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Olympus' SP-510 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus: New 7mpix ultrazoom
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 01:00 EDT)

Rounding out its announcements for the day, Olympus USA has today revealed the new SP-510 UltraZoom digital camera.

The Olympus SP-510UZ featuresa 1/2.5" CCD imager with a resolution of seven megapixels, coupled withan Olympus ED-branded 10x optical zoom lens with a very useful 38 - 380mmequivalentfocal length range andF2.8 - 3.7 maximum aperture. There's a choice of both an electronic viewfinder(specification unknown), plus a2.5" LCD display with a rather average resolution of 115,000 pixels. Autofocusis via contrast detection, and the camera can also be focused manually.

ISO sensitivity ranges from 50 to 4000 equivalent, controlled automatically or manually, and the Olympus 510UZ also offers what the company calls "Digital Image Stabilization" mode - which should not be mistaken for true hardware image stabilization, where either lens elements or the image sensor are moved based on sensors that detect camera shake. The SP510 does have a gyro sensor to detect the amount of camera shake, but the correction is made in software by compensating with blur removal after the exposure, plus increased sensitivity, faster shutter speeds, tweaks to sharpening, etc.

By default, exposures are determined with Olympus' Digital ESP multi-pattern metering, with spot and center-weighted metering options also available. Users can also tweak the exposure with +/-2.0EV of exposure compensation, in 1/3EV steps. Shutter speeds range from 1/1000 to 15 seconds, and the Olympus SP510UZ offers automatic or preset white balance control courtesy of six presets, plus a custom white balance mode. The Olympus SP510 also includes a five mode internal flash good to a distance of 14.8 feet at wide angle, and offers beginner-friendly control over images courtesy of a generous 21 scene modes.

As well as still images, the SP-510 UZ can capture movies at VGA or lower resolution, at a rate of 30 frames per second. The Olympus 510UZ also has a two or twelve second self-timer to let you get into your own pictures. The camera stores images on xD-Picture cards, or 21MB of built-in memory, and also offers both video and USB 2.0 Full Speed computer connectivity (rather slower than the USB 2.0 High Speed connections on many cameras these days). Power comes from four standard AA batteries, with disposables of unspecified type in the product bundle.

The Olympus SP-510 UZ ships from September in the USA, priced at $330.

Olympus SP-510 UZ
Olympus' SP-510 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Manufacturer Olympus
Model Number SP-510 UZ
Dimensions 4.2 x 2.9 x 2.8"
105.5 x 74.5 x 70.0mm
Weight 325.0 g
11.4 oz
Planned Price $329.99
Planned Availability Sep 2006
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.5" CCD
7.40 megapixels (total)
7.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 3:2
Image Dimensions 3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)3072 x 2048 (6.3 megapixels)2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)2304 x 1728 (4.0 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)640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, Electronic viewfinder
LCD 2.5", 115,000 pixels
Lens Type Olympus ED lens
10x optical zoom
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 6.3 - 63.0mm (actual)
38 - 380mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 (wide) / f/3.7 (tele) - ???
Focusing System CCD contrast detection, iESP Auto / Spot / Selective AF
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Focusing Range Normal: 24" - infinity (60 cm - infinity)
Macro: 1.2" - 82" (3 cm - 200 cm)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2500, 4000
Shutter Speed 15 - 1/1000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes Digital iESP multi-pattern auto TTL, spot, center weighted
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, overcast, sunlight, tungsten, 3 fluorescents, preset, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Fill-in + red-eye, Slow Sync, Off
Range: Wide: 14.8ft (4.5m); Tele: 11.2ft. (3.4m)
Scene Modes portrait, landscape, landscape + portrait, night scene, sport, night + portrait, sport, indoor, candle, self-portrait, available light portrait, sunset, fireworks, museum, cuisine, documents, auction, shoot & select1, shoot & select2, beach, snow
Digital Zoom 5x
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 12 seconds
Time Lapse Yes
Movie Format QuickTime Motion JPEG with audio
640x480 and 320x240
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Recording Medium xD Picture Card, Built-in
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format CCD-RAW, Raw, JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Video Yes
Computer USB 2.0 Full (LOW) Speed
Other DC input
Battery Type Type unspecified
Battery Form Factor 4 x AA
Product Bundle
Battery / Charger 4 x AA (Type unspecified) battery
Flash Memory 21.0MB built-in memory
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
More Photos
Olympus' SP-510 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' SP-510 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' SP-510 UltraZoom digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


Most Full-Featured Camera in its Class with 7.1 Megapixels, 10x Optical ED Zoom Lens, Digital Image Stabilization, ISO 4000 and Full Manual Controls

Center Valley, Pa, August 23, 2006 – The new Olympus SP-510 Ultra Zoom offers the ultimate value in its class with the highest image resolution of any 10x digital camera on the market, an Olympus ED Zoom Lens, a large 2.5-inch LCD and extra-long battery life (up to 630 shots from standard alkaline batteries). Designed to satisfy the needs of beginners and advanced users alike, this highly versatile camera provides incredible point-and-shoot functionality (including 21 preset Scene Modes) as well as professional features like full manual controls, ISO 4000 and RAW shooting.

