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January 5, 2005*, **Las Vegas* � Olympus announced the latest in their line of digital cameras today: the Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom. This new camera aims to span the gray area between beginner and intermediate digital cameras.
�Like other Olympus C-Series digital cameras, the C-5500 Sport Zoom combines a high degree of manual control with automatic easy-to-use functions,� said Glenn Schwartz, product manager for Olympus Imaging America, Inc. �The Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom makes powerful digital photography accessible to the everyday user.�
The 5.1-megapixel C-5500 provides a fully automatic mode for beginning users. More advanced users can engage the Manual, Program Auto, Shutter speed-Priority or Aperture-Priority settings. This Olympus is not only made to do more, but to please more of the masses. An Anti-Shake function satisfies users of the C-5500�s movie mode. A Calendar function satisfies organizationally impaired users. The Burst mode � with its 2.7 frames a second � satisfies the sports or action photographer.
At just 8.6 ounces, the Olympus C-5500 houses a 5x optical zoom lens that is equivalent to 38-190mm in 35mm format. This combines with the 4x digital zoom for a total of 20x zoom. There is also a Super Macro mode that can focus as close as 0.8 inches. This model offers both automatic and manual focus options, which is surprising for a camera that retails for $349.99. The camera is light, but not as compact as it sounds. It measures 4.9 x 3.3 x 3.9 inches.
The Olympus C-5500 has 15 scene modes and a movie mode that captures clips at 320 x 240 resolution at a rate of 30 frames per second. It has several white balance modes that can be fine-tuned; however, it does not include a truly manual white balance setting.
A TruePic Turbo image processor houses 5.3 total and 5.1 effective megapixels. The C-5500 can save photographs as JPEG or TIFF files. The camera has a 2-inch LCD screen with 115,000 pixels. A real-time histogram function displays lighting information over the image being viewed -- but only when viewed from the LCD screen, of course. There is a real-image optical viewfinder, but it is not as accurate in its field of view as the LCD screen. The Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom will be available in February 2005.