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Olympus' Tough line is rugged, feature packed

With HD video and HDMI output, built-in LED lighting, new shooting options, and SDHC card support, the new Tough-8010 and Tough-6020 are not just built to take a beating.

Stylus Tough-8010 Olympus

To show that it's still a leader in the rugged compact camera market, Olympus on Tuesday announced two Tough series models. Available in February, the $399.99 Stylus Tough-8010 is shockproof to drops of 6.6 feet and waterproof to depths of 33 feet, while the $299.99 Stylus Tough-6020 is shockproof to drops of 5 feet and waterproof to depths of 16 feet. Also, both cameras are freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Stylus Tough-6020 Olympus

Olympus does well with the rugged part of these cameras, but their feature sets were never very interesting. This time out, though, they seem rather well equipped and certainly competitive with models from other manufacturers. Both are 14-megapixel cameras with internal 5x f3.9-5.9 28-140mm-equivalent lens', sensor-shift image stabilization, 2.7-inch LCDs, 720p movie capture with HDMI outputs, built-in LED lamps, and Olympus' Tap Control system that uses body taps to change settings and shoot.

Other features include in-camera panorama (press and hold the shutter and it'll take up to three shots and stitch them together) and the company's art filters: Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish-Eye, and Drawing. You also get face detection, face recognition (for easier photo organization), USB charging, SD/SDHC card capability, and a full user manual stored in the cameras' memory. The Tough-8010 has 2GB of internal memory (1.6GB for shooting) and the Tough-6020 has 1GB of internal memory (632MB for shooting).