Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Olympus Stylus 1020 and Stylus 1010 jump to a 7x optical zoom

Olympus joins the party of 10mp 1/2.33" cameras, starting at CES 2008 with Casio and Samsung, and continued by the newly announced Sharp sensor.

Jeff Keller of DCresource was informed by Olympus that the new "standard" Stylus models are no longer weather proof! So much for having an advantage to counter the xD-memory card limitations. But there's a development there as well. The Olympus wall of stubborness is showing cracks of common sense! Read on to find out!

Meet the Olympus Stylus 1020

  • Hello 10 megapixel 1/2.33" CCD sensor! We love small pixels! The smaller the better! Okay, silliness aside, this is a rather disturbing trend: we jump from 1/2.35" to 1/2.33" in sensor-size yet the megapixels go from 8mp to 10mp! Ouch!
  • As mentioned above, Olympus has dropped the "weatherproofness" of their standard Stylus line-up. This was a defining characteristic of the digital Stylus line. No more! Now they are just like the other shiny silvers from the competition.
  • Olympus boosted the zoom ratio, from 3x in the original Stylus models, to 5x a couple of iterations ago, and now we have another jump, to 7x! The equivalent focal range is 37mm to 260mm in 35mm terms. Perhaps Olympus is approaching the "fun zoom" segment from a different angle.
  • sensor-shift (sensor anti-shake) image stabilization
  • SURPRISE! You can use microSD memory cards in this camera in addition to xD memory cards. The camera comes with an adapter that allows the use of microSD cards. Finally a sign of memory-card common-sense. Just a sign though, because the majority of digital cameras use SD/MMC memory cards, not microSD. But you can use microSD memory cards in SD slots, and other smaller devices (cellphones, tiny mp3s) are using microSDs. It's a move in the right direction, but we would have preferred SD/MMC support instead of microSD. One step at a time I guess!
  • TruePic III image processor
  • 2.7" LCD (230k) - uses HyperCrystal II technology
  • lots of scene modes,l no Av, Tv or manual exposure. Sad!
  • No optical viewfinder (as is the current trend)
  • face detection, 30fps VGA video up to a sad 10 seconds
  • uses a brand new Li-50B LiIon battery. 260 CIPA - which seems to suggest that it is stronger than the existing Li-42B.
  • Olympus Master 2 software included
  • Optional underwater housing PT-042
  • In Japan it goes on sale on February 15, for just under 40,000 yen
  • Pre-order: $350 (Amazon)

    Meet the Olympus Stylus 1010

  • Same as above, except it does not use the HyperCrystal II technology in its LCD. Is that worth an extra $50? We blog, you decide!
  • We do not know what the CIPA battery life value is for this model
  • This was not announced in Japan
  • Pre-order: $300 (Amazon)

  • Opinion is included in the Stylus 1020 segment above.

    Coverage on the web
  • Olympus press release at the Imaging Insider
  • dcresource
  • dpreview
  • imaging resource
  • UberGizmo
  • CNet Crave blog

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    On a totally unrelated random note!
    Kevin Keegan and Newcastle are trying to sign David Beckham! Yes, all these waves of shiny silvers are driving us crazy :)

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