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Olympus' SP-500 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus: New 6mpix UltraZoom digicam
By
(Monday, August 29, 2005 - 09:00 EDT)

Rounding out its announcements for the day, Olympus USA has today revealed the new SP-500 UltraZoom digital camera.

This model features a resolution of six megapixels coupled with its 38 - 380mm equivalent 10x optical zoom lens. Other features include a choice of electronic viewfinder and 2.5" LCD display, xD-Picture Card storage slot, 10MB of built-in memory, plus both video and USB 2.0 Full (Low) speed connectivity. Images are stored in either JPEG or RAW format, and ISO sensitivities from 80 - 400 are available.

The Olympus SP-500 UltraZoom will ship this October, with pricing set at $379.99. Specifications courtesy of Olympus follow below:

Olympus SP-500 UltraZoom
Olympus' SP-500 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type SLR-style
Manufacturer Olympus
Model Number SP-500 UZ
Dimensions 4.2 x 2.9 x 2.8"
105.5 x 74.5 x 71.0mm
Weight 285.0 g
10.0 oz
Planned Price $379.99
Planned Availability Jan 2005
Image Capture
Sensor Type CCD
6.40 megapixels (total)
6.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions 2816 x 2112 (5.9 megapixels)
2816 x 1880 (5.3 megapixels)
2592 x 1944 (5.0 megapixels)
2288 x 1712 (3.9 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)
Capture Speed Continuous: 2.5 frames per second for 3 frames
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, Electronic Viewfinder
LCD 2.5", 115,000 pixels
Lens
Lens Type 10x optical zoom
Focal Length 6.3 - 63.0mm (actual)
38 - 380mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 (wide) / f/3.7 (tele) - f/???
Focusing System CCD Contrast detection
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 24" - infinity (60 cm - infinity)
Macro: 1.2" - 82" (3 cm - 200 cm)
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity 80, 100, 200, 400
Shutter Speed 15 - 1/1000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter
Metering Modes Digital iESP multi-pattern auto TTL, spot metering, center weighted metering
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, one-touch, overcast, sunlight, evening sun, tungsten, 3 fluorescents, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Fill-In + Red-Eye Reduction, Off
Range: Wide: 1ft €" 15ft (0.3 €" 4.5m); Tele: 4ft €" 11ft (1.2 €" 3.4m)
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, landscape, landscape + portrait, night scene, sport, night + portrait, candle, self-portrait, available light portrait, sunset, fireworks, museum, behind glass, cuisine, documents, auction, shoot & select1, shoot & select2, beach, snow
Digital Zoom 5x
Self Timer Yes, 12 seconds
Time Lapse No
Movie Format QuickTime with audio
640x480 and 320x240
Max. frame-rate: 0 frames per second
Storage
Recording Medium xD Picture Card, Built-in
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format CCD-RAW, JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Connectivity
Video Yes
Computer USB 2.0 Full (LOW) Speed
Power
Battery Form Factor 4 x AA
Product Bundle
Flash Memory 10.0MB built-in memory
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Operating System Compatibility Windows, MacOS
More Photos
Olympus' SP-500 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' SP-500 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' SP-500 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

Olympus Launches Latest Ultra Zoom Digital Camera And Demonstrates The Versatility Of New SP-series

New SP-500 UZ Ultra Zoom Offers Powerful 10X Optical Zoom, Large 2.5-Inch Premium Size LCD, 6-Megapixel CCD and Advanced Manual Controls

Melville, New York, August 29, 2005 – With the release of its eagerly awaited new ultra zoom digital camera, the SP-500 UZ, Olympus pleases advanced and amateur-level camera aficionados alike. The powerful 10x optical zoom provides users with the focal range to capture stunning close-up shots. Designed with a large, easy-to-view 2.5-inch premium size LCD, both manual and automatic settings and optional add-on accessory lenses, the SP-500 UZ is a highly versatile camera, powerful enough to satisfy the creative needs of the advanced user, and expansive enough to grow as users develop their talent.

“The SP-series cameras are designed to offer an all-in-one camera solution for photographers of all skill levels,” said John McGuire, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The beauty of the SP-500 UZ ultra zoom digital camera is that it packs a wealth of manual and automatic features and an incredible focal range into a compact, light-weight body design.”

