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Olympus revives the OM as a Micro Four Thirds digital camera

Olympus revives the OM as a Micro Four Thirds digital camera

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Rugged compact, superzoom compact cameras introduced as well

By Adorama News Writer

February 8, 2012

Olympus today revived its OM series, which broke new ground for small SLR design 40 years ago. This time it's a mirrorless, interchangeable-lens, EVF camera built around the Micro Four Thirds standard.

Flush with the success of its digital revival of its legacy Pen line, Olympus today unveiled a digital version of its groundbreaking OM SLR line, which had a loyal following during its run from 1972-2002. With today's announcement of the OM-D E-M5, which bears a striking resemblance to its film forbears, Olympus debuts not just a new camera, but the beginning of its digital OM line of products with ample hints that there's more to come.

 


NOTE: The Olympus  OMD-EM5 can be pre-ordered now, for $999.99 body only, $1,299.99 with black M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens, or $1,099.99 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens. Orders will be shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards will not be charged until orders shipped.

 

The OM-D E-M5 is a Micro Four Thirds camera and accepts any Micro Four Thirds lens It has a high-resolution electronic viewfinder as well as a flip-out touch-sensitive 3-inch LCD monitor.

Key features:

  • 16MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VI image processor
  • "World's first" 5-axis image stabilizer for multi-directional camera movement
  • Fast AF system including 3D AF tracking (Olympus claims it's the world's fastest AF)
  • 9FPS burst rate
  • Lightweight magnesium alloy construction
  • Splashproof and dustproof
  • Art filters include new "Key Line," "Cross Process II" and "Dramatic Tone II"
  • Full 1080i video using MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264)

The Olympus  OMD-EM5 will be available in April, for $999.99 body only, $1,299.99 with black M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens, or $1,099.99 with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens. Scroll down to the Olympus press release for more details.


Learn more about the Olympus OM-D E-M5:


New lenses and accessories

To compliment the new OM-D E-M5, Olympus is introducing the HLD-6 Power Battery Grip, the FL-600R electronic flash and the MMF-3 Four Thirds mount adapter designed for mounting a Four Thirds Standard-compliant lens on a Micro Four Thirds Standard-compliant camera body. Along with these introductions, Olympus is also announcing the development of two new Micro Four Thirds lenses that will be introduce later this year: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 macro.

Two new compact cameras

In addition, Olympus today also announced two new compact cameras:

The  TG-820 iHS, a  Waterproof to 33 feet, Shockproof to 6.6 feet, Freezeproof to 14 °F and Crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds compact camera. Featuring a 12MP back side illuminated CMOS sensor and a 5x internal zoom lens, the TG-820 can also capture 1080p HD video. It will be available in March for $299.95.

 

The SZ-31MR iHS, a 24x, 16MP sensor superzoom camera with a 25-600mm (35mm equivalent zoom lens), 3-inch, 920k resolution touch-screen, image stabilization for video, 10 frames per second burst rate, 1080p HD video, 12 “Magic Art” filters, and technology that Olympus says will produce high-quality stills and videos in low light. Look for it in April for $399.95.


For details, read the Olympus press releases:

CLASSIC OM DESIGN REVIVED INTO A NEW STATE OF THE ART DIGITAL CAMERA - THE BEGINING OF THE NEW:
OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5


 The Olympus E-M5 Unites an Intuitive Built-In Electronic Viewfinder with the World’s First*1 5-Axis Image Stabilization and World’s Fastest*2 Autofocusing System inside a Powerfully Portable and Rugged Dustproof and Splashproof Body

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 7, 2012, 9:00pm – Today Olympus builds upon the 40-year legacy of the OM SLR film camera series and marks the beginning of the new digital imaging era with the launch of the Olympus E-M5, the first of the new Olympus OM-D (OM Digital) Series of Micro Four Thirds™ products. Designed to meet the needs of advanced photographers, the Olympus E-M5 is packed with a built-in electronic viewfinder, superior image technology, blazing fast speed and total creative control in a classic, rugged body ready for sand, sun, sleet or snow.

