CES 2009: Next in the line from Olympus is the Stylus 550WP. It incorporates a robust body and boasts of being water-resistant up to 3 meters. This 10MP digital compact with a 2.5" LCD includes features such as the Perfect Shot Preview, Perfect fix for in-camera retouching and Intelligent Auto mode. Available in a choice of Crystal Blue, Pure White or Midnight Black, the camera will start shipping in February 2009.

Specifications to follow.

Press Release:

Make a splash with the Olympus µ-550WP

Affordable underwater photography, with Olympus 10 Megapixel quality

London, 7 January 2009 – Being dropped into a rock pool or stream used to mean certain death to a camera, but not the new Olympus µ-550WP, its robust metal body is waterproof to depths of up to 3 metres. It’ll shrug off the heaviest downpour; take snorkelling in its stride, and even survive being dropped into the deep end of a swimming pool. Packed with features that make taking great quality underwater photos as easy as falling into a lake, the 10 Megapixel Olympus µ-550WP will be available in a choice of Crystal Blue, Pure White or Midnight Black.

Until relatively recently, taking photographs underwater was beyond the means of most people, requiring as it did professional camera equipment and bulky underwater housings. Olympus changed that with the introduction of the µ-Tough range of digital compacts. Now, with the launch of the µ-550WP – waterproof to depths of up to 3 metres – it opens up the world of high quality, underwater photography to an even wider audience.

Being kept nice and dry inside the µ-550WP are lots of features designed to take the hassle out of shooting high quality photographs. Pictures are saved on either an xD-Picture Card, or a microSD Card*** using the bundled microSD adaptor. If you fancy taking it easy, the camera’s Intelligent Auto Mode can recognise the five most commonly encountered scenes and automatically choose the best settings for you. The µ-550WP can even recognise people. When Face Detection Technology is activated the camera will spot human subjects in a composition and adjust exposure and focusing to ensure that they come out looking their very best. And, should you fancy setting some of the functions yourself but are uncertain of what will look best, then Perfect Shot Preview is the answer. This clever function allows the different effects of some functions – such as White Balance – to be compared next to each other on the camera’s 6.4cm LCD screen, the one that works best can then be selected.

The µ-550WP’s precision 3x optical zoom (38-114 mm*) and 10 Megapixel sensor mean that photos are packed with detail, regardless of whether they were taken 3 metres beneath the waves or on dry land. Digital Image Stabilisation further guarantees picture quality by significantly reducing blur caused by camera shake, such as when the photographer is buffeted by the waves. And if the results from your latest snorkelling trip weren’t just right, all is not lost, as Perfect Fix can be used to correct red-eye and lighten photos, at the touch of a button, in camera.

With so many great features working together to deliver great results, the Olympus µ-550WP doesn’t only make high quality underwater photography a reality, it makes it fun as well. Expect to see the µ-550WP in shops from February 2009 in a choice of Crystal Blue, Pure White or Midnight Black finishes.

The Olympus µ-550WP– main features:

  • Exciting shots in and by the water as the µ-550WP waterproof to 3m**
  • Available in Crystal Blue, Pure White or Midnight Black
  • High-precision 3x optical zoom (38-114 mm*) to capture landscapes through to stunning portraits, even when it's wet
  • The easy way to perfect images – Intelligent Auto Mode detects the five most commonly used scenes and adjusts settings, focus and exposure automatically
  • 10 Megapixels to make prints up to poster-size
  • Digital Image Stabilisation for less blur
  • See and share images more easily on the 6.4cm/2.5” LCD (230,000 dots)
  • Face Detection for perfectly focused and exposed faces
  • 17 shooting modes (e.g. Underwater Water Snap) ensure the camera has the right settings for different situations
  • Liven up your memories with movie recording with sound (up to VGA resolution at 30fps)
  • xD-Picture Card and microSD Card*** compatible

*35mm camera equivalent
**According to IEC standard publication 529 IPX8
***microSD is a trademark of SD Card Association