Friday June 27, 2003 Built from scratch with a new 5-megapixel CCD and dedicated interchangeable lenses designed specifically to match the performance requirements of digital imaging, the E-1 professional digital SLR camera from Olympus promises outstanding mobility and superb image quality.

Due for release in October 2003, the new E-1 is Olympus' first interchangeable lens type digital SLR camera. The E1 introduces a new type of interchangeable-lens system for digital SLR cameras. Known as the Four Thirds System because it uses a 4/3-type CCD image sensor, it aims to establish a common standard for lens mounts so that lenses and bodies made by different manufacturers are truly interchangeable.

The specially developed line of Zuiko Digital high-performance digital SLR camera lenses are designed to ensure that light strikes the image sensor at a near-perpendicular angle. This eliminates image degradation and light loss that can occur at the edges of the frame or when shooting with wide-angle lenses.

The E1's magnesium alloy body, flash equipment and other accessories are also designed exclusively for digital camera use and despite the incorporation of a new Dust Reduction System, the E1 weighs a respectable 660 grams (in standard configuration).

Notable features include high-capacity on-board memory, a phase difference detecting auto focusing system and a high-speed image-processing engine capable of capturing up to 12-frame sequential shooting at a speed of up to 3 frames per second.

Four Zuiko Digital interchangeable lenses will be made available initially -

  • a 14~54mm standard zoom lens (equivalent to 28~108mm on a 35mm film camera, F2.8~3.5)
  • a 50mm medium-power telephoto macro lens (equivalent to 100mm on a 35mm film camera, F2)
  • a 50~200mm high-power telephoto zoom lens (equivalent to 100~400mm on a 35mm film camera, F2.8~3.5)
  • a 300mm high-power telephoto lens (equivalent to 600mm on a 35mm film camera, F2.8)