A week after the announcement of the E-20P in Europe, Olympus US has announced the E-20N. Identical to the E-20P other than its NTSC video output and name. There's no official word on why Olympus has decided to release the same camera with only a very slightly different name, however we could guess that it could be an attempt to discourage grey imports... US list price for the E-20N will be $1999 (which is too high IMHO). UPDATE: High resolution product images available.

Olympus E-20 P/N specifications

Olympus E-20N

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Sensor 2/3" CCD, 5.24 megapixel
Effective pixel count 4.95 million (2.5 million progressive scan mode)
Image sizes 2560 x 1920 (interlaced scan mode)
1792 x 1344 (progressive scan mode)
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
Image formats


Lens Olympus 4x optical zoom, 35 - 140 mm equiv.
14 elements in 11 groups, F2.0 - F2.4
Add-on lenses Optional 0.8x, 1.45x, 3x and macro lenses
Filter size 62 mm
Metering Digital ESP
Center-weighted average
Spot metering
Exposure modes Program Auto Exposure
Aperture priority: F2.0 - F11 in 1/3 EV steps
Shutter priority: 2 - 1/640 sec or 2 - 1/4000, 1/18000 sec (progressive scan mode)
Manual exposure: Bulb (max 2 minutes), 60 - 1/640 sec or 60 - 1/4000, 1/18000 sec (progressive scan mode)
Exposure compen. +/-3 EV in 0.3 EV steps
White balance Auto
Presets (3000, 3700, 4000, 4500, 5500, 6500, 7500 K)
Manual 'one touch'
ISO sensitivity Auto
ISO 80
ISO 160
iso 320
Noise reduction Yes
Pixel mapping Yes
Focus system Dual AF active and passive TTL AF
Focus distance Normal: 0.6 m - Infinity (2.0 ft - Infinity)
Macro: 0.2 - 0.6 m (7.9 in - 2.0 ft)
Viewfinder Optical TTL viewfinder with 95% field of view
Full information: mode / aperture / shutter speed metering / exp compen. / AF / flash / AE lock / WB
Focusing screen
LCD 1.8" TFT LCD 118,000 pixels
LCD can be tilted 20 degrees down and 90 degrees up
Histogram Yes
Flash guide 13 (ISO 80)
Flash modes Auto, Red-eye reduction, Off, Fill-In
Flash range Wide: 0.6 - 8.9 m [auto ISO] (2.0 - 29.2 ft)
Tele: 0.5 - 7.4 m [auto ISO] (1.6 - 24.3 ft)
External flash Hot-shoe (Olympus FL-40)
Continuous mode Interlace scan mode: 2.5 fps, max 4 frames
Progressive scan mode: 4.5 fps, max 7 frames
Self timer 2 or 12 secs
Storage SmartMedia (up to 128 MB) - 16 MB supplied
CompactFlash Type I / II (Microdrive 1GB supported)
Connectivity DC input, USB, Video out (E-20P - PAL, E-20N - NTSC), external flash terminal, x-sync socket, remote control jack
Power supply 2 x CR-V3 lithium, 4 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
Dimensions 129 x 104 x 161 mm (5.1 x 4.1 x 6.3 in)
Weight (inc batt) 1190 g (2.6 lb)
Est. street price US$ 1900
List price US$ 1999

Press release:

Olympus Announces Camedia E-20N Digital Camera

Featuring World's First Dual Interlaced & Progressive Scan CCD System
5 Megapixel Digital SLR Sets New Benchmark for Image Quality, Versatility, Ease-of-Use

MELVILLE, N.Y., Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus, the world leader in film and filmless photography, today introduced the Camedia E-20N new advanced 5 Megapixel flagship of Olympus' E-Series cameras. Building on the proven capabilities of the award-winning E-10 with new technologies and features, the E-20N sets new standards for digital photography.

The Camedia E-20N offers a unique dual mode image capture capability: the Interlaced Scan mode allows users to set the 2/3" RGB CCD for 5 Megapixel (effective) resolution to capture images with the highest possible detail for brilliant pictures up to 11'' x 14". The Interlaced Scan mode assures the highest quality photo whenever quality is most important. Selecting the Progressive Scan mode of a 2.5 Megapixel (effective) resolution lets users take photographs of fast action scenes or in very bright light with shutter speeds up to 1/18,000 second. These two modes deliver the versatility and image quality required by professional photographers and serious amateurs, and make the Camedia E-20N the new gold standard in digital photography.

