Olympus SP-590UZ Camera Has CIA-Worthy 26x Optical Zoom

Olympus' SP-590UZ manages to exceed the once impressive 20x optical zoom of the SP-570 by upping the ante to 26x optical zoom with a ridiculous 26-676mm lens.

The SuperMegaUltraZoom camera has a 12mp sensor, face detection, image stabilization, and 29 shooting modes. I could go on, but mostly you should know that it's coming out in March for $450 and will let you indulge your inner Bond.

Samsung is also releasing the Stylus-9000, a wide angle point and shoot with 10x optical zoom. Outside of the zoom factor, it's nothing too crazy (12 mp, stabilization, etc...), but 10x optical in a semi-compact form factor is nothing to scoff at. It will be out in February for $350. There's also the lesser endowed Stylus-7000 with 7x optical zoom for $250.

Introducing The World’s Most Powerful Ultra Zoom: The 26x Optical Wide-Angle Zoom Olympus SP-590UZ

Incredibly Versatile Zoom Lens Combined with 12 Megapixels, Dual Image Stabilization and Ultra High-Speed Sequential Shooting to Capture the Action Far, Wide and Up Close

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 7, 2009 – Olympus rewrote the rule book again for how powerful a point-and-shoot camera’s zoom can be with the launch of the new 26x optical zoom SP-590 Ultra Zoom. Its extremely versatile zoom lens can capture extraordinary images at virtually any distance – from a delicate flower close up to wide-angle photographs of friends posing before the vast Grand Canyon, or even images shot from the back row of the stadium that look like they were taken courtside.

The SP-590UZ is the “total package” and an investment in your imaging future that is well worth making. It offers the advanced manual controls that experienced photographers demand and find on a digital SLR (single lens reflex). At the same time, users can easily set the camera to operate like a simple point-and-shoot with automatic scene modes. It offers the compact body of an ultra zoom with the flexibility of high-performance optics usually found in interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras, a 12-megapixel image sensor, Dual Image Stabilization, Face Detection, Ultra High-Speed Sequential shooting and a bright 2.7-inch LCD.

“The SP-590UZ brings subjects closer with the world’s most powerful optical zoom, and the zoom is just one of many elements that set this camera apart. Macro to wide-angle there are no compromises,” said Nadine Clark, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Because of its compact size and an impressive zoom range, it’s the ideal choice for travelers and everyone who enjoys the great outdoors.”

Capturing It All – Near, Far and Wide
Optical precision is the foundation for creating quality images. The bright, f2.8-5.0 lens provides the equivalent of 26-676mm focal length. Users can get close to the action with the compact 26x super telephoto zoom and at the same time, the wide-angle (26mm) lens captures more in each frame. Its super-macro capabilities capture the subtlest details. The compact lens construction combines aspherical lens elements and extra-low dispersion (ED) lens elements to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. Whether it is capturing fast-action sports or everyday snapshots, this sturdy compact body with a wide-angle and telephoto lens provides the versatility to get the job done.

12-Megapixel for Superior Image Quality
The SP-590UZ has a 12-megapixel sensor that enables consumers to achieve consistently sharp and vivid images when producing large-format prints or cropping/enlarging a portion of an image.

Unleash Your Creativity with New Artistic Scene Modes
Olympus’ ultra zoom cameras have been known for being the perfect, versatile solution for dual households; providing flexibility and manual controls for experienced shutterbugs, while being as easy and approachable as a point-and-shoot for novice or even first-time users. The SP-590UZ takes this to a new level with pre-capture scene modes: Multiple Exposure, Soft Background Focus and Beauty Mode. The new features enable creative effects to be made inside the camera as the images are captured! The new creative features were adopted from Olympus’ recently announced E-30 DSLR camera.

Multiple Exposure, in the new SP-590UZ, empowers consumers to take two separate photographs and overlay them to craft one unique image. Create a masterpiece for Mother’s Day with a beautiful image of the kids overlaying her favorite landscape. Use the new Soft Background Focus mode on your next trip to a National Park. It enables you to slightly blur the beautiful vista, lake or canyon in the background to accent the majestic wildlife in the foreground.

Beauty Mode lets you soften shadows and smooth wrinkles or blemishes on your subject’s face – all in the camera and as you capture the image! Additionally, subtle edits can be made post-capture using the Beauty Fix mode. Choose “Clear Skin” to smooth a person’s complexion, “Dramatic Eye” to slightly emphasize the eyes, and “Sparkle Eye” to brighten and enhance the contrast of the iris and pupils. You can also apply all three edits at once. Have fun customizing your brilliant images without a PC and costly image editing software.

