January 8, 2009 Olympus raised the bar for point-and-shoot digital cameras today with the launch of the new 26x optical zoom SP-590 Ultra Zoom. That’s the biggest zoom yet, and the equivalent of a zoom lens with 26-676mm focal length. The versatility offered by the zoom lens is extreme, it can capture images from macro to almost any distance. The SP-590 produces 12-megapixel images, has Dual Image Stabilization, Face Detection, Ultra High-Speed Sequential shooting and a 2.7-inch LCD. Available in March with an Estimated Street Price of US$450.
The SP-590UZ is the “total package” and an investment in your imaging future that is well worth making. It offers the advanced manual controls that experienced photographers demand and find on a digital SLR (single lens reflex). At the same time, users can easily set the camera to operate like a simple point-and-shoot with automatic scene modes. It offers the compact body of an ultra zoom with the flexibility of high-performance optics usually found in interchangeable lenses for DSLR cameras,
“The SP-590UZ brings subjects closer with the world’s most powerful optical zoom, and the zoom is just one of many elements that set this camera apart. Macro to wide-angle there are no compromises,” said Nadine Clark, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Because of its compact size and an impressive zoom range, it’s the ideal choice for travelers and everyone who enjoys the great outdoors.”
The bright, f2.8-5.0 lens construction combines aspherical lens elements and extra-low dispersion (ED) lens elements to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness and clarity.
Olympus’ ultra zoom cameras provide flexibility and manual controls for experienced shutterbugs, while being as easy and approachable as a point-and-shoot for novice. The SP-590UZ takes this to a new level with pre-capture scene modes: Multiple Exposure, Soft Background Focus and Beauty Mode. The new features enable creative effects to be made inside the camera as the images are captured! The new creative features were adopted from Olympus’ recently announced E-30 DSLR camera.
Multiple Exposure, in the new SP-590UZ, empowers consumers to take two separate photographs and overlay them to craft one unique image. Use the new Soft Background Focus mode on your next trip to a National Park. It enables you to slightly blur the beautiful vista, lake or canyon in the background to accent the majestic wildlife in the foreground.
Beauty Mode lets you soften shadows and smooth wrinkles or blemishes on your subject’s face – all in the camera and as you capture the image! Additionally, subtle edits can be made post-capture using the Beauty Fix mode. Choose “Clear Skin” to smooth a person’s complexion, “Dramatic Eye” to slightly emphasize the eyes, and “Sparkle Eye” to brighten and enhance the contrast of the iris and pupils. You can also apply all three edits at once. Have fun customizing your brilliant images without a PC and costly image editing software.
The SP-590UZ connects to an HDTV with an HDMI cable.
All Olympus digital point-and-shoot cameras accept xD-Picture CardTM media. Starting with products available in August 2008, they also accept microSD memory cards to capture images. The new SP-590UZ offers the flexibility to use either xD-Picture Card or microSD memory cards.
Dual Image Stabilization enables users to take crisp, clear pictures in virtually any shooting situation – adjusting for camera shake and a moving subject. Olympus’ mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the image sensor to compensate for camera shake, which often occurs when zooming in on your subject and in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blur caused by a moving subject.
Ultra High-Speed Sequential Shooting and Pre-Capture with TruePicTM III Image Processor The Olympus TruePic III Image Processor makes it possible for the SP-590UZ to capture images at incredible speeds. The inclusion of Pre-Capture technology, which works in conjunction with High-Speed Sequential Shooting, enables users to capture the action before and after fully pressing the shutter button. Pre-Capture begins working as soon as the focus is locked, automatically archiving frames in the camera’s buffer memory prior to the shutter release – virtually guaranteeing that you’ll get the shot even if the user’s reaction time is slower than the action. Perfect for situations where timing is essential, such as photographing a tennis player serving, children playing or a whale breaching.
Olympus’ enhanced TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to deliver superior picture quality with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III also captures sharp images at high ISO settings, minimizing image noise or grainy photos traditionally associated with shooting with high ISO.
The Manual, Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes give users versatility and control for optimal performance in any situation. Users can express their creativity – adjusting the f-stop for detailed portraits with softened backgrounds, or slowing the exposure speed to create the blurred effect of motion, or just sit back and let the camera do the thinking through the use of the automatic settings. Manual focus is also available for users who want to have full control.
Face Detection tracks up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) and optimizes exposure (Face Detection AE) quickly for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures. Now, your subject’s face is in focus whether it is in the center of the target area or not.
Wireless flashes can help photographers cast the best light on their subjects and capture great images. For this reason, the SP-590UZ is compatible with the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes that are designed exclusively for digital photography. When these flashes are used in combination with the SP-590UZ, wireless multi-flash photography is possible. The SP-590UZ can control up to three wireless flash groups independently, with multiple flash units in each group.
The SP-590UZ boasts an advanced HyperCrystal II LCD. It reproduces true colors with a dynamic contrast ratio of more than 180 percent and a color reproduction performance of more than 160 percent compared to HyperCrystal LCD, providing a preview that is more true to the final image.
Shooting outdoors in bright daylight can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark shadowed areas and bright sunlight areas. While the human eye is capable of detecting the nuances between dark and light and all the details in between, image sensors traditionally have not been quite as sensitive. The SP-590UZ addresses this challenge head-on with a new Shadow Adjustment Technology, which compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. With the new technology, users can preview and capture images that have the same contrast as seen with the naked eye.
The SP-590UZ features a Perfect Shot Preview mode that enables users to preview and select various photographic effects (such as zoom, exposure compensation, white balance and metering) on a live, multi-window screen before snapping the shot. Perfect Shot Preview enables users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring users are capturing the exact image they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques.
Olympus’ Perfect Fix feature offers quick solutions for unanticipated image quality issues, which may be caused by several adverse conditions. Shadow Adjustment Edit can be used to adjust any underexposed areas and Red-Eye Fix can be used to reduce the effects of red-eye sometimes caused by a direct flash. Additional in-camera editing functions can be quickly accessed right in the camera by the touch of a button; features available include resizing, trimming, black and white, and sepia.
The SP-590UZ offers new features, including, Multi-Exposure, Soft Background Focus and Beauty Mode. A new Bird Watching mode is also great to capture the unpredictable movements of wildlife. The new camera offers a total of 20 pre-set scene modes. To activate, simply select the desired mode for multi-fireworks, portraits, landscapes, night scenes, fast-action and more.
OLYMPUS Master 2 Software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to your computer quick and simple, and images are easily organized by folders or albums and searchable by date in Calendar view. A direct link makes uploading your images and videos to YouTube™ easier than ever. Additionally, with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye removal, images can be touched up before printing or emailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away. Use the optional muvee™ Theater Pack to create professional quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates. Additionally, create scrapbooks, greeting cards and other fun prints using the optional ArcSoft® Print Creations plug-in.
The SP-590UZ will be available in March 2009. It will also include: Neck Strap, WIN/Mac USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, four AA Batteries, MASD-1 (microSD Adapter), Manual, Warranty Card and OLYMPUS Master 2 Software CD-ROM, and has an Estimated Street Price of US$450.