Olympus’ new rugged TG-860 swims deeper than before, now with Wi-Fi

Olympus has unveiled the next version of its Tough rugged point-and-shoot cameras with the TG-860. The camera hasn’t changed dramatically from its predecessor, the TG-850 (announced just a year ago), but it can dive deeper underwater (down to 50 feet), has Wi-Fi and GPS, and has slight cosmetic changes. Rugged cameras like this continue to be good options for vacations, especially ones that involve sandy beaches.

The TG-860 looks similar to the TG-850, however it protrudes out a bit on the side to accommodate the GPS and Wi-Fi components. There are also two additional buttons – one on the front, the other on the back – that can be customized for often-used functions.

Otherwise, the TG-860 retains the same specs. It has a 5x (21-105mm) ultra-wide-angle optical zoom lens , 16-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS, and TruePic VII image processor. Besides being waterproof, it’s shockproof (7 feet), crushproof (220 pounds), freezeproof (14-degrees Fahrenheit), and dustproof. The 3-inch LCD isn’t the brightest (460k dots, non-touch), but it flips up 180 degrees – perfect for underwater selfies. The TG-860 can record movies up to Full HD 1080 at 60p.

With GPS, you can add location info to your photos. You can use Wi-Fi to share images or control the camera remotely, via an iOS or Android device. Olympus uses an easy setup process where you scan a QR code that pops up on the camera’s LCD, with your phone or tablet, and it takes care of the pairing process from there. From our experience, Olympus’ wireless implementation is somewhat basic when compared to Samsung or Sony, but it works well.

There will also be accessories, including an underwater case that lets you take the camera down to 147 feet, an underwater flash, a silicone jacket to protect against scratches, and a “sport holder” that lets you shoot hands-free (like an action camera).

The camera will go on sale in April, for $280. Available colors include black, orange, and white.

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