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High Performance OLYMPUS XZ-1

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Olympus announces the Olympus XZ-1, its new high-performance flagship compact digital camera. Featuring the fastest zoom lens in the compact camera class and imaging performance that approaches SLR quality, the OLYMPUS XZ-1 is scheduled to go on sale in late February 2011.

Feature Highlights
1. “i.ZUIKO DIGITAL” super-fast 4x wide-angle zoom lens — the fastest compact digital camera zoom lens throughout its zoom range, with a f1.8-2.5 open aperture range from wide angle to telephoto. This is the first Olympus compact digital camera lens to sport the legendary “Zuiko” brand – a mark of superior imaging performance.

2. TruePic V image processing engine — part of the image processor series as used in the professional Olympus E-5 SLR camera, and in the critically acclaimed PEN mirrorless camera range. Optimises image reproduction with high-resolution, rich colours and outstanding noise reduction. Six Art Filters provide the user with exciting creative options

3. Brilliant 610,000 pixel OLED screen

4. Front-of-camera control ring and dual-function rear control dial for quick settings adjustment in manual and semi-automated exposure modes

5. PEN-type accessory port for added functionality with PEN system accessories

The Olympus XZ-1 is a high-performance point-and-shoot compact camera designed for the photographer who desires extremely high picture quality from a compact digital camera that easily slips into a coat pocket.

Olympus’ leading-edge digital lens technology is incorporated in design of the super-bright 28-112mm f1.8-2.5 zoom lens (35mm film format equivalent). A combination of high technology optics including Dual Aspherical, Aspherical ED, and Super-High Refractive index lenses are employed in the sophisticated large aperture lens design.

With a maximum open aperture of f1.8 at its widest angle, and a class-leading f2.5 at the full telephoto setting, outstanding lens performance for available light shooting is assured. The legendary Zuiko brand mark is an indication of high optical quality.

The XZ-1 uses an advanced technology 10-megapixel high-sensitivity 1/1.63 inch CCD sensor, which is comparatively large in the compact camera class. Olympus’ acclaimed TruePic V image processing engine which is used in the top of the range E-5 SLR and the PEN camera series provides the highest quality image processing for crystal clear pictures
with rich, vibrant colour and low picture noise.

Its full complement of manual exposure and semi-automated exposure modes will appeal to advanced photographers seeking a quality compact camera. Manual exposure and manual focusing can be easily adjusted with the special control ring around the lens and the dual-function rear control dial. Wireless flash photography using the camera’s pop-up flash with an Olympus wireless capable flash unit further enhances its capabilities.

HD video at 720P is easily captured with a single press of the dedicated movie record button. Novice photographers desiring a slim high-performance compact digital camera will appreciate the convenient iAUTO (intelligent automatic) shooting mode that automatically evaluates the scene type and cleverly applies optimised picture taking settings for the best picture result. A further 18 pre-programmed Scene Modes, and a built-in Live Guide provides intuitive camera adjustment control on-screen as well as photo taking tips, to make taking great pictures easy.

Superb High Definition movie recording requires just a convenient push of the dedicated movie record button located at its rear. Creative photographers of all abilities can enjoy instant special effects photography with the XZ-1’s six built-in Art Filters, which includes the cool Dramatic Tone filter effect.

The XZ-1’s PEN-style accessory port accepts a range of established PEN series accessories such as an external stereo microphone adapter kit (SEMA-1) and the super-high performance Electronic Viewfinder VF-2 to enhance the camera’s functionality.

Small external flash units such as the FL-14 and FL-36R can also be attached for greater flash illumination.
Bridging the gap between compact cameras and new generation PEN system cameras, the OLYMPUS XZ-1 offers a unique combination of near SLR picture quality and compact camera convenience that will satisfy the point-and-shoot camera needs of discerning photographers.

Other Feature Highlights
● Six Art Filters – Pop Art, Soft Focus, Grainy Film, Pinhole, Diorama, Dramatic Tone
● AF illuminator for accurate low-light focusing
● Dual-IS combining CCD-shift image stabilisation and high ISO sensitivity
● Multi-motion function for stabilising the image during movie shooting while walking
● Dedicated movie button for instant start of HD movie recording (M-JPEG AVI 1280 x 720, 30 fps)
● RAW format shooting capability
● PEN-style accessory port for connecting an accessory such as the EVF, external stereo microphones
● Multi-aspect function providing selection of four aspect ratios including the “square picture (6:6)”
● HDMI terminal for high-quality reproduction of both still images and movies on a TV screen
● Highly precise 324-area metering system
● Tracking AF for keeping a moving subject in focus
● Bulb shooting capability (max. 8 min.)
● Mechanical ND filter built in

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