Your Images on HDTV
Gone are the days of friends and family huddling around a camera’s LCD to see the pictures you just snapped. Now, you’ll be the hit of the party or any family function when you proudly display your brilliant images on high-definition televisions. Simply connect the new SP-590UZ to an HDTV with an HDMI™ cable, which can be purchased separately at any consumer electronics store.

Versatile Memory
All Olympus digital point-and-shoot cameras accept xD-Picture CardTM media. Starting with products available in August 2008, they also accept microSD memory cards to capture images. The new SP-590UZ offers the flexibility to use either xD-Picture Card or microSD memory cards, which is just one more advantage of Olympus point-and-shoot cameras.

Dual Image Stabilization
Dual Image Stabilization enables users to take crisp, clear pictures in virtually any shooting situation – adjusting for camera shake and a moving subject. Olympus’ mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the image sensor to compensate for camera shake, which often occurs when zooming in on your subject and in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blur caused by a moving subject.

Ultra High-Speed Sequential Shooting and Pre-Capture with TruePicTM III Image Processor The Olympus TruePic III Image Processor makes it possible for the SP-590UZ to capture images at incredible speeds. The inclusion of Pre-Capture technology, which works in conjunction with High-Speed Sequential Shooting, enables users to capture the action before and after fully pressing the shutter button. Pre-Capture begins working as soon as the focus is locked, automatically archiving frames in the camera’s buffer memory prior to the shutter release – virtually guaranteeing that you’ll get the shot even if the user’s reaction time is slower than the action. Perfect for situations where timing is essential, such as photographing a tennis player serving, children playing or a whale breaching.

Olympus’ enhanced TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to deliver superior picture quality with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III also captures sharp images at high ISO settings, minimizing image noise or grainy photos traditionally associated with shooting with high ISO.

Full Manual Control
The Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes give users versatility and control for optimal performance in any situation. Users can express their creativity – adjusting the f-stop for detailed portraits with softened backgrounds, or slowing the exposure speed to create the blurred effect of motion, or just sit back and let the camera do the thinking through the use of the automatic settings. Manual focus is also available for users who want to have full control.

Face Detection
Face Detection tracks up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) and optimizes exposure (Face Detection AE) quickly for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures. Now, your subject’s face is in focus whether it is in the center of the target area or not.

Wireless Flash Compatibility
Wireless flashes can help photographers cast the best light on their subjects and capture great images. For this reason, the SP-590UZ is compatible with the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes that are designed exclusively for digital photography. When these flashes are used in combination with the SP-590UZ, wireless multi-flash photography is possible. The SP-590UZ can control up to three wireless flash groups independently, with multiple flash units in each group.

Large HyperCrystal™ II LCD
The SP-590UZ boasts an advanced HyperCrystal II LCD. It reproduces true colors with a dynamic contrast ratio of more than 180 percent and a color reproduction performance of more than 160 percent compared to HyperCrystal LCD, providing a preview that is more true to the final image.

Shadow Adjustment Technology
Shooting outdoors in bright daylight can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark shadowed areas and bright sunlight areas. While the human eye is capable of detecting the nuances between dark and light and all the details in between, image sensors traditionally have not been quite as sensitive. The SP-590UZ addresses this challenge head-on with a new Shadow Adjustment Technology, which compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. With the new technology, users can preview and capture images that have the same contrast as seen with the naked eye.

Perfect Shot Preview
The SP-590UZ features a Perfect Shot Preview mode that enables users to preview and select various photographic effects (such as zoom, exposure compensation, white balance and metering) on a live, multi-window screen before snapping the shot. Perfect Shot Preview enables users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring users are capturing the exact image they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques.

Perfect Fix In-Camera Editing
Olympus’ Perfect Fix feature offers quick solutions for unanticipated image quality issues, which may be caused by several adverse conditions. Shadow Adjustment Edit can be used to adjust any underexposed areas and Red-Eye Fix can be used to reduce the effects of red-eye sometimes caused by a direct flash. Additional in-camera editing functions can be quickly accessed right in the camera by the touch of a button; features available include resizing, trimming, black and white, and sepia.

29 Shooting Modes
The SP-590UZ offers new features, including, Multi-Exposure, Soft Background Focus and Beauty Mode. A new Bird Watching mode is also great to capture the unpredictable movements of wildlife. The new camera offers a total of 20 pre-set scene modes. To activate, simply select the desired mode for multi-fireworks, portraits, landscapes, night scenes, fast-action and more.

