Olympus C-7070 Wide Zoom

The new C-7070 Wide Zoom from Olympus features a wide-angle lens on a magnesium body and a 7.1-megapixel CCD. With its 4x optical zoom wide-angle lens (equivalent to 27 to 110mm, f2.8 -- f.8.0), the C-7070 Wide Zoom enables photographers to capture more of their field of view. For nature photographers, the C-7070 features a Super Macro mode that enables shooting from 1.18 inches. The camera's 1.8-inch Semi-Transmissive swivel LCD makes it easy to take pictures at any angle -- above the head, from the side, or with the camera placed on the ground. The LCD can even be swiveled 180° for taking self-portraits. And while conventional LCD screens appear dim against bright light, the Semi-Transmissive LCD technology is said to provide excellent high-contrast visibility in any light condition. The camera body is constructed of magnesium alloy with a rubberized. The camera is also compact, measuring 4.9" (W) x 3.3" (H) x 3.9" (D) and weighs 15.3 ounces.

The C-7070 Wide Zoom has two autofocus systems. A Predictive AF mode enables users to shoot subjects moving towards them via an external AF sensor that detects the distance the subject has moved and predicts its location at the moment of shutter release. An AF Target Selection function enables users to choose from 143 AF target zones to focus on virtually any area of their composition without reframing the shot. The C-7070 Wide Zoom also features a manual focusing mode, giving users full control over the accuracy of their focal range.

The camera's Direct Histogram function provides real-time access to exposure information so users can confirm exposure before snapping the picture. A histogram displayed on the LCD makes detection of over- and under-exposed areas simple with red and blue highlighting so users can make adjustments. The inclusion of a speaker and microphone in the camera's body enables users to narrate images with personalized audio captions. In Movie Mode, the C-7070 Wide Zoom can record QuickTime® television-quality movies of any length at 20 frames-per-second, limited only by the storage capacity of the memory card in the camera.

The camera accepts two types of memory media -- the xD-Picture Card™ or Compact Flash™ Type I or II including microdrives -- and can hold both media cards simultaneously for flexible storage options.

For added versatility, photographers can select from three new conversion lenses specially designed to extend the focal range of the C-7070 Wide Zoom. The lenses feature a bayonet mount for quick and easy attachment to the CLA-7 conversion lens adapter, which screws directly into the body of the camera. The WCON-17c is a 0.7x wide-angle converter lens that reduces the focal length by a factor of 0.7x (35mm conversion of 19mm) when fitted to the C-7070 Wide Zoom, providing greater wide-angle coverage without altering the aperture setting.

The TCON-17C, a 1.7x teleconverter lens, increases the focal length by a factor of 1.7x (35mm conversion of 187mm), and the TCON-30C increases the focal length by a factor of 3.0x (35mm conversion of 330).

With the new PT-027 Underwater Housing a digital photographer can take the C-7070 Wide Zoom 130 feet below the surface for capturing vivid wide-angle images of the underwater landscape. The stylish and durable housing is for anyone looking to pursue underwater digital photography when diving, snorkeling or surfing, or for other activities that require ultimate protection from the elements such as skiing, fishing, sailing, as well as certain industrial situations. Underwater housings for the accessory lenses and flashes are also available.

The C-7070 Wide Zoom will be available in February 2005. It includes an Auto-Connect USB cable, Audio/Video Out cable, carrying strap, lens cap with retainer cord, Li-Ion rechargeable battery and charger, a 32MB xD-Picture Card™, OLYMPUS Master Software, user manual and Quick Start guide. Estimated street price is $699.00.