Olympus debuts modular digital photo system

Olympus has introduced its Total Imaging Solution, which enables photographers to shoot, store and print digital photos without requiring a computer connection. The first iteration of the system, which will ship in January, includes an IR-500 4-megapixel camera, a 40GB S-HD-100 portable hard drive and a P-S100 dye-sublimation photo printer. Olympus noted that a portable DVD burner will also ship at a future date, but no specific information is currently available.

The IR-500's main feature is a 360-degree rotating color LCD display that enables users to snap shots from different angles. The camera also offers 2.8X optical and 30X total zoom, an f2.9-f4.8 aperture range in the lens, 19 scene modes and the ability to shoot video at 640 x 480, 320 x 240 or 160 x 120 resolution. It uses xD-Picture Card Media -- a 16MB card is bundled with it -- and includes the ability to sort images into up to 12 albums with a capacity of 100 pictures each. Pricing is US$499 and Mac OS X v10.2 is required.

While the IR-500 can connect to your Mac via its USB 2.0 cable, the idea behind the Total Imaging Solution is to use it with the $299.99 S-HD-100 hard drive and $199.99 P-S100 portable printer. The former also offers USB 2.0 connectivity as well as a file management function that only downloads new images when connected to the IR-500 or any other compatible camera. The latter can produce a 4 x 6-inch print in approximately 84 seconds and offers a 50-sheet photo paper capacity, as well as PictBridge technology, which enables any PictBridge-compatible camera to connect to its USB 2.0 port.

Olympus' new portable hard drive and printer can also connect to a Mac when necessary. Product pages were not available, however, as MacCentral posted this article.

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