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Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus: New shockproof / waterproof digicam
(Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 00:01 EDT)

The Olympus Stylus 790 SW digital camera is the latest in the company's popular series that features designs ensuring wherever you go - regardless of environment - your camera will go right along with you.

The "SW" in the name hints at two of the camera's more unusual features - both shock- and water-proofing. As with past models, the Olympus 790SW is shockproof to the MIL-STD-810F standard - meaning that the camera can withstand drops of up to 5 feet from any angle without harm. The Olympus 790 is also waterproof to a depth of three meters. Despite the array of waterproof seals and shock absorption technology needed to achieve all this, the 790 SW remains pocket-friendly and relatively lightweight.

The '790 includes an Olympus-branded 3x optical zoom with a 38 - 114mm equivalent focal length range and F3.5 - 5.0 maximum aperture, folded by a prism to allow the lens to be mounted at right angles to the front of the camera. This allowed the camera's designers to protect the delicate lens components, as well as to completely seal the camera body with no need for a lens to extend out of the camera body when powered on. The lens is coupled with a 7.1 megapixel imager and 2.5" LCD display that has 230,000 pixels. As is common on many digicams these days, this LCD is the sole method of framing images, as the Stylus 790 SW forgoes any form of optical viewfinder.

Autofocus is via contrast detection, and ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 1600 equivalent and can be controlled automatically or manually. The Olympus Stylus 790 SW 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 790 SW is simply boosting ISO sensitivity to gain a faster shutter speed and using software deblurring, both of which will reduce blur at the expense of added noise and/or obscured image detail.

By default, exposures are determined with Olympus' Digital ESP multi-pattern metering, with spot metering 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 4 seconds, and the Olympus 790 offers automatic or preset white balance control courtesy of six presets, but no custom white balance mode. The 790 SW also includes a four mode internal flash, and offers beginner-friendly control over images courtesy of a rather generous 23 scene modes.

As well as still images, the camera can also capture movies at VGA or lower resolution, at a rate of 30 frames per second. The 790 SW also has a twelve second self-timer to let you get into your own pictures. The camera stores images on xD-Picture cards, or 14.7MB of built-in memory. It also offers video and USB computer connectivity. Power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion battery.

The Olympus Stylus 790 SW ships from September, priced at about $300.

Olympus Stylus 790 SW
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeUltra Compact
Model Number790 SW
Dimensions3.7 x 2.4 x 0.8"
93.6 x 60.9 x 21.3mm
Weight136.0 g
4.8 oz
Planned Price$299.99
Planned Availability 2007
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.33" CCD
7.40 megapixels (total)
7.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2304 x 1728 (4.0 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)
1024 x 768 (0.8 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.5", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens TypeOlympus Lens, 10 elements in 8 groups, 3 aspherical
3x optical zoom
Image StabilizationNo
Focal Length6.7 - 20.1mm (actual)
38 - 114mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 - f/5.0
Focusing SystemCCD Contrast Detection; iESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF with AF assist lamp
Focusing RangeNormal: 20" - infinity (50 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.9" - 20" (7 cm - 50 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speed4 - 1/1000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Met ering ModesDigital ESP Metering, Spot Metering, Face Detection AE
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent1, Fluorescent2, Fluorescent3
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-in, Off
Range: ISO 800: Wide: 0.66ft (0.2m) 12.5ft. (3.8m); Tele: 2.0ft (0.6m) 8.5ft. (2.6m)
Scene ModesPortrait, Landscape, Landscape+portrait, Night Scene, Night+portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Shoot & Select1, Shoot & Select2, Beach&snow, Underwater Snapshot, Underwater Wide1/2, Underwater Macro
Digital ZoomUp to 5x, seamless to 15x total
Self TimerYes, 12 seconds
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Recording MediumxD Picture Card, Built-in
File SystemFAT16, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (Exif 2.2)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 Full (LOW) Speed
OtherMulti-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output, DC Input)
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary LI-42B
Product Bundle
SoftwareOLYMPUS Master 2
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary LI-42B Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory14.7MB Internal
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
More Photos
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' Stylus 790 SW digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


Worry-Free Digital Compact Camera Withstands Life’s Everyday Adventures

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., August 23, 2007 – Olympus today introduces the Stylus 790 SW, the newest addition to its stylish and durable Stylus SW line of digital compact cameras. Available in five stunning colors (orange, blue, lime, black and silver), the shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof and dustproof camera captures amazing images in any situation – whether it is a day of fun at the beach, an action-packed snorkel adventure, a family ski trip or a night out with friends.

The camera’s good looks, smooth design and rugged exterior contain an array of innovative features and technologies that ensure sharp, vibrant images in any environment. These signature features include:
Face Detection Technology tracks faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) and optimizes exposure (Face Detection AE) for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures. Even if your subjects are moving, the camera continuously tracks your subjects' faces without having to press the shutter button;
Shadow Adjustment Technology enables users to preview and capture their images as they see them with their naked eye. Shadow Adjustment compensates for difficult lighting situations, increasing the detail in highlights and shadows, to produce more balanced photos;
2.5-inch HyperCrystal™ LCD screen features anti-glare technology that improves visibility in bright sunlight and a wider viewing angle (176 degrees in every direction) for easier composing and sharing of images with others; and
TruePic III™ Image Processor reduces graininess in images to deliver sharper, more vivid photos even at high ISO settings.

