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View Full Version : New Olympus Cameras: Two Super Zoom and Two Rugged

Reid Kistler
02-12-2010, 02:30 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/02/olympus-intros-sp-800uz-and-sp-600uz-megazooms-stylus-tough-801/' target='_blank'>http://www.engadget.com/2010/02/02/...ylus-tough-801/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"Olympus is kicking out a foursome of new shooters: The SP-800UZ megazoom... boasts an almost mind-melting 30x optical zoomer.... [While] the SP-600UZ sports a stepped-down list of features....&nbsp; Moving on, there's the 'shockproof, waterproof, crushproof and freezeproof' Stylus Tough 8010 and 6020....&nbsp;</em> <em>The Stylus Tough point and shoots continue to feel really solid, and the SP-800UZ felt surprisingly light in our hands."</em><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1265747946.usr19541.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>Engadget has a "hands-on" preview of four new Olympus cameras - including a number of photos and a link to the official press release - and their initial impression seems positive. The <a href="http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital.asp?section=stylustough" target="_blank">Stylus Tough</a> series actually features three new models: ST8010 (shown immediately above), ST6020 (slightly less rugged) and the entry level ST3000, and these seem like a good choice for outdoor activities. However, I find the new <a href="http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital.asp?section=sp" target="_blank">SP Series</a> models somewhat disappointing: although both add 720P Movie Mode, neither the SP-800UZ (shown in the top two photos above) nor the SP-600UZ feature a viewfinder, and both have significantly simplified controls, with no apparent Manual Exposure options. Thus the new SP models seem to be aimed more at the casual photographer than the earlier SP models, such as the (still available) SP-590UZ - but the SP-800UZ also switches away from the AA battery standard I prefer for a "casual zoom" camera, and has a tiny hand grip. Image stabilization or not, a steady two-handed close-to-the-body grip makes for the best photos, and this is all but impossible without a viewfinder. Do these new models appeal to your photographic nature? And, if not, what features would you like to see added?</p><p>&nbsp;</p>