Olympus has today announced a 5x optical zoom camera with a 2-inch LCD and 5.1 megapixel resolution. The C-5500 Sports Zoom allows full manual control, has a super macro mode of 2cm and incorporates Olympus's TruePic TURBO Image Processor, which is supposed to suppress noise and boost image definition. It will be available in May priced around $349 (€262).

Press Release:

World-Class Optics, 5.1-Megapixel CCD, 5x Optical Zoom, Large 2-Inch LCD, Advanced Automatic and Manual Functions

The Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom Makes Powerful Digital Photography Possible For All

Melville, New York, January 5, 2005 – With the release of the C-5500 Sport Zoom, Olympus delivers high-end features and functions in a camera that’s approachable enough for the everyday digital photographer. The C-5500 embodies a wealth of features including a 5.1- megapixel CCD, a large 2-inch LCD, world-class optics, and an inspiring array of manual and automatic functions for straight out-of-the-box operation.

The combination of advanced features and intuitive operation enables users of all skill levels to achieve their precise creative goals. The C-5500 Sport Zoom gives users that extra bit of manual control for capturing perfect snapshots along with the power to create award-winning digital masterpieces.

“Like other Olympus C-Series digital cameras, the C-5500 Sport Zoom combines a high degree of manual control with automatic easy-to-use functions. The powerful 5x sports zoom, combined with a high-resolution 5.1-megapixel CCD, enables users to get right up close to the action,” said Glenn Schwartz, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom makes powerful digital photography accessible to the everyday user. It’s the perfect camera for someone new to digital photography that wants an easy- to-use camera with advanced features they’ll appreciate as their skills develop.”

Designed to Do More The C-5500 Sport Zoom features a 5x optical zoom lens (f2.8/f4.8 – f8.0, 38mm – 190mm equivalent) designed to maximize the imaging potential of its high-definition 5.1- megapixel CCD sensor. The 5x optical zoom lens seamlessly combines with 4x digital zoom to achieve up to 20x total zoom capability for capturing distant subjects without sacrificing image clarity in the final result. For close-up photographs with intricate detail, the Super Macro mode enables shooting from as close as 0.8", filling the frame with dramatic detail and extremely shallow depth-of-field.

Olympus’ exclusive TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor suppresses noise and boosts image definition to deliver sharper, clearer images with excellent color definition. The fast startup of less than one second and nearly instant shutter release time ensure high-speed response, so you can capture precisely the image you set your eyes on. A burst mode of 2.7 frames-per-second makes this camera ideal for capturing fast-paced action.

The C-5500 Sport Zoom also features a new “anti-shake” function for enhanced stability when shooting QuickTime® Movies of television-quality 30 frames-per-second with sound.

Delivering Style

The body of the C-5500 Sport Zoom is designed to be compact while offering a high degree of functional operating ease. Measuring just 4.9" W x 3.3" H x 3.9" D and weighing 8.6 ounces, the C-5500 is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably your hand for long photo sessions.

Intelligent Design for High Performance

Incorporating all-glass lens elements, which include three high-index lenses and two lens elements that are aspherical on both sides, the camera’s compact “multi-variator” lens unit delivers low distortion and reduced chromatic aberration. Professional SLR-type manual features are included to satisfy advanced users’ artistic needs. For example, using the Autofocus (AF) Target Selection function, users can choose from 143 AF target zones to focus on virtually any area of their composition without reframing the shot. The C-5500 Sport Zoom also features a manual focusingmode, giving users full control over the accuracy of their focal range.

The large, bright and viewable 2-inch LCD monitor with 115,000 pixels of resolution provides easy viewing when composing or reviewing images. This large monitor comes in handy when using the camera’s Direct Histogram function that provides real-time access to exposure information so users can confirm exposure before snapping the picture. A histogram displayed on the LCD with red and blue highlighting to indicate over- and under-exposed areas makes detection of overly white and blacked-out areas simple.

