MWSF: Olympus introduces 'Stylus Digital' line

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Olympus America Inc., which is displaying its wares at this week's Macworld Expo, has announced a line "Stylus Digital" line of ultra compact, all-weather digital cameras. The first members of the new family include the 3.2 Megapixel Stylus 300 Digital and the 4.0 Megapixel Stylus 400 Digital cameras.

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The Stylus 300 Digital has a sliding lens barrier accented in silver, while the Stylus 400 Digital is accented in gold. The Stylus Digital cameras measure 3.8 inches long by 2.2 inches high by 1.3 inches wide, and weigh 5.8 ounces. Both have aluminum enclosures built to provide all-weather protection, according to Martin Lee, vice president of marketing, Olympus America.

The Stylus Digital utilizes the new xD-Picture Card memory media (the card is about the same as a postage stamp) and a miniature Li-Ion rechargeable battery. Both models ship with a 16MB xD-Picture Card

The cameras offer basic point-and-shoot functions, but for photographers who more, there's also a wide variety of settings. Creative Scene Modes provide fully automatic exposure adjustments for Portrait, Self-Portrait, Landscape-Portrait, and Sports or Action photography. The cameras have an optical viewfinder as well as a 1.5-inch color LCD display on the back of the body for composing and reviewing shots. Menu navigation controlled via the push of arrow buttons. Transferring images to the computer is done via the Auto-Connect USB (that does not require software drivers). Pics may also be viewed on a television with the video cable.

Other controls include Digital ESP multi-pattern and spot metering; auto white balance; multiple flash settings including slow sync flash; and auto bracketing and exposure compensation. The camera comes with a built-in flash that offers six settings. The cameras also capture QuickTime video.

The Stylus 300 Digital will be available in February, and the Stylus 400 Digital in April. Street prices should be US$399 and $499, respectively.

This story, "MWSF: Olympus introduces 'Stylus Digital' line" was originally published by PCWorld.

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