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Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus announces Stylus Verve digital camera (UPDATED)
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(Friday, September 3, 2004 - 09:01 EDT)

Olympus has today unveiled a new digital camera with perhaps the most aggressive styling we've seen recently, the Olympus Stylus Verve.

Featuring a four megapixel CCD imager coupled with a 2x optical zoom lens concealed behind a motorized sliding lens cover, the Stylus Verve is pretty compact at just 95 x 56 x 28mm - just a tad larger than Konica Minolta's DiMAGE X21 and X31 models, although with a wider, shorter shape. The Verve weighs just 115 grams without batteries or media, exactly the same weight as those Konica Minolta cameras. There's no optical viewfinder, but the relatively large (given the size of the camera itself) 1.8" LCD monitor, dubbed a " HyperCrystal Wide View High-Contrast" type by Olympus, should serve well thanks to a generous 160-degree viewing angle.

Other noteable features include shutter speeds from 64 to 400 (with, we're told, the ability for the camera to extend this to ISO 500 in Candle and Indoor scene modes), a 15 frames-per-second QVGA movie mode, 2 frames per second burst mode at maximum resolution, macro focusing to just 9 centimeters, and USB 2.0 connectivity. Images are stores on xD-Picture cards, with a 16MB card included in the camera bundle.

The Olympus Stylus Verve will reach stores this month, with expected street pricing of US$349.99.

Note that Olympus USA's spec table included several errors as we first received it. Most have now been corrected, however one point in particular bears mentioning - the preproduction camera we received includes an exposure compensation function, even though the table says 'None'. We queried this with Olympus, and were told the camera had no exposure compensation function, which seems somewhat unlikely - however we are reproducing the specs as advised by Olympus for this item. As is usual with any manufacturer, specifications are always subject to change...

Olympus Stylus Verve
Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

CCD Imager

4.0 megapixel (effective)

4.2 megapixel gross

1/2.5 type (0.4 type) CCD

Lens

Olympus aspherical glass 2x zoom lens

5.8 – 11.6 mm (35 – 70mm equivalent in 35mm photography), 5 lenses in 3 groups

Digital Zoom

Seamless to 8x (2x optical and 4x digital combined)

Aperture Range

f3.5 - f4.9

Shutter Speeds

AUTO 1/1000 sec. – 1/2 sec. (Night Scene – longest 4 sec.)

ISO

64 / 100 / 200 / 400 / Auto (500)

Recording Modes

Still Image: DCF Standard (JPEG, EXIF 2.2). DPOF, PIM 2.5 compatible

Movie Mode: DCF Standard (QuickTime motion JPEG)

Adjustable Resolutions

2272 x 1704 (SHQ, HQ)

2048 x 1536 JPEG (SQ1)

1600 x 1200 JPEG (SQ2)

QuickTime Movie ®

15 frames per second in QVGA; Movies are only limited in length by the xD-Picture Card™

TruePic Turbo

Significantly improved image quality, faster processing speed, noise reduction, uses all pixels at all resolutions, pixel micro-smoothing

Pixel Mapping

Automatic Pixel Mapping (APM) available via menu setting

Digital Print Order Format (DPOF)

Print reserve (single, all, number of copies), Date

Image Shooting Effects

Panorama and 2-in-1 shooting mode

Image Edit Effects

Soft Focus, Fish Eye, Black and White, and Sepia

Panorama

Up to 10 frames automatically stitchable with Olympus Master software when using Olympus brand xD-Picture Card™

Sequence

2 frames per second in HQ mode

LCD

1.8” HyperCrystal LCD (134K Pixel TFT) for taking and viewing pictures (no optical viewfinder)

Focusing System

Autofocus (contrast detection)

Focusing Ranges

Normal mode: 20in. (0.5m) – Infinity

Macro Mode 8in. (0.2m) - Infinity

Super Macro mode: 3.5in. – 8in. (0.09m – 0.5m) (Tele side only, flash off)

Exposure Compensation

No

Scene Programs

Portrait, Indoor, Beach & Snow, Portrait + Landscape, Night Scene, Self-Portrait, Cuisine, Two-in-One, Panorama, Landscape, Self-Portrait + Self-Timer, Behind Glass, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks

