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Olympus' VG-120 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Olympus VG-120: Entry-level 5x zoom, 14mpix ultracompact
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 22:00 EST)

Rounding out its Consumer Electronics Show announcements, Olympus Corp. has announced imminent availability of the Olympus VG-120 ultracompact digital camera.

The Olympus VG120 combines a 14 effective megapixel image sensor and an Olympus-branded 5x optical zoom lens in an ultracompact body. Sadly -- but perhaps not surprisingly, given the pricing -- the Olympus VG-120 lacks any form of mechanical image stabilization. Images and movies are framed on a 3.0-inch LCD display that dominates the VG120's rear panel.

As well as still images, the Olympus VG120 can record 720p high definition movie clips. There's no high-definition video output on the VG-120, though, so you'll need to swap flash cards or transfer data to another device via USB, if you want to see your images on a high-def display. Power comes from a proprietary lithium ion cell, and the VG120 has a CIPA rating of 160 shots per charge.

The Olympus VG-120 ships in the USA from January 2011, with pricing of about US$140. Available body colors include black, silver, and red. For more details, read our Olympus VG120 preview.

Olympus VG-120
Olympus' VG-120 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Model NumberNorth America: VG-120
Dimensions3.8 x 2.2 x 0.8 in.
(96 x 57 x 19 mm)
Weight4.2 oz (120 g)
Planned Price$140
Planned AvailabilityJanuary 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)
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)
10.4 megapixels
Capture SpeedContinuous: 0.8 frames per second for 200 frames
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens TypeOlympus lens; 7 elements in 5 groups, with 5 aspherical elements
5x optical zoom
Focal Length4.7 - 23.5mm (actual)
26 - 130mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/2.8 (wide) / f/6.5 (tele) - ???
Focusing SystemCCD contrast detection; iESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, AF Tracking
Does not have AF assist lamp
Focusing RangeNormal: 24" - infinity (60 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.9" - 4,082" (7 cm - 10,000 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, High Auto, 80, 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 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: ISO 800: Wide: 0.66ft (0.2m) - 16.1ft (4.9m), Tele: 1.97ft (0.6m) - 6.9ft (2.1m) at ISO 800
Scene ModesIntelligent Auto, Program Auto, Digital Image Stabilization, Magic Filter, 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), HD Movie; Magic Filter(Pop Art, Pinhole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle)
Digital ZoomUp to 4x
Self TimerYes, 2 or 12 seconds
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, Built-in
File FormatJPEG
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMulti-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output)
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary LI-70B
Product Bundle
SoftwareOLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary LI-70B Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory49.0MB Internal
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Notes720p videos, Magic Filters (Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish-eye, Soft Focus, Drawing, Sparkle, Punk), AF Tracking, "Perfect Fix" In-Camera Editing. Available in solver, black and red.
More Photos
Olympus' VG-120 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' VG-120 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

New Olympus VG-120™: Small, Stylish Body + Smart Features + Low Price = Big Time Imaging Fun

More Megapixels, Impressive Zoom Power, 720p HD Video, and Large 3.0-inch LCD Display Add Up to a New Level of Potential for Everyone!

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 5, 2011 – Today Olympus reveals an ultimate value with the introduction of the Olympus VG-120™, the first in a new line of pocket-friendly, creativity-enabling, and budget-conscious cameras aimed at photographers of all ages and experience levels. This smart, portable point-and-shoot camera offers incredible new features that let you capture it all.

The value begins with an impressive feature set that includes: 14 MP, 5x wide-angle optical zoom lens, 720p HD video capture, and a large 3.0-inch LCD to capture and review your images. Add pocketable portability, Digital Image Stabilization, AF Tracking, and the shot-enhancing Magic Art Filters. Top this combination off with an affordable price point ($139.99) and you have a multi-function camera in a slim body that far surpasses other models in its class.

High-Definition with High Impact: 720p HD Video
A picture is worth a thousand words. So what do 30 frames per second say when shot in gorgeous HD? Extend your creativity with the option of capturing the action as it happens and seeing it unfold all over again – on your television screen or on YouTube®. The VG-120 shoots gorgeous 720p HD making every day a movie day. Playback is also a breeze. Gone are the days of friends and family huddling around a tiny LCD to see the pictures you just snapped.

See the Whole Picture on an Extra-Large 3.0-inch LCD Display
Composing your shot has never been easier. With an extra-large, 3.0” display, composing that perfect shot is a breeze. See what you’ve been missing with smaller displays! This large, crisp 230,400-dot LCD makes it a pleasure to share shots on the spot with family and friends.

Frame Your Work Before You Frame Your Work: 14 Megapixels and 5x Wide Zoom
Forget post-edits with the VG-120. Simply zoom in and crop right in the camera to frame your shot perfectly the first time. With a 26mm wide-angle lens and 5x zoom, get closer to the action than ever before. 14-megapixels ensures that each shot will look beautiful, even when printed poster-size.

Express Your Inner Artist with Magic Filters

The VG-120 is equipped with in-camera Magic Filters that enable users to enhance and customize images as they’re being captured. Have more fun and flexibility without expensive and time-consuming computer software.

The Magic 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 effect lens by taking extremely wide, hemispherical images and magnifying the center of the frame;

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

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

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

  • New! Punk – create two-tone images full of rock and roll spirit.

Digital Image Stabilization to Eliminate Blurry Images
The VG-120 features Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) to capture crisp, clear pictures. By boosting the camera’s ISO sensitivity and shutter speed, DIS freezes the action and provides virtually blur-free images, even when you or your subject is moving.

Easier Group Shots with Face Detection!
Wedding, birthday and family reunion group shots have never been easier with Face Detection. The VG-120 detects up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure to capture sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots.

Intelligent Auto Thinks for You
With the Intelligent Auto Mode in the VG-120, your camera knows and it automatically identifies what you are shooting (i.e., Portrait, Night + Portrait, Landscape, Macro and Sports) and adjusts the camera’s settings to capture the best quality results. Anyone has the ability to jump into this quick and hassle-free feature that does the thinking for them and produces incredible images.

Lock Onto the Action with AF Tracking
AF Tracking technology locks on your fast-moving subject and continuously adjusts focus and brightness. This enables you to keep fast-moving, unpredictable subjects like small children and pets in focus for the perfect shot.

Perfect Fix In-Camera Editing
Olympus’ Perfect Fix feature offers quick solutions for unanticipated image quality issues, which may be caused by several adverse conditions. Lighting Fix can be used to adjust any underexposed areas and Red-Eye Fix can be used to reduce the effects of red-eye sometimes caused by a direct flash. Additional in-camera editing functions can be quickly accessed right in the camera by the touch of a button; features available include resizing and trimming.

High-Quality Stylish Cameras in a Range of Colors
Your creativity is not limited to just what’s in the camera. The VG-120 will be available in three colors - silver, black, and red - to suit anyone’s style.

Sharing is Caring: SD Compatibility
With SD compatibility, the VG-120 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 VG-120 will be available in January 2011. It will ship with a Lithium Ion Battery, USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, Wrist Strap, Instruction Manual, Warranty Card and OLYMPUS [ib] software.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
Estimated Street Price:
VG-120 - $139.99

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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