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Olympus E-1 Captures Awards

- Innovative Professional Digital SLR System Wins Honors from Popular Science, Professional Photographer and Electronic Publishing; E-1 Designer to Receive PMDA Award

Melville, New York, November 10, 2003 - The Olympus E-1 Digital SLR, introduced to the market only last month, is already winning major awards for its innovative design and superior performance. Yesterday, the Olympus E-1 won Popular Science magazine's Best of What's New Award in the photography category. Last week, Professional Photographer presented the E-1 with its 2003 Hot1 Award for Professional Digital SLR Under $3,000 and Electronic Publishing honored the E-1 with its 11th annual Hot Product award. And early next year, the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) will bestow its prestigious Technical Achievement Award for 2004 on Mr. Yasuo Asakura of Olympus, who designed the E-1.

"After the years of intensive research and development that Olympus put into making the E-1 the most technologically advanced digital camera on the market today, it is gratifying to see our efforts recognized with these prestigious awards," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Olympus America Inc.

The E-1 is the first camera to be released in the new Olympus E-System, the world's first 100% digital interchangeable lens SLR system. The Olympus E-System delivers powerful advantages for professional photographers in terms of image quality, camera and lens size, durability, and speed, with body and lenses designed to perfectly match the image sensor.

Popular Science Best Of What's New Winner
In receiving the Best of What's New Award from Popular Science, the Olympus E-1 was recognized by the world's largest science and technology magazine as one of the most ingenious technological innovations to emerge throughout the world in 2003. Popular Science presents its annual Best of What's New Awards to 100 new products and breakthrough technologies in 12 categories.

"Best of What's New is the culmination of a year's worth of searching, testing and deciding from among a huge range of products - all of which stand to change the way we live, work and play," said Scott Mowbray, Editor-in-Chief, Popular Science. The winners were announced yesterday at Grand Central Station in New York City, where the winning products are being showcased to the public in a two-day exhibition that concludes today. The E-1, along with the other award winners, will be featured in the December 2003 Best of What's New issue of Popular Science.

Hot1 Award from Professional Photographer
"Definitely a revolution in digital camera design," is how the judges of the 2003 Hot1 Awards characterize the E-1 in the October 2003 issue of Professional Photographer. The magazine honored the Olympus E-1 in the Digital Capture category for best Professional Digital SLR Under $3,000, noting: "Olympus America took a step forward from the existing digital SLR platform and created the world's first completely designed for digital interchangeable lens SLR system."

The annual Hot1 Awards celebrate the best of what's new on the market each year, with winners chosen by a group of working professional photographers. Olympus designed the E-1 specifically for professionals with extensive input from professional photographers at every step of the development process. Professional Photographer presented 45 Hot1 Awards in a variety of categories at the 2003 PhotoPlus Expo Trade Show, which took place in New York City from October 30 to November 1.

Hot Product Award from Electronic Publishing
Electronic Publishing covers technology from design to print, targeting design, pre-press and digital printing professionals in the graphic arts industry. The Olympus E-1 was among 50 nominees selected from hundreds of new products reviewed by the editorial staff. By vote, the 50 nominees were narrowed down to only 13 winners from which the E-1 Digital SLR camera was awarded the 11th annual Hot New Product award. The E-1, the only camera winner, will be highlighted in the December issue of Electronic Publishing. The publication will also feature the other winners, each one representing leadership and technical innovation in their particular area.

E-1 Designer Wins Award for Technical Achievement
The designer of the E-1, Mr. Yasuo Asakura, will soon be honored by the PhotoImaging Manufacturers and Distributors Association (PMDA) with its 2004 Technical Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Mr. Asakura, Product Director, R&D Department, Imaging System Group, Olympus Corporation, at PMDA's annual Awards Dinner at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on February 11, 2004.

Prior to developing the innovative E-1, Mr. Asakura developed the concept and design of the E-10, the first Olympus fixed lens professional digital SLR, followed by the E-20. Recognizing that the professional photography field was moving to digital, and that the digital photographic method and work flow was very different from film photography, he began designing the E-1 and E-System, based on the Four Thirds standard.

Mr. Asakura began his career at Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. in 1981. As a mechanical engineer during the 1980s, he developed Olympus' 35mm SLRs (OM and IS), including the shutter, mirror box, finder and film winding units. As Product Manager in the 1990s, he developed both film and digital cameras including the Superzoom280, Centurion (Advanced Photo System SLR), Centurion-S, IS-200, OM-2000 and lenses, the D-400 series, and the C-700UZ series, culminating with the E-10 and E-20.

Throughout his life, Mr. Asakura has pursued two hobbies: mountain climbing and nature photography. In his spare time, he often climbs mountains near his home in Japan to test prototype cameras. His interest in nature and landscape photography informed his work creating the E-System, which achieves an optimal balance between image quality, mobility and reliability.

About Olympus Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in healthcare and consumer electronics worldwide.

Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its parent company, Tokyo-based Olympus Corporation, to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical endoscopes;
  • advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents; and
  • digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders.
In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus serves healthcare, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers efficiently, reliably, safely, and easily achieve superior results. Olympus is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer electronics business spans North and South America.