White Balance

Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten and Fluorescent

Flash

Built-in

Flash Modes

Auto for low and backlight

Red-Eye Reduction

Fill-in

Off

Flash Working Range

Wide: 8in. – 9.2ft. (0.2m – 2.8m), Tele: 8in. – 6ft. (0.2m – 2.0m)

Flash Recharging Time

5 seconds

Removable Media Card

xD-Picture Card™, 16MB included

Self-Timer

12 seconds

Settings Memorization

On / Off (Hold changes / Reset to default settings)

Outer Connectors

USB & Audio/Video out multi-terminal

Auto-Connect USB 2.0

Mini B

System Requirements

Windows 98 rev2 / ME / 2000 Pro / XP and Mac OS 8.6 – OSX

Image Playback

Still image: Index display, up to 4x enlargement, Slide show

Movie Playback

Normal, Frame by Frame

Operating Environment

Operation: 32 – 104°F (0 – 40°C) 30-90% humidity

Storage: -4 - 104°F (-20 – 60°C) 30-90% humidity

Power Supply

1 Li-30B Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery (included)

1 Li-30C Battery Charger (included)

Date/Time Calendar

Simultaneous recording into image data, Automatic up to the year 2099

Size

Size 3.74in. (95mm) x 2.18in. (55.5mm) x 1.08in. (27.5mm) (Excluding protrusions)

Weight

3.7 oz. (115 g) (without battery and media card)

More Photos
Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus Verve digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
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UPDATED 2004-09-03 10:02ET: Aperture range updated after a correction was received from Olympus.

Original Source Press Release:

OLYMPUS STYLUS VERVE MAKES A FASHION STATEMENT WITH BREAKTHROUGH SHAPE AND SIX COLORS TO MATCH YOUR PERSONAL STYLE

Color. Power. Style. Find Your Verve.

Melville, New York, September 3, 2004 – When the world's top designers meet this month under the tents in New York City's Bryant Park, Olympus is proud to be one of them. In an unprecedented product launch, Olympus will release the new Stylus Verve 4.0-megapixel digital camera in 6 brilliant designer colors to make a fashion statement on the runways as the Official Camera of Olympus Fashion Week. The Verve has a compact and durable all-metal, all-weather body with a breakthrough shape that's sure to dazzle wherever it goes.

“The Stylus Verve lives up to its name as a camera that is full of vitality that will inspire users to elevate their creativity to a higher level of self-expression,” said Richard Campbell, product marketing director, Olympus America Inc. “In six electrifying new colors, there is a model to suit everyone's personal sense of style so you can find your Verve. It continues the tradition of power, performance and all-weather durability synonymous with the Olympus Stylus Digital series. This is truly a camera that looks as great as the images it produces.”

Delivering Style

Olympus designers have turned a corner with a radical out-of-the-box design for the Stylus Verve. Instead of an angular boxy body, the new Verve has rounded corners and a smooth contoured shape that looks as though it's been forged by the force of water for centuries. In Silver, Blue, Black, White, Red, and Copper colors, the Verve's metal body is made to mix and match with your own style.

At a compact size of only 3.74" x 2.18" x 1.08", and a weight of just 3.7 ounces, the Verve – the smallest Olympus digital camera introduced to date – fits snugly in a hip pocket, shirt-front pocket, purse, tote bag or backpack so it can make a memorable impression wherever you take it.

The Verve employs a new circular lens barrier that tucks away inside the camera body with a satisfying snap when the power is turned on, and protects it by creating a durable, impermeable seal from the elements when closed. The camera comes to life with a start-up sound of either a sports car engine, a pleasing chime or a lively electronic “Whew!” as well as a customizable start-up image on the LCD. The Verve also has three different catchy shutter sounds to choose from. Atop the camera's body is a unique rotating mode dial that spins to set the camera to take pictures, record movies or review images taken.

