Six new Olympus cameras will be here by Christmas, including two new Tough models which are water-, shock- and snow-proof.
Son of Norm
In the lead-up to Christmas, every camera maker and their dogs are releasing new models. Canon has refreshed its compact camera range, as well as its EOS digital SLRs. Nikon has fired back with new dSLR offerings too. Not wanting to be left out Olympus will have six new cameras on sale prior to Gift Giving Season 2007. There are two new Tough and three new Mju compacts, as well as a new prosumer ultra-zoom model. All new models persist with Olympus' proprietary xD-card format.
At the press launch, Olympus brought back "Norm", the dog who in a series of TV ads famously chewed and spat out the Tough 720SW. Also in attendance was Norm's son.
Last year Olympus -- pardon the pun -- shook up the compact camera category with its water- and shock-proof . This year Olympus refines the concepts with two new models. The Tough 795SW is now waterproof for up to 10 metres, up from three metres in the , and is also crushproof up to 100kg.
Tough Lite 790SW
There are three new Mju models, which take a leaf out of Nokia's playbook. That is, not one model, not even the top-of-the-range Mju 1200, has all the features that Olympus offers -- they're sprinkled liberally throughout the range. For instance, Mju purchasers will have to choose between the in-camera panorama photo stich feature and mechanical image stabilisation.
Last but not least is the new SP-560UZ, which shares its wide-angle (28mm) 18x optical zoom lens with its elder brother, the SP-550UZ. New to the SP-560UZ is the 8-megapixel sensor and TruePic III image sensor. Read our first take here.