More Zoom and Less Blur in New Olympus Stylus Digital Cameras

Olympus today added to its trendy all-weather Stylus lineup of digital cameras with the new 1020, 1010, and 840 models. Previous Stylus cameras have come with digital image stabilization, but today’s additions mark the series’ first foray into optical

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Take a look at the Stylus 1010, Stylus 1020 and Stylus 840
Jan. 22, 2008 – Olympus today added to its trendy all-weather Stylus lineup of digital cameras with the new 1020, 1010, and 840 models. Previous Stylus cameras have come with digital image stabilization, but today’s additions mark the series’ first foray into mechanical image stabilization. The Olympus Stylus 1020 and 1010 come with 7x optical zoom lenses while the 840 comes with a 5x optical zoom lens.

The Olympus Stylus 1020 takes over as the new flagship of the series with its 10.1 megapixels and optically stabilized 7x zoom lens. The older Stylus 1200 has 12 megapixels but only a 3x optical zoom lens and digital image stabilization. The new cameras come with a system that combines the digital stabilization found on older models (where the camera increases the shutter speed and increases the ISO to sharpen the image) with newer and more effective sensor shift image stabilization technology, where the camera moves the image sensor to compensate for camera shake.

The Olympus Stylus 1010 also comes with 10.1 megapixels and a 7x optical zoom lens. Like the 1020 and 840, the 1010 has a 2.7-inch LCD screen. However, it does not have the 1020’s HyperCrystal II technology on the LCD that has a wider 176-degree viewing angle and increased color gamut. The second generation technology also has twice the contrast of the other LCDs, claims Olympus. All three LCDs come with 230,000 pixels.

"We’ve…broken the zoom barrier in ultra-slim bodies with the powerful 7x optical zoom of the Stylus 1010 and 1020," said Tomoko Matsunaga, product manager at Olympus Imaging America Inc., in today’s press release. "The Stylus cameras are more than just attractive fashion accessories to see and be seen with, they are the seamless blending of innovative features and stunning form."

Olympus isn’t the first to cram a 7x lens into a tiny body though: the Pentax Optio Z10 and Casio Exilim EX-V8 both have 38-266mm, 7x optical zoom lenses and measure an even inch wide. The Olympus cameras are slightly skinnier and have a slightly wider 37-260mm, 7x lens.

The 8-megapixel Olympus Stylus 840 not only downgrades its resolution but also its zoom power. It has a 5x optical zoom lens but still comes with dual image stabilization. This camera will compete with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T200 that also has 8.1 megapixels and a stabilized 5x optical zoom lens. The T200 has a larger 3.5-inch touch screen and a skinnier 0.8-inch profile, but retails for $399. The Olympus Stylus 840 downgrades its price to $249. The Olympus Stylus 1020 retails for $349 and the 1010 for $299. The Stylus 840 will be available immediately while the other two models will go on sale in March.

All three new digital cameras come with face detection, shadow adjustment technology, and an in-camera panorama stitching mode that connects three images when xD-Picture cards are used. For the first time, Olympus is offering another type of acceptable media too: microSD cards can now fit into the xD slot with an included adapter. The Olympus Stylus 1020 and 1010 have 22 scene modes that include a few underwater modes to promote the optional underwater housing. The Stylus 840 comes with 19 scene modes. All three Stylus digital cameras come with a new pre-capture movie mode, a feature made popular on Casio digital cameras a few years ago. Olympus’ pre-capture movie mode will record two seconds of footage prior to the shutter release button being pushed.

"Slim is in," according to today’s press release. The Stylus 1020 and 1010 measure just barely under an inch at 0.99 inches and the 840 comes in at 0.94 inches. Olympus is shooting for trendy consumers who want customized everything to suit their individual tastes. As Olympus puts it in the press release, "The Stylus cameras do it all in fashion with a rainbow of colors to choose from that suit your personal tastes."

All of the cameras come in the traditional black and silver colors, but the 1020 and 840 also come in blue and pink and the 1010 also comes in blue and purple. Olympus also added a glossy finish to the Stylus 1020 and illuminated buttons to all of the models.

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