Olympus is finding new ways to help you take pictures, even in low light.
Two new digital cameras announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in the US, the C-2040 and C-3040, add a large f1.8 aperture to the zoom lens for taking pictures even when light is poor.
"No other digital camera has this superbright f1.8 lens," says Sally Smith Clemens, an Olympus spokesperson. "It not only makes it easier to shoot in low light without a flash, but it nearly doubles the distance supported by the built-in Flash."
Available this spring for around £500 and £700, the 2.1-megapixel C-2040 and 3.3-megapixel C-3040 both feature a 3X zoom lens and menu options previously available only in high-end Olympus cameras. Both cameras also ship with an 8MB SmartMedia card.
If the image itself just isn't enough for you, try adding a voice annotation, using Olympus's new digital voice recorders with removable SmartMedia cards.
Available in March, the DS-2000 digital voice recorder offers up to 22 hours of recording time on a 64MB SmartMedia card. The DS-3000, due in February, also bundles ViaVoice transcription software and is designed for the medical and legal markets.
Professionals could take photos on a camera with a SmartMedia card and then put the card in the recorder to add annotations or notes to the image, Clemens says.
Although predominantly designed for professionals, the digital voice recorders could prove useful to anyone who needs to annotate images.
Besides new cameras and recorders, Olympus also expanded its Eye-Trek Face Mounted Display line at CES, with two new models.
The Eye-Trek devices are personal video goggles that project a widescreen image on lenses in front of your eyes, with earphones for sound. When you hook Eye-Trek up to a video player or a game console, you can use it to watch DVD movies, VHS tapes, and television, or to play video games, without disturbing anyone around you.
"For $799 (around £575), the new FMD-250W simulates a 52-inch widescreen [display] when you have them on," Clemens says. "This model is also designed to plug directly into the new Panasonic DVD-LV40 portable DVD player."
Also announced at CES, the £350 DVD-LV40 doesn't come with a monitor, Clemens says, to bring down the cost. Panasonic offers a similar model with an LCD display, the DVD-LV60, for £650, still far less than the cost of the DVD-LV40 and an Eye-Trek.
And if £575 isn't high-end enough for you, Olympus has another model coming soon: The FMD-700 will sell exclusively on the company's Web site for around £900.
"The FMD-700 gives you the equivalent of a 720,000-pixel image," Clemens says. "It also has a VGA monitor connector so that you can watch DVDs off a laptop or look at secure documents in private."
You can also hook it to a Sony PlayStation, she adds.
Olympus recommends you wear the Eye-Trek, which projects a large image only inches from your eyes, for only two hours at a time. Considering what that amount of time in front of a 15-inch monitor at a two-foot range does, two hours of Eye-Trek time may still leave you a little bleary-eyed.