OLYMPUS Master 2 Software
OLYMPUS Master 2 Software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to your computer quick and simple, and images are easily organized by folders or albums and searchable by date in Calendar view. A direct link makes uploading your images and videos to YouTube™ easier than ever. Additionally, with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye removal, images can be touched up before printing or emailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away. Use the optional muvee™ Theater Pack to create professional quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates. Additionally, create scrapbooks, greeting cards and other fun prints using the optional ArcSoft® Print Creations plug-in.

Availability
The SP-590UZ will be available in March 2009. It will also include: Neck Strap, WIN/Mac USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, four AA Batteries, MASD-1 (microSD Adapter), Manual, Warranty Card and OLYMPUS Master 2 Software CD-ROM.

U.S. Pricing
SP-590UZ Estimated Street Price: $449.99 (U.S.)

New Olympus STYLUS® Cameras “Go The Distance” With Powerful Optical Zooms In Ultra Compact Designs

10x Wide-Angle Zoom STYLUS-9000 and 7x Zoom STYLUS-7000 Deliver 12 Megapixels, Dual Image Stabilization, Intelligent Auto, Face Detection and In-Camera Panorama

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 7, 2009 – Impressive zoom power that brings action incredibly close and compact bodies designed to be taken along for the ride, make the STYLUS-9000 and STYLUS-7000 two of the most powerful premium Stylus cameras ever. The 10x wide-angle optical zoom STYLUS-9000 and the 7x optical zoom STYLUS-7000 are stylish compact models with 12 megapixels of detailed resolution for capturing brilliant images, and features like Dual Image Stabilization, Intelligent Auto, Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology and In-Camera Panorama that take the guesswork out of great photography.

“Olympus has proven that ultra-compact and ultra-zoom can co-exist in an attractive pocket point-and-shoot camera,” said Tomoko Matsunaga, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Superior images start with superior optics, and the new cameras provide the amazing optical quality consumers have come to expect from Olympus. The Stylus cameras’ optical strength is matched by technologies that are designed to enable consumers to capture it all.”

The STYLUS-9000 is available in champagne and black, and the STYLUS-7000 is available in navy, black and silver. Both new cameras offer a unique set of features so consumers can choose the Stylus camera that best meets their needs:
STYLUS-9000

* Finally, a pocket sized portable camera with the most powerful zoom lens in the history of the Stylus family! An impressive 10x wide-angle optical zoom lens (28mm-280mm equivalent in 35mm photography) captures wide vistas, large groups of family and friends, and also zooms in on distant objects to make them appear as though they are right in front of you.
* The new HyperCrystal™ III LCD, the next generation of Olympus’ LCD technology, displays twice as bright as previous versions so that you can see the details even more clearly even under direct sunlight.

STYLUS-7000

* Its 7x optical zoom (37mm-260mm equivalent in 35mm photography) consists of an ultra-compact lens made from precision-crafted glass that fits in a portable package!
* A 3-inch HyperCrystal II LCD screen and a High-Definition (HD) output make it the ideal premium pocket camera for viewing images in the camera or on an HDTV.

12-Megapixels for Superior Image Quality
Both the STYLUS-9000 and the STYLUS-7000 offer a 12-megapixel image sensor enabling consumers to achieve consistently sharp and vivid images when producing large-format prints or cropping/enlarging a portion of an image.

Small Cameras, Large LCDs
The STYLUS-9000 features the new HyperCrystal III LCD that enhances the brightness of the display by 2x to enhance the anti-glare capability. Colors or details that tend to be washed out in direct sunlight are now displayed even more clearly and vividly. The STYLUS-7000 offers a large 3-inch HyperCrystal II LCD screen, which reproduces true colors with a dynamic contrast ratio of more than 180 percent and a color reproduction performance of more than 160 percent compared to HyperCrystal LCD.

Your Images on HDTV
Gone are the days of friends and family huddling around a camera’s LCD to see the pictures you just snapped. Now, you’ll be the hit of the party or any family function when you proudly display your brilliant images on high-definition televisions. Simply connect the camera to an HDTV with an HDMI™ cable, which can be purchased separately at any consumer electronics store.

Olympus Recommended Button
The new “OR” button makes it easy to activate the cameras’ unique features, including In-Camera Panorama, Shadow Adjustment and Perfect Shot Preview. Simply press the new OR button to easily access these commonly used features.

