Former chairman, six others arrested over Olympus scandal

Japanese lawmakers went on an arrest spree today, nabbing seven people who were allegedly involved in the Olympus accounting coverup.

According to the New York Times, Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former Olympus chairman and president, was among the men arrested in Tokyo today. Japanese prosecutors told the Times that Kikukawa and two other former Olympus executives, have been detained on suspicion of falsifying financial statements. Two investment bankers and two of their associates were also arrested for alleged involvement in the coverup.

Olympus' trouble started in October when the company--led by Kikukawa--fired president and CEO Michael Woodford. Following his dismissal, Woodford presented documents to the mediaRead more

Olympus releases LS-100, high-end audio recorder

The folks from Olympus Audio were camped out yesterday at Cafe Wha? in Greenwich Village for some quick press demos promoting the release of the LS-100, the company's new high-tech audio recorder that retails for $399.99.

The LS-100 is geared toward musicians, so, not surprisingly, Olympus had a musician on hand for the demos: Dia Frampton, last year's runner-up on "The Voice," gave a short performance with sister Meg for an audience of six (two journalists and four Olympus reps), as press appointments were staggered in half-hour slots.

The company also showcased the step-down model, … Read more

Olympus tunes up its top compacts with the SZ-31MR iHS, TG-820 iHS

Completely overshadowed by the announcement of its OM-D E-M5 interchangeable-lens camera, Olympus also updated a couple of its high-end point-and-shoots, the 24x SZ-30MR and Tough TG-810.

The SZ-31MR iHS retains its predecessor's compact design and 24x f3-6.9 25-600mm lens (35mm equivalent), but improves its LCD, image processors, and sensor.… Read more

Olympus brings OM series into the 21st century (hands-on)

Much as it did when launching the PEN series of Micro Four Thirds cameras, Olympus trots out another beloved film brand and updates it for the digital age. This time out, though, Olympus frames enthusiasts squarely in the scene.

When Olympus revived the venerable PEN brand with the PEN E-P1 in 2009, I suspect its product planners were a bit taken aback by how well it was received by prosumer photographers and slightly dismayed by its failure to become a blockbuster among the coveted point-and-shoot crowd.

This time around, Olympus' reincarnation of its OM film line targets those enthusiasts who've proven to be either Olympus loyalists or fans of the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) interchangeable-lens standard. And while I'm not fond of the nomenclature--the first model is the overhyphenated OM-D E-M5--Olympus certainly deserves points for style. … Read more

Tamron, Kenko Tokina boost Micro Four Thirds lens alliance

Tamron and Kenko Tokina, two third-party lens manufacturers, have thrown their weight behind the Micro Four Thirds alliance, helping Olympus and Panasonic during a major shift in the camera industry.

Olympus and Panasonic were the early entrants to a new class of interchangeable-lens cameras much more compact than traditional SLRs. They're both members of the Micro Four Thirds partnership that governs image sensors and lenses, meaning that Micro Four Thirds lenses can be used on either company's camera bodies.

The new membership, like that of third-party lensmaker Sigma before, means photographers can expect more variety for Micro Four … Read more

Olympus going even more retro with OM-D camera

Olympus looks set to debut a new compact, high-end camera model whose OM-D name capitalizes on the company's old camera brand.

Olympus teased about an "OMG" camera in recent ads, emphasizing the O and M letters, 43 Rumors reported. And it more recently trademarked OM-D, the site said, adding a February 8 launch, a $1,100 price tag, and a March date for worldwide shipping.

In the film days, Olympus' OM line was one of the majors in the SLR (single-lens reflex) world--indeed, I learned photography with my first camera, an OM-10 I used for many years. … Read more

Olympus goes fat and skinny with latest megazooms

LAS VEGAS--Whether you like your megazooms slender or with a little something to grab on to, one of Olympus' new models might make you happy.

The 16-megapixel SP-620UZ packs a 21x 25-525mm lens and a 3-inch LCD. It gets its extra weight and size from the four AA-size batteries it uses for power. It's pretty much the same camera as 2011's 610UZ, but with a wider lens and more megapixels.

The 14-megapixel SZ-12 uses a lithium ion battery, so it's much smaller despite actually having a longer 24x 25-600mm lens and the same size LCD as the 620UZ. It is also very similar to its predecessor, the SZ-10, but with a wider and longer lens.

Both will sell for $199.99 with the 620UZ available in January and the SZ-12 in March.

Neither of these are pocketable, though, so if you're looking for something a little more slender, but still with a versatile lens, there's the VR-340. For $149.99, this 16-megapixel camera gives you an ultrawide-angle 24mm lens with a 10x zoom and a 3-inch LCD. … Read more

Road-tripping with the Olympus PEN E-PM1

You are slightly less likely to be given a free Olympus camera by a stranger these days as the Olympus PEN Ready Project giveaway is in the books. Now, it's time to see the photographic results.

Olympus rolled out its $500 PEN E-PM1 camera earlier this year by giving more than 1,000 free cams to random people around North America. The recipients were asked to take pictures wherever they went. Olympus continues to collect those shots for display online.

I was asked to play along with the big promotion by testing the PEN Ready E-PM1's capabilities along with those 1,000 fortunate winners. I couldn't ask for a better way to review a camera than to take it on the freelance-journalism road from a Harley-Davidson event in Milwaukee, to a NASCAR race in Charlotte, N.C., to a Yamaha scooter ride in San Francisco. … Read more

Olympus debuts PEN E-PM1 with lots of free cams

Olympus is rolling out its new PEN E-PM1 camera by asking random consumers to demonstrate how easy the latest PEN Ready camera is to use.

The PEN Ready Project looks to give more than 1,000 free PEN Ready E-PM1 cams to random people around North America. Those fortunate folks in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Miami, and Lehigh Valley, Penn., (Olympus' hometown) can go anywhere they like and take any pictures or HD videos they like (Olympus is asking them to shoot at least 20 still images or vids; those who do will be entered in a sweepstakes).

Olympus is collecting those works of would-be art for showcasing on a new custom-designed Tumblr blog. The company's hope is that people around the world will visit the PEN Ready site to see what the E-PM1 can do, thus wanting one for themselves. … Read more