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Leica Camera AG Endorses Four Thirds System Standard

Leading German manufacturer to support open standard for digital SLR Cameras

February 26, 2006 -- Olympus Imaging Corp. (President: Masaharu Okubo) is pleased to announce the participation of Leica Camera AG of Germany in the Four Thirds System standard for digital SLR cameras. Olympus has encouraged other manufacturers to participate in this open standard since it was first established, and will continue to promote its widespread acceptance in the future.

The Four Thirds System standard was established to facilitate the development of digital SLR camera systems that are designed and developed from the ground up to maximize the performance potential of digital imaging technology. The standard uses a 4/3" image sensor that makes it possible to realize the high image quality and high mobility that are demanded of SLR camera systems, and defines an open standard for lenses and lens mounts to assure compatibility between bodies and lenses produced by various manufacturers participating in the standard.

In October 2003, Olympus introduced the E-1 digital SLR camera and various ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses and accessories in the Olympus E-System. It has since added E-300, E-500 and E-330 camera bodies to the system, and has expanded the ZUIKO DIGITAL lens lineup to include 15 lenses specifically designed and developed for digital photography. Sigma Corporation began introducing Four Thirds System lenses in October 2004, and currently offers three lenses, with more scheduled for release in the future. In addition, Panasonic is developing a camera body and lenses based on the Four Thirds System standard, and is planning to introduce these products this year.

The participation of Leica Camera AG will accelerate the proliferation of Four Thirds System products and allow a wider range of customers to enjoy the unique Four Thirds System advantage of using camera bodies and lenses produced by different manufacturers. In addition, Leica Camera AG's outstanding brand value, unique tradition, and cutting-edge optical expertise are expected to add powerful momentum to widespread acceptance of the Four Thirds System in the future.

As one of the original proponents of the Four Thirds System standard, Olympus will continue to promote its widespread acceptance and to encourage other manufacturers to participate in this important new open standard for the digital age.

For more information, please contact:


*for US media Olympus Imaging America Inc.
Chris Sluka, Sr. Public Relations Manager
Tel: +1-631-844-5321
E-mail: chris.sluka@olympus.com
*for Europe media Olympus Europa GmbH
Christina Blake, Corporate Communications
Tel: +49-40-237 73-191
E-mail: christina.blake@olympus-europa.com
*for Japan media Olympus Corporation
Atsushi Hatakeyama, Public Relations and Investor Relations
Tel: +81-3-3340-2188
E-mail: atsushi_hatakeyama@ot.olympus.co.jp
Leica Camera AG Gero Furchheim, Division Manager Corporate Communications
Tel: +49-6442-208-450
E-mail: gero.furchheim@leica-camera.com