Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what PCM Audio means, because I wasn’t sure either (and I had to look it up). PCM stands for Pulse Code Modulation, and it is a “means by which standard audio signals (which are represented by waveforms) are converted to digital audio signals (which are represented by 1’s and 0’s – much like computer data) with little, or no, compression. The method of audio conversion is used on most digital audio formats, including CDs and DVD-Audio, and is also used to some extent in Blu-ray and HD-DVD applications. The PCM signal is converted back to analog form for distribution to loudspeakers.”
Okay, now that we are clear on that, let’s talk about why you might want it. According to Olympus it produces sound that is Sound “that’s even better than what you hear on a compact disc. Every nuance of every note and syllable is captured and played back with a rich and resonant quality.” Add to that a camera that shoots full HD 1080p movies at 30 frames per second, and all of a sudden you have a very interesting camera package.
The only thing that looks like it might be a little bit iffy, or rather awkward, is that the camera lens and microphones appear to be on the top edge. Am I looking at this right? I think I am. Hmmm.
Maybe it won’t be that weird to aim your camera at someone like a gun, but I can just picture myself bent over the recorder while trying to film and/or capture audio … but maybe it will feel more natural than I think. I’m probably just too used to using my iPhone and Flip HD as video cameras — holding them up like little walls in front of me.
With that said, I have a feeling that this camera is going to make them both look pathetic. =P
The Olympus LS-20M features:
24 BIT/ 96 KHZ LINEAR PCM RECORDING
• Sound that’s even better than what you hear on a compact disc. Every nuance of every note and syllable is captured and played back with a rich and resonant quality.
FULL HD 1080P MOVIE
• Shoot movies at 30 frames per second, with high-quality sound, in 1080P. Having the ability to high definition sound and videos opens up a world of possibilities.
MAGIC MOVIE SETTINGS
• Express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos using one of four Magic Filters: Rock, Pop, Sketch and Pin Hole.
REMOVABLE SD/SDHC CARD COMPATIBILITY
• Never run out of recording space again. The LS-20M is SD/SDHC card compatible so you can capture oodles of audio and video – and still have room to store documents or other files.
WEB CAMERA FOR USTREAM
• Use the built in high-quality audio and HD video of the LS-20M to stream your performances on the web via Ustream or any other live broadcast platform.
ELECTRICAL STABILIZER AND X 4 DIGITAL ZOOM
• The camera features a 4.1mm (16:9 at 49mm, 4:3 at 59mm) autofocus lens and 4x digital zoom delivering premium video no matter where you are shooting.
BATTERY CHARGE FUNCTION (VIA USB OR AC ADAPTER)
• With a USB cable or AC adapter it is easy to charge your recorder. You can also quickly transfer your files over to your Mac or PC via a USB cable.
LOW-CUT FILTER AND AUTO/MANUAL RECORDING LEVEL
• The LS-20M features a switchable low-cut filter that enables users to eliminate low-frequency sounds and unwanted background noises. For your convenience, the Olympus LS-20M also offers manual or auto-level recording. The “auto” level is perfect if you are recording from the crowd. Thanks to the manual level, musicians can capture optimal sound checks and live performances.
MULTITASKING WITH DUAL LCDS
• The dual LCDs on the LS-20 allow you to frame your video while simultaneously checking your audio levels.
• Enable the Visualizer during playback to view imagery that pulses and dances with the audio. Choose from options like Equalizer, Pink Line and Rainy Blue.
The Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM Recorder will retail for $299.99, and we will have a full review on it soon. In the meantime, you can read more about it below …
New Olympus LS-20M Unites High-Definition Video and PCM Audio to Capture Sights and Sounds Like Never Before
New Full-HD Video Combined with Magic Movie Special Effects and Pristine Audio Recording to Create Movies that Look and Sound Like Professional Productions
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 3, 2011–Transforming everyday videos into memorable movies can be a challenge, but the Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM recorder makes it easy to add creative flair to any recording with the introduction of high-definition video. Record a live recital, create home movies and upload amazing linear PCM audio and high-definition video with the new Olympus LS-20M. Incorporating technologies much like those that debuted in recent Olympus digital imaging products, the new LS-20M isthe first Olympus recorder that captures and edits 1080p HD video while recording 24 bit/96 hHz Linear PCM stereo sound. Combined with four different optional Magic Movie special effects features, the LS-20M enables users to create home movies that look and sound like professional productions in a device that’s so compact it fits in your pocket.
“The potential number of uses for the Olympus LS-20M Linear PCM recorder are limitless,” said Amy Leslie, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Anyone looking to capture and upload music performances, sporting events, weddings, meetings or just create their own fun videos, can use the LS-20M for their personal and professional audio and video needs.”
Lights, Camera, Action
The new Olympus LS-20M takes handheld recording to a new dimension with HD video. By combining Olympus’ superior audio capabilities, cutting-edge design and the outstanding optical performance expected from Olympus, this all-in-one handheld offers the versatility and practicality you need.
Olympus is creating more ways for consumers to share memories and express themselves through video. Users can capture full HD movies utilizing one of three video format settings up to 1080p for stunning HD video clarity.The camera lens and microphones are located on top of the unit – just point the device in the direction of the intended object and hit record. A crisp, 2.0-inch color LCD on the front of the device clearly displays the video as its being shot. Below the video LCD is a1.46-inch LCD data screen that displays time, audio levels and battery life. Want to record a live recital that looks and sounds like a professional ballet? The LS-20M can do that, just point and record.
The HD video compression format makes it easy to upload videos to Facebook, YouTube, iTunes, Vimeo and other web-based content sharing sites, and the resolution offers remarkable detail on modern home theatre systems.