“The Olympus SP-510 UZ is one of the best combinations of features, performance and price of any digital camera,” said Michael Barnett, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “This versatile camera does more than simply bring subjects closer than traditional compact cameras, it offers an easy-to-use, yet sophisticated, set of features that users can start with and stay with as their skills continue to develop.”

10x Optical Olympus ED Zoom Lens
First to introduce the Ultra Zoom category in 2000, Olympus once again delivers a designed-to-be-digital 10x optical zoom lens to bring the action closer in an ergonomic body that’s easy to handle. The bright, high-quality optical system is precision-crafted using extra-dispersion (ED) and high-refractive-index aspherical lens elements to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. Olympus photos are known worldwide for sharp, vibrant image quality. The lens provides the equivalent of 38 to 380mm focal length, f2.8 – f3.7 (in 35mm photography), with 50x combined total zoom (10x optical and 5x digital). The Super Macro Mode allows users to capture details such as the iridescent petals of a flower or the wings of a butterfly from as close as 1.18 inches.

7.1-Megapixel Image Sensor
The 7.1-megapixel CCD image sensor delivers superior image quality capturing the most subtle details that are consistently sharp and vivid, even in large-format prints or when the image is cropped. Recording in both JPEG and RAW file formats, the SP-510 UZ is perfectly suited for a wide range of users – from new photographers to advanced users who want maximum creative control.

Digital Image Stabilization
The SP-510 UZ features Digital Image Stabilization for capturing crisp, clear pictures – free from the blur sometimes caused by camera shake or moving subjects – with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speed to stop the action.

Bright Capture Technology
There are times when you want to photograph subjects in low light without having to use a flash – such as when trying to capture the softness and warmth of a candlelit dinner or natural skin tones in subdued lighting. Olympus’ revolutionary Bright Capture Technology makes it possible to clearly preview your shot on the LCD in low light, quickly lock the focus and capture your subjects with limited available light. The SP-510 UZ offers the highest ISO sensitivity of any ultra zoom (ISO 4000).

2.5-Inch Premium Size LCD & Electronic Viewfinder
Don’t settle for less – use the electronic viewfinder or compose and review images on the LCD with ease. The large, 2.5-inch LCD enables you to view images in 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.

Superior Battery Life
The SP-510 UZ offers extra-long battery performance to ensure that no perfect photo opportunity is missed. Using regular alkaline batteries, you can capture up to 630 shots (based on the CIPA standard) – the highest of any AA digital camera.

TruePic TURBO™ for High-Speed Response
Olympus’ exclusive TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor delivers incredible image quality for more true-to-life colors and skin tones as well as faster overall processing speeds for rapid startup, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBO™ enables the SP-510 UZ to capture information from all 7.1 million pixels with pixel “micro-smoothing” that delivers clearer and more color-accurate photos, even at lower resolutions. The fast start-up and nearly instant shutter release time ensures a high-speed response so you can capture the shot you want and be instantly ready to shoot again.

Incredible Ease of Use
The SP-510 UZ makes it easy to take great photos in a variety of scenarios and lighting situations with 21 pre-programmed scene modes, including VGA-quality video with sound (640x480/30fps) up to the capacity of your xD card. Simply select the desired mode for portraits, landscapes, night scenes, fast-action, macro and much more.
With in-camera editing features such as Red-Eye Fix and the ability to add frames and titles, crop, adjust brightness, switch from color to black-and-white or sepia, make calendar prints, and more – all without using a computer and editing software. Also, the new Lighting Fix feature corrects the underexposed areas in your picture to reveal the details hidden in the shadows.

Built-in Help Guide
The Help Guide on the SP-510 UZ incorporates a built-in manual, a reference that explains the pre-programmed scene modes, features and settings, and a tutorial Shooting Guide that educates users on how to accomplish specific effects. The Shooting Guide not only provides detailed descriptions for various photographic scenarios, but also actually sets the camera with the touch of a button, making the transition from learning to doing instantaneous.

Style and Ergonomics
With the SP-510 UZ, Olympus returns to the traditional compact appearance of its rangefinder cameras. At a compact size of just 4.2 inches wide, 2.9 inches high, 2.8 inches long and only 11.6 ounces, the camera tucks away easily into a case, bag or backpack. The addition of an enhanced ergonomic grip makes it even easier to shoot with one or two hands.

Accessory Lenses for Expanded Capabilities
The SP-510 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 Wide-Angle Conversion Lens (26.6mm equivalent), 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 even closer, great for shooting sports events, concerts or wildlife.

The SP-510 UZ will be available in September 2006. It will also include: Neck Strap, WIN/Mac USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, 4 AA Batteries, Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, Warranty Card, OLYMPUS Master Software CD-ROM and Advanced Manual CD-ROM.

U.S. Pricing
SP-510 UZ Estimated Street Price: $329.99 (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 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
  • Personal Photo Printers
  • 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:

*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.
© 2006 Olympus America Inc.


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