“The Stylus 790 SW offers the performance and durability that consumers have come to trust from the Stylus SW family with a sleek new look and innovative feature set,” said Mark Hoffman, director, Product Marketing, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology ensure effortlessly sharp, bright images anytime, anywhere. The rugged, waterproof body design makes it the ideal camera for active lifestyles and a must-have for vacations and outdoor (or underwater) adventures.”

Worry-Free Shockproof Design
Built with durable materials and shock-absorption technology that minimizes the impact delivered to the lens and circuitry when dropped, the Stylus 790 SW offers superior durability in a point-and-shoot digital camera.

Takes Pictures Underwater
By combining a light-weight, aluminum exterior with rubber gaskets and O-rings to seal the interior from the elements, Olympus delivers a slim body design that performs as well under water (down to 10 feet / 3 meters below the surface) as it does on land. The inclusion of four preset underwater scene modes makes the Stylus 790 SW the perfect camera for the pool, waterpark or snorkeling in the ocean. The Stylus 790 SW also features a water-repellant lens coating to prevent water droplets from forming on the lens so you get crystal-clear shots no matter how wet the shooting environment.

Freezeproof for Winter Fun
You can take the cold, so why shouldn’t your camera? Unlike other point-and-shoot cameras, the Stylus 790 SW still performs when the temperature dips below freezing (14 degrees Fahrenheit;
-10 degrees Celsius) so this camera is ready to hit the slopes.

Dustproof for Everyday Durability
The Stylus 790 SW is the perfect camera for a trip to the beach or the great outdoors. Its airtight construction makes the camera impervious to dust, dirt and other particles. Shoot without worry even in harsh conditions; and when the camera gets dirty, just rinse it off in the sink!

Face Detection Technology
Face Detection Technology tracks faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) and optimizes exposure (Face Detection AE) for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures.

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 Stylus 790 SW addresses 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 their naked eye.

Large 2.5-Inch HyperCrystalTM LCD
The Stylus 790 SW boasts a large, high-resolution HyperCrystal LCD, which displays clear, high-contrast images. It increases the brightness of the LCD for better visibility in low-light and bright-light situations – perfect for composing pictures underwater or in direct sunlight. Images are also viewable on the 2.5-inch LCD from 176-degrees, enabling photos to be composed from a wider range of angles and viewed by several people at once.

Digital Image Stabilization
The Stylus 790 SW features Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) for capturing crisp, clear pictures. By boosting the camera’s ISO sensitivity and shutter speed, DIS freezes the action and provides blur-free images, even when you or your subject is moving.

Perfect Shot Preview
The Stylus 790 SW features a Perfect Shot Preview mode that enables users to preview and select various photographic effects on a live, multi-frame window on the LCD before snapping the shot. This feature allows 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 a great way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, such as exposure compensation, white balance and metering.

TruePic 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.

Bright Capture Technology for Easy Low-Light Photography
Low-light photography has never been easier thanks to Olympus’ revolutionary Bright Capture Technology. A brightened preview on the LCD enables simple composition, and with specific scene modes for high sensitivity settings (up to ISO 1600) and rapid auto-focus, even fast-action photos can be captured under low levels of available light.

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-ups where light is scarce. The LED also works in conjunction with Bright Capture to help illuminate your subject when taking low-light portraits.

Stylish, Compact, Rugged Design
The Stylus 790 SW combines light, durable body construction with shock-absorbing materials throughout the interior and the sealant technology used in Olympus underwater housings. In addition to the shockproof and waterproof construction, the Stylus 790 SW features a light-weight, all-metal body and clean, smooth lines that make it the ultimate pocket camera. At a slim 0.8 inches, the camera easily slips into a pocket, handbag or backpack.

27 Selectable Shooting Modes
With 27 pre-programmed shooting modes, such as Beach & Snow, Available Light Portrait, Sunset and Under Water Snapshot, the Stylus 790 SW makes it easy to capture beautiful images in a variety of lighting and shooting situations. The Stylus 790 SW features a Movie Mode that can record TV-quality video (640x480/30fps) with sound – above and below the water’s surface.

In-Camera Editing
With in-camera editing features such as red-eye fix, resizing, adding frames or text, and color or saturation adjustments, users can edit photos anywhere with ease – touch up or embellish photos without a computer.

Olympus Underwater Housing, Floating Strap, Silicone Skin and Premium Cases
Olympus offers a number of optional accessories, specifically designed for the Stylus 790 SW. For users looking to capture their underwater adventures deeper than 10 feet, Olympus offers the PT-041 underwater housing, which enables users to take pictures as deep as 130 feet (40 meters). A highly visible floating wrist strap frees consumers’ hands when swimming or chasing the next big wave, and a silicone skin protects the camera from scratches. Additionally, Olympus offers premium cases in a variety of colors, including camel and red leather, and a durable, sporty neoprene case is perfect for active or outdoor expeditions.
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 e-mailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away. Use the optional muvee? Theater Pack to create professional-quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates.

The Stylus 790 SW will be available in September 2007. 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 790 SW Estimated Street Price: $299.99 (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 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

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.
© 2007 Olympus Imaging America Inc.


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