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Olympus SH-50 iHS touts 5-axis video stabilization in a compact, $300 camera (update: hands-on pics)


Olympus helped conquer shakycam videos first in the OM-D, but not everyone has $1,300 to throw at a high-end mirrorless body. It's clearly aware of our plight in launching the SH-50 iHS at CES. Despite the 16-megapixel camera's PEN-like looks, it sits squarely in the point-and-shoot category with a matching $300 price, even while it borrows the OM-D's 5-axis stabilization to fight unwanted jolts while making movies. We'll have to make do with 3-axis work on our still photos, although we won't mind as much when there's full-resolution photo capture in mid-video, 1080i video at 60FPS and 720p slow-motion video at 120FPS. A 24X, 25-600mm equivalent lens certainly doesn't hurt, either. Aspiring video producers will only have to wait until the SH-50's March availability to cut out the jitter.

Gallery: Olympus SH-50 | 9 Photos

Update: We got a chance to see the SH-50 in person, so check out our hands-on photos in the gallery below.

Gallery: Olympus SH-50 iHS hands-on | 9 Photos

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Affordable, High-End Point-and-Shoot's Outstanding Features Include Advanced Image Stabilization Technologies Similar to the Award-Winning Olympus OM-D E-M5

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 7, 2013 – Shooting video with a point-and-shoot camera or a mobile phone can sometimes be a hit-or-miss experience, with jerky results that could cause motion sickness. To provide a better experience, Olympus has created the STYLUS SH-50, a new premium, compact long zoom camera that's equipped with 5-Axis Video Stabilization, 3-Axis Image Stabilization for stills and Full 1080p HD Video. A first for point-and-shoot cameras, its 24x optical zoom lens (25-600mm equivalent)* combines with an advanced image stabilization mechanism, originally developed for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 flagship interchangeable lens camera, to compensate for image blur in all situations regardless of the scene. The result is brilliant still images and beautiful movies, even while using zoom.

The STYLUS SH-50 iHS is a true hybrid optimized for anyone looking to record virtually blur-free memories of any important milestone frozen in time or full of vivid motion. The SH-50 iHS is equipped with an Advanced Movie mode for powerful video recording functions including Photo-In-Movie that captures a full 16-megapixel still image while simultaneously shooting Full HD movies and High Speed Movies for 120 frame per second shooting in 720p HD and 240 frames per second in HVGA. The STYLUS SH-50 iHS includes 60i Movie--60 frames per second HD recording--for smoother images of moving subjects.

Its 16-megapixel Backlit CMOS sensor combines with the TruePic™ VI image processor to command an assortment of Olympus's advanced iHS (Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed) technologies to capture beautiful, sharp images of subjects even in challenging low-light situations and backlit scenes. The 3-axis Photo Image Stabilization mechanically compensates for rotary shift as well as horizontal and vertical angular shift to further enhance still images and eliminate blur.

An easy-to-use, touch-sensitive, 3.0-inch high resolution LCD screen is powered by the touch of a finger to focus on subjects and activate the shutter. Live Guide, a graphic user interface that provides simple assistance to control settings to capture the perfect image, adjusts color and tone at the swipe of a finger. Advanced photographers will appreciate onboard fully manual controls that customize settings to their comfort and shooting style.

Advanced Shadow Adjustment Technology adjusts dark areas within an image shot under backlit conditions so that a subject's face can be revealed even under strong lighting, and Hand-Held Starlight mode, which helps users at night by capturing multiple images and stitching them together into a single, crisp photo, can now be used with a flash. With the flash on, the camera automatically merges an image of the subject illuminated with the flash in the foreground with a separate image of the background nightscape, to produce a single, clear night photo. In low-light, HDR Backlight Adjustment takes a collage of images at various exposure levels and blends them into one perfectly exposed photo. Eleven Magic Filters add a range of spectacular effects to both stills and video, and Beauty Mode with Make-up lets users easily apply everything from eyeliner to eye shadow and blush to subjects.

Users can easily share their images on a big-screen HDTV in high definition using an optional HDMI cable or on their social networks using the Olympus Image Share smartphone application (via optional Toshiba FlashAir™ SDHC card or optional Eye-Fi Card).

* 35mm equivalent

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus STYLUS SH-50 will be available in March at an estimated street price of $299.99 (Available in Black and White)

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