Unveiled: New Olympus Tough and Stylus Point-and-Shoot Cameras

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Expanding on the success of two popular lines of their Stylus digital cameras series, Olympus has announced the new Stylus SH-1 Digital Camera and the Stylus TOUGH TG-3 Digital Camera.  In addition, they have released several new accessories to go with these cameras.

Stylus SH-1 Digital Camera

The Stylus SH-1 Digital Camera is available in black or silver, and its compact design is reminiscent of the classic Olympus PEN cameras. Compact it may be, but its feature set provides advanced options for high-resolution stills and full HD video capture. The 16MP 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor and the TruePic VII image processor combine to provide stellar imaging and fast performance including low-noise native ISO sensitivity to ISO 6400, high-speed autofocus, 11.5 fps continuous shooting, and enhanced Intelligent Auto. 

A 24x optical zoom lens, a 35mm focal length equivalent of 25-600mm, offers the versatility to capture images from wide-angle to ultra-telephoto perspectives. At the wide-angle end, the minimum focus distance is a scant 3.9", but a Super Macro Mode allows for imaging as close as 1.2". Integrated into the SH-1 is Olympus’s most sophisticated image stabilization system, a 5-axis optical sensor-shift correction that works for both stills and video, enabling sharp capture in low light and when utilizing the lens’s long telephoto zoom. Video can be recorded by the SH-1 in full HD 1080p at 60 fps as well as at lower resolutions, including High Speed 120 fps at 720p. The Photo & Movie Capture feature allows you to simultaneously freeze action in full-res still photos while recording HD video. And with Time-Lapse Movie, you can compress up to five hours of action into a 20-second movie.

A rear 3.0" 460k-dot LCD monitor provides image composition, playback, and menu navigation. It is also a touch-sensitive screen, which allows autofocus and shutter control with a touch of the LCD. Automatic features make it easy to take difficult shots and in-camera art filters can add effects that are often reserved for post-production retouching, but the SH-1 also features full manual exposure control and customized settings so you can quickly get the precise image you are seeking. A built-in pop-up flash provides added light when needed.

Built-in Wi-Fi is supported and, with the Olympus Image Share app on your smartphone or tablet, you can instantly share images. Also, the app enables remote control of your camera from your device, including zoom, aperture control, and autofocus. Integrated GPS lets you geo-tag your photos with location information.

Two unique leather body jackets have been designed specifically for the SH-1. The Brown CSCH-120 and the Black CSCH-120 attach to the camera via the bottom plate tripod thread and fit the camera body snugly, providing protection against accidental impact as well as day-to-day bumps and scratches. 

Stylus TOUGH TG-3 Digital Camera

A sub-genre of the point-and-shoot camera, and one that is increasingly popular is the “tough” camera, and Olympus has brought forth the latest version of their flagship toughie, the Stylus TOUGH TG-3 Digital Camera. It is available in black or red. The TG-3 provides a 16MP 1/2.3” BSI CMOS sensor, but the most notable upgrade from the TG-2 is that the TG-3 now supports built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing, wireless backup, and remote control options.

   

The features offered by the TG-3 place this camera way up top of the mountain in terms of “tough” compact cameras. It provides a fast f/2.0 maximum aperture lens, image stabilization, four macro modes, aperture priority exposure, and advanced auto controls. Its lens is a 4x optical zoom with the 35mm focal length equivalence of 25-100mm, as well as 2x Super Resolution Zoom and 4x Digital Zoom. That f/2.0 maximum aperture, something rarely found in a point-and-shoot of any kind, is effective in low-light situations—great for freezing action—and allows shallow depth-of-field control.

"...able to shoot in temperatures as low as 14°F and has a protective seal to keep out sand and dust."

All “tough” cameras share a certain amount of enhanced durability, but the TG-3 is also a leader in this sense with submersible waterproof capability to 50', shockproof durability to a drop from 7'—and it's crushproof to 220 lbf. The TG-3 is also able to shoot in temperatures as low as 14°F and has a protective seal to keep out sand and dust. The TG-3 is particularly apt for shooting while diving, since it has four shooting modes designed to capture underwater light and color balance. 

The 16MP BSI CMOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor combine to provide impressive image quality and fast performance; in particular, autofocus and start-up speeds are quick, which is important when shooting in active lifestyle and sporting situations. Maximum resolution continuous shooting speed is 5 fps up to 100 images and at lower resolutions, it can capture 60 fps. Interval shooting is supported, from 1 second to 24 hours with a maximum of 99 frames, and can be combined in-camera to create a time-lapse movie.

Full HD 1080p video capture at 60 fps is available, as well as lower-resolution 120 fps and 240 fps capture for slow-motion action. A rear 3.0" 460k-dot LCD monitor provides image composition and playback. 36MB of internal memory is available and the TG-3 is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC media cards. Like most contemporary point-and-shoots, the TG-3 provides a built-in flash, automatic exposure and focus settings, a panorama mode, and numerous scene modes and art filters.

The TG-3's new macro modes: Microscope Mode, Microscope Control Mode, Focus Stacking Mode, and Focus Bracketing Mode (from left).

A new feature (or features) on the TG-3 is its four distinct macro modes, which include Microscope Mode, Microscope Control Mode with a maximum magnification of 44.5x from a distance of 0.5", Focus Bracketing Mode, and Focus Stacking, in which multiple images are taken and the areas in focus are automatically merged into one shot. These enable incredible close-ups of snowflakes and drops of water, as well as unique underwater imaging.  

"...with the Olympus Image Share App, your photos and videos can be transferred wirelessly to your computer and smart devices for backup and sharing."

The TG-3 incorporates built-in Wi-Fi and, with the Olympus Image Share App, your photos and videos can be transferred wirelessly to your computer and smart devices for backup and sharing. And for a camera that is well-utilized in the great outdoors, the ability to control camera functions and shutter release wirelessly from a distance with your smartphone is a great advantage. In addition, the TG-3 features enhanced GPS location finding as well as a built-in manometer and e.Compass with latitude, longitude, altitude, and water depth information.

Because the TG-3 is created for use in extreme conditions, a group of accessories specifically designed for the camera are available to enhance its use outdoors and underwater. Three Universal Tough Cases, in black, blue, or red fit all Olympus Tough camera models. They offer neoprene construction with a porous, netted design for fast drying, and an adjustable strap, carabineer, and belt loop. The TG-3 Silicone Jacket is also available and wraps tightly around the TG-3 for additional protection when roughing it. For more adventurous diving, the PT-056 Underwater Housing for TG-3 has been released, and provides lightweight waterproof protection to a depth of 148'. It features a fiber cable adapter for RC flash control and can be used with the optional macro or wide-angle conversion lenses.

Finally, Olympus has announced a new LG-1 LED Macro Ring Light for use with the TG-1, TG-2, and TG-3 cameras. The ring light fits around the camera’s lens and channels the camera’s integrated LED illuminator to provide constant, even lighting for macro photography.