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Olympus Announces Third Generation Digital Camera; Faster Performance - Higher Resolution - Floppy Disk Compatible

MELVILLE, N.Y., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Olympus America Inc., Digital & Imaging Systems Group, a leading consumer digital camera manufacturer, today announced the third generation to their award-winning 300 series of digital cameras. The D-340L digital camera is the latest addition to the popular Olympus D-320L and D-300L digital camera line, winners of 32 industry awards.

The Olympus D-340L, continues the Olympus winning tradition with a resolution of 1280 x 960, and includes many new features including Tele/Wide and Sequence shooting modes. The D-340L retains the popular features of the D-320L (which remains in the product line), including its compact light-weight ergonomic design, low price, video out and SmartMedia card usage.

Olympus High-Quality Images

Olympus digital cameras are well known for their exceptionally high-quality images. Photos created with Olympus digital cameras produce image quality equivalent or better than comparable digital cameras with higher resolutions. This is achieved by the Olympus high-quality lens system, including a 5.5mm all-glass aspherical F2.8 autofocus lens; low compression ratios, and a host of other sophisticated Olympus technologies, resulting in sharp images with vibrant true-color quality and detail.

No Computer Needed

The D-340L can be used with or without a computer. It features video out for easy viewing of photos on a TV set, in addition to individual viewing on an LCD or with a print. As a result, several people can simultaneously view the photos without a computer. Images can also be transferred to video tape and sent to relatives and business associates for easy viewing. D-340L users also have the option of creating prints directly from the camera with the Olympus P-300 dye-sublimation printer via its direct connect capabilities. This greatly expands the market for digital cameras, allowing consumers that do not own a computer the ability to use a digital camera for a multitude of purposes.

Photographic Controls

The D-340L includes professional level photographic controls you might expect from an Olympus camera, including three levels of recording images (Standard Quality at 640 x 480, High Quality at 1280 x 960, and Super High Quality 1280 x 960 with low image compression for superior image quality), exposure controls, and flash features. Exposure control allows users to bracket +/- 1 step for lighting compensation. Olympus also features a sophisticated four mode flash, with "red-eye" reduction, force-fill flash, automatic low-light and back-light mode, and force-off to accommodate most all lighting conditions.

Ease of Use

Olympus digital cameras are easy to use and understand -- from the natural look and feel of the camera, to the obvious nature of its use. Furthermore, this camera saves files in an industry standard file format (JPEG) that virtually any image editor, word processor or desktop publishing application can use and recognize. With the addition of an optional PCMCIA or floppy disk adapter, users can download images without the use of cables. Nothing could be easier.

Digital Tele/Wide Mode

The new Digital Tele/Wide Mode adds the flexibility of a telephoto lens in a compact point and shoot camera. With the D-340L, users now can choose between the standard/wide mode for those everyday situation shots or choose the 2X telephoto mode for those shots you want to bring in a little closer. The built in 2-inch LCD display automatically activates when choosing the digital Tele/Wide Mode for through the lens composition and guaranteed results.

Macro Mode

With a new macro capability to as close as four inches, the D-340L can capture the smallest details. Users can move tightly in on small subjects -- a feature close-up photographers will appreciate.

Sequence Shooting

The D-340L incorporates high-speed D-RAM for internal operations. This architectural enhancement provides world-class shot recovery performance. For example, the D-340L performs up to 3 times faster. Additionally, the D-RAM enables a new feature -- Sequence Shooting mode. This mode allows users to shoot and capture up to 10 images in half second intervals. Similar to that of professional cameras, activation is easy. Simply hold the shutter button down and the camera does all the work. Up to 10 images are written through D-RAM (internal memory) and saved to the removable media for later review. By utilizing this new architecture, the D-340L shot recovery performance is world-class.

