Olympus SP Series (SP-310, SP-350, SP-500 UZ) Digital Cameras Announced

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While highlighting the new Olympus SP-500 UZ (ultra-zoom), Olympus has added the SP line of cameras targeted the more advanced amateur photographer and enthusiast.  The SP-500 UZ has a 10x optical zoom, 6 megapixel sensor and 2.5 inch LCD.  The SP series will also give the photographer more power with the ability to shoot in manual mode.   The SP-500 UZ will be available in October at an estimated street price of $379.

olympus sp-500

Also introduced with the SP series are the Olympus SP-310 and SP-350.  The SP-310 shoots at 7.1 megapixels and has a 2.5 inch LCD and 3x optical zoom.  The SP-350 has the same LCD and optical zoom, but captures images at 8 megapixels.

For SP-310 details, view the product page.

For SP-350 details, view its product page.

For SP-500 UZ details, view its product page and see the press release:

Melville, New York, August 29, 2005 — With the release of its eagerly awaited new ultra zoom digital camera, the SP-500 UZ, Olympus pleases advanced and amateur-level camera aficionados alike. The powerful 10x optical zoom provides users with the focal range to capture stunning close-up shots. Designed with a large, easy-to-view 2.5-inch premium size LCD, both manual and automatic settings and optional add-on accessory lenses, the SP-500 UZ is a highly versatile camera, powerful enough to satisfy the creative needs of the advanced user, and expansive enough to grow as users develop their talent.

“The SP-series cameras are designed to offer an all-in-one camera solution for photographers of all skill levels,” said John McGuire, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The beauty of the SP-500 UZ ultra zoom digital camera is that it packs a wealth of manual and automatic features and an incredible focal range into a compact, light-weight body design.”

Ultra Zoom
Thanks to years of experience crafting Ultra Zoom digital cameras, Olympus is able to deliver a superior designed-to-be-digital 10x optical zoom lens ( 38mm — 380mm equivalent in 35mm photography) to bring the action closer. The bright, high quality optical system is comprised of eleven elements arranged in seven groups and includes two aspherical lenses, plus an extra-dispersion (ED) glass element typically found exclusively in pro-level SLR cameras.

6.0-Megapixel Image Sensor for Large-Format Prints
The 6.0-megapixel CCD image sensor delivers super high-quality images that are consistently sharp and vivid even in large-format prints.

2.5-Inch Premium Size LCD
Composing and reviewing images is far easier when you don’t have to squint. The 115,000-pixel anti-glare LCD enables you to view images in large and vivid detail. What’s more, you don’t have to download and print images each time you want to share them — you can treat your friends and family to a slide show right on the back of your camera. With the large 2.5-inch LCD, the SP-500 UZ is a veritable walking photo album!

PictBridge Enabled — No Computer Necessary!
The power of PictBridge technology enables photos to be printed directly from the SP-500 UZ to any PictBridge-enabled printer without using a computer. And the new one-touch printing button makes printing a single-step process. Printing and sharing images has never been easier!

Manual Settings for Added Creative Control
The addition of manual Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes gives users versatility and control for optimal performance in any situation. Users can express their creative vision — adjusting the f-stop for detailed portraits with softened backgrounds, or slowing the exposure speed to create the blurred effect of motion.

27 Selectable Shooting Modes
The SP-500 UZ makes it easy to capture great images in a variety of lighting situations with 21 pre-programmed scene modes, such as Night Scene, Indoor Portrait or Cuisine Mode. And with its QuickTime Movie Mode, the SP-500 UZ can record movies of any length, limited only by the size of the internal memory or xD-Picture C ard in the camera.

Accessory Lenses for Expanded Capabilities
The SP-500 UZ features a threaded barrel, which enables easy attachment of add-on wide angle or telephoto conversion lenses for even more creative control. Compatible accessory lenses include the WCON-07 and WCON-08 wide angle lenses, which enable a wider field of view for shooting skylines, landscapes or group shots, and the TCON-17 telephoto conversion lens, which extends the camera’s magnification capability to a 17x optical zoom for bringing subjects dramatically closer, great for shooting sports events, concerts or wildlife.

TruePic TURBO for High-Speed Response
Olympus’ exclusive TruePic TURBO Image Processor enhances image quality and delivers faster overall processing speeds for rapid startup, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBO TM enables the SP-500 UZ to capture information from all 6.0 million pixels with pixel “micro-smoothing” that delivers clearer and more color-accurate photos, even at lower resolutions. The fast startup of less than one second and nearly instant shutter release time ensures a high-speed response so you are always ready to take great pictures.

High Quality Olympus Lens Elements

Olympus photos are known worldwide for sharp, vibrant image quality. This is achieved through a number of key technologies, such as Olympus’ new high-refractive-index aspherical lens elements, designed specifically for digital cameras. The lens provides the equivalent of 38 to 114 mm focal length, f2.8 — f 4.9 in 35mm photography, with 15x combined total zoom (3x optical and 5x digital) to bring the action closer, and a Super Macro Mode that captures details as nuanced as the iridescent petals of a flower, from as close as 2 cm .

In-camera Editing
With in-camera editing features such as Red-Eye Fix, color brightness and saturation adjustments, users can edit photos on the fly — no longer do you have to tool around with computers and editing software for simple image touch-ups!

Style and Ergonomics
With the SP-500 UZ, Olympus returns to the traditional, compact appearance of its traditional range-finder cameras. At a compact size of just 4.2 ” W x 2.9″ H x 2.8″ L and only 10.1 ounces, the camera tucks away easily into a pocket or backpack. The addition of an ergonomic grip makes it easy to hold with one hand, for capturing those photo ops when you are, literally, on the run.

Easy USB Auto-Connect
Connecting the SP-500 UZ to a computer is easy with the USB Auto-Connect feature, which connects directly via USB 2.0 cable and requires no software.

OLYMPUS Master Software
OLYMPUS Master software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to your computer quick and simple, and images are searchable by date or keyword in the Calendar View. And with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye reduction, images can be touched up before printing or emailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away.

The SP-500 UZ will be available in October 2005. It includes: Wrist Strap, Camera WIN/Mac USB Cable, Video cable, 4 AA batteries, Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, Warranty Card, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software, and Camera Advanced manual.

U.S. Pricing

SP-500 UZ Estimated Street Price: $ 379 .99 (U.S.)

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