Another year, another round of Olympus cameras, one of which has 26x optical zoom


Olympus has unveiled a bevy of new cameras, and they’re targeting just about the entire consumer and prosumer market, with offerings that will appeal to many people. Whether you need a camera that can survive a serious beating, or just want some fun shots in the pool, or an enormous zoom factor in a point-and-shoot camera, Olympus aims to please.

Olympus’ Stylus Tough series of cameras are shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof, crushproof and shakeproof. That’s a lot of proof! The 12 megapixel TOUGH-8000 can handle a 6.6-foot drop, go 33 feet underwater (and includes a manometer to record the depth at which a picture was taken), and handle 220 pounds of crushing pressure. The 10 megapixel TOUGH-6000 can survive a 5 foot drop and up to 10 feet of water. “Both Stylus Tough series cameras feature Tap Control to make it easy for skiers, divers and snowmen makers to control key settings without removing their gloves.” $399 for the TOUGH-8000 and $299 for the TOUGH-6000.

For those not quite as demanding on their cameras, the Stylus 550WP offers a nice point-and-shoot for trips to the pool or beach. It can operate down to 10 feet below water. Expect to pay about $200.

Olympus’ new SP-590 Ultra Zoom stands head and shoulders above similar cameras with its remarkable 26x optical zoom. “The bright, f2.8-5.0 lens provides the equivalent of 26-676mm focal length.” At $450, you’re getting awfully close to entry-level DSLR range (though that doesn’t include the cost of good zoom lenses).