The camera features a 4.1mm (16:9 at 49mm, 4:3 at 59mm) autofocus lens and 4x digital zoom delivering premium video no matter where you are shooting. The Olympus LS-20M allows users to record in low light for more dramatic footage and also offers close-up video shooting. The combination of video and audio excellence has an infinite number of possibilities. Record a close-up of a hummingbird in HD video and set it to your own sound track of better-than-CD quality audio.
Olympus has been on the cutting edge of audio recording technology since inventing the microcassette format in 1969. The fourth in the series, the LS-20M lives up to the company’s renowned history of Linear PCM recording capability, to capture the rich, dynamic sound quality of music performances; like a studio in your pocket. The device captures rich, dynamic sound with its two condenser mics, and the ability to record in Linear PCM (WAV files) and MP3 formats. Use internal or external microphones to record better-than-CD quality audio for movies that sound like they were made in a Hollywood studio.
The recording features don’t stop at amazing sound quality. For your convenience, the Olympus LS-20M offers manual or auto-level recording. The “auto” level is perfect if you are recording from the crowd. Thanks to the manual level, musicians can capture optimal sound checks and live performances.
Certain settings, like crowded press conferences or a live show at a packed club can provide unwanted background noise that can later be incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, the Olympus LS-20M features a switchable low-cut filter that enables users to eliminate low-frequency sounds and unwanted background noises, like coughing. Collaborating musicians who want to monitor the recording progress on the fly can do so with the built-in speaker.
The Olympus LS-20M voice-activation feature automatically starts a recording when a certain level of sound is reached. The self-timer feature starts the recording process after a predetermined amount of time; both are ideal for recording a performance or video without having to operate the recorder.
Movie Making Magic
Specially designed to expand the potential of your creativity, the new, simple to operate, Magic Movie special effects technology turns scenes of everyday life into extraordinary images that are distinctive and compelling. Using technology from Olympus’ cameras, Magic Movie allows users to create exciting videos, then upload and share them with the world on YouTube or Facebook. Unleash your creative side by incorporating linear PCM audio with your own artistic expression.
The LS-20M Magic Movie special effects settings:
- Rock–create your own rock video! Step on stage with the classic Rock Magic Movie setting, featuring saturated black images and bright, bold background colors;
- Sketch – the Sketch Magic Movie setting turns your video into a living and breathing pencil drawing, reminiscent of some popular 80’s videos. Sketch adds an artistic feel and poetic flavor to your recordings;
- Pinhole –the Pinhole Magic Movie setting allows users to record video with soft, darkened outside edges – enhancing the subject in the center of the video. Pinhole is great for setting a mood to tie in with the melody or focus of your recorded sound;
- Pop — The Pop Magic Movie setting super-saturates colors to create a brighter, more vivid video recording. Turn your world into a work of pop art!
Powerful Punch in a Compact Package
The Olympus LS-20M features a lightweight, durable, black body with silver function buttons in a slim, pocket-size device that fits in your palm. At just 5.3inches long and 5.4 ounces, the LS-20M provides remarkable power in a convenient and portable size.
The attractive Olympus LS-20M is eye-catching and designed with ease-of-use in mind, with the control panel located just below the video and data LCDs. As the previous LS-series models, the record button lights up when activated and the thumb panel enables easy adjustments to settings while recording. A switch on the right side panel allows for easy transition from audio/video to audio-only recording.
Inputs at the base of the unit offer easy access to USB and HDMI connections. Plugging the device into a computer or tablet for fast video uploads couldn’t be easier.
The Olympus LS-20M is packaged with everything needed to make HD movies straight out of the box. It’s equipped with a 2GB SD card, one rechargeable Lithium ion battery, a USB cable and an AC adapter. The battery is easily charged by plugging in the LS-20M to a computer. For added memory, the LS-20M can handle SDHC cards up to 32GB for longhours of movie making.
An optional RS-30W Wireless Remote empowers users to start and stop the recording of the Olympus LS-20M without touching the unit. This is ideal for live performances, as the device can be placed in an optimal recording position and activated at a distance.
Pricing and Availability
The Olympus LS-20M provides excellent audio and HD video recording of premium movies at a highly competitive price: estimated street price of $299.99 (U.S.). It will be available in June 2011.
ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people’s lives every day. These include:
· Digital Cameras
· Professional and Consumer Interchangeable Lens System Cameras
· Related Underwater Products and Accessories
· Digital and Micro-cassette Recorders
· Digital Media
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Recording Format Voice: PCM (WAV) and MP3
Recording Media SD/SDHC card slot Recording Time(2GB SD card) PCM
96kHz 24bit: 55m
44.1kHz 16bit: 3h
Shooting Time (2GB SD card) 1920 x 1080 30fps
96kHz 24bit: 15m
44.1kHz 16bit: 17m
1280 x 720 30fps
96kHz 24bit: 20m
44.1kHz 16bit: 30m
640 x 480 30fps
320kbps 44.1kHz: 1h
256kbps 44.1kHz: 1h
Image sensor 1/4 inch CMOS, 5.32 Mega Pixel Lens 4.1mm (16:9 at 49mm, 4:3 at 59mm) LCD 2.0 inch color USB Hi speed USB2.0 Frequency response PCM 96kHz/24bit: 20Hz-44kHz Maximum headphone output 3.0mW+3.0mW (at load of 16?) Speaker 16mm round dynamic speaker Maximum speakeroutput 270mW (8? load) Microphone Jack 3.5mm dia Earphone Jack 3.5mm dia Power Supply Lithium Ion Battery / AC adapter Compatible OS (USB connection) Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 Mac OS X 10.4.11-10.6 Size 5.3 x2.5 x 0.7 inch (134.7 x 62.8 x 18.2 mm) Weight 5.4 oz (154g), including batteries
*Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the US and/or other countries.
© 2011 Olympus Imaging America Inc.