2008 Photokina Tradeshow
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Olympus' Stylus 1050SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus introduces the rugged Stylus 1050SW
By Zig Weidelich, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, August 25, 2008 - 00:26 EDT)

The Olympus Stylus 1050SW features a rugged body that is shockproof, waterproof, and even freezeproof and includes perhaps the most unusual control system we've ever seen.

Based around a ten megapixel image sensor and 3x optical zoom lens with a rather tight 38mm wide-angle, the Olympus 1050SW also includes a 2.7-inch LCD display, 41.6MB of internal memory, and xD-Picture Card storage slot. Perhaps the Olympus Stylus 1050's most unusual feature is the ability to control the camera by different patterns of tapping on the camera body, from different angles. It's an idea that's designed to make the camera more useable when wearing bulky gloves, and is a very interesting solution to the problem. There's no mechanical image stabilization in the Stylus 1050SW - only what the company calls "Digital Image Stabilization", which simply increases the ISO sensitivity to try and freeze motion. ISO sensitivity ranges ISO 50 to 1,600 equivalent.

Olympus' Stylus 1050 SW features contrast-detection autofocus, as well as face detection that is linked to both the autoexposure and autofocus systems. The Olympus 1050 SW also offers a "Smile Shot" function that automatically captures three photos when your subject is smiling. A "Perfect Shot Preview" mode in the Olympus 1050SW allows users to preview certain camera adjustments. The Olympus Stylus 1050SW includes twenty two scene modes plus a Program Auto mode. There's also limited in-camera image editing, a clever in-camera panorama mode, NTSC / PAL video output connectivity, and USB 2.0 High-Speed computer connectivity.

The Olympus 1050 SW uses a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, and ships with Olympus' Master 2 software for viewing and modifying photos. Availability for the Olympus Stylus 1050 SW in the USA is set for October 2008 with pricing of about $300.

For more details, read the official press release and detailed specifications below, then have a look at our Olympus Stylus 1050 preview.

Olympus Stylus 1050 SW
Olympus' Stylus 1050SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Ultra Compact
Manufacturer Olympus
Model Number 1050 SW
Dimensions 3.7 x 2.4 x 0.9"
93.0 x 62.0 x 22.6mm
Weight 152.0 g
5.3 oz
Planned Price $299.99
Planned Availability Oct 2008
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1/2.33" CCD
10.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions 3648 x 2736 (10.0 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.7", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 10.0x max
Lens Type Internal Olympus ED lens, 10 element in 8 groups, 3 Aspherical, 1 ED
3x optical zoom
Image Stabilization No
Focal Length 6.7 - 20.1mm (actual)
38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/3.5 (wide) / f/5.0 (tele) - ???
Focusing System CCD contrast detection; iESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF with AF assist lamp
Focusing Range Normal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.9" - 20" (7 cm - 50 cm)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speed 4 - 1/1000 second
Exposure Modes Program
Metering Modes Digital ESP Me ering, Spot Metering, Face Detection AE (when Face Detection AF is selected)
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: Wide: 0.66ft. (0.2m) - 17.4ft. (5.3m); Tele: 0.66ft. (0.2m) – 12ft. (3.7m) at ISO 800
Scene Modes Portrait, Landscape, Landscape+Portrait, Night, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Shoot&Select 1/ 2, Beach&Snow, Pre-capture Movie, Underwater Snapshot, Snow, Smile Shot
Digital Zoom Up to 5x
Self Timer Yes, 12 seconds
Movie Format AVI Motion JPEG with audio
Recording Medium xD Picture Card, Built-in, microSD (MASD-1 is required)
File Format JPEG
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other Multi-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output, DC Input)
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary LI-42B
Product Bundle
Software OLYMPUS Master 2 Software CD-ROM
Battery / Charger 1 x Proprietary LI-42B Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 41.6MB Internal
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control No
More Photos
Olympus' Stylus 1050SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 1050SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


New "Tap Control" Activates Settings When You Tap Motion-Sensitive Camera Body; Alluring Design Adds Style to Substance

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., August 25, 2008 - Olympus, creator of the Stylus SW series - the toughest compact digital cameras on the planet - innovates again with a whole new way for consumers to take control and tap into worry-free fun: Tap Control. While other digital cameras may use touch screens to access settings, the new Stylus 1050 SW has a shockproof, waterproof and freezeproof body that is sensitive to touch all over. So getting to the most common menu settings in situations where pushing buttons takes time or is difficult is now as fast and easy as a tap on the top, back or sides of the camera.

The rugged 10.1-megapixel Stylus 1050 SW is designed to take the hard knocks that everyday life - particularly those with kids - can throw its way, so you know that the memories it captures will be protected. It can handle five-foot drops to the hard ground, operate in freezing snowstorms, and swim with the fishes - lethal conditions for most other digital cameras. Additionally, the Stylus 1050 SW weathers the elements in style with four trendy colors (blue, champagne, silver and black) and a new streamlined body. The sleek, lens-protecting faceplate slides down, turning the camera on and revealing the lens in an instant to capture the moment.

"Consumers are familiar with motion-sensor technology from popular videogame controls that translate physical motion into electronic commands," said Nadine Clark, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "The Stylus 1050 SW employs similar technology. Adjusting the camera settings is intuitive, because the whole camera reacts to the way it's tapped. Tap Technology is an advancement that adds to the camera's already high-performance specifications of shockproof, waterproof and freezeproof durability. When you absolutely must get the shot in tough conditions, the Stylus 1050 SW is the camera to have at your side."

