Pre-PMA 2006: Olympus also announced today an upgrade to the SP-310 in the shape of the SP-320. The 7.1 megapixel camera features full manual exposure control, a 3x optical zoom, a histogram function, up to ISO 800 and a large 2.5-inch LCD screen. An optional tele-converter and underwater casing will also be available.

Updated: Specifications added.

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The Olympus SP-320 giving control back to the photographer

Explore your creative potential

London, 26 January 2006 – with the new Olympus SP-320 ambitious photographers can let their imaginations run wild. In addition to an impressive 25 special scene modes, the camera has Programme, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and full Manual exposure control, plus manual and automatic focusing, leaving the photographer free to choose the settings they need, to achieve their desired effects.

Boasting a 7.1 million pixel CCD the SP-320 has enough resolving power to record scenes in stunning detail. The precision 3x optical zoom gives even more flexibility and a histogram function enables exposure information to be displayed on the large 6.4cm LCD screen whilst the shot is being taken, to give expert photographers the opportunity to fine-tune their exposure for the perfect result.

The SP-320 is a highly specified camera and for extra versatility a range of optional accessories is available, including lens converters and an underwater casing. Featuring a slim wedge-shaped design with ergonomic grip the SP-320 is surprisingly robust for a camera with so many features that retails for just £230. Expect to see this model in all good camera shops April 2006.

Don’t let the slim profile of the SP-320 fool you, this is a powerful tool that will allow ambitious photographers to take full control of their image making. The powerhouse behind the camera is a 7.1 million pixel CCD which, in combination with the precision 3x zoom lens (F2.8-4.9, equivalent to 38-114mm on a 35mm camera) captures subjects with truly stunning realism.

Naturally this lens can be fully controlled by the photographer. Not only zoom action, but focusing and aperture as well. Focusing options on the SP-320 range from regular iESP AF and Spot AF to Multi-spot AF with readings selectable from no fewer than 143 points, and, of course, Manual focusing.

Automatic shooting is a convenient option that many professional photographers will admit to using these days, especially if time is against them. However no serious photographer will want to do without manual control completely. This is why the SP-320 offers Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and full Manual exposure, as well as 25 special scene modes tailored for a wide range of shooting situations. These include a Super Macro mode that will thrill fans of extreme close-up photography by allowing them to capture pictures from as little as 2cm away. And should the light start to fail, a high maximum ISO setting of 800 allows the real atmosphere of the natural lighting to be recorded by reducing the need to use flash. For peace of mind demanding photographers can check the exposure of their work as the shots are being taken using the
SP-320’s Histogram function, which relays real-time exposure information on the camera’s large 6.4cm LCD screen.

The large size of the LCD is particularly welcome when reviewing photos that have already been taken, or when watching movie clips as the SP-320 also features a video recording option. Action is captured with sound in VGA quality at 30 frames per second and recording length is only limited by the amount of memory available. The 25MB internal memory in the SP-320 can be upgraded using xD-Picture Cards, including the new Olympus High-Speed cards, which offer data transfer rates 2-3 times faster than conventional cards. Photos can be stored as either JPEG or RAW files and quickly downloaded to a PC thanks to USB Hi-Speed AutoConnect compatibility.

The compact and versatile SP-320 is supplied with Olympus Master 1.4 software and will be available in camera shops from priced at around £230 from April onwards.

Optional accessories for the SP-320

A range of optional accessories have been made available for the SP-320, extending the scope of this versatile camera even further. Using the CLA-09 lens adapter the Olympus TCON-17F conversion lens can be attached to the SP-320 to achieve an amazing 193mm telephoto focal length (equiv. on a 35mm camera). Moreover, photographers can shoot in depths of up to 40m of water using the underwater case PT-030.

PictBridge compatibility means that photos can be printed directly from the SP-320, without having to connect the camera to a PC or download the images. The SP-320 is simply connected to any PictBridge compatible printer – such as the Olympus P-11 which takes just 33 seconds per 10x15cm print – and on screen instructions guide the user through the speedy printing process.

The Olympus SP-320 – main features

  • 7.1 million pixels
  • Large 6.4cm/2.5” LCD
  • 3x optical zoom (equiv. to 38-114mm on a 35mm camera) 1:2.8-4.9
  • P/A/S/M plus 25 scene modes
  • Super Macro mode from as close as 2cm
  • Histogram function in shooting and playback mode
  • Movie recording function (30fps, VGA) with sound, up to memory card’s capacity
  • Long battery life
  • USB Hi-Speed AutoConnect
  • 25MB internal memory for recording images
  • Unique ergonomic shape and robust body
  • Optional: tele converter TCON-17F with CLA-09 lens adapter and underwater case PT-030
  • RAW file format

SP-320 specifications

Sensor

• 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 7.4 million pixels total
• 7.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 3072 x 2304
• 3072 x 2048 ( 3:2 )
• 2592 x 1944
• 2288 x 1712
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30/15 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30/15 fps
• Up to the capacity of the memory card
File formats • Still: JPEG & RAW
• Movie: QuickTime Motion JPEG with sound
Lens • 38 - 114 mm (35 mm equiv)
• 3x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 4.9
Digital zoom up to 5x
Focus TTL auto focus with contrast detection
AF area modes • AF lock
• Enlarged focusing area
Focus distance • Normal: Up to 20 cm (wide) / 30cm (tele) - infinity
• Macro: Up to 20 cm (wide) / 30cm (tele)
• Super macro: from 2cm
Metering • Digital ESP
• Spot
• Center-weighted
• Histogram in shooting and playback mode
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Auto bracketing Up to five frames in 1/3 EV steps
Shuttter speed 15 - 1/2000 (up to 8 minutes in Bulb mode)
Modes • Program
• Aperture priority
• Shutter priority
• Manual
Scene modes • Portrait
• Landscape with Portrait
• Landscape
• Sports
• Night Scene
• Night Scene with Portrait
• Cuisine
• Beach
• Snow
• Available light portrait
• Self Portrait
• Indoor
• Behind Glass
• Museum
• Document
• Auction
• Candle
• Sunset
• Fireworks
• Manner
• Shoot & Select 1
• Shoot & Select 2
• Underwater Wide 1 & 2
• Underwater Macro
• Digital image stabilization
White balance • Full auto TTL ESP
• Overcast
• Sunlight
• Evening Sun
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent 1, 2, 3
White balance fine tune (Red) -7 - (Blue) +7
Continuous shooting • High speed mode: up to 2.4 shots per second up to 2 images
• Normal mode: up to 1.4 shots per second up to 10 images
Image parameters • Adjust brightness & saturation
• RAW edit
• Red-eye reduction
• Sepia mode
• Black & white mode
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, red-eye reduction, fill-in, off, fill in and red-eye reduction
• Range: 3.8 m (wide) / 2.2 m (tele)
• Guide number: 7.5
Viewfinder Optical real image
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• DC in
• AV out
Print compliance • DPOF
• EXIF 2.2
• PIM III
• PictBridge
Storage • 25MB internal memory
• xD-Picture Card
Power • 2x AA battery (NiMH, NiCd, alkaline, lithium) or 1x lithium CR-V3
• Optional adapter
Weight (no batt) 180 g
Dimensions 99.5 x 65 x 35 mm