Shop for Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4

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Instead of doing full-on overhauls of its Stylus compact cameras, Olympus has been concentrating on subtle improvements. That was the case with the Stylus SH-2 earlier this year and now the Tough TG-4 and Stylus 1s.

The TG-4 has the same great 4x f2.0-4.9 25-100mm lens and rugged design as the TG-3 -- waterproof to 50 feet (15m), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1m), crushproof up to 220 pounds (100kg), freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius), and dustproof -- but adds some new shooting features to keep it on top of its competition.

The biggest addition here is aimed at enthusiasts: the TG-4 can shoot in raw and JPEG. You'll be able to edit its raw files in Olympus Viewer 3 software, but Adobe Camera Raw support is expected to follow. Other changes include a Live Composite setting that allows for the effect of a long exposure without overexposing the image; an Underwater HDR mode to help with difficult exposures; and improved GPS.

The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 shows up in May in black or red versions for $380, which converts directly to around AU$500 or £260.


Olympus also added some new features to the Stylus 1 , an enthusiast compact with a 10.7x 28-300mm lens with a constant maximum f2.8 aperture through the zoom range. Dubbed Stylus 1s, it is basically the same excellent camera as before, but has some minor physical changes such as a blue line around the lens -- a symbol of Olympus' Zuiko lens quality -- and a pebbled synthetic-leather grip.

The 1s will also have a handful of new shooting options: small-target AF for more precise focusing on a specific area; focus peaking that highlights the in-focus area when manually focusing; interval shooting and time-lapse movie modes; easy-step zoom with nine steps of magnification; and the zoom amount can be displayed as a magnification or 35mm- equivalent focal length.

The good news is all of these features will be bundled up in a firmware update for the Stylus 1, adding some new life to the original model, which is great because the Stylus 1s will set you back $700 (around £480 or AU$900) when it arrives in mid-April.