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Dennis Hissink : October 13th 2004 - 17:10 CET

Olympus introduces new IR-500 digital camera

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OlympusOlympus introduces a PC-free, modular imaging system that will alter the experiences of digital photography. Emphasizing design and mobility, the Olympus Total Imaging Solution breaks free from the stringent requirements of the current computer-reliant imaging process. It allows consumers to organize, print, and store photos quickly and hassle-free virtually anywhere, while putting the digital camera at the center of the solution. Now users are able to eliminate the often burdensome computer-based process currently necessary to print, save and share images from a digital camera. The Total Imaging Solution makes this endeavor as easy as connecting the camera and cradle directly to an Olympus printer, hard drive or DVD/CD burner.
Olympus introduces new IR-500 digital cameraBy selecting images for printing and saving without requiring a computer, essential for other imaging systems, Olympus has removed several steps in the process.

At the heart of the solution is the new IR-500 digital camera with a 360-degree rotating semi-transmissive TFT color LCD, 4.0-megapixels, a 2.8x optical zoom lens (40mm - 112mm equivalent), 30X total zoom including digital zoom, and an f2.9-f4.8 aperture range. The IR-500 connects with other products available in the Total Imaging Solution, such as the S-HD-100 hard disk drive, and the P-S100 dye-sublimation photo printer, and a DVD burner (available at a future date). Form follows function with all components being lightweight, sleek and pearl white - projecting an image of style, along with ease-of-use and high performance.

"Olympus, once again, remains true to its pioneering heritage of delivering innovative solutions to the imaging industry," said Richard Campbell, Product Marketing Director, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "With breakthrough, revolutionary product design we're putting the camera back in the forefront of photography so it's not just another peripheral for your PC. In doing so, we have streamlined the overall digital imaging experience for the consumer."

The merging of Design and Function

The IR-500 is the first Olympus camera to feature a 360-degree rotating (front to back) LCD display. By rotating the display, users can view their subjects when taking images from a variety of angles. The multi-swing display also ensures portability and protection by covering the lens and the LCD monitor when in its closed position. The LCD monitor, at a generous 2.5 inches, enhances still image and QuickTime movie viewing pleasure. The high-contrast 210,000-pixel Semi-Transmissive TFT Color LCD is designed for enhanced clarity and easy viewing in bright outdoor light.

The new Album Function on the IR-500 allows users to organize images into photo albums on the camera's xD-Picture Card from the images taken by the camera, or even those transferred to it from a computer. Users can create up to 12 separate albums of 100 images, sort them as thy chose, and access them conveniently. The new built-in Calendar Function automatically organizes and recalls images by specific dates. If users desire to transfer images to a computer, they can do so with the Auto-Connect USB 2.0 that does not require software drivers (for most computers/operating systems), enabling hassle-free and full-speed image downloads.

The camera offers a choice of 19 Scene Program Modes for shooting in a wide range of conditions. Simply select a scene mode and the camera is ready to photograph the situation at hand with the optimum aperture, shutter speed, white balance, color saturation and flash setting. Scene Program modes include: P-Auto, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Indoor, Fireworks, Sunset, Portrait, Self Portrait, Available Light Portrait, Cuisine, Documents, Sport, Beach & Snow, Candle, Behind Glass, and Vivid. The QuickTime Movie mode incorporates a camera shake correction function to reduce image unsteadiness and allow more carefree movie shooting.

Store images anywhere with external Hard Disk Drive

By connecting the IR-500 or any USB 2.0 compatible digital camera to the compact S-HD-100, an astonishing 40,000 4.0-megapixel-class images (approx.) can be stored on its 40-gigabyte hard disk drive anywhere, allowing the user to continue taking images with the same memory card.

The S-HD-100 is equipped with a built-in CPU that enables image file management functions. For example, when downloading images from a digital camera that supports the dock, the S-HD-100 checks each image to see if it has been downloaded previously and only downloads the images that are new.

The S-HD-100's handheld size of 4.9in. (W) X 0.8in. (H) X 5.0in. (D) (approx.), and weight of 10.94oz. makes it extremely portable. The hard drive can be easily connected to a computer when necessary to transfer, edit and back-up images.

Print top quality images directly from camera

The IR-500 connects directly to the P-S100, a new dye-sublimation photo printer designed to work without any connection to a computer, for instant printing. It prints 4x6-inch photo lab quality prints in 84 seconds (approx.). The P-S100 is compact, sleek and lightweight, and measures a mere 6.6in. (W) X 2.8in. (H) X 5.7in. (D), and weighs just 38.8 ounces.

The P-S100 offers a higher-than-average 50-sheet paper capacity to reduce the need for frequent paper replenishment. Each print is sealed with a light and moisture-resistant over-coating, which ensures that prints retain their beauty for a long time. Vivid and beautiful print quality is achieved with 16.77 million vibrant colors.

The P-S100 Printer features PictBridge technology so that any PictBridge-enabled camera may connect to it via USB 2.0 cable and start printing right away.

Box contents

The IR-500 comes with a Cradle, a Li-12B Li Ion Rechargeable Battery, A/C Adapter, 16MB xD-Picture Card, Wrist Strap, Audio/Video Cable, Camera WIN/Mac USB Cable, Quick Start Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, Warranty Card, and Camera reference manual.

The IR-500 also includes a CD ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software. OLYMPUS Master software enables users of Olympus digital cameras to get the most out of their digital experience. With a logical and intuitive user interface, OLYMPUS Master allows users to instantly store and manage images by keyword or by shooting date in an easily-searchable Calendar View database so they never misplace digital photos again. Powerful, one-click editing tools enable users to optimize their images prior to printing on a postcard, index card, calendar, or via online services. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other services are just a mouse-click away.

U.S. Pricing
- IR-500 Estimated Street Price: $499 (U.S.)
- S-HD-100 hard disk drive storage device Estimated Street Price: $299.99 (U.S.)
- P-S100 digital photo printer Estimated Street Price: $199.99 (U.S.)

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