The Stylus Tough-3000 will be the first of several tough cams released from Olympus this year. The Tough-3000 features a ruggedized body that should survive up to ten feet underwater, a drop from up to five feet, and freezing temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 Celsius). It’s equipped with a 28mm wide angle lens, 720p HD video capture and a 12 megapixel sensor.
Olympus extends the Tough series capabilities by adding their “Magic Filter” feature to the Tough-3000. The in-camera art filters include pinhole, pop art, fisheye, and drawing (turns scene into a line drawing, like images in a coloring book).
HD video, wide angle lens
The Tough-3000 will record 720p HD videos. Recording can be stopped and started by pressing a dedicated button, and videos can be viewed on HDTV screens through HDMI output (a cable is not included with the package). The rugged camera also utilizes a re-designed GUI (graphical user interface) and Geotagging functionality.
The wide angle lens covers an equivalent range of 28-102mm, offering 3.6x optical zoom power. The lens elements are entirely contained within the camera body. Those on the move will like the inclusion of dual image stabilization, a combination of sensor-shift and digital stabilization designed to reduce blurring in photos. Not one to blend into the crowd (or banks of snow on a ski slope), the Tough-3000 will be available in red, green, pink, and blue.
The Tough-3000 will also offer all of the beginner-friendly features available on most compact point and shoots. These include:
- Intelligent Auto: A shooting mode designed to automatically identify a scene and select the appropriate exposure settings.
- Face Detection: Will identify up to 16 faces in one frame and target them for the best exposure
- In-camera Panorama: One press of the shutter in this mode will capture three images as the photographer sweeps across the scene. Photos are stitched together in-camera.
So long xD
While previous Olympus compacts were equipped only for use with xD or MicroSD cards, the Stylus Tough-3000 will be SD card compatible. All of Olympus’s spring 2010 compacts are making the move to SD cards, removing a potential roadblock to users already invested in SD cards who like the new Stylus lineup.
Like other Olympus compacts being released in early 2010, the Stylus Tough-3000 will do away with a paper or CD instruction manual, opting instead for a full menu contained on the camera’s built-in memory.
Pricing and availability
The Olympus Stylus Tough-3000 will hit store shelves in February with a street price of $229.99.