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Olympus' SP-610UZ digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Olympus SP-610UZ: 14mpix ultrazoom digicam
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 22:00 EST)

Continuing its Consumer Electronics Show announcements, Japan's Olympus Corp. has unveiled its latest SP-series ultra zoom digital camera model, the Olympus SP-610UZ.

Based around a 14 megapixels image sensor and a powerful 22x optical zoom lens, the SP610UZ offers 35mm-equivalent focal lengths ranging from 28mm to a whopping 616mm. As you'd expect, the SP-610UZ includes mechanical image stabilization with which to prevent blur from camera shake -- specifically, a sensor shift system. The SP610UZ doesn't offer any optical or electronic viewfinder, though, instead opting solely for a 3.0-inch LCD display.

The SP-610UZ provides for ISO-equivalent sensitivities ranging from a minimum of ISO 100 to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent. As well as JPEG still images, the Olympus SP610UZ can capture high-def 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) movies. The SP610UZ's burst shooting rate is quite modest, though -- we don't have a full-resolution spec, but even at a reduced eight megapixel rating, the camera is limited to just three sequential frames at 0.77 frames per second.

The Olympus SP-610UZ will ship in the USA from February 2011, with pricing of about $230. For more details, read our Olympus SP610UZ preview.

Olympus SP-610UZ
Olympus' SP-610UZ digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeMid-Sized
Model NumberNorth America: SP-610UZ
Dimensions4.2 x 2.9 x 2.9 in.
(107 x 73 x 73 mm)
Weight14.3 oz (405 g)
Planned Price$230
Planned AvailabilityFebruary 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)
0.3 megapixels
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens TypeOlympus lens; 13 Lenses in 10 Groups, 4 Aspherical
22x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length5.0 - 110.0mm (actual)
28 - 616mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.3 (wide) / f/5.7 (tele) - ???
Focusing SystemCCD Contrast Detection; iESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, AF Tracking
Has AF assist lamp
Focusing RangeNormal: 4" - infinity (10 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - 2" (1 cm - 6 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, High Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speed4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesDigital ESP Metering, Spot Metering, Face Detection AE (when Face Detection AF is selected)
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 1600: Wide: 0.98ft (0.3m) - 41.0ft (12.5m); Tele: 5.9ft (1.8m) - 20.7ft (6.3m)
Scene ModesIntelligent Auto, Program Auto, Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization, Panorama, Magic Mode, 3D Mode, Scene Modes (1. PORTRAIT, 2. BEAUTY, 3. LANDSCAPE, 4. NIGHT SCENE. 5. NIGHT+PORTRAIT, 6. SPORT, 7. INDOOR, 8. CANDLE, 9. SELF PORTRAIT, 10. SUNSET, 11. FIREWORKS, 12. CUISINE, 13. DOCUMENTS, 14. BEACH & SNOW, 15. PET (CAT), 16. PET (DOG)), HD Movie; Magic Filter(Pop Art, Pinhole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Watercolor)
Digital ZoomUp to 4x
Self TimerYes, 2, 12, Pet auto-shutter seconds
Movie FormatMP4 (MPEG-4) with audio
Recording MediumSD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC, 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), Mini HDMI Type-D
Battery TypeAlkaline/Lithium disposables, NiMH rechargeables
Battery Form Factor4 x AA
Product Bundle
SoftwareOLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM
Battery / Charger4 x AA Alkaline disposables battery
Flash Memory59.0MB Internal
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
NotesDual Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization, AF Tracking, HD Video (720p), HDMI Output, Intelligent Auto, Magic Filters (Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish-Eye, Soft Focus, Drawing, Watercolor, Sparkle, Punk), In-Camera Panorama, New 3D Mode. Available in black or silver.
More Photos
Olympus' SP-610UZ digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Go The Distance With The Olympus SP-610UZ 22x Wide-Angle Ultra-Zoom

Expand Your Creative Horizons with Magic Filter HD Video, 3D Photos, and In-Camera Panorama with New S-series UZ

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 5, 2011 – Olympus today unveils the full-featured SP-610UZ, a lightweight, 22x wide-angle ultra-zoom camera with HD Video capability, delivering the celebrated strengths of this pioneering family of cameras: sophisticated long-zoom, go-anywhere photography. The SP-610UZ packs fun features and superb image quality in a user-friendly camera, providing further proof that Olympus lets you capture it all.

Whether shooting wildlife, a school performance or a soccer game, consumers want powerful zooms without the bulk. The all-black SP-610UZ comes packed with a variety of features that deliver a superior imaging experience far and wide:

  • New Magic Filters – make it possible to create special artistic effects in still images and/or movies directly in the camera;

  • HD Movie & HDMI™ Control – high-definition video (HD video) delivers a broadcast-quality movie experience when played back on an HDTV;

  • 3D Photo Mode – captures two shots of a scene from two different angles to create still photos that can be viewed with the added excitement and realism of 3D.

  • Eye-Fi™ Card Compatibility– enables automatic wireless uploading of images to the website or PC of your choice;

  • In-Camera Panorama – offers quick and easy panorama shots; and

  • AF Tracking – tracks a moving subject automatically and keeps it in focus for optimal image quality.

