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Al Gilbert is Honored with PPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Olympus Visionary Joins Elite Group of Photography's Greats with the Professional Photographers of America's Most Prestigious Award

CENTER VALLEY, Pa, October 31, 2006 - Olympus Visionary and renowned portrait photographer Al Gilbert has been awarded the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Gilbert, a portraiture and lighting master, is known as the "Ambassador of Canadian Photography." He joins a select group of six photographers who have received this prestigious honor, including Gordon Parks and Arnold Newman.

"Great Portraits are the works of a true master of the art of photography. As a photographic visionary, Al is an inspiration to all photographers, both professional and amateurs," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager DSLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "His work, skills and knowledge are those of a photographic master, and Olympus is proud to have him as a member of our Visionary Program."

"Al Gilbert's artistry is evident in all aspects of his photography, and it is especially apparent in his portraits of executives on location. Subjects literally come to life in these works, giving you insight into both the subject's area of expertise or interests and his or her character," says PPA chairman Ann Monteith. "As both an artist and a teacher, Al has set the standard with his unique blend of technique, composition and artistic style, and it is entirely fitting that PPA honor his body of work with the Lifetime Achievement Award."

Mr. Gilbert's esteemed career spans more than six decades. A Toronto native, Gilbert was a pioneer in the field of photography and has been labeled a rebel for his championing of outdoor lighting. Gilbert holds a Master's Degree in photography and is a Fellow of the Professional Photographers of Canada. His country has conferred upon him its highest honor, The Order of Canada and he also holds the Confederate Medal of Canada. Throughout his distinguished career, Gilbert has photographed hundreds of celebrities and notables including Martin Luther King III, Oscar Peterson, Frank Sinatra, Pope John Paul II and nearly every Israeli Prime Minister since 1950. Gilbert became an Olympus Visionary in 2002.

PPA's Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Gilbert during the Awards and Degree Ceremony at PPA's annual convention, Imaging USA, in San Antonio, Texas, January 14 to 16, 2007.

Established by Olympus America Inc. in partnership with some of today's most talented photographers, the Olympus Visionary program is dedicated to creating superb digital images with the help of Olympus' digital cameras and lenses. Olympus Visionaries span all fields of photography and work in a diversity of styles and subject matter, but they are united in realizing their creative vision through digital photography. The Visionaries use Olympus digital cameras in their daily assignments and personal work; participate in speaking engagements and appearances; and provide Olympus with input into equipment development. The Visionaries include several Pulitzer Prize-winning and Magnum photographers, as well as internationally-renowned photographers from the United States, Brazil, Canada, Italy and Japan.

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 parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances peoples' lives every day. These include:

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    Professional Photographers of America (PPA), a worldwide association, exists to assist its nearly 17,000 members in achieving their professional, artistic, and fraternal goals; promote public awareness of the profession; and to advance the making of images in all of its disciplines as an art, a science and a visual recorder of history. For more information, visit www.ppa.com