Olympus camera housings cater to the wet set

Olympus' new camera housings can take its low-end SLR and four point-and-shoot models 40 meters underwater.

Olympus' housing for the SP-550 UZ camera
Olympus' housing for the SP-550 UZ Olympus
Olympus announced a divers set (Get it? Get it?) of waterproof camera housings Monday for underwater photographers using the company's latest digital SLR and a few point-and-shoot models. The housings protect the cameras at depths of up to 40 meters or about 130 feet.

The PT-E03 housing is designed for the lower-end SLR (single-lens reflex) Olympus Evolt E-410 camera, and the PPO-E05 can be attached to protect the new 14-42mm Zuiko lens. (Other existing PPO lens ports also are compatible, too.)

Olympus' housing for the Stylus 770 SW
Olympus' housing for the Stylus 770 SW camera Olympus

The company also announced underwater housings for four compact cameras, the SP-550 UZ model with an 18x zoom lens, the rugged and already somewhat waterproof Stylus 770 SW, the weatherproof Stylus 760 and the more modestly equipped Stylus FE-230. These cameras also offer underwater scene modes to help novices deal with the lighting and color-balance issues.

The housings will ship this month, Olympus said.

The company didn't immediately announce prices, but all except for the PT-E03 for the DLR were listed on its Web site: the PT-035 housing for the Stylus 770 SW costs $299.99; the PT-038 for the Stylus FE-230 costs $169.99; and the PT-035 housing for the Stylus 76 costs $259.99.

Olympus' housing for the Stylus 760
Olympus' housing for the Stylus 760 camera Olympus
Those prices aren't far from that of the original cameras. But hey, if you have thousands of dollars to spend buying or renting dive equipment and chartering boats, you can probably afford it.

Also, for those of you who enjoy purchasing rubberized protectors for your e-widgets, Olympus announced orange, blue and transparent silicone skins for the Stylus 770 SW.

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