OLYMPUS Studio 2.0 software out now

Hamburg, July 2007 – Supporting professional and ambitious amateur photographers in their work, Olympus announces the release of the OLYMPUS Studio 2.0 software. This major update enhances functionality and usability for advanced image management and editing requirements. A trial-version of the software will be bundled with all new Olympus E-System cameras, and the full version is available for download via the internet. [Read more...]

Olympus E-3 Reviews and Resources

The Olympus E-3, which is Olympus’ flagship DSLR, was announced October 16, 2007 in the US. The E-3 has a 10.1 megapixel Live MOS sensor along with Olympus’ TruePic III™ digital processing engine. Additionally, Olympus touts the new autofocus system as the fastest AF speed in the world with the new ZUIKO SWD lenses.
As noted, Olympus has 3 new ZUIKO lenses:

Olympus E-3 Availability

Amazon.com

B&H Photo

Adorama

Olympus E-3 Reviews

Photocrati

If you don’t mind the smaller Four Thirds sensor or being limited by 10.1 MP resolution (little room to crop), this is definitely a camera to own and use.

The Online Photographer

The system works perfectly okay for static subjects, and for some things—notably macro photography of non-moving subjects, especially close to the ground—it can work a lot better than the regular optical viewfinder.

Camera Labs

The viewfinder and AF are two usual scapegoats, but with the E-3, Olympus has significantly improved both. The tunnel-vision of earlier Four Thirds viewfinders has been upgraded to a large and bright experience that inspires you to use the 4:3 aspect ratio. The older basic 3-point AF system has been replaced by a new 11-point system which with the right lens and conditions can perform extremely quickly.

Trusted Reviews

What the Olympus E3 brings to the table is excellent images, a great build quality, and a lovely user experience, but fails to match the innovation of the E-1, or even other models from the Olympus range. Instead it’s taken the best bits, refined them and put them all into a very usable camera.

Let’s Go Digital

All in all the Olympus E-3 impressed greatly. It is a very well thought-out camera with emphasis on the user. That doesn’t go for many other camera brands.

Shutterbug

Because of its great reliability, comprehensive feature set, and great image quality, the Olympus model should certainly appeal to the most advanced photo enthusiast. More importantly perhaps, the price is right! In fact, in the professional category, this one deserves my “Best Value” award. It’s not only the most affordable but offers excellent return on the investment, making Olympus competitive in the high-end category.

Luminous Landscape

If you need a tough, durable and very capable camera to endure harsh conditions the E3 would be near the top of my list for any camera category. I shoot in many of these situations, can see the utility of the E3 in these circumstances, and would welcome being able to use it. The camera is just not very quick on its feet for general purpose photos or when a quick capture of an elusive moment is called for. And this so perfectly mirrors the DSLR scene in general.

PhotographyBLOG

It makes sense given that Olympus has pinned its hopes on the E-3 as its most serious digital contender to date. Still, the amount of time you’ll spend penitently wading through the manual will reward you with some seriously good images. Colours are lovely and true-to-nature, and although Olympus may not have quite cracked the old white balance conundrum when faced with tricky conditions, at least you can work around it.

Photography Review

Photographing with the Olympus E-3 is a bit like driving a sports sedan. You may not need the speed and power most of the time, but you’re sure glad it’s there when you do. Plus, you get comfort and style with your scoot. The E-3 is more than competent for everyday shooting, and its speed and burst depth handle demanding moments with ease. Then, when you’re pushing pixels, the E-3’s files help you get back to pushing shutters sooner.

Robert Watcher posted some thoughts and sample images from his in-store shooting spree with the E-3. Check his site out for more:

It’s pretty cool when you can see the white balance change on the screen before you take the shot. Made it very easy to select the right setting for the light, just by scrolling through the presets and stopping at the one that looked best.

Biofos.com: The excerpt below does not do this series of several hands-on reviews justice. Click through for a ton of information on the new E-3. (Thanks to John Begin for pointing this resource out.)

I’m glad Olympus set about improving the various processing algorithms with their conservative hat on. From colour to noise reduction it seems just about a perfect balance. I’m relieved as I was expecting some pretty aggressive non-selectable Noise Reduction.

Photogaphy Review (Hands-On Preview)

The first thing I noticed was how fast the new auto focus is. Olympus is claiming that the E-3 combined with their new Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD lens has the fastest auto focus currently available. It certainly feels like it could be the fastest, although controlled testing needs to be done. The camera is noticeably larger than the E-510 and has the sturdy solid build and professional feel that the E-1 had. It really feels and behaves like a professional digital SLR body.