Tap Control
The Stylus 1050 SW camera can be controlled with a simple tap on its top, back or sides, which is made possible thanks to the new camera's 3D accelerometer that detects the direction of the force on the camera's body. For example, to turn on the flash or Shadow Adjustment Technology, tap the camera's side twice. In adverse climates, where the Stylus 1050 SW thrives, the new Tap Control ensures fast results - so you get the shot - even if you are adjusting settings while fighting frostbite with large gloves that would make traditional buttons nearly impossible to maneuver.

Shockproof Design for Worry-Free Fun
The shock-absorbing technology designed into the Stylus 1050 SW minimizes the impact delivered to the lens and circuitry when the camera is dropped from heights up to 5 feet. Whether the camera slips out of a backpack or a toddler drops it down a staircase, the Stylus 1050 SW can take a licking and keep on clicking.

Waterproof for Underwater Adventures
The Stylus 1050 SW performs as well under water as it does on land because its lightweight, aluminum exterior is matched with interior rubber gaskets and O-rings to seal out the elements. It can take photos while being fully submerged to depths of approximately 10 feet (3 meters). The inclusion of a preset underwater scene mode makes the Stylus 1050 SW perfect for snorkeling or a day in the pool. It also features a water-repellant lens coating to prevent water droplets from forming on the lens to get crystal-clear shots no matter how wet the shooting environment.

Freezeproof for Icy Conditions
Unlike other point-and-shoot cameras that freeze up in frosty weather, the Stylus 1050 SW still performs when the temperature dips well below freezing (down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit; -10 degrees Celsius) so it is ready when you are to make a snowman or hit the slopes.

Face Detection and Smile Shot
Face Detection tracks up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) and optimizes exposure (Face Detection AE) for sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots. The Stylus 1050 SW also features Smile Shot, which tracks your subject's face to detect a smile and automatically fires off three consecutive shots so you never miss that perfect smile. This feature is great for parents hoping to capture hard-to-predict baby smiles.

In-Camera Panorama
In-camera panorama mode captures three images and stitches them together to create one amazing panoramic picture. Simply press the shutter button and slowly pan across a panoramic scene. The second and third images will be captured automatically and stitched together with the first image right in the camera - resulting in one seamless panorama-size picture ready for printing. To create the ultimate panoramic picture, consumers can use the Olympus Master™ Software 2 to stitch up to 10 images together.

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. Shadow Adjustment Technology 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.

Perfect Shot Preview
The Stylus 1050 SW features Perfect Shot Preview mode that enables users to preview and select various photographic effects on a live, multi-window screen before snapping the shot. This feature enables users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring users are capturing the exact image they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, such as zoom, exposure compensation, white balance and metering.

Perfect Fix In-Camera Editing
The Stylus 1050 SW offers Red-Eye Fix and Shadow Adjustment Edit, in-camera editing features such as resizing, frames, text options and saturation adjustments, enabling users to edit photos right in the camera. With the Perfect Fix function, multiple editing features can be applied at once.

TruePicTM III Image Processor
Olympus' enhanced TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal-clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to deliver superior picture quality with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III also captures sharp images at high ISO settings, which are traditionally associated with increasing image noise or producing grainy photos.

LED Illuminator
An LED Illuminator works like a mini-flashlight on the front of the camera to enhance focus and exposure for macro shooting - great for underwater close-up shots where light is scarce.

Digital Image Stabilization
This camera 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 captures virtually blur-free images, even when you or your subject is moving.

Large HyperCrystal™ II LCD
The Stylus 1050 SW boasts an advanced HyperCrystal II LCD, which is Olympus' next generation of LCD technology. It reproduces true colors with a dynamic contrast ratio of more than 180 percent and a color reproduction performance of more than 160 percent compared to HyperCrystal LCD, providing a preview that is more true to the final image.

Stylish Design and Colors
The Stylus 1050 SW is available in four stunning colors to suit your individual taste: blue, champagne, silver and black. Its newly designed body has a lens protecting component that slides in front of the camera's lens to further protect it from extreme conditions.

Versatile Memory
All Olympus digital point-and-shoot cameras accept xD-Picture CardTM media. The Stylus 1050 SW will also come equipped with an adapter, which will enable microSD memory cards to be used when capturing images. The microSD cards are emerging in consumer electronic devices, including mobile phones and PDAs. Users can also easily display photos on their HDTVs.

OLYMPUS Master 2 Software
OLYMPUS Master 2 software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to a computer quick and simple. Images are easily organized by folders or albums and are searchable by date in the Calendar View. With one-click editing tools, such as red-eye removal, images can be touched up before printing or emailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away. Use the optional muveeä Theater Pack to create professional-quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates.

The Stylus 1050 SW will be available in October 2008. It includes: a wrist strap, camera WIN/Mac USB cable, audio/video cable, LI-42B Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger, manual, warranty card and OLYMPUS Master 2 software (CD-ROM).

U.S. Pricing
Stylus 1050 SW Estimated Street Price: $299.99

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 peoples' lives every day. These include:

  • Digital and Film Cameras as well as related Underwater Products and Accessories
  • Professional Digital SLR Imaging Systems as well as 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 mentioned herein are the property of their respective holder.
©2008 Olympus Imaging America Inc.


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