00:00 GMT: Olympus has today announced the three megapixel budget priced C-300 Zoom. The C-300Z is based around the previous C-200Z, the new camera has a 2.8x optical zoom lens and 3 megapixel CCD sensor. Key new features are the 'virtual mode dial', night scene noise reduction, pixel mapping, panorama mode (using Olympus card) and a 3:2 image format. This camera will have a UK retail price of £299, a 'kit' containing rechargable batteries and a charger will cost just £50 more.

Press release (Olympus UK):


Photo quality that lets you re-live the moment

Hamburg, 8 May 2002 - When it comes to photography, it's always the result that counts. Using Olympus' opto-digital know-how to the full, the C-300ZOOM digital compact zoom lets the user capture images that dazzle - both on screen and paper - with the minimum of effort. Photo prints of family and friends or scenes taken on holiday come alive. Colours are radiant, textures can almost be felt and contours are sharp. With its three megapixel resolution, bright 2.8x zoom lens and host of precision photographic functions, the CAMEDIA C-300ZOOM delivers quality that can really be seen - at an eye-catching price. Operation itself is easy thanks to the automatic settings and user-friendly menu. Seven shooting modes may be activated at the touch of the new "virtual dial" button.

Enjoy stunning results

Shooting digital means instant enjoyment. Yet, besides viewing the shots on the camera's LCD monitor immediately after capture, the user is able to take the digital images to a lab for processing just as with analogue camera film. The prints can then be passed around at parties, for example, and added to a family album. With its combination of three million pixel resolution, excellent optics and innovative data processing techniques, the C-300ZOOM delivers mesmerising pictures - even in A4 format. And since the photos may be viewed directly on the camera or a monitor, only the shots the user wants are printed - saving time and money.

Enjoy effortless shooting

With the CAMEDIA C-300ZOOM from Olympus everyone is able to enjoy the digital shooting experience. Fitting comfortably in the hand, this compact model features fully automatic shooting and precise metering systems to ensure superb results at the click of a button. Using the ergonomic arrow key control and easy-to-follow menu, the photographer is further able to access the camera's various adjustable options and special shooting modes. For example, besides the program mode, six scene programs, such as portrait and landscape, each optimised for a particular situation, are immediately accessible by pressing the new "virtual dial" button.

Enjoy the special possibilities of digital photography

Digital capture brings a number of other special benefits to the photographer. Besides allowing instant checking of the shots, the image files can be downloaded to a computer and shared with friends and family - wherever they are - by email. Even more creative opportunities are opened up with software. For example, the new CAMEDIA Master 4.0 -delivered with all future Olympus digital cameras - allows image editing to add special creative touches or produce humorous compositions. The upgrade, CAMEDIA Master Pro can be downloaded from the Olympus website www.olympus-europa.com. This lets the photographer create his or her own HTML photo gallery and also includes an easy-to-use back-up function.

Enjoy opto-digital excellence

Olympus has incorporated a breathtaking collection of opto-digital features in the CAMEDIA C-300ZOOM. To maximise the capabilities of its three megapixel resolution, this model is equipped with a precision optical system that provides 2.8x* zoom power. A 3.6x digital zoom is also on hand which, when combined with the optical zoom, permits a maximum zoom capability of 10x. The macro shooting mode allows capture of objects from just 20 cm away.

TTL iESP focusing provides for super-sharp results while a choice of either digital ESP or spot light metering determines the optimal exposure settings. Besides automatic white balance, four pre-set modes are available.

For clear images when using the night-scene mode, the camera automatically engages the noise reduction function.

To capture the progression of events in full, the camera's sequence function allows the user to record up to an amazing 13 photos at a speed of 1.9 frames a second in HQ mode.

Extending the creative opportunities, this three megapixel model includes a video capture mode (using QuickTime Motion JPEG) as well as sepia and black & white recording. A panorama function is also featured.

Several flash modes and a self-timer are additionally incorporated. The Olympus CAMEDIA C-300 ZOOM is planned for release early summer.

* Focal length: 5.8 - 16.2 mm; f2.9/4.4 (equivalent to 36 - 100 mm on a conventional
35 mm camera).

Olympus C-300 Zoom / D-550 Zoom specifications

Sensor 1/2.5" CCD 3.34 million pixels, RGB filter
Effective pixels 3.0 million pixels
Image size • 1984 x 1488
• 1984 x 1312 (3:2 mode)
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Image formats • TIFF
Lens 2.8x, 36 - 100 mm (equiv.) F2.9 - F4.4
Digital zoom Up to 3.6x
Focusing • TTL iESP auto focus
• Spot AF
Focus range • Standard: 0.8 m - Infinity (2.6 ft - Infinity)
• Macro: 0.2 - 0.8 m (7.9 - 31.5 in)
ISO Sensitivity • Auto (ISO 100 - 400)
White Balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Overcast
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
Metering • Digital ESP
• Spot metering
Exposure control • Programmed AE
• Night Scene mode
Exposure compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.5 EV steps
Shutter speed • Programmed AE: 1/2 - 1/1000 sec
• Night Scene mode: 2 - 1/1000 sec
Aperture • Wide: F2.9 / F5.6
• Tele: F4.4 / F8.6
Continuous • 1.9 fps, up to 13 frames (1984 x 1488 HQ)
Movie clips • HQ: 320 x 240, 15 fps, up to 33 sec (no audio)
• SQ: 160 x 120, 15 fps, up to 148 sec (no audio)
Noise reduction • Night scene mode
Self timer • 12 sec
LCD Monitor 1.8" 61,000 pixel
Viewfinder Optical
Flash Pop-up
Flash range • Wide: 0.2 - 3.4 m (7.9 in - 11.2 ft)
• Tele: 0.8 - 2.3 m (2.6 - 7.5 ft)
Flash modes • Auto
• Red-eye reduction
• Off
• Fill-in
• Night scene (slow sync) flash
Playback • Single view
• Close-up
• Index (4 / 9 / 16 thumbnails)
• Rotation
Image edit • Resize
• Sepia
• B&W
• Crop
Movie edit • Index
• Edit
Storage • SmartMedia (16 MB card supplied)
Connectivity • DC IN
• Video Out
Power • 2 x LB-01 (CR-V3) Lithium batteries
• or 4 x AA batteries (NiMH rechargable recommended)
Dimensions 118 x 66 x 50 mm (4.6 x 2.6 x 2.0 in)
Weight (no batt.) 240 g (8.5 oz)