Popular Photography (Hands-On Preview)

The autofocus system is highly sensitive and significantly faster, with selectable 11 AF zones. Olympus says that the AF’s unique design uses a layered, slightly offset, CMOS sensor array to improve accuracy and low-light sensitivity. As a result, all 11 AF zones should be active cross-sensor types with any aperture lens. This may be the best AF system we’ve ever seen on an Olympus DSLR.

Imaging Resource (Hands-On Preview)

The Olympus E-3 is by far the most advanced Olympus digital camera I’ve used, very satisfying to shoot with, and one of the more compelling SLRs launched this season. Its design, though big, is ergonomically pleasing and handsome, and it gives you a feel of confidence and control. The E-3′s build matches the sturdy feel of Olympus’s high-end lenses, which are some of the tightest we’ve seen.

Official Olympus Resources

Olympus RAW codec for Vista

Free HLD-4 grip and backpack for Olympus UK customers.

The Official Olympus America E-3 Page

Four-Thirds.org

Where to Buy

First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices. Additionally, purchasing your camera through these links helps support this site.

Olympus E-3 Rumors

UPDATES 10/16/07:

The Olympus announcement letter is here.

Here’s an E-3 brochure in the wild. Click on it for a larger version. Unfortunately, much of it is unreadable due to scan quality.

Looks like the E-3 will arrive at 6:00 p.m. ET. See the Countdown.

The launch is close. This blurb appears in the search results for E-3 on Olympus Australia’s site:

The new range-topping Olympus E-3 is designed for the professional photographer and advanced enthusiasts requiring super fast auto-focus and responsiveness in a camera that delivers professional lev. . .

UPDATE 10/15/07: While we’re waiting on more news of the Olympus E-3, take a stroll over to the Olympus E-System: Passion for the Best site to discover some of the features and buzz that Olympus is promoting for it’s new E-3.

UPDATE 10/12/07: News on the Olympus E-3 launch event in New York.

UPDATE 8/29/07: More info on the E-3 at the Korean photo show.

UPDATE 8/28/07: The E-3 has shown up at a photo show in Korea. More images and discussion here. Stay tuned for more.

UPDATE 7/13/07: Apparently, Olympus has caught wind of their .PDF (discussed below) surfacing on the internet:

I have been asked to remove the PDF from public sight while the leak is being investigated. Too bad that my first and only phonecall from Olympus was so negative. But we will know in a few days, at least it looks like the camera is going to hit the shelves very soon now. I’m am already putting money aside for it myself.

(Source: 4-3system.com)

If anything, it sounds like this adds some legitimacy to the .PDF that some folks were originally skeptical of.

ORIGINAL POST: Olympus E-P1 has left the building. It appears that the goods on the Olympus E-P1 (apparently, that is the going name) has made its way to the Internet from a European Business Meeting presentation in .PDF form. The .PDF file has popped up on a number of sites. It looks like the source points back to a post by forum user “noone” over at fourthirdsphoto.com. (via 4-3system.com). Here’s a direct link to the .pdf file *it’s 14MB. (via fourththirdsphoto.com). I’ll try to keep current with the developments on this page.

Now for the good stuff from the presentation:

E-1 customers’ are expecting:

More pixels and less noise

Fastest AF and more AF points

More accurate AE

Larger LCD monitor

Faster burst rate

Higher shutter speed and flash sync. speed

Built-in flash

Wireless flash control capability

Live View capability with swivel monitor

Image stabilization

Nikon D200 / 30D customers are not satisfied with:

95% coverage finder

No sensor dust solution

Expensive images stabilized VR / IS lenses

No built-in wireless flash control (30D)

No splash-proof body (30D)

Main Specifications

World most effective anti-shake system (Max. 5 Steps)

10 MP High Speed Live MOS (5fps)

Live View with multi angel LCD

(SAT, White Balance & Exposure Compensation)

Dust reduction (SSWF)

Splash proof body

Wireless flash control in 3 groups

High speed shooting capability

(5fps, 1/8000, X=1/250

Big Viewfinder image with 100% coverage

Bigger finder magnification (x1.15) with full coverage ratio (100%)

AF performance

Quicker and more accurate World

quickest with SWD lenses

11 points

All cross sensor (D200/30D just

Center point)

