Olympus Unleashes Six New Compact Cameras

In the midst of all of the point and shoot cameras announced at CES, it's always a bit difficult for one manufacturer to stand out among the crowd. Olympus' solution is to release not one, not two, not three, but six new compact cameras in hopes of attracting your attention. Among the new additions, you'll find a new STYLUS TOUGH-3000 that's shockproof, waterproof and freezeproof as well as two new FE models and three new Stylus models.

The new STYLUS TOUGH-3000 is the first in the Stylus Tough series to offer HD video. It also features a new GUI for intuitive operation as well as Geotagging and Face Recognition functionalities. This 12-megapixel camera features a 3.6x wide-angle optical zoom and Dual Image Stabilization. The STYLUS TOUGH-3000 will be available in February for an estimated price of $229.99.

Touted as smart entry-level cameras, the new FE-4020 and FE-47 offer a 14 megapixel sensor and many simple to use in-camera features. Key features in this line include Intelligent Auto, Shadow Adjustment, and AF Tracking. The FE-4020 has a 4x (26mm – 105mm equivalent in 35mm photography) lens while the FE-47 features a 5x (36mm – 180mm equivalent) zoom lens. Both cameras can capture AVI movies with sound. The FE-47 ($119.99) will be available in January and the FE-4020 ($149.99) will be available in February.

The new STYLUS-7040, STYLUS-7030, and STYLUS-5010 offer 14 megapixel sensors. These cameras offer features such as a Magic Filter, AF tracking, a new GUI, Dual Image Stabilization, Geotagging, and Face Recognition. The STYLUS-7040 and STYLUS-7030 offer a 7x (28mm – 196mm equivalent) lens. For users who want a slimmer body with a shorter zoom, the STYLUS-5010 has a wide-angle 5x (26mm – 130mm equivalent) zoom. The STYLUS-7040 and STYLUS-5010 are capable of capturing 720p HD videos and offer HDMI output for showing off your images and videos. These three new cameras will be available in February. The STYLUS-7040 will cost $249.99; the STYLUS-7030 and STYLUS-5010 will run $199.99.

Another interesting note – Olympus says its new Spring 2010 digital compact cameras offer SD capability for up to 32 gigabytes of capacity. This signals a move away from the more proprietary XD memory card format that the company has supported in the past. This will certainly help remove a few roadblocks for users who have already invested in SD cards but like the new Olympus offerings.