The latest Olympus product allows you to record your audio memories.
Following the release of its LS Linear PCM audio recorders in 2014, Olympus has now developed its LS Pocket Series of Hi-res audio recorders. I have been trying out the pocket sixed LS-P1 unit which is the base model in the series. With dimensions of 108.9 x 39.1 x 14.1mm (H x W x D) and weighing 75g (including the battery) the LS-P1 is eminently portable whether carried in a pocket / bag or held in the hand for capturing sound bytes or whole audio performances when attending a concert.
Three years ago Olympus launched their LM-12 and LM-14 high quality voice and music recorders, the LM-14 was unique in having three microphones. Now they have launched the LS-P1 (4GB internal memory) and LS-P2 (8GB internal memory) the latter also has three microphones but is a lot smaller.
The Olympus LS-P2 audio recorder weighs only 75grams and is 11x4x1.5cm so will fit easily in the palm of your hand. Having used the LM-14 for a lot of music recording I know how helpful the ‘third microphone’ is for capturing base notes. So the LS-P2 with the third mic was the obvious choice for me. Going around the outside has a 3.5mm headphone/earbud socket and then an external microphone 3.5mm socket and if you are testing in a low light setting this could lead to problems.
I saw a pre-production model of this unit back in the summer. Now finally as winter grips us all the chance to review it arrives. For me a first, a removable lens camera marketed with the ability to take selfies high on its tick list.
It is 12.5x6.5x8.5cm and weights 453grams without neck strap or flash attached. The lens it came with is a 14-42mm and the action is very smooth. The left side has only the neck strap anchor point while the right side has the matching anchor point as well as a rubber bung behind which are mini HDMI and AV out sockets. The base has a tripod screw and a door behind which is the solid battery and any SD card you insert. The face has just the lens and the light sensor.
I normally think of Olympus as a manufacturer of removable lens cameras which normally makes then larger than pocket size. Here a unit that will easily fit in a pocket and also one that can survive the odd drop or immersion in water.
The Olympus Tough TG-850 measures 11x6x2.5cm and weights 216grams. Because it is waterproof the zoom is internal so the dimensions given are maximum. There is a printed ‘Basic Manual’ in 29 languages, the full manual together with software is on a supplied CD-ROM. Charging is by USB but lose the supplied lead as the end that fits in the camera is not standard. The face has the lens top right with the flash beside and slightly behind it 1.5cm away.
Olympus is a name big in cameras and voice recorders. So here a slight deviation of the latter into music recording and indeed the microphones needed to impart full range audio recording required for such a complex task.
I have used several audio recording devices and while the sound is normally recorded correctly the main problem is that the range is lost and this is mainly reproduced with treble heavy and bass light results. So any unit with a separate microphone to record bass is certainly worth a good test.
With its menu of cameras and recorders, a recent Olympus event introduced me to the companys range of hand-held audio recorders.
It has been several years since I last had the opportunity to check out an audio recorder from Olympus. That period of separation has been brought to a conclusion with the arrival of the company’s LS series of smart Linear PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) recorders. Unlike those earlier recorders, this device is aimed specifically at the musician but could also prove useful for other types of customer. The new range of Olympus LS Linear PCM recorders features three models.
Voice Recorders have been around for a long time, mainly as an office tool for the executive wanting to dictate notes or letters when away from the office. Of course many other devices such as MP3 players can do this now.
It is 9.5x3.7x1cm and weights 44grams when the single ‘AAA’ battery is inserted. I always try to use such devices without – initially – resorting to the manual. Here I was able to record and replay messages I left on the unit without any problem. Looking at the controls one thing seemed to be missing and that was an off switch, however I found after a period of inactivity it shut itself down. The face has a 2.
Not a writing instrument as you may think from the title, but a DSLR camera, this designed to look like an SLR of a long time ago. It takes brilliant images in daylight; alas I cannot tell you about night time shots as no flash was supplied.
The Olympus Pen E-P1 measures 12x7x11cm with the supplied 14-42mm lens fully extended. It weights 550grams including the supplied neck strap. It is supplied as standard without a flash, a hot-shoe socket is on the top and almost any flash can be fitted. A small rectangular module is mentioned but at the time of my review one was not available to be sent to me so all my tests were in daylight.
Although many users tend only to think of Olympus as a developer and manufacturer of traditional and digital cameras, the company also has a long established reputation for producing high quality digital voice recorders.
Recently the company expanded its range of voice recorders with three new models in its DS series. These models are the DS-30, DS-40 (the subject of this review) and the DS-50. Measuring 110 x 37.5 x 16mm and weighing 73g, the DS-40 is a handy size device in more ways than one. It will fit easily into a pocket or bag, without an unsightly bulge, when not in use.
Having recently looked at a DSLR from Olympus this is the other end of the scale however not only is it small and has a decent zoom but it is also close to waterproof.
The Olympus μ780 weights under a 150grams, will fit in the palm of an adults hand. It is 10x5.5x2.5cm and is made of aluminium. The right side has a dual slot for DC input and USB AV out. The left side is blank while the base has insertion point for the solid battery and the same cover covers for the optional XD card, the base also has screw fixing for a tripod.
Since I last looked at a voice recorder they have come a very long way, no tapes now they have built in memory and the sound quality is light years away from what it was.
There are in fact three different machines the DS-30, DS-40 and the top of the range DS50. They are different colours and the size of the built in memory varies. Whichever one you get they all record in WMA but to avoid death by initials I will just say you can pick recording rates from the worst LP 8kHz (8kbps) up to STXQ 44.1kHz (128kbps).
The Olympus E-500 is a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and I was sent it with a couple of lenses, the first a macro lens great for those close ups and the send a more general 14-45mm offering.
Perhaps a camera those who come from a 35mm background would fall in love with, mainly because they are used to making decisions that the modern digital photographer either does not make or does not have to make. However the 'Auto' mode is there but it still requires some work with the lens that a standard digital camera does not. As with most SLR cameras what you normally get is just the body.
In the dim and distant past I used to see a lot of Olympus cameras, now the chance to review them again has arisen and I took it with both hands. Here is certainly a pocket offering but still powerful.
It seems strange to say 8 mega pixel (actual 8.3MP) is near entry level but that is the way things are going. The is a little over 100 grams and is 9.5x5.5x1.5cm. The back is dominated by the 5x3.8cm TFT display. Olympus FE-250 Quickly through what's where on the camera, the base has an anchor point for a tripod and the door that hides the battery and optional xD card. The right side has A/V out and mini USB as well as anchor point for the wrist strap.
I have reviewed several Canon small photo printers over the years, hear this one is perhaps the smallest ever, however this does not mean everything is perfect.
Visiting my brother over Christmas is always an opportunity to take photos. This year this small Canon Selphy printer went with me. It happily printed images I took then he suggested I print some of his images he took on a recent trip. Now the problems started. He has an Olympus camera and the Selphy does not support XD cards. The cards it does support are SD, Compact Flash/Micro Drive and Memory Stick.
Like memories, photographs tend to fade with age. Fortunately a solution is readily available. Captured digital images can be stored and retrieved from your hard disk for printing. The results should be as vibrant and fresh as the day they were captured. You just need to match your photographic needs and financial considerations with an appropriate digital camera.
Priced at £249.99, the 3.2 mega pixel Olympus C-350 Zoom digital camera sits between budget offerings and high priced professional models. The C-350 Zoom follows the usual design format favoured by Olympus for its Camedia range of products. Silver in colour and reasonably compact in size, although I would not want to carry it around in my pocket for lengthy periods, the camera's lens remains concealed behind a sliding cover until it is needed.