate even when wearing diving gloves. Plus, with Bright Capture Technology, images can be easily previewed on the LCD even in the darkest waters.

OLYMPUS Master™ Software
OLYMPUS Master™ Software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading images to a computer quick and simple; and images are searchable by date or keyword in the Calendar View. Also, with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye removal, images can be touched up before printing or e-mailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away.

Availability
The Stylus 740 will be available in September 2006. The camera ships with: a wrist strap, WIN/Mac USB cable, audio/video cable, LI-42B Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger, instruction manual, warranty card, and a CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software.

U.S. Pricing
Stylus 740 Estimated Street Price: $349.99 (U.S.)
PT-034 Underwater Housing Estimated Street Price: $249.99 (U.S.)

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances peoples’ lives every day. These include:

  • Digital and film cameras
  • Professional SLR Imaging Systems
  • Digital and Microcassette recorders
  • Personal Photo Printers
  • Digital Media
  • Binoculars

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

*Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.
All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holder.
© 2006 Olympus Imaging America Inc

####

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