Better low light performance -

2EV@ISO100 (D200 -1EV, 30D, -

0.5 EV)

Better continuous AF

Nikon D200 / 30D customers are not satisfied with:

95% coverage finder

  • Olympus provides 100% coverage and bigger finder

No sensor dust solution

  • Olympus provides the most effective dust reduction system

Expensive image stabilized VR / IS lenses

  • Olympus provides the body built-in image stabilizer available for all lenses

No built-in wireless flash control (30D)

Canon customers have to buy a bulky hot-shoe clipping wireless controller unit for wireless applications

No splash-proof body (30D)

E-P1 – “Capture qualified Images under any situations”

“World most effective Anti-Shake performance”

  • Photographers can take sharp images with slower shutter speed, or under darker situation, they have not taken before.

World quickest precise AF performance

  • Sharply captured every moment.

Live View

  • New shooting style also thanks to multi angle LCD.

“Dust Reduction System and Splash & Dust Proof Body

  • …performance is proved by E-1

“Big VF & Wireless Flash Control

  • For perfect control

E-P1, a camera made for professionals!

Perfect product, with a lot benefits to competition.

“Let’s promote and enjoy top down effect to E-410 & E-510 and accessory sales.”

E-P1 based on Four Thirds

Main benefits

Specifically designed for digital photography

Maximises the performance of image sensors and lenses

Flange back ratio allows thinner construction of the body

As of today the widest real digital lens line up exist on the market

Allows use of smaller, lighter lenses with same angle of view as 35mm lenses

Full wide-angle capacity because of newly developed standard

Dust reduction system planned into design

Secure investment due to future-oriented technology

Open standard ensures cross-manufacturer inter-changeability Olympus, Panasonic, Leica & Sigma with products

OPR

Latest status of local sales start in November

OPR & Press event planned around Mid October

Final confirmation from OT by end June

NEW Zuiko Digital Lenses

Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f2,8-4,0 SWD (Equiv. 24-120mm)

  • Faster Autofocus
  • Pro Lens
  • October 2007

Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm f2,0 SWD (Equiv. 28-70mm)

  • Top Pro Lens
  • Spring 2008

Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm f2,8-3,5 SWD (Equiv. 100-400mm)

  • Faster Autofocus
  • Pro Lens
  • Nocember 2007

________________________________

Tele converter EC-20 for double telepower

  • October 2007

______________________________________

Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm f4,0-5,6 (Equiv. 140-600mm)

  • Faster Autofocus
  • Standard Lens
  • October 2007

In short, I’m impressed and will certainly be thinking a little more about Olympus as a real contender in the future.

As always, I’ll keep you posted when more word comes down the line.

UPDATE 7/17/07: Via 1001 Noisy Cameras:

ImagingInsider reports that Olympus is officially denying releasing the presentation of what became the “leaked E-P1 files”. Of course if you parse the sentence of the Olympus rep, he is only denying that Olympus (officially) released the presentation, which is true.

[tags]olympus, e-3, e-1, p-1, e-p1, four thirds, 4/3, system, e, dslr, digital camera[/tags]

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm Announced

___________

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm super telephoto lens: Zooming power with the Four Thirds advantage

Hamburg, 26 June 2007 – This autumn, Olympus introduces the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6. Designed for the specific demands of digital photography, this extreme telephoto lens delivers 4.28x zoom power – up to a phenomenal focal length of 300mm (600mm on a 35mm camera system). Despite such high-performance attributes, this ultra-compact model only weighs in at around half as much as its competition. This makes it the ideal travel lens to accompany any Four Thirds Standard digital SLR.

With magnification muscle extending to 300mm (600mm in 35mm equivalent terms), the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 is remarkably powerful yet remains astoundingly portable: The lens measures a mere 127mm and weighs just 620g. Naturally, being based on the Four Thirds Standard, image quality is never compromised.

Three ED lens elements are integrated to ensure razor-sharp results across the entire zoom range by minimising chromatic aberration that can otherwise occur at long focal lengths. Furthermore, multicoated lenses have also been incorporated to reduce ghosting and flaring against backlight, while a circular iris helps to achieve smooth, soft background defocusing.

Telephoto macro shots from a minimum distance of 96cm in manual mode and 1.2m in autofocus are possible across the entire breadth of the focal range, giving the photographer plenty of working space for close-ups of difficult subjects. Moreover, full-on macro shooting with maximum magnification of 0.5x (equivalent to 1x on a conventional 35mm camera system) is possible, while the zoom range gives the photographer control over framing and composition without the need to change position.

