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Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Olympus VR-320: Pocket-friendly long zoom with HD video capture
(Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 01:01 EST)

Kicking off the company's announcements prior to the start of the CP+ tradeshow in Japan, Olympus has launched a new long-zoom compact camera offering high-def 720p video capture, the Olympus VR-320.

Based around a 14 megapixel CCD image sensor and an Olympus-branded 12.5x optical zoom lens, the VR-320 offers 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from a generous 24mm wide angle to a powerful 300mm telephoto. As you'd expect given the telephoto reach on offer, the Olympus VR320 does offer true mechanical (sensor shift type) image stabilization, as one half of Olympus' "Dual Image Stabilization" system for fighting blur.

The rear panel of the VR320 offers up a 3.0-inch LCD display with approximately 320 x 240 pixel resolution, but sadly there's no optical or electronic viewfinder on this model. ISO sensitivity in the Olympus VR-320 ranges from a low of ISO 100 to a maximum of ISO 1,600 equivalent.

While the Olympus VR320 provides 720p high def video capture, it doesn't offer any provision for viewing images or movies on a high definition television. Instead, it provides only USB 2.0 High-Speed connection, and a standard-def composite video output. Power comes from a proprietary lithium ion battery pack, and data is stored either in a modest 33MB of internal memory, on on SD or SDHC memory cards -- but not the latest SDXC types.

The Olympus VR-320 will be on offer in the USA from March 2011, with pricing of about $200. For more details, read our Olympus VR320 preview.

Olympus VR-320
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact
Model NumberNorth America: VR-320
Dimensions4.0 x 2.3 x 1.1 in.
(101 x 58 x 29 mm)
Weight5.6 oz (158 g)
Planned Price$200
Planned AvailabilityMarch 2011
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCCD
1/2.3" (approx. 0.43 in. diagonal)
14.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions4288 x 3216 (13.8 megapixels)
4288 x 2416 (10.4 megapixels)
3264 x 2448 (8.0 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens TypeOlympus lens; 9 elements in 8 groups, 4/7 aspherical lenses
12.5x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length4.2 - 52.5mm (actual)
24 - 300mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.0 (wide) / f/5.9 (tele) - ???
Focusing SystemCCD Contrast Detection; iESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, AF Tracking
Has AF assist lamp
ISO SensitivityAuto, High Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speed4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesDigital ESP Metering, Face Detection AE
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-in, Off
Range: ISO 800: Wide: 0.66ft (0.2m) - 15.4ft (4.7m), Tele: 2.95 ft (0.9m) - 7.9ft (2.4m)
Scene ModesMagic Mode, Scene Modes (1. PORTRAIT, 2. LANDSCAPE, 3. NIGHT. 4. NIGHT+PORTRAIT, 5. SPORT, 6. INDOOR, 7. CANDLE, 8. SELF PORTRAIT, 9. SUNSET, 10. FIREWORKS, 11. CUISINE, 12. BEACH & SNOW, 13. DOCUMENTS, 14. PET); Magic Filter (Pop Art, Pinhole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle)
Digital ZoomUp to 4x
Self TimerYes, 2, 12 seconds
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, Built-in
File SystemFAT16, FAT32
File FormatJPEG
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMulti-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output)
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary
Product Bundle
SoftwareOLYMPUS [ib] software
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory33.0MB Built-in
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
NotesSensor-shift Image Stabilization, Magic Art Filters for Still and HD movies (includes Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish-eye, Soft Focus, Drawing, Sparkle and Punk), 720p HD videos, Beauty mode, AF Tracking, 14 Scene modes, Help Guide, Intelligent Auto, Shadow Adjustment. Available in black, blue, red or silver.
More Photos
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' VR-320 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Olympus VR-320™: Feature Rich And Packed With Zoom

Capture It All with 14-Megapixels, a 24mm Wide-Angle 12.5x Lens, High-Definition (HD) Video and Display Results on a Crisp, 3.0-inch LCD

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 8, 2011 – People love shooting photos with powerful zoom lenses, but do not want to sacrifice portability for the extra zoom power. The Olympus VR-320 proves that you can have it all with the smart, impressive 12.5x extra-wide-angle optical zoom lens (24mm-300mm equivalent in 35mm photography) and an ultra-compact all-metal body that easily fits in your pocket. Aside from its extremely powerful optics and 14-megapixel sensor for super-detailed images, the VR-320 has Magic Art Filters to add a new level of creative expression to images and videos, Dual Image Stabilization to take the blur out of photography and a 3.0-inch LCD to compose and show off your work at the end of the day. The Olympus VR-320, available in silver, black, red and blue is as smart as it looks.

“The Olympus VR-320 is the perfect mix of power and portability,” said Jennifer Schmell, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Its wide-angle zoom lens captures all the action from close-ups to distant objects, while other features like HD video and Magic Art Filters ensure that consumers can truly capture it all.”

12.5x Wide-Angle Zoom
Finally, a pocket-sized, portable camera with an impressive 12.5x wide-angle optical zoom lens (24mm-300mm equivalent in 35mm photography) captures expansive vistas, large groups of family and friends, and also zooms in on distant objects to make them appear as though they are right in front of you.

High-Definition with High Impact: 720p HD Video:
The Olympus VR-320 shoots gorgeous 720p HD video, so you’ll always capture the moments you cherish in clear, crisp high-definition at the touch of a button. Gone are the days of friends and family huddling around your camera’s tiny LCD to see the pictures and movies you just captured. Now, you’ll be the hit of the party or any family event when you proudly display your brilliant images and movies on high-definition televisions.

