Olympus America Inc. on Monday introduced the Evolt E-500 digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera and several new lenses for its digital SLR line.
The Evolt E-500 will be available in October packaged with a 14-45mm lens for US$799 or the 14-45mm lens and a 40-150mm zoom lens for $899. The 8-megapixel digital SLR features a 2.5-inch LCD and compatibility with Olympus’ Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses. The prices include USB and video cable, battery and charger, shoulder strap, software and documentation.
It touts a 64MB image buffer, which enables the E-500 to grab up to 4 TIFF or RAW images at 2.5 frames per second, and an unlimited burst mode with HQ JPEG images and “extreme speed” Compact Flash cards. The E-500 also supports 32-bit file formatting, so you can add 2GB or larger CF cards. In addition the CF slot, the camera has a second slot for xD media.
The E-500 uses Olympus TruePic Turbo Image Processor, which the company claims helps eliminate jaggies, purple fringing, moiré patterns and other undesirable artifacts.
The camera measures 5.09 x 3.72 x 2.59 inches and weighs 15.3 ounces. Included with the camera is a Lithium Ion battery and AC charger. It connects to a Mac or PC using USB, and included cable also lets you view the images on a television.
15 pre-programmed scene modes optimize the camera’s settings for night scenes, fireworks, sunsets, beach and snow and more; there are “Basic” shooting modes like Landscape, Portrait and Action/Sports mode; “Creative” modes that let you set aperture and shutter priority, or go completely manual. You can also set custom white balance, exposure compensation ISO, flash mode and more.
The new Zuiko Digital 35mm f3.5 1:1 macro lens, designed for taking close-up pictures as near as 5.8 inches away from the camera. The lens was specifically designed for digital cameras, according to Olympus — light strikes the camera’s imager directly, even at the edges. The $229.99 lens will ship in October. A hallmark of the Zuiko lenses is their ability to be firmware-updated to take advantage of future performance improvements.
Olympus also announced prices and delivery dates for its Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm f2.0 lens and the Zuiko Digital ED 90-250mm f2.8 lens. The lenses are coming in October and November respectively, for $2,499.99 and $5999.99.
Olympus claims the Zuiko Digital ED 35-100mm f.20 will be the first lens in the world to feature an aperture of f2.0 over the entire zoom range. It uses a combination of ED and Super ED glass elements. The Zuiko Digital ED 90-250mm f2.8 features an aperture of f2.8 over its entire focal length — ideal for spots and nature photography, said the manufacturer. It uses ED glass lenses. Both lenses feature dust and splash-proof designs and separate zoom and focus rings.
The new Zuiko Digital lenses work with all Olympus E-System digital SLR cameras.