Ultra Zoom
Thanks to years of experience crafting Ultra Zoom digital cameras, Olympus is able to deliver a superior designed-to-be-digital 10x optical zoom lens (38mm – 380mm equivalent in 35mm photography) to bring the action closer. The bright, high quality optical system is comprised of eleven elements arranged in seven groups and includes two aspherical lenses, plus an extra-dispersion (ED) glass element typically found exclusively in pro-level SLR cameras.

6.0-Megapixel Image Sensor for Large-Format Prints
The 6.0-megapixel CCD image sensor delivers super high-quality images that are consistently sharp and vivid even in large-format prints.

2.5-Inch Premium Size LCD
Composing and reviewing images is far easier when you don’t have to squint. The 115,000-pixel anti-glare LCD enables you to view images in large and vivid detail. What’s more, you don’t have to download and print images each time you want to share them – you can treat your friends and family to a slide show right on the back of your camera. With the large 2.5-inch LCD, the SP-500 UZ is a veritable walking photo album!

PictBridge Enabled – No Computer Necessary!
The power of PictBridge technology enables photos to be printed directly from the SP-500 UZ to any PictBridge-enabled printer without using a computer. And the new one-touch printing button makes printing a single-step process. Printing and sharing images has never been easier!

Manual Settings for Added Creative Control
The addition of manual Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes gives users versatility and control for optimal performance in any situation. Users can express their creative vision – adjusting the f-stop for detailed portraits with softened backgrounds, or slowing the exposure speed to create the blurred effect of motion.

27 Selectable Shooting Modes
The SP-500 UZ makes it easy to capture great images in a variety of lighting situations with 21 pre-programmed scene modes, such as Night Scene, Indoor Portrait or Cuisine Mode. And with its QuickTime® Movie Mode, the SP-500 UZ can record movies of any length, limited only by the size of the internal memory or xD-Picture Card in the camera.

Accessory Lenses for Expanded Capabilities
The SP-500 UZ features a threaded barrel, which enables easy attachment of add-on wide angle or telephoto conversion lenses for even more creative control. Compatible accessory lenses include the WCON-07 and WCON-08 wide angle lenses, which enable a wider field of view for shooting skylines, landscapes or group shots, and the TCON-17 telephoto conversion lens, which extends the camera’s magnification capability to a 17x optical zoom for bringing subjects dramatically closer, great for shooting sports events, concerts or wildlife.

TruePic TURBO™ for High-Speed Response
Olympus’ exclusive TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor enhances image quality and delivers faster overall processing speeds for rapid startup, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBOTM enables the SP-500 UZ to capture information from all 6.0 million pixels with pixel “micro-smoothing” that delivers clearer and more color-accurate photos, even at lower resolutions. The fast startup of less than one second and nearly instant shutter release time ensures a high-speed response so you are always ready to take great pictures.

High Quality Olympus Lens Elements
Olympus photos are known worldwide for sharp, vibrant image quality. This is achieved through a number of key technologies, such as Olympus’ new high-refractive-index aspherical lens elements, designed specifically for digital cameras. The lens provides the equivalent of 38 to 114mm focal length, f2.8 – f4.9 in 35mm photography, with 15x combined total zoom (3x optical and 5x digital) to bring the action closer, and a Super Macro Mode that captures details as nuanced as the iridescent petals of a flower, from as close as 2 cm.

In-camera Editing
With in-camera editing features such as Red-Eye Fix, color brightness and saturation adjustments, users can edit photos on the fly – no longer do you have to tool around with computers and editing software for simple image touch-ups!

Style and Ergonomics
With the SP-500 UZ, Olympus returns to the traditional, compact appearance of its traditional range-finder cameras. At a compact size of just 4.2" W x 2.9" H x 2.8" L and only 10.1 ounces, the camera tucks away easily into a pocket or backpack. The addition of an ergonomic grip makes it easy to hold with one hand, for capturing those photo ops when you are, literally, on the run.

Easy USB Auto-Connect
Connecting the SP-500 UZ to a computer is easy with the USB Auto-Connect feature, which connects directly via USB 2.0 cable and requires no software.

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

Availability
The SP-500 UZ will be available in October 2005. It includes: Wrist Strap, Camera WIN/Mac USB Cable, Video cable, 4 AA batteries, Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, Warranty Card, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software, and Camera Advanced manual.

U.S. Pricing
SP-500 UZ Estimated Street Price: $379.99 (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
  • Digital Music Players
  • Personal Photo Printers
  • Digital Print Kiosks
  • Digital Video Projectors
  • Digital Media
  • Binoculars

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

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