LEARN: Olympus Cameras Overview

Olympus Cameras:
1. Intro and Olympus History 2. Olympus Digital SLRs 3. Olympus Compact Digital 4. Olympus Photo Printers 5. Other Olympus Equipment


Olympus Resources
Olympus Camera News
Olympus Digital SLR Reviews
Olympus Stylus Camera Reviews
Digital Camera Buyer's Guide



Top Olympus Cameras:
Based on community popularity and editor's judgement

Olympus E-520 Digital SLR
Olympus E-520 Digital SLR Camera

Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Digital Camera
Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Digital Camera

Olympus E-3 digital SLR camera
Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera

Olympus SP-570 UZ Digital Camera
Olympus SP-570 UZ Digital Camera

Olympus E-420 digital SLR camera
Olympus Olympus E-420 Digital SLR Camera

Olympus FE-350 Digital Camera
Olympus FE-350 Digital Camera



Other Olympus Resources
Official Olympus History
Olympus Web site

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Olympus Cameras Overview

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by Photo-John
A Short History of Olympus Cameras
Olympus began in 1919, as a microscope manufacturer. Like other Japanese camera companies, they entered the photographic business as a lens maker. They began development in 1934 and introduced their first camera in 1936. The Semi-Olympus, had an Olympus lens mounted on a folding medium format body made by Proud. Camera production paused during World War II and resumed in 1948 with the Olympus Chrome Six I medium format camera as well as the first 35mm camera sold in Japan, the Olympus 35 I. In 1958 Olympus introduced their first 35mm camera with changeable lenses, the Ace. The Olympus Ace rangefinder had 3 available lenses, a 45mm, a 35mm, and an 80mm.

Olympus was one of the first camera companies to make truly compact cameras. In 1959 they started selling the Olympus Pen, a half-frame 35mm camera that exposed an 18x24mm section of film. The half-frame Pen cameras point to Olympus' future as a compact camera innovator. Super-compact design firsts by Olympus include the 35mm XA clamshell cameras, the weatherproof Stylus 35mm point-and-shoots, the L-Series "ZLR" all-in-one auto focus 35mm SLR zoom cameras, and even the current E-Series Four Thirds format digital SLRs.

The first of Olympus famous OM-Series 35mm SLRs was introduced in 1973. The Olympus OM-1 was the smallest and lightest 35mm SLR of its time. The camera was innovative in many other ways, including having an air-damped mirror, a smaller, lighter pentaprism unit, and a 100,000-exposure shutter mechanism. The OM-Series 35mm SLR was refined over the years. The OM-2, first sold in 1975, had the world's first TTL metering, and titanium bodies were offered in 1983, with the OM-3Ti and the OM-4Ti. Olympus OM 35mm bodies were especially popular with backpackers and mountaineers because of their light weight, compact size, and reliability in all types of conditions.

The first Olympus digital camera, the 810k-pixel Camedia C-800L, was introduced in 1996. The Olympus C-2000 Zoom, one of the first full-featured compact digital cameras on the market, became available in 1998. It led the way for many more serious Olympus compact digital cameras like the Olympus C-3030, C-5060, and C-8080. In 2003, Olympus made their compact, weatherproof Stylus / � cameras available in digital forum, with the �-10 Digital (Stylus). The same year they also started introduced the first Four Thirds System, changeable lens digital SLR, the E-1.


Olympus E-Series Digital SLR (DSLR) Cameras
Olympus has continued their tradition of compact innovative SLRs with their E-Series digital SLRs, and the Four Thirds System sensor standard. Spearheaded by Kodak and Olympus and recently joined by Panasonic, Sigma, and Leica, the Four Thirds System uses a smaller 4:3 format digital sensor. The smaller sensor makes it possible for Olympus to design smaller digital SLR bodies with powerful, yet light and compact lenses. The first Olympus E-Series body was the professional-level E-1. The 5-megapixel, weather-resistant pro digital SLR was a smaller, lighter, alternative to what Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, and Kodak offered at the time. It was also the first camera to feature a built-in dust-reduction system to keep the sensor clean. Olympus' most recent innovation is the E-330 digital SLR, the world's first digital SLR with an articulated, live LCD display. The long-awaited replacement for the E-1 pro digital SLR body should be available early in 2007.

Olympus Digital SLR Camera Reviews >>
Olympus Zuiko Digital SLR Lenses >>
All Digital SLR Reviews >>
Digital SLR Guide >>
Official Olympus E-System Web Page >>


Olympus Compact Digital Cameras
Olympus made an early commitment to digital cameras and was ahead of the game because their L-Series all-in-one 35mm zoom cameras provided a platform on which to build the first serious high-end compact digital cameras. Currently, Olympus compact digital cameras include the weatherproof Stylus Digital line, including the one-of-a-kind waterproof and shockproof Stylus 720SW; the "Design and Performance" SP cameras, for photographers who want advanced features and high performance in a compact digital camera; and the Olympus FE-Series compact digital cameras with their point-and-shoot simplicity and entry-level value.

Olympus Stylus Digital Camera Reviews >>
All Digital Camera Reviews >>
Digital Camera Buyer's Guide >>



Olympus Photo Printers
Olympus makes digital photo printers as well as digital cameras. Unlike other photo printers makers, Olympus used continuous-tone dye sublimation (dye sub) technology for smooth tones and natural colors.
Olympus Photo Printer Reviews >>


Other Olympus Camera Equipment
Olympus Zuiko Digital SLR Lenses >>
Olympus 35mm Point-and-Shoot Cameras >>
35mm SLR Review Archive >>

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