Evoking the classic design of the original OM Series introduced 40 years ago, and transforming it for the modern age, the Olympus OM-D Series is a new and entirely unique Micro Four Thirds camera system. It combines outstanding features found in the Olympus E-System DSLR line with those of the compact Olympus PEN® Series to meet the requirements of discerning photographers who demand more performance and portability from their interchangeable-lens cameras. The compact and ready-for-action Olympus E-M5 boasts breakthrough innovations inside, including:

A built-in 120-fps (frames-per-second) refresh rate, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) with outstanding image quality, eye detect and intuitive functionality that enables real-time viewing of shooting conditions
A 16.1-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and TruePic™ VI image-processing engine for superior image quality and high sensitivity
The world’s first*1 5-axis image stabilizer to compensate for multi-directional camera shake during both still photography and HD moviemaking
The world’s fastest*2 autofocusing system (FAST AF) plus new 3D AF tracking for improved performance following moving subjects at up to 9 frames-per-second sequential shooting
A lightweight magnesium alloy body that is enhanced with the same dustproof and splashproof durability of the Olympus E-5 DSLR
A tilting 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and new Movie Effects: One Shot Echo, for a semi-transparent frame at your whim and Multi Echo, for a multi-motion trail effect.

Intuitively Designed Electronic Viewfinder
The OLYMPUS E-M5 is the first Olympus interchangeable-lens camera to incorporate a 120-fps refresh rate, High-Definition electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor to seamlessly switch the display between the tilting, 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and the electronic viewfinder for ease-of-use, features a 100-percent field of view, maximum 1.15x magnification and an eye point of 18mm for fatigue-free viewing. Camera setting information, such as shutter speed, is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder so photographers can concentrate on framing shots and take full advantage of an EVF’s ability to display the effects of various exposure adjustments and Art Filter effects – all without having to take the eye away from the viewfinder.

Superior Image Quality
The Olympus E-M5 uses a new 16.1 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor offering improved performance and exceptional clarity and speed in all aspects of image capture. Olympus’ TruePic VI image-processing engine dramatically improves image quality in low-light environments. The camera’s sensor allows for a maximum ISO of 25,600, and the dynamic range has been expanded for more faithful color reproduction.

Unprecedented 5-axis image stabilization
The Olympus E-M5 is distinguished by the world’s first 5-axis image-stabilization mechanism capable of reducing the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions on stills and video, even including motion blur caused by the photographer walking or running. Previous IS mechanisms compensated for camera shake by addressing only two kinds of movement along the vertical and horizontal axis. However, camera shake can actually be caused by five different kinds of movement: horizontal shift, vertical shift, rotary motion, as well as the yaw and pitch. While some technology has attempted to correct for camera blur by building the Image Stabilization mechanism into the lens, the Olympus E-M5 IS mechanism is incorporated into the camera body itself so that all lenses mounted on the body can take advantage of this sophisticated technology, whether shooting stills or HD video.

Blazing Speed
Focus and shoot faster with record-breaking autofocus speed and imaging processing. The Olympus E-M5 employs the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, introduced in the PEN E-P3, but with even greater speed. The 16MP Live MOS chip drives image data off the sensor at a blazing 240 frames-per-second, a 2X speed increase in Continuous Autofocus, with reduced image blackout enabling photographers to track fast action, Maximum frame rates in sequential shooting have also increased more than 2X with a max frame rate of 9-fps in Single AF. A new 3D tracking AF system can follow the subject through the X-, Y- and Z-axes to dramatically improve focus on moving subjects. Paired with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50-mm f3.5-6.3 electronic zoom lens for optimum focusing speed, fast camera start-up times and operational speeds enable the photographer to keep up with the most challenging shooting situations, while dual control dials and dedicated function buttons help them adjust settings on-the-fly.

Creative Freedom
The Olympus E-M5 features a 3.0-inch tilting OLED touch-screen to enable photographers to get up high or down low for any shot. The touch screen interface offers intuitive focus and release of the shutter and review and enlargement of images in playback with the touch of a finger. The new Live Bulb feature updates the Live View image on the OLED screen at pre-set intervals during long exposures and enables the user to preview continually unfolding action such as fireworks or waterfalls and adjust the exposure time accordingly while capturing the image at the desired moment. An innovative new interface, EVF Creative Control, produces a tone curve overlay on the viewfinder screen to enable separate adjustment of highlight and shadow brightness, white balance, magnification and aspect ratio can also be manipulated via the EVF.



A new “Key Line” Art Filter joins nine other available filters on the Olympus E-M5 and enhances the edge lines of the image to make it look more like an illustration. New “Cross Process II” and “Dramatic Tone II” Art Filters provide variations on the popular existing filters, and the two new Echo effect for movies leaves a momentary residual image of a subject’s movements when activated during movie recording. Users who like to perform their movie post-editing on a PC will particularly appreciate the Full HD 1080i movie recording function, which adopts the MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264).

