November 29, 2004 — Today, Olympus announced the 5-megapixel Stylus 500, also called the µ Digital 500 in the United Kingdom. The compact digital camera’s most visible feature is the 2.5-inch LCD screen that takes up almost the entire back side of the Stylus 500. Like the Stylus Verve, the 500 is composed of a weatherproof metal body and retracting 3x optical zoom lens with a built-in lens barrier. However, this new model differs from the Verve in its looks. The Olympus Stylus 500 is composed of clean, straight lines on a flat surface; the camera measures a box-like 3.9 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches.
The 35-105mm 3x optical zoom lens can focus as close as 7 centimeters in Super Macro mode. The Stylus 500’s TruePic Turbo image processor captures pictures that can print 11 x 14 inches in high resolution. The large 2.5" LCD screen, composed of 215,000 pixels makes the Olympus Stylus 500 a portable photo album.
With 23 shooting modes, the Olympus Stylus 500 now boasts two underwater shooting modes and two Shoot & Select modes. The latter modes take a series of frames and allow the user to choose the best shot from the bunch and delete the rest. Perhaps all digital cameras can do this, but the Stylus 500 comes with a specified mode for it. Another interesting addition to the scene modes is the Behind Glass mode, made for taking pictures through windows or glass cabinets holding art and such. The new camera has an Album function, similar to the built-in albums on Kodak EasyShare cameras. The function organizes photos into groups and orders them to the user’s fancy.
The Stylus 500 will be available in January 2005 for a retail price of $399.99. The camera will come with a 32MB xD-Picture card, a wrist strap, a USB cable, an A/V cable, a Li-Ion battery and charger, instruction manuals and editing software.