Olympus Unveils 5 Digicams, Zoom Lenses For Pen Cameras

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Olympus

unveiled four new compact digital cameras and the next iteration in its family of Pen-style Micro Four Thirds digital cameras as part of its offerings for the upcoming PMA Show, held Feb. 21-23.

The cameras include the new digital Pen E-PL1 (shipping in March at a $599 estimated retail, with M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm lens); a pair of new Stylus Tough cameras in the 8010 (February, $399) and 6020 (February, $299.99); and a pair of SP series models in the SP-800UZ ($349) and SP-600UZ ($249).

Olympus also announced two new M.Zuiko ED zoom lenses for its Pen camera family in the 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 (shipping in May at $699) and the 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 (shipping in June at $599).

The new lenses are made with ED (extra-low dispersion) glass for superior image quality, Olympus said. They are pocket-sized to complement the compact design of the Pen Micro Four Thirds digital cameras, including the new E-PL1 that offers a compact body with digital-SLR attributes and HD video recording.

The third-generation Pen camera features a new direct-record button for HD movies and new Live Guide functionality to simplify and learn photography techniques.

Live Guide offers up and down arrows on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects, make adjustments and watch them on the LCD.

The camera also includes 19 scene-select modes, from portraits to sunset shots.

Another option is the Intelligent Auto (iAuto) mode that automatically identifies what is being shot and adjusts settings for users to capture the best result depending on the situation.

Other features include face detection, in-camera panorama, iEnhance and Share (uses HDMI connection to a TV for playback using a remote).

A new powerful pop-up flash is added to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red eye and fill in dark areas. The camera is also compatible with a range of optional external flashes, including the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R.

Other features are a large 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, in-body image stabilization, image autofocus, Olympus's dust-reduction system and the TruePic V image processor.

The camera also adds new in-camera creative features, including six in-camera art filters: Gentle Sepia, Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pin Hole, Grainy Film and Diorama (the filter that makes everything look as small as the E-PL1).

The E-PL1 is available in three new body colors: black, champagne gold and slate blue.

New SP ultra-zooms cameras both ship in March and include the SP-800UZ with 30x wide-angle optical-zoom, and the SP-600UZ with a 15x zoom; both have HD video recording capability.

Both offer sleek, titanium-colored bodies and have HDMI control, in-camera panorama and Magic Filter to expand creativity, as well as AF tracking to keep subjects in focus automatically.

The SP-800UZ's 30x (28-840mm) wide-angle optical-zoom lens and the SP-600UZ packs a 15x (28-420mm) wide-angle optical-zoom lens enable close-ups from greater distances.

Both the SP-800UZ and SP-600UZ shoot 720p HD videos, which can be played back on HDTV sets through an HDMI output and control.

An AF Tracking system in both models locks in-focus on fast-moving subjects. In-camera filters include Magic Filter, Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish-Eye, Drawing and Beauty mode.

Shadow-adjustment technology captures bright shots outdoors, and the TruePic III image processor delivers superior quality.

The SP-800UZ offers a 14-megapixel image sensor, 3-inch LCD and lithium-ion battery power, and the SP-600UZ offers a 12-megapixel image sensor, 2.7-inch LCD and AA battery power.

The new Stylus Tough 8010 and 6020 feature 14-megapixel resolution, HD 720p video capture with HDMI output, and 5x wide-angle optical zoom lenses.

Both include AF Tracking that locks onto moving subjects and a new Pet mode to provide proper shoots of favorite animals.

Picture modes include Magic Filter, Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye and Drawing.

Both are designed for rugged use. The 8010 can withstand a drop from 6.6 feet, a depth of 33 feet under water and 210 pounds of pressure, and the 6020 can survive a 5-foot drop and depth of 16 feet underwater.

Both models also include dual-image stabilization and can be controlled with a tap on their top, back or sides for fast adjustment of settings even when wearing gloves.

Other features are face detection, in-camera panorama, 2.7-inch LCD screens, LED illuminator for focus enhancement, TruePic III image processors and internal USB charging.

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