The 5 Megapixel Camedia E-20N is Olympus' most powerful SLR digital camera introduced to date. It features a myriad of new technologies intended to take full advantage of the E-20N's higher resolution CCD. The 9mm - 36mm Zoom ED and aspherical glass lens is specifically designed to focus light evenly and accurately over the entire 5 Megapixel CCD for clear, sharp photos. This fully multi-coated, f2.0 - f11 lens offers the equivalent of a 35mm - 140mm zoom range in 35mm photography. The Camedia E-20N employs Olympus' exclusive TruePic(TM) technology, capturing all the pixel information for each picture at every resolution to produce smoother gradations and true-to-life photographic images. For exposures over 1/2 second, a new Noise Reduction System produces clear colorful images from 1/2 second to 60 seconds long in the Manual Mode and 120 seconds in bulb, making low light and night photography truly available to the photographer.

The Camedia E-20N offers a feature set professional photographers expect from a high-end digital SLR: file sizes up to 15MB for large prints; a manual focusing ring on the lens barrel; manual zoom ring; traditional-style focusing screen; and dual media card slots for compatibility with SmartMedia and CompactFlash Type I and II memory cards, including the IBM Microdrive.

The Camedia E-20N rounds out its robust capabilities with a dual AutoFocus system. It employs Olympus' patented IR-active focus system for initial focusing, as well as a TTL passive focus for fine, accurate focus. Professionals will also appreciate the industry standard hot-shoe and PC flash connectivity for unlimited flash possibilities. Equally important is the durability of the all-aluminum body, including the "Mirror Box,'' which acts as a heat sink to reduce CCD heat buildup and noise to improve photographic quality. A variety of matched add-on lenses, wide angle, macro and telephoto deliver the flexibility digital photographers need to maximize creativity.

Extremely easy to use, the Camedia E-20N offers one-touch buttons and dials as alternative means to change program modes. Rather than navigate through layers of LCD menu commands, the Camedia E-20N sports dedicated buttons for fingertip control of shooting modes, flash, white balance and media card settings. Aperture and shutter controls are set using dials, enabling quick and easy access to a wide range of commonly used features and settings.

Selected modes and pictures can be viewed and reviewed on the adjustable 114,000 pixel TFT LCD display. The full color, 1.8" high-resolution display swings between a 20 degree down angle and a 90 degree up angle to allow users to position the camera to precisely frame subjects from any shooting angle. Also new to this flexible LCD design is an Automatic or Manual Monitor Mode, allowing users to view subject composition or to see exposure accuracy and white balance effects in real-time.

The Camedia E-20N offers an advanced range of capabilities that nature and sports enthusiasts, journalists and studio photographers will appreciate. Other feature highlights of the Camedia E-20N include:

  • Built in FL-40 TTL flash reads light off the CCD prior to flash photography for accurate exposure. The Camedia E-20N also offers a standard hot shoe for use with many hot-shoe flash units and an ISO PC socket for Studio and PC Sync flashes.
  • Multiple flash modes include Auto Scene Detecting Flash, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Shutter Synchronization and Fill-in Flash with the FL-40 or built-in flash.
  • Adjustable resolutions and file formats. SHQ, HQ, SQ and RAW modes capture images from 640 x 480 up to 2560 x 1920 pixel resolution. Images can be stored in TIFF or JPEG format.
  • 2.5-frame-per-second Burst Mode up to 4 frames (3 frames in RAWmode) in the Interlaced Scan Mode, and 4.5 frames per second to7 shots in the Progressive Scan Mode.
  • Auto-Connect USB technology offers instant connectivity and recognition of the Camedia E-20N by properly configured Windows and Macintosh computers for fast, easy image downloads.
  • Exposure compensation for both available light and flash photography.
  • User-selectable Auto White Balance and Presets from 3000-7500 K, plus one-touch White Balance.
  • Built-in Intervolometer for timed shots from 1 minute to 24 hours.
  • Simultaneous recording of time/date into image media; automatic calendar to the year 2030.
  • Rechargeable LBP-10 or the new LBP-12 battery and Grip (B-HLDR-10) system provides extended life, doubling the number of shots per charge.
  • Uses E-10 accessories, including cases, flash, NiMH batteries, AC adapter and extension lenses.

The Camedia E-20N will be available in late October 2001 with an estimated street price of $1999. It ships with a 32MB Olympus SmartMedia memory card, lens hood, video cable, USB Auto-connect cable, two LB-01 (CR-3V) Lithium batteries, RM-1 remote control, Olympus Camedia Master 4.0 (Windows/Macintosh), Adobe Photoshop Elements v. 1.0 (Windows/Macintosh), lens cap, strap, QuickStart Guide, Windows 98/98SE USB Driver installation guide, and manual.