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Olympus Cameras

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Digital Cameras

Olympus AZ-2 Zoom

Ilse Jurrien
Photokina report
Monday 27th, September 2004
Posted by: Ilse Jurrien

The clear lines of the four million pixel AZ-2 Zoom speak to design lovers in a language of purity. Boasting a slim metal body just 20.1mm thin, it can be comfortably kept in an inside jacket pocket. Even when in use, this camera retains its minimalist style and dimensions. Thanks to the special optical "folded" light path, it delivers 2.8x Zoom power without requiring the lens to extend out of the camera body. As well as capturing results to cherish, the AZ-2 Zoom contains innovative display hard- and software allowing photos to be shown in style directly on the camera. The large 2.5 inch LCD employs energy efficient sunshine LCD technology to present high contrast images, even when the sun is at its brightest.

Olympus Camedia AZ2 - LCD display
Underlining the minimalist design, nothing protrudes from the AZ-2 Zoom. Its distinctive, slim form is made possible by an optical "folded" light path. Unlike most cameras where the lens juts out to regulate the optical Zoom, the AZ-2 Zoom delivers 2.8x magnification wholly from lens adjustments undertaken within the camera itself. Until now, digital camera displays have mainly been used to frame and review photos. But they just didn't cut it when it came to presenting the results. The AZ-2 Zoom changes this with its revolutionary 2.5 inch and impressively clear 210,000 pixel LCD. Larger than common displays, it gives the images the space they need to come alive. Thanks to the innovative sunshine LCD technology, viewing the LCD monitor under bright conditions is easily possible. Through the application of semi-transparent layers, light is allowed to penetrate a few layers into the panel before it is reflected back. The additional "back light" lets the LCD present a more dazzling image. As a result, the AZ-2 Zoom can be used to show the photos in most outdoor locations, such as beaches and ski resorts, where conventional LCDs fail to deliver a clear picture.

Olympus AZ2 Zoom - Calendar function
Shot images are easily located using the camera's visual calendar function. This orders pictures by date or provides a monthly view with small sample icons. It therefore couldn't be more simple to present holiday photos or party snaps to friends. The camera just needs to be placed in the provided photo stand and the slideshow activated. Photographer and friends can then sit back and enjoy the show in comfort.

Olympus AZ 2 Zoom - 13 Scene programmes
Operating comfort is significantly enhanced by a new joystick button. It allows quick and easy operation of the various settings, which are clearly displayed in the LCD menu. With 13 scene programmes, the user is equipped to handle virtually any shooting situation. Since sample images for each mode are shown in the menu, the best suited is easily found. In addition to the more common modes like landscape and night scene, there are many other exciting options. For instance, the fireworks mode is perfect for capturing this otherwise very difficult motif and the beach and snow mode takes care of the tricky exposure settings in corresponding situations. Best picture quality is always assured thanks to incorporation of the TruePic TURBO image processor, which also reduces image capture time.

Olympus Camedia AZ-2 Zoom - PictBridge compatible printers
Producing prints for friends or the family album is straightforward due to the AZ-2 Zoom's support of the PictBridge standard, which enables effortless printing on compatible printers, such as the Olympus P-10 without even requiring a PC. Exuding minimalistic beauty, the sensuously slim Olympus AZ-2 Zoom attracts with a unique combination of cutting-edge photo technology and impressive presentation power. It is planned for release in November 2004.

Olympus AZ-2 Zoom - Features
• Slim body (depth of 20.1mm)
• 4.0 million pixels
• 2.8x optical Zoom (equiv. 40-112mm on 35mm camera), f2.9-4.8
• 5.5x digital Zoom (in SQ2 mode up to 11x)
• 2.5 inch sunshine LCD, 210,000 pixels
• Visual calendar function
• TruePic TURBO image processor
• 13 scene programmes
• Joystick button for easy operation
• PictBridge support
• Camera shake correction function for movie shooting

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