SmartMedia(TM) Removable Media

The Olympus D-340L utilizes 3.3 volt SmartMedia removable media (also known as SSFDC). A 4MB card is included with the camera, but additional 2MB, 4MB, and 8MB cards can be used so there is no restriction on the number of photos that can be captured. The included Olympus 4MB SmartMedia card can be reused thousands of times as images can be erased -- and users can go back at any time and shoot some more.
 D-340L Recording 4MB 8MB
 Mode # of Images # of Images
 Standard 60 Images 120 Images
 (640 x 480) (640 x 480)
 High Quality 18 Images 36 Images
 (1280 x 960) (1280 x 960)
 Super High Quality 9 Images 18 Images
 (1280 x 960) (1280 x 960)
 Available: Standard Option


Floppy Disk Compatible

Images on Olympus SmartMedia memory cards can be directly transferred to any Windows 95 computer using the optional Olympus FlashPath 3.5-inch floppy disk adapter. The floppy disk adapter allows users to take images directly from their camera to most any computer using common 3.5-inch floppy disk drives. Once the included 4MB memory card is placed in the adapter, think of it as a 4MB diskette.

Panorama Stitching

Olympus brand SmartMedia cards provide added benefits compared to other SmartMedia cards, as they are pre-formatted for immediate use and they include panorama stitching guides. Panorama stitching allows multiple images to be joined together for impressive panoramic views of such difficult to capture subjects as the Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge; or for interior home photos, that even the widest angle lens can't capture.

Ergonomic Design

The D-340L is designed by Olympus, a camera company that understands and excels in camera ergonomics. Beautifully designed with the consumer in mind, the camera is light weight at 9 ounces, and very compact with dimensions of 5" x 2.6" x 1.8". The protective lens barrier slides open with one hand for ease of use, and simultaneously turns on the camera. The camera's clever design protects and blocks the viewfinder when closed, so there is no question when the camera is turned on. The D-340L also has a large 2-inch smudge-resistant LCD screen.

"Olympus has always been at the forefront of design and performance," said Bill Boles, Group Vice President, Marketing and Development. "We are constantly looking to improve and expand the user's digital camera experience. With new and exciting products and features, we feel the new D-340L will accomplish this. With its higher resolutions and faster imaging times, users will experience megapixel images at faster speeds."

The D-340L includes 4 AA Alkaline batteries, a 4 MB panorama SmartMedia card, strap, serial cable for Mac and/or PC, video connection cable for TV or VCR, Adobe(R) PhotoDeluxe(TM) image manipulation and creation software, InMedia(R) Slides & Sound(TM) multimedia presentation software, panorama image stitching software, Olympus Camera Utility Software for downloading images from the camera, Adobe PhotoShop(TM) plug-in for Mac OS, TWAIN acquire module for PC, and instruction manuals. The D-340L will be available in May with an expected street price of $799. For more information, contact Olympus America, Digital & Imaging Systems Group, Two Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY 11747-3157, 516-844-5000, 800-347-4027, or Fax: 516-844-5262 or the Olympus Web Site: http://www.olympus.com/digital.

Olympus America distributes a wide range of products for consumer, scientific, health care, commercial and industrial markets. These include 35mm, Advanced Photo System and digital cameras, Microcassette(TM) and digital voice recorders, binoculars, optical disk drives, personal photo printers, medical and industrial endoscopes, biological and metallurgical microscopes and measuring instruments, clinical analyzers, and other high technology products. Olympus America is also responsible for sales in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Adobe is a registered trademark and PhotoShop and PhotoDeluxe are trademarks of Adobe Systems Inc. InMedia is a registered trademark and Slides & Sound is a trademark of InMedia Presentations Inc. Microsoft is a registered trademark and Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corp. Pictra is a registered trademark and PictraAlbum is a trademark of Pictra Inc. SmartMedia is a trademark of Toshiba America, Inc.

Specifications subject to change without notice.

SOURCE Olympus America Inc.
 -0- 03/18/98


/NOTE TO EDITORS: Photos of the D-340L are available from Thomas Public Relations, Inc., 516-549-7575/

/CONTACT: David Veilleux, Director of Marketing, 516-844-5325, or veilld@olympus.com, or Marlene Hess, Manager, Public Relations, 516-844-5195, or mhess@olympus.com, both of Olympus America, Digital & Imaging Systems Group; or Karen Thomas of Thomas Public Relations, Inc., 516-549-7575, or kthomas@thomas-pr.com, for Olympus America/

/Web site: http://www.olympus.com/digital http://www.thomas-pr.com/

CO: Olympus America Inc. ST: New York IN: CPR SU: PDT

JA-DY -- NYW002 -- 9800 03/18/98 12:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
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