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Less is more says Olympus

Olympus packs big features in small camera

If smaller equals better the new Olympus D-40 Zoom digital camera may be worth a closer look. In fact, you may need to look closely. The D-40 is the smallest 4MP (megapixel) camera on the market and is only slightly larger than a deck of cards.

Weighing a mere 190g without batteries, the D-40 stands 69mm tall, 44mm thick and 86mm wide. Olympus will sell the D-40 for $799 in the US, so in the UK we can expect to pay something in the region of £600.

Olympus says the camera will satisfy point-and-click novices while giving more experienced users the flexibility they want with several advanced features.

"There are probably more features on this camera than a novice will ever use," says Sally Smith Clemens, a product manager with the Olympus Consumer Product Group.

A shooting mode dial features tiny icons relating to 10 different settings including portraits, landscapes, action and night shots. "You don't have to go into the menu and configure the camera manually to get the best shot in those shooting scenarios," says Clemens. Users will still be able to control the camera manually, but these program settings (pretty standard stuff on modern cameras) should satisfy the less adventurous.

The pintsized D-40 features a 2.8x optical zoom lens matched with Olympus colour management technology that customises colour settings for each of the preset shooting modes. Users can also set their own customised modes.

The new model ships with a 16MB SmartMedia memory card and remote control. A built-in speaker — a first for any Olympus digital camera — and microphone allows recording and playback of video with sound.

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