February 19, 1997

Olympus µ [mju:]-II Compact Camera

The Olympus µ [mju:]-II Compact Camera

Olympus µ [mju:]-II Compact Camera
(c) Olympus

Olympus introduces the µ [mju:]-II compact camera. Superbly styled, ultra-compact and lightweight, the new high- performance model features a 35mm lens with a large aperture of F2.8. The Olympus µ [mju:]-II is the culmination of a relentless pursuit of compactness and easy operation in the 35mm format. Incorporating a wide range of innovations, this development concept accounts for the new model's exceptionally trim lines and weight. Even with its 35mm large-aperture F 2.8 lens, the µ[mju:]-II measures only 108 (W) x 59 (H) x 37 (D) mm and weighs just 135g. Along with the convenience of this visibly different design, it has the outstanding handling, superior image quality and sophisticated elegance that makes a photographer want to keep it close at hand. It is a combination that pushes the limits of the compact camera. This is clearly the next best-seller in the making-the model with more of everything that makes a camera satisfying to use and to own. 

Advanced design 

Even though the Olympus µ [mju:]-II is small enough to fit comfortably into one hand, its miniaturization has not impaired performance, reliability, easy operation, handling or stable balance in any way or form. 

Equally important, its extra-bright F2.8 lens opens up shooting possibilities that were beyond the capabilities of previous compact cameras. In dim light, photographers can capture the nuances of ambient conditions indoors or at dusk. They can also count on the aspherical lens for visibly different image quality. 

Ensuring accuracy at any point from Macro shots at 35cm to infinity, the AF unit has the precision of a three-point focusing system and 414-step measurement. The AF module also contributes to overall miniaturization with the space efficiency of the prism's special shape. 

The new Auto Color-Balancing flash (AC-B) eliminates the unnatural cast of pictures taken in fluorescent or other artificial light. When artificial light is detected, it fires automatically to ensure the colors are clear and lifelike. A number of state-of-the-art technologies have also been utilized to develop a soft flash function that prevents over-exposure. 

Not only are the contours stylish and sophisticated, but the body size and weight have also been reduced by innovations such as the new shaft drive mechanism which uses a single motor for film advance/rewind. Handling has been perfected by touches such as a sliding lens barrier that moves over to protect the flash. There is also a high-magnification real-image viewfinder that simplifies composition, while the all-weather casing takes the worry out of photography on a rainy day.

Main Features

Stylish, compact and lightweight 
With its flowing contours and stylish looks, the Olympus µ [mju:]-II has the sophisticated lines that people are looking for. This ultra-compact camera measures 108(W) x 59 (H) x 37 (D) mm and weighs only 135g. Just one example of this harmonization of form and function is the lens barrier that slides all the way over to cover the flash, eliminating the need to keep the camera in a case. 

High-resolution 35mm F2.8 lens 
The bright F2.8 lens extends the range of creative possibilities beyond the capabilities of any other compact camera on the market. Even in relatively dim light indoors or at dusk, the large aperture can capture the nuances of available light. The optical configuration has four elements in four groups and uses an aspherical lens to improve image quality. 

New Intelligent Variable Power Flash System-employing new Auto Color-Balancing Flash 
Several sensors are used to detect lighting information and relay it to the new Intelligent Variable Power Flash system. Ensuring an ideal color balance and lifelike results, the Auto Color-Balancing Flash system is the world's first system of its kind. The flash fires automatically when a sensor detects the wavelength of fluorescent or other artificial lighting that may result in an unnatural cast. The intelligent system's soft flash capability also prevents over-exposure, while the improved Auto mode triggers the flash automatically in dim light or backlit situations (for example,when sunlight is filtered through trees). 

AF module with special prism 
With the special shape of the exclusive prism that receives light, the AF module has been positioned to contribute to the overall miniaturization of the body. Employing a three-point focusing system with 414 steps, the AF unit delivers outstanding performance, especially from a camera with a large-aperture lens. 

Versatile flash modes 
The new Intelligent Variable-Power Flash's six modes deliver high-quality flash pictures. 
- Auto: In low light and backlit situations, the flash fires automatically to ensure that the illumination is appropriate. When fluorescent or other artificial light is detected, the new Auto Color-Balancing Flash takes over to create lifelike colors.
- Red-Eye Reducing Auto: The red-eye -a common problem with flash portraits-is reduced by a series of pre-flashes emitted before the main flash fires. (Same as Auto otherwise)
- Fill-in: Ideal for high-contrast situations, the flash always fires in this mode, eliminating the shadows caused by strong sunlight.
- Flash Off: This mode is the answer when flash photography is prohibited. It is also ideal for capturing a natural ambience.
- Night Scene: The intensity of the flash is determined by the foreground, while the length of the exposure is set according to the backdrop. Slowing the shutter speed to as long as 4 sec., this mode captures both the subject in the foreground and the night-time scenery.
- Red-Eye Reducing Night Scene: This mode reduces the red-eye effect in pictures taken in the Night Scene mode. (Except for the addition of a series of pre-flashes, it is identical to the Night Scene mode.)

High-magnification real-image viewfinder 
With a high magnification of 0.45x, the real-image viewfinder makes composition easier and more comfortable. 

All-weather, no-worry casing 
The all-weather casing protects against sand and dust as well as a sudden shower or splashing. Meeting IEC grade 4 standards for "splash-proof," the design offers extra reassurance on a rainy day, at the beach or on a ski slope. 

Other features
- Auto Macro: With this function, Macro shots can be taken from as close as 35cm to create pictures up to A4-size.
- Optional Remote control: The remote control makes it easy to trigger the shutter from as far as 5m.
- Spot Mode AE: This mode ensures accurate focusing and exposure for the main subject, regardless of the surrounding lighting conditions.

Innovations in Miniaturization 

One of the keys to the Olympus µ[mju:]-II's compactness is a layout that incorporates both the motor and new shaft drive mechanism in the lower part of the camera body. By giving the designers greater flexibility, this innovative approach also opened the way to the wedge shape and stable balance. 

All basic functions-including film advance/rewind, focusing lens barrel extension/retraction and shutter opening/closing-are handled by a single motor and plunger. Developed specially for the Olympus µ [mju:]-II, the compact new motor is situated lengthwise under the lens barrier in the space made available by the use of a shaft drive mechanism instead of the usual gears and belt drive. While this innovation contributes to the body's smaller dimensions, it also requires processing to exceptionally fine tolerances.

February 1, 1997

Peter Cain at Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC

Peter Cain: New Paintings ans Drawings
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
February 1 - March 15, 1997

Matthew Marks presents Peter Cain: New Paintings and Drawings. This exhibition includes the artist's final completed works. Peter Cain died suddenly and tragically of a cerebral hemorrhage, age 37, on Sunday, January 5th, 1997.

The exhibition, which open as originally scheduled, consists of new paintings and drawings, made by the artist over the past two years. In a radical departure from his earlier work in which cars were the exclusive subject matter, Cain spent the last two years working with the traditional themes of landscape and portraiture.

This exhibition includes three large-scale paintings of a man's head and six smaller canvases of Los Angeles industrial landscapes. A range of related graphite drawings are also be included.

Peter Cain was included in both the 1993 and 1995 Biennial Exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His work has been exhibited in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Milan in the past year.

Matthew Marks Gallery
523 W 24th Street
New York, NY 10011