Powerful Portability and Rugged Durability
The striking, iconic design of the Olympus E-M5 is more than just looks; its magnesium alloy body is rugged enough to stand up to severe environmental conditions like heavy rain and blowing sand. The Olympus E-M5 employs internal seals extensively and, when the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens is attached, this combination delivers an integrated dustproof and splashproof camera system. The electronic viewfinder section of the body is also made of magnesium alloy to ensure durability, and the FL-LM2 Electronic Flash that ships with the camera features the same dustproof and splashproof construction.

New Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge
The HLD-6 Power Battery Grip, in the same dust- and splashproof construction as the Olympus E-M5 body, is an adaptable, two-part grip that can be used either as a landscape grip for easier handling or as a portrait grip with an additional shutter release. The portrait grip accommodates an extra lithium-ion battery to supplement the one in the E-M5, thus extending battery life. The FL-600R electronic flash (GN 50 at ISO 200 or GN 36 at ISO 100) offers improved recharge time and enhanced flexibility and operability for movie recording, and with a wireless control option. Equipped with a built-in LED, the FL-600R can be used to light movies and as a brighter AF auxiliary light. The MMF-3 Four Thirds mount adapter is designed for mounting a Four Thirds Standard-compliant lens on a Micro Four Thirds Standard-compliant camera body. The MMF-3, which also features dust- and splashproof construction, is ideally suited for use with Olympus’ similarly constructed High Grade and Super High Grade lenses.

The Olympus E-M5 is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses, including two new lenses that Olympus will introduce later this year: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 macro. The 75mm lens is a high-quality metal design with fast aperture settings for portraits and indoor sports shooting, while the dustproof and splashproof 60mm lens features 1:1 macro and a closest shooting distance of just 7.5 inches.

*1 As of February 2012. Among interchangeable-lens cameras.
*2 As of November 2011. Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras on the market, and using Olympus’ in-house test conditions.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus E-M5 will be available in April and ships in the following configurations:
Estimated Street Price:   
$999.99 (Body only, available in Black and Silver)
    $1,299.99 (Black or Silver body with black M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens)
    $1,099.99 (Black body with black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens)


NEW OLYMPUS TG-820 ihs IS TOUGHER ON the OUTSIDE AND SMARTER ON THE INSIDE for incredible image quality anywhere

iHS Technology Brings Intelligence, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed Performance to Active Families and Adrenaline Junkies Alike So They Can Focus on Fun

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 7, 2012 – The Olympus digital camera line-up for spring features a next-generation Olympus TOUGH compact that sets a new benchmark for Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Crushproof and Dustproof performance. Combining proven durability with superb image quality courtesy of the new iHS (Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed) family of technologies, the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS has both brains and brawn. iHS harnesses the power of a new 12-megapixel BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) CMOS sensor and the TruePic VI image processor (originally developed for DSLR cameras) to dramatically improve low-light performance, speed up camera response time, enhance scene and subject recognition and double zoom magnification without losing image quality.

Whether you’re using it at a neighbor’s pool party or snorkeling near a tropical reef, out-and-about at your local park or hiking Yellowstone, the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS is the perfect travel companion for active families and adventurers looking for a camera that delivers outstanding image quality with a worry-free guarantee. Advanced iHS technology ensures that even people with an action-packed lifestyle can capture brilliant photos and 1080p Full HD Videos, no matter how fast their subject is moving or how poor the lighting is.

iHS powers a number of new Olympus features that take all the work out of capturing difficult shots. A blazing quick autofocus and HDR Backlight Adjustment takes a collage of separate photos and blends them into one perfectly exposed image regardless of difficult lighting. Multi-Motion Movie IS (Image Stabilization) records virtually blur-free videos even when you’re moving. The versatile lens on the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS pulls out wide or zooms in twice as close with its 10x Super-Resolution Zoom that digitally extends the range of the optical zoom with nearly no loss of image quality. Capture beautiful images and videos effortlessly; Enhanced iAuto enables the camera to automatically detect 34 different scenes (portrait, landscape, macro, etc.)

While the new imaging technology delivers optimal results with fast-moving subjects, night scenes and other tricky shots, the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS is also Waterproof to 33 feet, Shockproof to 6.6 feet, Freezeproof to 14 °F and even Crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds*1. Focus on fun, without worrying about damaging your camera’s high-grade components like the OLYMPUS 5x Wide-Angle Zoom Lens (28 mm-140 mm*2). The 3.0-inch, 1,030,000-dot HyperCrystal III LCD offers super high-resolution with scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coatings for added protection and better visibility in bright and low light.

