The Olympus Ferrari Camera

If you’ve looked around this website and blog you already know I love cars but I also like cool, compact cameras to keep in my pocket for pit walks and strolling around cars shows. Unlike the previous Olympus Ferrari digital camera that was based on the Stylus 400, the 2004 model was based on a camera that was not imported into the US.

To some people the Ferrari Digital Model 2004 may be an overpriced, red, 3.2-megapixel digicam but to someone attending the United States Grand Prix in Austin or an American LeMans Series race, it’s the ultimate pit walk accessory.

You may be struck by the not-so-subtle differences in overall shape between the Ferrari Digital Model 2004 and the wonderful but also now out-of-production Konica-Minolta X-series of cameras The Olympus features a 38-114mm (equivalent) optical zoom lens with a folded light path and is the slimmest, most compact digital camera the company had produced up to that time. Its flat metal body measures only 3.7”x 2.6” x .9” and weighs just 5.6 ounces. It’s based on the Olympus AZ-1 that, like Nissan’s March automobile is only available in Japan and  has not yet appeared on these shores. So for many photographers this may be their only chance to see an AZ-1, albeit in red.

Instead of the red anodized finish used for the previous model, a special finishing process produces the Rossa Scuderia color that’s a perfect match to Ferrari F-1 cars. The back of the camera body has carbon fiber-like accents and the iconic Prancing Horse logo. On startup, the 2.5-inch LCD screen displays an image of a Ferrari F-1 car and sounds its engine’s roar. That  screen delivers 210,000-pixels and has a 160 degree (vertical and horizontal) viewing angle. An Album function allows captured images to be organized into 12 photo albums of 100 images each can be created for viewing on the  LCD monitor The Ferrari Digital Model 2004 docks to a cradle that’s equipped with a DC power input terminal, AV output, and a USB port. In addition, PictBridge support allows direct printing to any PictBridge-enabled printer without using a computer.

The Ferrari Digital Model 2004 is long discontinued but you may be able to pick up one on eBay. I just checked and found one for $299, which sounds like a good deal to me. OK, it’s only 3.2-megapixels but it’s the ultimate pit fashion accessory.