Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Olympus 09/27/04 Press Release




Olympus

Press Release - September 27, 2004




Olympus AZ-2 Zoom Ultra-Slim Digital Camera: A Masterpiece Of Minimalist Design


Viewing Images Is Now as Enjoyable as Capturing Them with a Large 2.5-Inch LCD That Transforms This Pocket Camera Into a Portable Photo Album


Olympus AZ-2 Zoom

Melville, New York, September 27, 2004 – Olympus is proud to announce a new digital camera that puts the needs of the user first and alters the very way we take and view images. With the AZ-2 Zoom, Olympus has designed a 4.0-megapixel, 2.8x optical zoom digital camera that’s light and compact enough to slip comfortably in a pocket and take anywhere. Its world-class Olympus optics, matched with a powerful CCD image sensor and TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor, produce images of unparalleled color, fidelity and sharpness with blazing speed.

"Digital photography doesn’t end with the push of a shutter button to capture an image," said Richard Campbell, product marketing director, Olympus America Inc. "Olympus realizes that all stages of the digital experience are equally important, from image capture to playback, download and printing. With the AZ-2 Zoom, we’ve created a multi-media device, not just a camera, that proves that sometimes less is more; that you can have simple operation and high performance."

Designed to Do More

Feel free to gather a crowd around the Semi-Transmissive 2.5-inch LCD that is big, bright, and viewable even in the glare of sunlight. A wealth of automated modes ensures quick access to the right settings for any situation.

Delivering Style

The AZ-2 is the slimmest, most compact digital camera Olympus has ever produced. Its flat metal body in brushed silver tones features clean, uncluttered lines and is less than an inch thick, measuring only 4.0" (W) x 2.5" (H) x 0.8" (D) and weighing just 4.3 ounces. At this compact size and weight, and without a protruding lens, the AZ-2 is designed to fit into your life.

Designed For You

The AZ-2 is designed to allow users of any skill level to enjoy all the wonders of digital photography – from "shooting" all the way through to "sharing". It does this with more features that, instead of overwhelming users with complexity, make all stages of the process a simple pleasure.

The process of taking images has also been streamlined for maximum efficiency. For example, the AZ-2 has 14 Scene Program Modes that cover the gamut of possible shooting situations, including: Fireworks, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Sunset, Portrait, Beach & Snow, Cuisine, Indoor, Sport, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Self Portrait, and even Available Light Portrait to capture the skin tones of a visage in low light without a flash. Accessing these modes is as simple as a push of a new navigation pad control button that allows users to quickly and easily cycle through various settings displayed on the LCD screen menu. Moreover, every Scene Program Mode on the AZ-2 provides a sample image with the setting, so it’s obvious what the final result should look like. For example, choosing the Landscape setting reveals a sample of a landscape photo.

The camera’s QuickTime® Movie Mode (30 frames per second) can be used to make mini movies limited only by the amount of available memory of your xD-Picture Card. Because it captures video with audio in QuickTime Movie format, the AZ-2 delivers more efficient file compression so users can create high quality short movies, download them quickly to a PC or Mac, and send them over the Internet to co-workers, friends and family across town or around the world.


Olympus AZ-2 Zoom

Designed to Be Seen and Shared

Sharing those images with others and composing them is a delight thanks to the AZ-2’s Semi-Transmissive LCD, a larger-than-life 2.5-inch display with 210,000 pixels of sharp resolution. Where conventional LCD displays fail to deliver clear, visible pictures under bright conditions, the AZ-2 LCD is equipped with innovative Semi-Transmissive LCD technology, making the monitor viewable even in bright sunlight at the beach or on the slopes.

The AZ-2 also comes with its own stand which allows users take full advantage of the large, high-quality LCD display by setting the camera upright and using it as an attractive "photo stand" ideal for playing back images to one and all. With new transitions from one image to the next, including Scroll, Fade, Zoom, Swivel, Checkerboard, Blinds, and Random, reviewing images becomes a dynamic and entertaining experience.

In addition, PictBridge support allows direct printing from the AZ-2 to any PictBridge-enabled printer without using a computer. The camera also comes with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery and charger.

Digital image management has never been easier than with OLYMPUS Master™ software that enables users of Olympus digital cameras to get the most out of their digital experience. With a logical and intuitive user interface, OLYMPUS Master allows users to instantly store and manage images, by keyword or by shooting date, in an easily-searchable Calendar View database so they never misplace digital photos again. Powerful, one-click editing tools – including improved red-eye reduction – enable users to optimize their images prior to printing on a postcard, index card, calendar, or via online services. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other services are just a mouse-click away.

Intelligent Design for the Most Realistic Digital Images

The AZ-2 is one of the first Olympus digital cameras to feature a 2.8x optical zoom lens with a folded light path (f2.9- f4.8, 40-112mm equivalent in 35mm camera format). Underlining its minimalist design, nothing protrudes from the AZ-2. Its distinctive, slim form is made possible by an optical "folded" light path: Unlike most cameras where the lens juts out to regulate the optical zoom, the AZ-2 delivers 2.8x magnification wholly from lens adjustments undertaken within the camera itself. Combined with 5.5x digital zoom (in SQ2 mode up to 11x), the AZ-2 brings the world closer with 15x total zoom power.

The very best picture quality is always assured thanks to incorporation of the TruePic TURBO Image Processor, which delivers a broad color spectrum of light and dark colors with breathtaking clarity. Camera start-up and shot-to-shot time are also enhanced so no photo opportunity is missed.

Availability

The AZ-2 Zoom will be available in October 2004. It includes: 16MB xD-Picture Card, Wrist Strap, Camera WIN/Mac USB Cable, Audio/Video cable, Li-20B Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery and Charger, Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, Warranty Card, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software, and Camera reference manual.

U.S. Pricing

AZ-2 Zoom Estimated Street Price: .99 (U.S.)






ABOUT OLYMPUS

Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;

  • Advanced clinical and research microscopes;

  • Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents; and

  • Digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders.

In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently, reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer electronics business spans North and South America. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.
















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