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Christmas Gift Guide
Cameras

Tough new Olympus models for Christmas

Six new Olympus cameras will be here by Christmas, including two new Tough models which are water-, shock- and snow-proof.

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.

Tough
Last year Olympus -- pardon the pun -- shook up the compact camera category with its water- and shock-proof Tough 720SW. 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 Tough 720SW, and is also crushproof up to 100kg.

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Tough 795SW

Tough Lite 790SW Price AU$599 AU$499 On sale Soon Soon Sensor 7.1-megapixel CCD 7.1-megapixel CCD Optical zoom 3x 3x LCD size 2.5-inch 2.5-inch Image stabilisation Digital Digital Waterproof 10m 3m Shockproof 1.5m 1.5m Crushproof 100kg N/A Snow-proof -10 degrees Celcius -10 degrees Celcius In-camera panorama photo stitch No No

Mju
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.

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Mju 1200

Mju 830

Mju 820 Price AU$599 AU$449 AU$399 On sale Soon Soon Soon Sensor 12-megapixel CCD 8-megapixel CCD 8-megapixel CCD Optical zoom 3x 5x 5x Image stabiliser Digital Mechanical and digital Digital Splash proof Yes Yes Yes In-camera panorama photo stitch Yes No Yes

Ultra-zoom
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.

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SP-560UZ Price AU$799 On sale Soon Sensor 8-megapixel CCD Optical zoom 18x (28 to 504mm-equivalent) LCD size 2.5-inch Image stabilisation Mechanical In-camera panorama photo stitch No