Collecting Cameras: Olympus’ Ferrari Camera

I love cars but I also like cool cameras. Unlike the previous Olympus Ferrari digital camera that was based on the Stylus 400, the 2004 model was based on a camera that wasn’t imported into the US. To some the Ferrari Digital Model 2004 may be an overpriced, red, 3.2-megapixel digicam but to someone attending the next United States Grand Prix or an American LeMans Series race, it’s the ultimate pit walk accessory.

Pundits may be struck by the not-so-subtle differences in overall shape between the Ferrari Digital Model 2004 and the wonderful but also out-of-production Konica-Minolta X-series of cameras The Olympus features a 38-114mm (equivalent) optical zoom lens with a folded light path. Its flat metal body measures only 3.7 x 2.6 x .9-inches and weighs 5.6 ounces and is based on the Olympus AZ-1 that, like Nissan’s March automobile, is only available in Japan.

A special finishing process produces the Rossa Scuderia color that matches Ferrari F-1 cars instead of the red anodized finish used for the previous model (that I do own.) 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. An Album function allows captured images to be organized into 12 photo albums of 100 images. The camera docks to a cradle that’s equipped with a DC power input terminal, AV output and USB port. 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. The last time I checked, I found one going for $129, which seems like a good deal for a true collectors item.

Joe is the author of the Blurb book, “How I Photograph Cars” And yeah, it has a picture of a Ferrari in it. On the cover, in fact.

Author: Joe Farace

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