When you’re back from your adventures, the camera’s HDMI Control makes playback a breeze. Simply connect the camera to an HDTV with an optional HDMI cable and use your HDTV’s remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus from the comfort of your couch.

*1 Waterproof according to IEC standard publication 529 IPX8. Shockproof figures equivalent to MIL Standard (Olympus test conditions). Freezeproof according to Olympus test conditions.
*2 35 mm camera equivalent.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS will be available in March and ships with a Wrist Strap, USB Cable, A/V Cable, USB-to-AC Adapter (F-2AC), Lithium-Ion Battery (LI-50B), Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual on CD-ROM, a software CD-ROM featuring [ib] (Windows) and OLYMPUS Viewer 2 (Win/Mac), and a Warranty Card.
Estimated Street Price: $299.99 (Available in Silver, Black, and Blue)
For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: http://olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1592




NEW OLYMPUS SZ-31MR iHS DIGITAL CAMERA GETS YOU
SO CLOSE TO THE ACTION, YOU CAN ALMOST TOUCH IT


 iHS Technology, High-Resolution Touch LCD, and 24x Zoom Extends the Power and Performance of the Olympus Long Zoom Line

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 7, 2012 – The Olympus SZ-31MR iHS camera packs incredible power and performance into a single, compact and lightweight body thanks to new enhancements to the popular Long Zoom line. Like its predecessor, the SZ-31MR iHS incorporates revolutionary Multi-Recording functionality that simultaneously captures 1080p HD Video and 16-Megapixel still images without missing a frame. But the innovative Olympus SZ-31MR iHS goes further by combining an outstanding 24x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom Lens (25-600 mm zoom equivalent in 35-mm format) with a new touch panel LCD and powerful new iHS (Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed) technologies that capture excellent images and videos in the most challenging backlit and low light conditions.

New iHS technology achieves consistently sharp and vivid images in any situation. iHS draws on the camera’s 16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and two separate TruePic V image processors, originally developed for DSLR cameras, to dramatically improve low-light performance, speed up camera response time, enhance scene and subject recognition and double zoom magnification without sacrificing image quality. Combined with High-Speed Sequential Shooting (10 frames-per-second) and high-speed autofocus, iHS reduces picture noise and enhances resolution and color gradation despite fast-moving subjects, night scenes and other tricky shots.

Thanks to the ingenious Multi-Recording feature that enables users to combine various photo and video recording modes simultaneously, you’ll never have to choose between capturing 1080p Full HD Videos or still images again. A simple tap on the LCD screen captures a photo while you’re recording video – all without interrupting your movie making.

The Olympus SZ-31MR iHS brings you close to your subjects with its lens, and while you can’t physically touch them from afar, the camera‘s touch-sensitive, 3.0-inch 920,000-dot LCD display helps you effortlessly capture and display images, change camera focus, shutter speed and zoom, or navigate the Live Guide controls by simply touching the screen. Whether you’re trying to capture your child’s first time at bat from a distant bleacher seat or zooming in on a delicate wildlife subject unaware of your presence, the action will feel so close, you can almost touch it.
 
Multi Motion Movie IS (Image Stabilization for video) and Dual Image Stabilization (for still images) all but eliminate blur, even when you’re moving and shooting at the same time. Hand-Held Starlight Mode enables you to shoot blur-free, beautiful night scenes while holding the camera in your hands and without a tripod.

Twelve Magic Art Filters power your creativity by adding a whole range of special effects to both your images and videos directly in the camera. The Olympus SZ-31MR iHS offers three new Magic Art Filters. Reflection takes the image and duplicates it across a horizontal or vertical plane of symmetry creating powerful illusions, Fragmented turns an image into a photo composed of multiple tiles, similar to puzzle pieces, and Dramatic partially changes the contrast of the image for a vividly surreal look.

When you’re back from your adventures, enjoy Full HD Video and HDMI control in broadcast-quality 1080p when played back on an HDTV. The Olympus SZ-31MR iHS also makes photo slideshows even more entertaining by incorporating music and transition effects.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus SZ-31MR iHS will be available in late April and ships with a Strap, USB Cable, USB-to-AC Adapter (F-2AC), Lithium-Ion Battery (LI-50B), Quick Start Guide, A/V Cable, Instruction Manual on CD-ROM, a software CD-ROM including [ib] (Windows) and OLYMPUS Viewer 2 (Win/Mac), and a Warranty Card.

Estimated Street Price: $399.99 (Available in Silver and Black)

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