“The new SP-610UZ combines the zoom power that has made Olympus ultra-zooms famous with fully automatic controls ideal for amateur photographers looking to capture it all at the touch of a button and in-camera Magic Filters for artistic control in a portable body” says Jennifer Schmell, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The 22x wide-angle optical zoom on the SP-610UZ is an upgrade to the SP-600UZ, which provided a 15x wide-angle zoom. We’re continuing to push the boundaries of what camera optics and software can do for the consumer.”

Ultra-Powerful Zoom in a Stylish Package
The SP-610UZ packs a 22x wide-angle optical zoom lens into a compact, easy-to-hold body. With an f2.8 (Wide) / f5.6 (Tele) wide-angle lens providing the equivalent of a 28-616mm focal length, users can get closer to the action with zoom performance comparable to that of a 500mm equivalent telephoto lens for Digital Single lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras. The wide-angle lens makes it easy to take a picture of the entire stadium, while the powerful zoom lets you focus on your favorite player. Whether capturing fast-action, life’s everyday snapshots or HD videos, this S-series camera provides the versatility to get the job done like never before.

Express Your Inner Artist with New Magic Filter Movie
The SP-610UZ is equipped with in-camera Magic Filters that enable users to enhance and customize images as they’re being captured. Have more fun and get more flexibility without expensive and time-consuming computer software. Magic Filter Movie is a new feature that allows you to apply Magic Filters to your high-definition movies, taking them to a new level of artistic expression.

The Magic Filters for stills and HD movies include:

  • Pop Art - enhance and saturate colors to create vivid, high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feel 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;

  • 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! Watercolor - transform your images with a finish like that of watercolor paintings;

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

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

HD Videos and HDMI Control for a Home Theater Experience
The SP-610UZ 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. With HDMI Control, playback also is a breeze. 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. Simply connect the camera to an HDTV with an optional HDMI™ cable. With HDMI Control, you can use your HDTV’s remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus from the comfort of your couch.

New 3-D Mode
Now you can add even more dimension to your photographs by shooting dynamic 3D photos in any mode from macro to landscape. Recreate a sense of depth like that of the original scene. Simply select the 3D Photo shooting mode, release the shutter for your first shot, slowly pan until the camera automatically takes a second image from a slightly different perspective. The 3D data is processed in-camera resulting in an .MPO file, the universal industry 3D format for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.

Share Images Instantly with New Eye-Fi Card Compatibility
Ready to upload and share your party images live as they happen? The SP-610UZ is compatible with an optional Eye-Fi SD card, adding Wi-Fi capability so you can automatically upload images to your computer as you take them. Be the life of the social media party by uploading your shots immediately.

New Large High-Resolution LCD
The SP-610UZ boasts a bright, 3.0-inch LCD monitor, an upgrade over its predecessor, the SP-600UZ (2.7” LCD). Ideal for viewing, composing and sharing all your favorite images and HD videos.

Cut Out the Blur with Dual Image Stabilization
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.

Broaden Your Horizons with In-Camera Panorama
The places you can take the SP-610UZ—national parks, weddings, sporting events or city streets—are locations where you want to capture as much of the scene as you can. In-Camera Panorama mode makes it possible by capturing three images and stitching them together to create one amazing panoramic picture. Simply press the shutter button and slowly pan across the scene. The second and third images will be captured automatically and stitched together with the first image – resulting in one seamless panorama-size picture. To create the ultimate panorama, consumers can use the OLYMPUS [ib] Software to stitch up to 10 images together.

Easier Group Shots with Face Detection!
Wedding, team shots and family reunion photos have never been easier with Face Detection. The SP-610UZ detects up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure to capture sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots. Even more remarkable, the SP-610UZ comes equipped with Beauty Mode. Designed to touch up the appearance of your subject’s skin as the photo is captured, enhancements that typically would necessitate retouching in a graphics editing program.

Lock Onto 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 kids and pets in focus for the perfect shot. There’s even two newly designed “Pet Modes” for animal lovers, offering the ability to recognize the faces of a variety of breeds of both cats and dogs.

Intelligent Auto Thinks for You
Taking a moonlit stroll on the beach? Intelligent Auto Mode automatically identifies what you are shooting (i.e., Portrait, Night + Portrait, Landscape, Macro or 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.

New TruePic™ III+ Image Processor Delivers Superior Quality and Performance
Whether you are globetrotting or attending a sporting event, the SP-610UZ offers a 14-megapixel sensor, enabling consumers to achieve consistently sharp and vivid images when producing large-format prints or cropping/enlarging a portion of a photo. Olympus developed its exclusive TruePic III+ Image Processor for the demanding performance of DSLRs and has migrated the technology to the S-series cameras for amazing image quality. Olympus’ enhanced TruePic III+ Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each photo to deliver exceptional clarity with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III+ also captures crisp, clear photos at high ISO settings, which are traditionally associated with increasing noise or producing grainy photos.

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.

SD Compatibility
Olympus’ new spring 2011 digital compact cameras have SD compatibility for up to 32 gigabytes of capacity.

The SP-610UZ will be available in February 2011. The SP-610UZ includes four standard AA-size Dry-Cell Batteries. The camera also includes a Neck Strap, WIN/Mac USB cable, Audio/Video cable, Manual, Warranty Card and OLYMPUS [ib] software.

U.S. Pricing
SP-610UZ Estimated Street Price: $229.99 (U.S.)

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 Digital 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 and design 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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