Olympus Unveils 30x Megazoom and Tougher Cameras

Hot on the heels of Fujifilm's 30x optical zoom camera announcement, Olympus rolled out its high-zoom heir to the SP-590 UZ's throne.

The 30x optical zoom Olympus SP-800UZ (28mm to 840mm; F2.8 to F5.6) offers the farthest-reaching telephoto end of any fixed-lens camera we've seen; the just-announced Fujifilm Finepix HS10 also serves up a 30x optical zoom lens, with more coverage on the wide-angle end (24mm to 720mm).

The 14-megapixel SP-800UZ also offers dual image stabilization (sensor-shift and digital) to steady high-zoom shots, as well as manual controls, 720p high-definition video capture with HDMI-out, a 3-inch LCD, motion-tracking autofocus, and a one-shot panorama mode akin to Sony's Sweep Panorama feature.

That megazoom camera also has a little brother: the 12-megapixel, 15x-optical-zoom (28mm to 420mm; F3.5 to F5.4) Olympus SP-600UZ. In addition to the lesser optical range and megapixel count, the SP-600UZ also has a smaller 2.7-inch LCD.

The SP-800UZ is slated for March at $350, while the SP-600UZ is also available in March for $250.

Two New Olympus Tough Cameras

Along with the megazooms, Olympus also announced two additions to its Tough series of ruggedized cameras.

The more-resilient of the two, the Olympus Tough-8010, is shockproof to drops of 6.6 feet, waterproof down to 33 feet underwater, crushproof to 220 lbs. of pressure, freezeproof to temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof.

The Tough-6020--the "wimpier" of the two--is still no slouch: shockproof to drops of 5 feet, waterproof down to 16 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof.

Both cameras also have a generous amount of internal memory. The Tough-8010 offers 2GB of internal storage, while the Tough-6020 gives you 1GB of out-of-the-box storage. Both cameras also accept SD or SDHC cards.

Each camera offers a 14-megapixel sensor, a 5x optical zoom lens (28mm to 140mm), an LED light on the front of the camera for underwater shooting, 720p high-definition video recording, dual image stabilization, a 2.7-inch LCD, and the "Tap Control" feature found on previous Olympus Tough cameras, which lets you change in-camera modes by smacking the sides of the camera.

Both cameras will be available this month; the Tough-8010 is priced at $400, while the Tough-6020 will go for $300.

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