New Beauty Mode
Taking beautiful portraits is easy with the new Beauty Mode. It enables you to soften shadows and smooth wrinkles or blemishes on your subject’s face – all in the camera and before capture! Additionally, subtle edits can be made post-capture using the Beauty Fix mode. Choose “Clear Skin” to smooth a person’s complexion, “Dramatic Eye” to slightly emphasize the eyes, and “Sparkle Eye” to brighten and enhance the contrast of the iris and pupils. You can also apply all three edits at once. Have fun customizing your brilliant images without a PC and costly image editing software.

Versatile Memory
All Olympus digital point-and-shoot cameras accept xD-Picture CardTM media. Starting with products available in August 2008, they also accept microSD memory cards to capture images. The new Stylus cameras offer the flexibility to use either xD-Picture Card or microSD memory cards, which is just one more advantage of Olympus point-and-shoot cameras.

Blur-Free Photos Two Ways
Dual Image Stabilization combines two technologies – mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization – to provide one powerful anti-blur solution for capturing great images whether the photographer or the subject is moving. Olympus' mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the image sensor to compensate for camera movement, which often occurs in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blurry images often caused by a moving subject. By combining the two technologies, users of the STYLUS-9000 and STYLUS-7000 are able to take crystal clear images in any shooting situation.

Intelligent Auto Mode
Tired of changing the settings on your camera every time you’re shooting something different? The new cameras’ Intelligent Auto Mode automatically indentifies what you are shooting (Portrait, Landscape, Night + Portrait, Macro, Sports) and adjusts settings to capture the best quality results depending on the situation. First-time users will enjoy this quick and hassle-free feature, which does the thinking for them and produces incredible images like a pro.

Shadow Adjustment Technology
Shooting outdoors in bright daylight can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark shadowed areas and bright sunlit areas. While the human eye is capable of detecting the nuances between dark and light and all the details in between, image sensors traditionally have not been quite as sensitive. The new Stylus cameras address this challenge head-on with Shadow Adjustment Technology, which compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. With this technology, users can preview and capture images with the same contrast as the naked eye.

Face Detection with Shadow Adjustment Technology
Face Detection tracks faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) to optimize exposure (Face Detection AE) for sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots. Thanks to Shadow Adjustment Technology, which was adopted from Olympus’ digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, portrait shots taken in backlight situations will capture your subjects’ faces with the appropriate brightness without overexposing the background. The STYLUS-7000 also features Smile Shot, which tracks your subject’s face to detect a smile and automatically fires off three consecutive shots so you never miss that perfect smile. This feature is great for parents hoping to capture hard-to-predict baby smiles.

In-Camera Panorama
In-Camera Panorama mode captures three images and stitches them together to create one amazing panoramic picture. Simply press the shutter button and slowly pan across a panoramic scene. The second and third images will be captured automatically and stitched together with the first image – resulting in one seamless panorama. To create the ultimate panoramic picture, consumers can use the Olympus MasterTM Software 2 to stitch up to 10 images together.

Perfect Shot Preview
The new cameras feature Perfect Shot Preview, which enables users to preview and select various photographic effects on a live, multi-window screen before snapping the shot. Seeing the results before capturing the image ensures users are getting the shots they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, such as zoom, exposure compensation, white balance and metering.

Perfect Fix In-Camera Editing
The STYLUS-9000 and STYLUS-7000 offer Red-Eye Fix and Shadow Adjustment Edit, in-camera editing features such as resizing, cropping and saturation adjustments, enabling users to edit photos right in the camera. With the Perfect Fix function, multiple editing features can be applied at once.

TruePic™ III Image Processor
The Stylus cameras feature Olympus’ exclusive TruePic III image processor developed for the demanding performance of digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. Olympus’ enhanced TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to deliver superior picture quality with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III also captures crisp, clear images at high ISO settings, which are traditionally associated with increasing image noise or producing grainy photos.

OLYMPUS Master 2 Software
OLYMPUS Master 2 Software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to your computer quick and simple, and images are easily organized by folders or albums and searchable by date in Calendar view. A direct link makes uploading your images and videos to YouTube™ easier than ever. Additionally, with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye removal, images can be touched up before printing or e-mailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away. Use the optional muvee™ Theater Pack to create professional quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates. Additionally, create scrapbooks, greeting cards and other fun prints using the optional ArcSoft® Print Creations plug-in.

Availability
The STYLUS-9000 and STYLUS-7000 will be available in February 2009. They include: wrist strap, camera WIN/Mac USB cable, audio/video cable, Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger, MASD-1 (microSD Adapter), manual, warranty card and OLYMPUS Master 2 software (CD-ROM).

U.S. Pricing
STYLUS-9000 Estimated Street Price: $349.99
STYLUS-7000 Estimated Street Price: $299.99