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What's long, wide, and thin and takes xD cards?

Joining the pocket megazoom crowd is the Stylus-7010, a feature-laden compact with a wide-angle 7x zoom lens.

Click for larger view Olympus

In case you haven't been paying attention, the gotta-have-it trend in compact cameras is a wide-angle, longzoom lens, such as the one in the 1-inch-thick Olympus Stylus-7010. Available in August in a choice of dark gray, silver, or pink, the 7010 has just about every feature I look for in a pocket camera in its class:

  • 12 megapixels
  • 7x f3-5.9 28-196mm-equivalent lens
  • 2.7-inch LCD
  • Dual image stabilization
  • xD memory cards (microSD with adapter)
  • VGA movie capture
  • 3.8 inches by 2.2 inches by 1 inches (WHD)

The lack of HD movie capture and its dependence on xD cards are really the only letdowns. Beyond those enticing specs though, the Stylus-7010 differentiates itself with AF tracking so the camera keeps a moving subject in focus; digital filters--Pop Art, Pin Hole, and Fish-Eye--for creating some custom looks in the camera; contrast compensation for pulling out shadow detail; and an in-camera panorama mode. The camera also has a new Olympus Recommended button (OR) that's used for activating these and other features fast.

It's certainly a feature-filled little camera for the reasonable street price of $199.99. Even if its photo quality is merely decent, the Olympus Stylus-7010 may be a standout in a now crowded field of wide-angle, longzoom pocket cameras.