Olympus Announces a New Nighttime Shooter, the SH-2

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Succeeding last year's SH-1, the new Olympus SH-2 is a pint-sized, Pen-themed point-and-shoot camera featuring a long 24x zoom lens and plentiful features for recording stills and movies with style. This newest version sees a host of improvements revolving around heightened image quality, including the ability to shoot in Olympus's raw file format, as well as a handful of low-light-dedicated shooting modes for sharper, clearer imagery in difficult lighting conditions. These new features also come in addition to an already impressive feature set: built-in Wi-Fi, 11.5 fps shooting, five-axis in-camera image stabilization, and full HD video recording.

Even while maintaining a sleek, slender form factor, measuring just 1.7" thick, the SH-2 contains a truly expansive 24x zoom lens, which provides a 25-600mm equivalent focal-length range to cover wide-angle to telephoto perspectives. A macro shooting mode lets you home in on subjects as close as 1.2' away at the telephoto end, for creative shallow-depth-of-field imagery of close-up subjects. Five-axis in-camera image stabilization complements this reach by minimizing the appearance of yaw, pitch, and roll, as well as up/down and left/right types of camera shake. Stabilization is available for both still shooting and video recording, and greatly enhances the ability to photograph handheld in trying lighting conditions. Also helping to achieve sharp imagery, the SH-2 features the FAST AF system to achieve accurate focus quickly in a variety of lighting conditions.

Central to the imaging capabilities is the 16MP BSI (back side illuminated) CMOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor, which are crucial in their ability to output raw image files for greater editing flexibility during post production. The BSI design enables sensitivity to ISO 6400 along with enhanced clarity and reduced noise when photographing in low light, which pairs with five dedicated Nightscape Modes: Night + Portrait, Hand-Held Starlight, Fireworks, Night Scene and, new to the SH-series, Live Composite. Live Composite is a unique multiple-exposure mode that composites sequentially recorded shots into a single frame in order to avoid over-exposed elements while still gaining the overall exposure duration needed for photographing in low lighting. This is particularly useful for shooting things like star trails or fireworks, and the progress of how the exposure builds up can be viewed on the rear 3.0" 460k-dot touchscreen LCD, to check the overall brightness of the image and decide when to finish. In addition to these stills-only modes, a new Nightscape Movie mode can also be used to maintain steady footage and ample exposure when shooting handheld, and even when shooting at the long end of the zoom range.

Beyond recording movies solely at nighttime, standard full HD 1080p/60 is supported, along with 120 fps and 240 fps high-speed shooting modes for slow-motion playback. Full-resolution stills, in both JPEG and raw, can be taken while filming, and a new Time Lapse Movie mode combines sequentially recorded stills (up to 1/8-second in normal and 4 seconds per exposure in Night Scene mode) into a movie for in-camera time-lapse production.

Further offering greater control when shooting, the SH-2 features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity that enables the use of a linked mobile device for remote camera control. Using Olympus's dedicated app, you can easily gain wireless control over releasing the camera's shutter, switching between single or continuous shooting, choosing shooting intervals for time-lapse shooting, and setting the self-timer. Built-in Wi-Fi also lets you transfer images between devices for quick, instant sharing online from your smartphone or tablet.

Like the SH-1, the SH-2 is visibly characterized by its similarity to Olympus's legacy half-frame Pen cameras; this new model is available in Black or Silver, both with an updated black leatherette wrap.

Olympus Stylus SH-2
Image Sensor 1/2.3" BSI CMOS
Image Processor TruePic VII
Effective Pixels 16MP
Aspect Ratios 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1
Still Image File Format Raw, JPEG
Storage Media SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card, 37MB internal memory
Card Slot 1x SD
Lens Type Olympus 24x Wide Optical Zoom ED
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent) 4.5-108mm (25-600mm)
Optical Zoom 24x
Aperture Range f/3.0 to f/20
Minimum Focusing Distance Wide: 3.9" / 10cm to infinity
Tele: 15.7" / 40cm to infinity
Super Macro: 1.2" / 3cm to infinity (11.9mm fixed focal length)
Digital Zoom 2x Super Resolution Zoom
4x Digital Zoom
Image Stabilization Five-axis sensor-shift type
Viewfinder Type N/A
Shutter Speed 1/4 to 1/2000 sec. (Night Scene: 4 sec.; Manual mode: 30 sec.)
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 11.5 fps for 16 frames at 16MP
2.5 fps for 200 frames at 16MP
20 fps for 60 frames at 3MP
60 fps for 60 frames at 3MP
Self-Timer 2 or 12 sec. delay, Custom: 1-30 sec. for 1-10 frames with 1-3 sec. interval
Interval Shooting 1-99 frames, 0-60 min. start timer, 10 sec. to 60 min. interval time
Exposure Modes Intelligent Auto (iAUTO), Program Auto (P), Manual (M), Art Filters (ART), Scene Modes (SCN), Nightscape Modes, Panorama, PhotoStory, Advanced Movie
ISO Sensitivity Auto, High, ISO 125-6400
Autofocus System CMOS contrast detection
Focus Modes Face Detection AF, Spot AF, AF Tracking, Selective AF area, AF Lock
Built-In Flash Yes
Flash Modes Auto, Red Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
External Flash Interface N/A
White Balance Modes Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, One Touch
Movie Recording 1920 x 1080p/60, 720p, VGA
Time-Lapse Movie: 1080p, 720p, VGA
High-Speed Movie: 1280 x 720, 120 fps; 432 x 324, 240 fps
File Format MOV (H.264)
Audio File Format Linear PCM
External Microphone Input Yes (stereo)
Headphone Jack N/A
Maximum Recording Time 1080p, 720p: 29 min or 4GB
High-Speed: Up to 20 sec.
Monitor 3.0" 460k-dot touchscreen LCD monitor
Interface USB 2.0, DC jack, AV output, HDMI Type D
Wi-Fi Built-in
Power Source LI-92B rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life 380 shots or 108 min. of video recording (CIPA)
Dimensions 4.3 x 2.5 x 1.7" / 108.8 x 63.2 x 42.4mm
Weight 9.5 oz / 271 g

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Olympus Stylus SH-2 Digital Camera (Black)

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