Designed with More Features For More Excitement

The C-5500 Sport Zoom includes a Calendar function, which enables users to organize photos according to the date they were taken, find them easily, and display them on the LCD monitor. And a Slideshow function makes reviewing photos with friends fun and effortless, complete with slide transitions such as Slide, Fade, and Zoom.

Designed for You

Getting started with the C-5500 is as easy as popping in the batteries and turning it on. And once it’s on, everyday users will appreciate that the C-5500 includes a full range of basic photography functions. With the Full Auto mode, even beginners can take perfect photos without worrying about complex settings. More experienced digital photographers will appreciate being able to have control over basic settings such as exposure, aperture and shutter speed with the Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual Exposure modes.

For taking quick and precise photos in a range of different lighting situations – such as at night, in candlelight, at the beach, or at sporting events – with optimal aperture, shutter speed, white balance, color saturation and flash setting, users can select from 15 fully automatic shooting modes. Users can also create up to four My Mode settings for additional customization through self-defined combinations of white balance, sharpness, contrast and other settings in an easy-to-view histogram function.

Connecting the C-5500 Sport Zoom to a computer is easy with the USB Auto Connect feature, which connects directly via USB 2.0 cable and requires no software. Or, if you prefer, forget the computer altogether. The power of PictBridge technology enables photos to be printed directly from the camera with any PictBridge-enabled printer, such as the Olympus P-10 Digital Photo Printer, without using a computer. Printing and sharing images is more convenient than ever, and the P-10’s photo lab-quality dye-sublimation printing produces archival-quality prints in rich color.

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 searchable by date or keyword in the Calendar View. And with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye reduction, images can be touched up before printing or emailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away.

Availability

The C-5500 will be available beginning February 2005. It includes a 16MB xD-Picture Card, four long-life AA batteries, an Auto-Connect USB 2.0 cable, Audio/Video Out cable, wrist strap, OLYMPUS Master Software, user manual and Quick Start Guide.

U.S. Pricing

C-5500 Estimated Street Price: $349.99 (U.S.)

Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom specifications

Sensor

• 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 5.3 million pixels total
• 5.1 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2592 x 1944
• 2592 x 1728 (3:2)
• 2288 x 1712
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 320 x 240 @ 30fps/15fps
• Up to capacity of the memory card
File formats

• Still: JPEG, TIFF
• Movie: QuickTime Motion JPEG
• Sound: WAV

Lens • 38 - 190 mm (35 mm equiv) 5x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - F 4.8
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus 143-point TTL autofocus with contrast detection
AF area modes • Spot
• iESP autofocus
• Selectable AF
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Standard: 60 cm (wide) / 120 cm (tele) – infinity
• Macro: 8 - 60 cm (wide) / 120 cm (tele)
• Super macro: 2cm
Metering • Digital
• Spot
• Multi
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Exposure compensation • +/-2EV
• 1/3EV steps
Exposure bracketing Up to five frames in 1/3EV steps
Shutter speed 15 - 1/2000 sec
Modes • Program AE
• Shutter priority
• Aperture priority
• Manual
Scene modes Portrait, Night Scene, Sports, Landscape, Landscape and Portrait , Beach & Snow, Fireworks, Sunset, Candle Available Light Portrait, Panorama, Sepia, Black and White
White balance • Auto
• Overcast, sunlight, tungsten, fluorescent1, fluorescent2, fluorescent3
White balance fine tune (red ) -7 – (blue ) +7
Self timer Yes
Continuous shooting 2.7 shots per second up to five images
Image parameters • Sharpness
• Contrast
• Saturation
Flash • Auto, red-eye reduction, on, off, slow-sync, slow-sync with red-eye reduction
• Range: 3.8 m tele / 2.2 m wide
• Flash compensation: +/-2EV
Viewfinder Optical
LCD monitor • 2" TFT LCD
• 115K pixels
Connectivity • USB
• DC in
• AV out
Print compliance • PIM II
• DPOF
Storage • xD-Pciture Card
• 16 MB card supplied
Power 4x AA battery/2x CR-V3 lithium
Weight (no batt) 245 g (8.6 oz)
Dimensions 110 x 67 x 47 mm (4.3 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)