The ultra-compact, lightweight super telephoto lens is a perfect complement for the recently-launched Olympus E-510. Thanks to an image stabiliser built directly into the camera itself, it protects shots against the effects of camera shake – even at the extreme zoom levels this remarkable lens enables.

The ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 will be available from late October 2007.

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 – main features:

• Extreme telephoto capabilities from 70-300mm (140-600mm*)

• Ultra-compact dimensions (127mm) and low weight (620g)

• Based on the Four Thirds Standard

• 3 ED lens elements

• Excellent telephoto macro performance

• Compatible with all Four Thirds Standard cameras including Olympus’ recently introduced E-510 and E-410

* 35mm camera equivalent

Underwater Photography Rocks, Olympus Rolls

PRESS RELEASE:

Olympus Embraces Underwater, Dive Community With New Camera Housings               
Recreational Scuba Divers, Outdoor Enthusiasts and Poolside Families Enjoy Underwater Photography Thanks to Olympus

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., June 4, 2007 – Olympus gears-up for summer with new underwater housings and accessories for its digital cameras — from point-and-shoot to D-SLR (digital single lens reflex). For millions, the peak travel season of June through August means fun in the ocean, lake or pool. Weekend sun worshipers to serious divers can easily capture their adventures beneath the surface (down to depths of 40 meters / approximately 133 feet) using the new Olympus housings.

New Olympus Underwater Housings and Accessories Include: D-SLR – The new PT-E03 housing is made specifically for Olympus’ newly available, portable EVOLT E-410 D-SLR camera. Scuba divers agree that the E-410′s full-time Live View LCD makes taking photographs underwater more natural, enabling them to hold the camera away from their face and allowing them to see their vast surroundings. Most other D-SLRs only offer a traditional optical viewfinder — peering through this when wearing a dive mask is extremely cumbersome and offers very limited views. The E-410′s housing is compatible with many of the Olympus Zuiko Digital-Specific lenses and their respective underwater lens ports.

D-SLR Lenses – Wide angle and macro lenses are the most common for underwater photography. The new PPO-E05 underwater lens port is designed for the lightweight 14-42mm Zuiko Digital-Specific lens, which is the perfect complement to the portable E-410 and its underwater housing when diving. The versatile 14-42mm lens offers the most common focal lengths, including wide angle and close focusing, making it an essential tool for those recreational divers who want to capture images of their explorations. Additionally, all other Olympus PPO Series underwater lens ports (including macro) are compatible with Olympus’ E-Series underwater housings.

Digital Compact Cameras – New underwater housings have been created specifically for Olympus’ recently announced point-and-shoot cameras, including the SP-550 UZ, Stylus 770 SW, Stylus 760 and FE-230. These cameras also offer underwater scene modes, which when coupled with the underwater housings enable even the most novice photographer to take beautiful underwater images.

Underwater Flash – For the first time, Olympus is offering an underwater flash (UFL-1) for use with all new SP and Stylus camera housings introduced in 2007 as well as a majority of its preexisting digital compact camera housings. The new slave flash requires no cables and enables divers to capture stunning images even in the darkest waters.

Other Underwater Accessories – The adjustable float strap, created specifically for the Stylus SW Series, enables the camera to float at the water’s surface and provides surfers, kayakers and other active swimmers with the ability to strap the camera to their arm, freeing their hands when not taking photos. The float strap boasts a vibrant red color for high visibility.

New silicone skins are also available for the Stylus 770 SW. While the camera can reach depths of 10 meters (approximately 33 feet) without a skin or housing, the silicone skin provides a variety of stylish looks, offers improved handling in the water and is perfect for avoiding scratches on the camera’s body from rocks or other rough surfaces. The new skins are available in three trendy colors: orange, blue and clear.

The new Olympus underwater housings and accessories will be available at retailers in June 2007. The new housings — both compact and D-SLRs — are for use in depths down to 40 meters (approximately 133 feet). Comprehensive information on the complete family of Olympus’ underwater housings and accessories is available at www.olympusamerica.com/underwater.

[tags]olympus, digital camera, underwater, housing, dslr, stylus, evolt, news[/tags]

Olympus 550 UZ Review

Why is everyone so fascinated with this camera? Because it’s got an 18x zoom on it. That’s an equivalent of a 28-504mm zoom on a 35mm camera! To see what all the fuss is about and whether it’s worth shelling out $460 for, head on over to DP Review and check out their in-depth review.