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Olympus Debuts Holiday Digicam Lineup

Center Valley, Pa. — Olympus will ship eight new digital cameras to dealers this fall, debuting several new technologies and a pair of 12-megapixel models.

Among the new intros will be a refresh of the company’s 18x optical zoom camera. The 8-megapixel SP-560 features an 18 zoom lens (27mm-486mm, 35mm equivalent), a new face-detection feature, and a new shadow adjustment technology that can compensate for poor lighting by boosting detail in highlights and shadows.

The camera also features two methods of image stabilization: a CCD-shifting mechanism and a digital stabilization mode that boosts ISO sensitivity and shutter speed to combat motion blur in a moving subject.

The SP-560 also offers a new in-camera panoramic mode that stitches together three pictures to create a panorama. Consumers can stitch up to 10 images using the included software.

The camera can capture 1.2-megapixel images at burst speeds of 15 fps. When the camera is set to burst, a pre-capture mode can record up to five images in buffer memory before and after the shutter has been fully depressed.

Consumers can test the effect of various scene modes on a framed image before it is shot using the camera’s Perfect Shot Preview mode.

Additional features include a 2.5-inch LCD screen, electronic viewfinder and 33 shooting modes. The camera incorporates the company’s Bright Capture technology, which increases the brightness on the LCD and works with low-light scene modes to boost light sensitivity (ISO 3,200 maximum).

The camera also offers manual controls and RAW shooting. The SP-560 UZ will be available in October for an estimated $449.

The company will also ship four new cameras in its Stylus family of weather-resistant, compact digicams. Topping the line is the 7-megapixel 790 SW, due this month. The camera is waterproof up to 10 feet, dust proof, and can withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees For -10 C and up to 220 pounds of pressure.

The 709SW will incorporate a water-repellant 3x optical zoom lens, a 2.5-inch HyperCrystal LCD screen, face detection, digital image stabilization, light sensitivity to ISO 1,600, 27 scene modes (four of which are dedicated to underwater photography), Bright Capture, shadow adjustment, and the perfect shot preview mode.

Additional features include an LED illuminator, the ability to remove red-eye from images in-camera or add text or frames to images.

The Stylus 790 SW will be available in five colors — orange, blue, lime, black and silver — for an estimated retail of $299.

The 8-megapixel 820, 8-megapixel 830 and the 12-megapixel Stylus 1200 will all feature face detection, shadow adjustment, digital image stabilization and the perfect shot preview. They are weather resistant but not water-proof.

The Stylus 820 and Stylus 830 pack a 5x optical zoom lens (36mm–180mm, 35mm equivalent) which retracts into the body of the camera. Both cameras will also incorporate a new “perfect fix” mode, which applies multiple image corrections to images in-camera.

The 830, for an estimated $329, incorporates both digital stabilization and a CCD-shifting stabilization mechanism, 26 shooting modes and a 2.5-inch HyperCrystal LCD. The buttons on the 830 are illuminated in low light environments.

The Stylus 820 and 1200 will offer 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD screens, and 24 shooting modes including the new panorama and perfect fix mode.

The 820 will retail for an estimated $249 and be available in red, blue, black and silver. The Stylus 830 is offered in orange, green, blue, black and silver. The Stylus 1200, for an estimated $349, will be sold in black and silver and incorporates a 3x optical zoom lens.

Finally, Olympus added three models to its entry-level FE series. All models will feature face detection and in-camera help guides.

The FE-280 and FE-300 will feature 2.5-inch LCD screens, perfect shot preview, digital image stabilization, Bright Capture, and the new perfect fix mode for sharpening, improves lighting and removing red-eye in-camera.

For $199, the 8-megapixel FE 280 will offer 21 scene modes including three underwater modes and be available in red, blue, black and silver. It features a 3x optical zoom lens with a maximum ISO of 6400.

The 7-megapixel FE-290 offers 17 shooting modes, a 28mm wide-angle 4x optical zoom lens and a 3-inch LCD screen. It will retail for an estimated $249 and be available in black and silver.

Lastly, the 12-megapixel FE-300 ($299) will offer 18 shooting modes.