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Olympus announces ultra compact E-420 digital SLR

Olympus announces the E-420, world's thinnest, smallest digital SLR camera. The E-420 features "AF Live View" making shooting as easy as a compact digital camera, "Face & Back Control" rendering both human faces and background more clearly and a large 2.7" HyperCrystal II LCD monitor. The E-420 is an upgraded version of the E-410 digital SLR camera released in April 2007. The E-420 will be available as Lens Kit with a 14-42mm lens, a Double Zoom Kit with a 14-42mm and 40-150mm lens and a Pancake Lens Kit...

PRESS SUMMARY

All about the new Olympus E-420User-friendly Olympus E-420 marries an exceptionally compact design with professional quality

The latest addition to the Olympus E-System, the E-420, represents a winning formula for both seasoned photographers and entrants to the D-SLR domain alike. Users benefit from the remarkable quality only D-SLR photography can deliver, yet also enjoy the ease of use usually only associated with a compact camera. This includes Live View depictions on the LCD, which can significantly simplify image composition. In addition, as one of the world's smallest and lightest D-SLRs, mobility is hardly an issue. The E-420 will fit just about anywhere – from a small daypack to a lady's handbag. This makes it a perfect companion for journalists, travellers or other adventurers who appreciate the one-of-a-kind portability, performance and value for money it delivers. The easy-to-use 10.0 Megapixel E-420 features 28 shooting modes to suit a multitude of photographic situations and is ready to use straight out of the box. It will be available in stores from late April 2008.

More performance, more ease of use

With the E-420, Olympus proves that high performance D-SLR photography can be enjoyed by everyone. Despite packing even more potential than its predecessor, this new E-System model boasts extreme user-friendliness in an amazingly light and compact take-anywhere form. Whatever the photographer's level of experience, high-quality images are quite literally for the taking. 28 shooting modes, including automatic, semi-automatic and manual shooting options, ensure complete versatility – while retaining both ease of use and the distinct D-SLR quality advantages.

A powerful 10.0 Megapixel Live MOS sensor provides plentiful resolution for crisp, detailed shots. This is supported by the incorporation of the TruePic III image processor which enables the implementation of Shadow Adjustment Technology (SAT). It guarantees exceptionally true-to-life image reproduction while reducing noise and enhancing processing speed. Sequential shooting at up to 3.5fps in full Megapixel mode is possible with up to eight images in RAW buffer.

For state-of-the-art protection against the threat of dust, Olympus' own Supersonic Wave Filter is the E-System's native dust reduction system – and has positioned itself as the world's leading solution against dust on the image sensor.

Purely intuitive

The E-420 brings even the most advanced features into a natural framework that enables virtually anyone to achieve high-level photography. With continuous Live View, users can frame compositions on the camera's generous 2.7”/6.9cm HyperCrystal II LCD, which provides 100% coverage of scenes with the on-screen contrast, brightness and colour of depictions all being easily adjustable. Thanks to Perfect Shot Preview, the effects of exposure compensation and white balance can also be monitored in real-time directly on the LCD. Furthermore, professional depth of field previewing is possible and users can see the effects of Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology in action. In addition, the LCD enables the magnification of subjects by a factor of 7 or 10 while framing. This makes manual focusing during macro shooting, for example, considerably easier and more accurate.

Autofocus performance has also been enhanced to boost user friendliness. On top of the phase detection AF system, the E-420 now also features a contrast AF system*. It allows subjects to be focused upon more conveniently as the mirror does not need to move to the down position for measurements to be taken. And as a major additional benefit for photographers, implementation of the contrast AF system lets the effect of autofocus be seen on the Live View LCD immediately.

A built-in flash adds to this model's flexibility. More shooting versatility is also provided due to the option of wireless flash control in up to three groups. Using the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R flash units, multiple flash set-ups which can be controlled remotely – significantly extend lighting options. And thanks to the availability of sensitivities ranging from ISO 100 to 1600, the E-420 remains a versatile companion, even in less-than-perfect lighting conditions and in situations when a flash is not desired.

With 38 languages available, the E-420 enables ease-of-use no matter the user's native tongue. A USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) interface guarantees fast data transfer, and with its long-life rechargeable battery, shooting sessions can easily go into overtime.

Part of the E-System family

The E-420 is compatible with virtually all Olympus E-System accessories. Adhering to the Four Thirds Standard, these various accessories open the door to an amazing range of photographic options – without compromising quality. All Four Thirds lenses, for example, feature near-telecentric construction ensuring edge-to-edge sharpness. Furthermore, the Four Thirds System enables the design of smaller camera bodies and lenses to allow for much more compact photographic set-ups. This advantage is perfectly embodied in the go-anywhere E-420, one of the world's smallest and lightest D-SLRs. And to accentuate this fact further, a new so-called pancake lens is also being introduced. Featuring an extremely short-barrelled, lightweight design, the ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:2.8 (equivalent to 50mm on a 35mm camera) represents the perfect accompaniment for the E-420. With its overall compactness, the set-up is reminiscent of the legendary improvement to mobility that the famous Olympus OM series provided.

Adding to this model's cool elegance, an attractive, retro-styled camera case that attaches to the base of the camera is also being introduced. Made entirely of leather, it will be available in a choice of white, brown or black.

The newest addition to the E-System family, the E-420 will hit stores from late April 2008.

The Olympus E-420 digital SLR – main features:

Extremely easy operation – use it straight out of the box
One of the world's smallest and lightest D-SLRs providing the ultimate in portability
10 Megapixel Live MOS sensor
Live View for easier compositions
Perfect Shot Preview for improved depiction of camera adjustments directly on the Live View LCD
Improved Live View with contrast AF, Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology & phase detection AF system*
TruePic III image processor
High-contrast 2.7”/6.9cm HyperCrystal II LCD with 176° viewing angles
The original Supersonic Wave Filter for dust protection
28 automatic, semi-automatic and manual shooting options (including 5 exposure, 5 creative & 18 scene select modes)
Built-in pop-up flash (GN 10)
Wireless flash control in up to 3 groups
3.5fps with up to eight images in RAW buffer
One-touch white balance
AE/AF-lock functionality
ISO 100 to 1600
Depth of field preview function
49-segment digital ESP
Bracketing function (Exposure, White Balance, Focus)
Beginner and Advanced information screens
Detailed info screen with histogram
Based on Four Thirds System
Dual memory card slots (for xD-Picture Card and CompactFlash)

The Olympus E-420 is available in the following configurations:

Olympus E-420 Lens Kit
(E-420 body with ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens)
Olympus E-420 Double Zoom Kit
(E-420 body with ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 and ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 lenses)
Olympus E-420 Pancake Lens Kit
(E-420 body with ZUIKO DIGITAL 25mm 1:2.8 lens)
Olympus E-420 (body only)

Additional information: All about the new Olympus E-420
March 5, 2008
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