See the Whole Picture on Large 3.0-inch LCD Display
Composing your shot has never been easier. With a large 3.0-inch LCD display, finding that perfect shot is a breeze. See what you’ve been missing with smaller displays! This large, crisp LCD is the perfect creative companion for reviewing your work on the fly and boasting your creativity to others.

Explore Your Inner Artist with Magic Art Filters
In-camera Creative Art Filters, called Magic Art Filters, enable users to enhance and tailor images as they’re being captured. This translates into more fun and flexibility as customization is no longer limited to using expensive and time-consuming computer software.

The Magic Art Filters include:

  • Pop Art – enhance and saturate colors to create vivid, high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feeling of the Pop Art style of the 1960s;

  • Pin Hole – reduce the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole, connecting the viewer intimately with the subject at the center;

  • Fish-Eye – emulate the wide-angle of a fish-eye lens by taking extremely wide, hemispherical images and magnifying the center of the frame;

  • Drawing – turn your image into a sketch outline for children to color;

  • Soft Focus – encloses the foreground of an image in gentle, pastel colors with a soft, elegant focus; similar to effects achieved in a studio;

  • New! Sparkle – shoot photos with the luxurious feel created by added twinkling lights; and

  • Punk – creates two-tone images full of rock-and-roll spirit.

14-Megapixels for Superior Image Quality
The Olympus VR-320 features a 14-megapixel image sensor enabling consumers to achieve consistently sharp and vivid images when producing large-format prints or cropping/enlarging a portion of an image.

Blur-Free Photos Two Ways
Dual Image Stabilization combines two technologies – Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization – to provide one powerful anti-blur solution for capturing great images whether the photographer or the subject is moving. Olympus’ Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the internal image sensor to compensate for camera movement, even in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Additionally, Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to prevent blurry images often caused by a moving subject.

By combining the two technologies, users of the Olympus VR-320 are able to take crystal clear images in any shooting situation.

Easier Group Shots with Face Detection!
Wedding, birthday and family reunion group shots have never been easier with Face Detection. The Olympus VR-320 detects up to eight faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure to capture sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots.

Capture the Action with AF Tracking
AF Tracking technology locks focus on your fast-moving subject – everything from house cats to Siberian tigers – and continuously adjusts focus and brightness. This enables you to keep quick-moving and unpredictable subjects like children in focus for the perfect shot.

Intelligent Auto for Incredibly Easy Images
Taking a moonlit stroll on the beach? Intelligent Auto Mode automatically indentifies what you are shooting (i.e., Portrait, Night + Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports) and adjusts the camera’s settings to capture the best quality results. Amateurs can jump into this quick and hassle-free feature that does the thinking for them and produces incredible images.

Easy Operation with Scene Modes and In-Camera Help Guide
The new Olympus VR-320 has 14 scene modes and enhanced In-Camera Help Guides that make digital photography simple and fun for users of all ages and skill levels. The scene modes include portrait to capture loved ones, landscape to show off the scenery, a fun fireworks mode and a specially designed “Pet Mode” to help animal lovers capture man’s best friend.

The In-Camera Help Guide displays a brief description of camera settings and features on the LCD allowing consumers to easily adjust ISO and white balance settings using the Program Auto mode. Additionally, Exposure Compensation enables users to preview and select various exposure effects on a live, multi-frame window on the LCD before snapping the shot. This smart feature allows users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring they are capturing the exact image desired. Program Auto and Exposure Compensation are great modes that enable novice users to get results like the pros while learning about the effects of different photography techniques. Menus are available in various languages for convenient operation.

Shadow Adjustment Technology
Shooting outdoors in bright daylight can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark shadowed areas and bright sunlit areas. While the human eye is capable of detecting the nuances between dark and light and all the details in between, image sensors traditionally have not been quite as sensitive. The new V-series cameras address this challenge head-on with Shadow Adjustment Technology, which compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. With this technology, users can preview and capture images with the same contrast as the naked eye.

SD Compatibility for Convenient Sharing
The Olympus VR-320 allows users to share their work easily through SD-compatible computers, digital picture frames and HDTVs.

OLYMPUS [ib] Software Makes it Even Easier to Share and Print Your Photos
All Olympus digital compact cameras now offer the new OLYMPUS [ib] photo organizing and editing software. It includes photography workflow, browsing, editing and unique photo organizing functions. You can organize photos by person with automatic face-recognition technology, by place with a map-tagging function, or by event. All information will be tagged in each photo’s data. You can then easily upload images to the integrated online service, [ib on the net], to share and backup photos, as well as order prints and photo merchandise. The name [ib] stands for image bridge, because the software is designed to create a bridge to help you get images from your camera to services where you can do more with your photos.

The Olympus VR-320 will be available in March 2011. It will ship with a Lithium Ion Battery, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Quick-Start Guide, Warranty Card, Instruction Manual, OLYMPUS [ib] and Olympus Viewer 2 software.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
Estimated Street Price:
Olympus VR-320 - $199.99

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 ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people’s lives every day. These include:

  • Digital Cameras

  • Professional and Interchangeable Lens System Cameras

  • Related Underwater Products and Accessories

  • Digital and Microcassette Recorders

  • 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, design and pricing are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the US and/or other countries.
© 2011 Olympus Imaging America Inc.

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