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Olympus Updates High-End E-Series Digital

10/17/2007 01:18:00 PM Eastern

Center Valley, Pa. — Olympus will ship a new, top of the line E-series digital SLR to dealers in November.

The 10-megapixel E-3 will include a CCD-shifting image stabilization system, a faster 11-point autofocus system, and a 5 fps burst mode up to 16 RAW files and an unlimited number of JPEGS using supported memory cards.

olympus E-3Like previous Olympus d-SLRs, the E-3 will incorporate a Live View LCD and a supersonic wave filter dust-reduction system. The 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel display can be swiveled on a dual axis and the camera offers an optical viewfinder with 100 percent accuracy.

Its magnesium alloy body is dust and splash-proof and the camera accepts all Four Thirds system lenses. Its shutter is rated up to 150,000 cycles and it uses UDMA CF cards and xD-Picture Cards.

A body-only kit will retail for an estimated $1,699.

Joining the E-3 are several new Zuiko Digital SWD lenses that use the company’s Supersonic Wave Drive motor technology. The ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD (24-120mm, 35mm equivalent) will ship next month for an estimated $999. According to Olympus, when paired with the new 12-60mm lens, the E-3 offers the fastest autofocus speed in the industry.

Due in December, the ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD (100-400mm, 35mm equivalent) will sell for an estimated $1,199. The ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD (28-70mm, 35mm equivalent) will ship in the first quarter of next year for $2,299.

A 2x teleconverter will also be added to the Zuiko lineup in December for $479.

Joining the new E-3 are several new accessories. The HLD-4 Power Battery Holder ($199) is splash- and dust-proof and can hold up to two lithium-ion BLM-1 batteries to extend the life of the E-3’s existing BLM-1 battery. The company will also sell a pair of wireless flashes — the FL-50R and FL-36R for an estimated $499 and $299, respectively.