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Olympus announces three new Zuiko lenses and more | Digital Camera Resource Page News

Olympus announces three new Zuiko lenses and more

Date posted: Monday, September 27, 2004

Along with the EVOLT E-300 come several related accessories. These include an external flash, three lenses, and a high capacity xD card. Here's the summary:

Lenses (no prices available yet)

  • F4.0, 7 - 14 mm zoom; 114 degree angle-of-view; ships in early 2005
  • F3.5 - F5.6, 14 - 45 mm zoom; same as the one included with the EVOLT
  • F3.5 - F4.5, 40 - 150 mm zoom

FL-36 flash

  • Works with E-series cameras plus Olympus' fixed-lens cameras with a hot shoe
  • AF illuminator
  • Built-in wide-angle diffuser panel
  • Uses two AA batteries
  • Ships in November for $250

1GB xD card

  • Ships in early 2005
  • Price not available




Latest "Designed for Digital" Lens Brings Even More Versatility to Dynamic Suite Of E-System Lenses

Melville, New York, Sept 27, 2004 - Olympus America Inc. today introduced the new Zuiko ED 7-14mm f4.0 zoom lens, part of its growing family of interchangeable lenses for the Olympus E-System. This latest addition is an ultra-wide angle zoom lens that offers a wide focal length of 7mm (14mm equivalent in 35mm photography) in a 2x optical zoom for professional photographers. The Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f4.0 follows the Zuiko Digital 11-22mm f2.8-3.5 already on the market and adds an even wider zoom to the Zuiko Digital Specific™ Lens Family. As with all lens components of the E-System, the 7-14mm lens is built on the new Four Thirds System standard.

"With the introduction of the 7-14 mm Zuiko Digital Lens, Olympus shows its commitment to expanding the range of the Olympus E-System to provide professional photographers with a total digital solution for all of their individual photographic requirements," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Olympus America Inc. "The Zuiko Digital 7-14mm zoom delivers a unique ultra-wide capability revealing the promise of the E-System and Four Thirds design."

Due out in the first quarter of 2005, the 7-14mm lens offers a 114-degree angle of view, one of the widest in the world for "100% digital specific" zoom lenses. The lens enables extraordinary, unique expression for both advanced amateur and professional photographers with the exaggerated perspective and subject depth that it brings to compositions. This is a new generation in ultra-wide angle zoom lenses that takes full advantage of the dynamism, resolution, brightness and close-up potential of the Four Thirds System standard. The dedicated digital design of the lens ensures excellent quality even at image periphery.


New 14-45mm and 40-150 mm Zuiko Digital Specific™ Zoom Lenses Offer Uncompromising "Digital From The Ground Up" Quality at a Price Consumers Can Afford

Melville, New York, September 27, 2004 – Olympus America Inc. today enhanced the E-System, the world's first 100% all-digital interchangeable lens SLR system, with the introduction of two new Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses: the 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm f3.5-4.5 Digital Zoom Interchangeable Lenses. These new consumer lenses will further expand the power of the E-System by delivering higher resolutions and superior image quality for consumers who appreciate versatility and affordability.

According to John Knaur, senior marketing manager at Olympus America: "Both the 14-45mm and 40-150mm are compact, lightweight digital zoom lenses that cover the zoom range most frequently used in photography. Both feature faithful photographic performance with sharpness even at the edges of the image. With the introduction of the new Zuiko Digital Specific 14-45mm and the 40-150 mm Lenses, as with the entire E-System, we are furthering our commitment to consumers by providing the most advanced as well as cost effective 100 percent digital system on the market today."

Developed specifically for digital capture with smart technology, Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses deliver edge-to-edge sharpness with reduced distortion and shading. The lenses are designed to perfectly match the imager so light strikes the sensor directly, ensuring rich, accurate colors, sharp contrasts and bright images even at the edges.

The Zuiko Digital 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 and the Zuiko Digital 40-150 mm f3.5-4.5 Zoom Lenses are interchangeable lenses specifically created for the Olympus E-System and represent the latest additions to the Zuiko Digital Specific Lens Family. Both the 14-45mm and the 40-150mm are standard digital zoom lenses that complement each other and can be used in conjunction to cover a wide range of focal lengths and zoom ranges. In addition, both of these "designed for digital" lenses offer superb quality suitable for everyday use by advanced photographers as well as by newcomers to digital SLR products.

The Zuiko Digital 14-45mm f3.5 – 5.6 Lens (equivalent to 28mm – 90mm in 35mm photography) now comes standard with Olympus' newest consumer digital camera, the EVOLT E-300, also announced today. Its 3.2x zoom covers the zoom range most frequently used in everyday photography, and with 12 elements in 10 groups and a weight of just 9.98 oz/285g (approx.) it offers users an extremely dynamic, portable everyday-use zoom.
A newly developed 'floating' mechanism is incorporated into the focusing system to ensure exceptionally smooth action across the entire focusing range. Close-ups as near as 15 in/38cm are possible throughout the zoom range. The lens also boasts a new multi-coating process, which minimizes ghosting and flaring as well as a reliable metal lens mount, which is designed for ruggedness that ensures confidence in any situation.

The Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f3.5 – 4.5 (equivalent to 80-300mm in 35mm photography) features a 3.8x zoom capability that provides everything from mid-range zoom power to easy-to-use full-fledged zoom. With 13 elements in 10 groups and a weight of just 15.75 oz/450g (approx), the Zuiko Digital 40-150mm Lens is meant to go anywhere. In addition, the lens employs a f3.5-4.5 brightness making it ideal for achieving effects like background blurring and perspective compression, suitable for everything from portraits to sports scenes. As with the 14-45mm lens, the 40-150mm is also reinforced by a new multi-coating process as well as a new reliable metal lens mount.

The Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses are based on the Four Thirds System, an open standard for digital SLR cameras and interchangeable lens systems that utilize a 4/3-type image sensor. The Four Thirds System is designed to achieve an optimal balance between image quality, camera and lens size, and system expandability. The system maximizes the performance of image sensors and lenses with a 100% digital-from-the-ground-up design. Olympus introduced the E-1 professional Digital SLR in October 2003, followed by the introduction of several Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses. Visit www.olympusamerica.com/evolt for more information.


Latest Electronic Flash Rounds Out "Designed For Digital" Product Offerings and Provides Impressive and Cost-Effective Performance

Melville, New York, Sept 27, 2004 – Olympus America Inc. today introduced the FL-36 Electronic Flash, an external flash unit that joins the existing members of the Olympus electronic flash family. Designed specifically for use with digital cameras, the FL-36 rounds out the comprehensive lineup of "designed for digital" accessories for the E-System Digital SLR cameras and other prosumer models from Olympus. The FL-36 flash offers the robust and full-featured functionality of the larger FL-50 combined with cost effectiveness.

" The FL-36 provides photographers with an additional option from the existing suite of electronic flashes Olympus offers for our E-System Digital SLR cameras and prosumer models like the C-8080 Wide Zoom and C-5060," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Olympus America. "As a result of its completely digital framework, the FL-36 achieves a higher level of exposure accuracy than flash units designed for film based cameras."

The FL-36 Electronic Flash is specifically designed for digital with an accurate 1/8 step illumination control to provide the precision required by digital cameras, while minimizing illumination reduction. The built-in wide-angle diffuser panel will allow the flash to provide even illumination with wide angle lenses like the new Zuiko Digital 14mm-45mm zoom. The inclusion of a lockable bounce and swivel mechanism offers a variety of bounce photography options including left-right, as well as top-bottom in addition to a compact zoom head to accommodate lenses from wide angle to telephoto.

The FL-36 also features a newly designed energy circuit that improves recharge rates and enables the flash to operate on just two AA batteries or one CR-3 Volt lithium. In addition, the FL-36 incorporates an ultra-precision mounting technology communicating with the E-1 and new EVOLT E-300 for control. The FL-36 is compact, lightweight and extremely portable, and is approximately 25% shorter and 35% lighter than the larger FL-50 flash, a significant space and weight savings.


The FL-36 External Flash will be available in November 2004.

U.S. Pricing:

FL-36 External Flash MSRP: $249.99


"Miniature Powerhouse" Significantly Increases Storage Capacity of Digital Data for Greater Ease of Use

Melville, New York, September 27, 2004 – Olympus America Inc. today announced the development of a One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card. As one of the world's smallest storage media for digital cameras and digital voice recorders, the xD-Picture Card is now capable of holding an entire gigabyte of digital images, data, audio and video. As a result, this ultra-compact card allows photographers to capture a greater number of photographic scenes and subjects, and at higher resolution settings, before the card is full and images must be downloaded or the card changed.

"Olympus not only concentrates on building digital cameras that deliver the highest level of image quality combined with the sleekest designs on the market today, but we also constantly look to integrate the most cutting edge technologies," said Chip Pryor, Memory Products Business Manager, Olympus America Inc. "The One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card is a prime example of our ongoing commitment to raise the bar and contribute to the advancement of the digital camera industry by creating a better digital experience for all consumers."

Designed to Do More

By offering a range of storage capabilities, the One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card guarantees that digital camera users' storage requirements will be fulfilled. Whether on a challenging photo-shoot assignment or on that once-in-a-lifetime backpacking adventure far from civilization when having the most storage is a must, professionals and other active photographers will appreciate the convenience and freedom the new one gigabyte card provides.

For example, used with the 8.0-megapixel Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom, the one gigabyte removable media can save up to 43 TIFF files or about 660 HQ images – an incredible amount of image files. The new high-capacity card also supports Olympus exclusive features such as Panorama photography. Olympus xD-Picture Cards are the only media cards on the market that enable the Panorama function on Olympus digital cameras, whereby up to 10 images can be stitched together to create incredible vistas.

Designed for Maximum Speed, Portability and Compatibility

In addition to the giant leap in storage capacity, the one-gigabyte card offers all the features for which the xD-Picture Card is renowned. They include a diminutive size of 20mm x 25mm x 1.7mm, a weight of only 2 grams, fast read/write speeds, low power consumption, and a durable multi-level cell (MLC) design.

Designed for Greater Movie Length

Approximately 50 minutes of footage in amazing DVD quality (MPEG4 format) may be recorded when using the Olympus C-770 Ultra Zoom with the new card. In upcoming digital cameras from Olympus where the length of QuickTime Movie recording is only limited by the capacity of the card itself, the One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card will enable incredibly long video to be recorded – making the digital camera a powerful tool for creating digital movies.

Designed to Adapt

The One Gigabyte xD-Picture Card can also be used with an assortment of USB card reader/writers, such as the MAUSB-10, MAUSB-100 and the new MAUSB-300 – allowing the card to be read by any computer's USB port without the use of a camera. When an xD-Picture Card is inserted into any of these reader/writers, any document can be downloaded to the card, transforming it into a portable hard drive for easy transfer of images, data, and voice files from one computer to the next.

To enhance flexibility and convenience even further, the card can work with adapters such as the MAPC-10 PCMCIA Adapter for PC-Card interfaces, and MACF-10 Compact Flash Adapter for use with all CF devices.


The 1GB Olympus xD-Picture Card is planned for release in the first quarter of 2005. The full range of Olympus xD-Picture Cards includes 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB and 512MB capacity versions.

U.S. Pricing

US and Canadian pricing to be determined.