Olympus has today announced the new Olympus SP-550 UZ Ultra Zoom, a camera offering the ultimate in power and versatility with a compact, best-in-class 18x optical zoom lens (28-504mm equivalent in 35mm photography), which gives users the ability to shoot telephoto, wide-angle and macro (as close as 1cm) all in one.
This revolutionary ultra zoom is equipped with several unique features to deliver near-DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) performance in a compact size, including:
Featuring the world's most powerful zoom lens, the Olympus SP-550 UZ digital camera offers maximum shooting versatility for travel, sports and day-to-day use. The 18x super telephoto zoom gets you closer to the action than any compact digital camera on the market. At the same time, the wide-angle lens gets more into your frame – perfect for shooting indoors, landscapes and group shots.
The super macro mode on the Olympus SP-550 UZ is ideal for capturing the most subtle details from as close as one centimetre. The compact, precision-crafted lens combines high-refractive, aspherical and extra-dispersion (ED) lens elements to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity. The bright, f/2.8-4.5 lens provides the equivalent of 28-504mm focal length with 100x total seamless zoom (5.6x digital zoom).
Dual Image Stabilization technology enables users to take crisp, clear pictures in virtually any shooting situation – adjusting for camera shake and a moving subject. Olympus’ Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the CCD 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.
Compose and display incredible images on the bright 230,000-pixel LCD monitor found on the back of the Olympus S-550 UZ. The high-resolution screen enables you to review pictures, scroll through menu options and treat friends and family to a digital slide show with ease. The Olympus SP-550 UZ also features an electronic viewfinder with dioptic correction.
Capable of capturing images at an incredible 15 frames per second, the Olympus SP-550 UZ offers the highest burst rate of any compact digital camera. 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 five frames in the camera’s buffer memory prior to the shutter release – virtually guaranteeing that none of the action will be missed even if the user’s reaction time is slow. Perfect for situations where timing is essential, such as photographing a tennis player serving, children playing or a whale breaching.
The Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes give 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, or just sit back and let the camera do the work with the automatic settings. Full manual and automatic control options on the Olympus SP-550 UZ digital camera allow advanced users to maintain creative control and novices to point-and-shoot their way to beautiful images.
The Olympus SP-550 UZ makes it easy to take great photos in a variety of scenarios and lighting situations with 30 shooting modes, including television-quality video with sound (640x480/30fps) up to the capacity of your xD card. Simply select the desired mode for portraits, landscapes, night scenes, fast-action, macro and more.
The 7.1-megapixel CCD image sensor delivers superior image quality for consistently capturing sharp, vivid details even in large-format or cropped prints. The Olympus SP-550 UZ records in both JPEG and RAW file formats and is perfectly suited for a wide range of users – from new photographers to advanced users who require maximum creative control.
There are times when you want to photograph subjects in low light without having to use a flash – such as when trying to capture the softness and warmth of a candlelit dinner or natural skin tones in subdued lighting. Even when it’s too dark to see clearly, Olympus’ revolutionary Bright Capture Technology makes it possible to preview your shot on the LCD, quickly lock the focus and capture your subjects despite limited available light. The Olympus SP-550 UZ offers the highest ISO sensitivity of any ultra zoom (ISO 5000).
Enjoy in-camera editing features such as Red-Eye Fix and the ability to add frames and titles, crop, adjust brightness and more – all without using a computer and editing software. Also, the exclusive Lighting Fix feature corrects the underexposed areas in your pictures to reveal the details hidden in the shadows.
Olympus’ exclusive TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor delivers incredible image quality for more true-to-life colours and skin tones as well as faster overall processing speeds for rapid start-up, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBO ensures a high-speed response so you can capture the shot you want and instantly be ready to shoot again.
An underwater housing (PT-037) is designed specifically for the OlympusSP-550 UZ, enabling great images to be captured in the pool and ocean. Using the PT-037, scuba divers can venture with the camera to depths of approximately 130 feet (40 metres) beneath the surface. The Olympus SP-550 UZ also features a threaded lens 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 Wide-Angle Conversion Lens (for 19.6mm equivalent) and the TCON-17 Telephoto Conversion Lens (for more than 30x optical zoom).
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 easily organized by folders or albums. And 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 muveeä Theater Pack to create professional quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates.
The Olympus SP-550 UZ will be available in March 2007. It will also include: Neck Strap, WIN/Mac USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, four AA Batteries, Instruction Manual, Warranty Card and OLYMPUS Master Software CD-ROM.