Designed to Do More

Because it's a Stylus, the Verve's lightweight and ergonomic metal body provides all-weather protection from the elements, so it's fine to take the camera outside in a downpour, on the slopes, on the yacht or in a blizzard. Rubber gaskets throughout the camera's interior insure that rain, sleet and snow can't stop the Verve from taking incredibly clear and colorful images in any weather condition – get the camera wet, wipe it off, and keep on shooting.

Thanks to the Stylus Verve's new HyperCrystal™ LCD, a bright 1.8-inch display with 134,000 pixels of sharp resolution, taking and sharing images is enhanced. This new LCD is designed to deliver a 160° angle of viewing so it can be seen clearly from above, from the side, and from below by a group of people at once, or on your own. Where conventional LCD displays fail to deliver clear, visible pictures under bright conditions, the Stylus Verve HyperCrystal LCD is viewable even in bright sunlight at the beach or on the slopes.

Designed For You

The process of taking images has also been streamlined for maximum efficiency. For example, the Stylus Verve has 16 selectable Scene Program Modes that cover the gamut of possible shooting situations: Portrait, Self-Portrait, Landscape, Beach & Snow, Indoors, Cuisine, Night Scene, Fireworks, Panorama and more. Accessing these modes is as simple as a push of a new navigation control pad that allows users to quickly and easily cycle through the various settings displayed on the LCD screen menu.

Once a picture is taken the ability to create a unique image just begins. In-camera editing effects like Soft Focus, Fish Eye, Black and White, and Sepia, allow you to apply an effect to the image directly inside the camera, saving a copy of the original image along with your fun new creation.

The camera's QuickTime Movie Mode with sound can be used to make mini movies with a length limited only by the amount of available memory on the media card. Movies of life's everyday achievements and events can be downloaded and emailed to friends and family across town or around the world.

PictBridge support allows direct printing from the Stylus Verve to any PictBridge-enabled printer, like the Olympus P-10 Digital Photo Printer, without using a computer. In addition, t ransferring images to the computer has never been easier with the Auto-Connect USB 2.0 that does not require software drivers (for most computers/operating systems) for hassle-free and high-speed image downloads. The Verve also comes with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery and charger.

Digital image management has never been easier than with OLYMPUS Master™ software that enables users of Olympus digital cameras to get the most out of their digital experience. With a logical and intuitive user interface, OLYMPUS Master allows users to instantly store and manage images, by keyword or by shooting date, in an easily-searchable Calendar View database so they never misplace digital photos again. Powerful, one-click editing tools – including improved red-eye reduction – enable users to optimize their images prior to printing on a postcard, index card, calendar, or via online services. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other services are just a mouse-click away.

Intelligent Design for the Most Realistic Digital Images

With a f3.5-f5.9, 2x optical zoom lens (35-70mm equivalent in 35mm photography) and 4x digital zoom, the Stylus Verve delivers a seamless 8x total zoom to bring the action closer. The very best picture quality is always assured thanks to incorporation of the TruePic TURBO image processor, which delivers a broad color spectrum of light and dark colors with breathtaking clarity. Camera start-up and shot-to-shot time are also enhanced so no photo opportunity is missed.

Availability

The Stylus Verve will be available in September 2004. It includes a 16MB xD-Picture Card, Wrist Strap, Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery and Charger, USB cable, Audio-Video Cable, Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual, CD with OLYMPUS Master Editing Software. A metal neck strap, leather carrying case, water-resistant underwater housing, AC Adapter and AC Power Coupler are optional accessories.

U.S. Pricing

Stylus Verve Estimated Street Price: $349.99 (U.S.)

For more information, review units and high-resolution images of the Stylus Verve, contact Michael Bourne, Mullen Public Relations, 650-210-9857 or michael.bourne@mullen.com , or Chris Sluka, senior public relations manager, Olympus America Inc, Consumer Products Group, Two Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY, P.O. Box 9058, 11747-9058, ph: (631) 844-5000 (800) 622-6372, Fax: (631) 844-5262 or the Olympus Web Site: http://www.olympusamerica.com .

ABOUT OLYMPUS

Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders.
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes; and
  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents.

In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently, reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer electronics business spans North 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.

©2004 Olympus America Inc.

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