Olympus unveils pocket zooms and rugged cameras

Olympus tossed its hat into the ring at CES with a handful of point-and-shoot camera announcements today. The company's new Stylus models include a ruggedized, HD-video-shooting Stylus Tough camera and several pocketable high-zoom models.

Wide-angle, high-zoom pocket cameras

Two new 7x -optical-zoom pocket cameras -- the Olympus Stylus-7040 and the Olympus Stylus-7030 -- will be available in early 2010. Both cameras will have a zoom range of 28mm to 198mm. Olympus also announced the Stylus-5010, a slimmer, 5X-optical-zoom model that offers a bit more room on the wide-angle end (26mm to 130mm).

All three cameras also sport some nice in-camera extras, including dual sensor-shifting/digital image stabilization, autofocus tracking for moving subjects, and a range of "art filters" that simulate hand-drawn pictures, fish-eye effects, and 1960s pop art.

The Stylus-7040 and Stylus-5010 add 720p HD video recording to the mix, along with a dedicated record button and HDMI-out. All three cameras are slated for February release.

New Stylus Tough shoots HD video

Olympus also announced a new addition to its shockproof/freezeproof/waterproof Stylus Tough line.

The 12-megapixel Stylus Tough-3000 is the first of Olympus's rugged cameras to shoot 720p HD video; it also has a dedicated recording button and an HDMI port. The 3.6X wide-angle zoom lens ranges from 28mm to 102mm, bolstered by dual sensor-shift/digital image stabilization.

Like Olympus's previous Stylus Tough models, the Tough-3000 lets you operate the camera by tapping its sides. This is designed to facilitate use of the camera while the shooter is wearing gloves or swimming underwater. The Tough-3000 is rated to withstand usage down to 10 feet underwater, at temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and after drops of as much as 5 feet.

In-camera features include Intelligent Auto mode, panorama stitching, and a range of art filters for creating real-time effects in each shot. The Stylus Tough-3000 is due in February.

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