updated 08:15 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
High-quality sound meets high-quality video
Modern DSLR cameras also usually offer the ability to shoot video in at least 720p and often in full HD (1080p), but often lack good quality sound, somewhat spoiling the HD experience. Olympus is taking a different approach to this problem by giving a high-quality stereo field recorder the ability to shoot HD video, marrying better-than-CD audio to HD video. The LS-20M features up to 1080p (at 30 frames per second) video recording along with up to 24-bit/96kHz sound, along with other features.
The HD camera can also be set to record at 720p (30fps) or standard-definition (640x480 at 30fps) using AVCHD/MPEG-4 (MOV) format. Audio can be recorded at 96 or 44.1kHz in lossless PCM format (WAV), or directly to MP3 at either 320 or 256kbps (both 44.1kHz). The unit includes a 2GB SD card, which is enough storage for 15 minutes of recording at the highest video settings, or one hour at the lowest video settings. For audio alone, a 2GB card provides for 55 minutes at 96kHz, three hours at 44.1kHz or up to 16 hours using the MP3 modes. SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB in capacity are accepted in the unit.
The camera features an image stabilizer, a digital 4X zoom and auto-sensing reverse angle recording. The recorder includes adjustable microphone sensitivity, auto or manual recording levels and noise cancellation with high sensitivity. The unit also includes in-camera effects like "pinhole," "pop art," "rock," and "sketch" to give video an artistic effect.
The unit is expected to debut in North America June 10th, and optional accessories such as stands, remotes and alternate mics should also be available around the same time. The U.S. retail price is set at $300. Olympus has posted a specs page and e-mail notification signup when the unit is available. [via Pocket-lint]