Not wanting to be left out of the spate of new camera announcements this week, Olympus has unleashed a small horde of new cameras designed to appeal to a wide range of entry-level and mid-range camera buyers looking for high megapixel counts and strong performance.
First up, the Olympus FE-280, FE-290, and FE-300 are meant to appeal to casual photographers, with the FE-300 offering a 12 megapixel resolution and face detection, the FE-290 opting for 7.1 megapixels with a 3-inch LCD viewfinder and a 4× optical zoom, and the slim FE-280s offering 8 megapixels of resolution and face detection technology. The FE-280s also cater to the fashion conscious, and will be available in red, blue, black, and silver. All three cameras feature digital image stabilization and store images to xD media cards. All three models should be available in August, with the FE-280s carrying a suggested price of $199.99, with the FE-290 and FE-300 going for $249.99 and $299.99, respectively.
Next, Olympus has announced the Stylus 820, Stylus 830, and Stylus 1200 which notch things up a bit with improved features and performance. All three cameras feature face detection technology, shadow adjustment, “Perfect Shot Preview” (which offers thumbnails of photo effects on the preview screen before snapping a shot), image stabilization, and a number of preset shooting modes. The Stylus 1200 offers a 12 megapixel resolution and a 2.7-inch LCD; meanwhile, the Stylus 830 offers both digital and optical image stabilization, a 5× zoom, a smaller 2.5-inch LCD, an 8 megapixel resolution, and a heap of color choices, while the Stylus 820 drops the optical image stabilization, ramps back up to a 2.7-inch LCD, and offers a selection of red, blue, black, and silver chassis. All three stylus models offer an all-weather design which should withstand the elements, and the 820 and 1200 offer a built-in panorama mode for capturing landscapes. Expect to see the 820 in August with the 830 and 1200 following in October; suggested prices will be $249.99, $329.99, and $349.99, respectively.
Olympus is also adding the Stylus 790SW to the Stylus line—SW stands for “Shock and Waterpoof,” but the hardy little cameras are also dustproof and freezeproof, within limts. The 790SW can be used up to 10 feet underwater—no special casing required!—and even offers four special underwater modes to make sure you capture that special shot. The camera is also good to 14°F (-10°C), and offers face detection technology, a 2.5-inch LCD display, sensitivity down to ISO 1600, and a 7.1 megapixel resolution. Expect to see it in September for $299.99.
Last but not least, Olympus has also unveiled the SP-560 Ultra Zoom, boasting an 8 megapixel resolution, an astonishing 18× optical zoom, both optical and digital image stabilization, and face detection technology. The camera also features 33 shooting modes—plus our favorite, a full manual mode—and a 2.5-inch LCD viewfinder. Olympus is also offering an underwater housing and accessor lenses for the SP-560 UZ, letting users take the camera up to 130 feet underwater and offering up to a 30× optical zoom. The SP-560 UZ should hit the streets in October at a suggested price of $449.99.
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