Olympus announces crushproof rugged compact
By Paul Ridden
March 3, 2011
Adventurous and sporty types looking for a camera which can cope with extreme conditions may be interested to learn of a new rugged compact from Olympus. Not only is the 14 megapixel Tough TG-810 snapper waterproof, dustproof, shockproof and able to operate in sub-zero conditions ... but it's also crushproof.
It wasn't too long ago that Olympus added a new member to its Tough family of compacts, but the company is already at it again. The new Tough TG-810 has the same 14 megapixel CCD sensor, 28 - 140mm equivalent 5x optical zoom lens and high resolution, 920,000 dot 3-inch LCD display as the TG-610 before it, but has been significantly more ruggedized.
The new compact is waterproof to 33 feet (10 meters), shockproof to 6.6 feet (2 meters) and will continue to function at chilly 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10ºC). Olympus says that the TG-810 is also crushproof, a credential claim I've not come across before. The compact is said to be able to withstand crushing pressure up to 220 pounds (100 kg), although what situations users might find themselves in to be able to put this to the test doesn't bear thinking about.
Its lightweight aluminum housing has also been sealed against dust, dirt and other particles, allowing you to just rinse it off when it gets a bit soiled. There's even a water-repellent coating on the lens, to help prevent droplets getting in the way of a good photo.
The TG-810 sports an onboard GPS which automatically records the location of an image, an electronic compass to help you find your way and a Manometer to determine water/air pressure for accurately judging altitude and depth. All of this information is stored with an image's digital file to allow users to retrace their adventurous steps when they return home.
AF tracking locks onto a subject and continuously adjusts the focus and brightness to help you get a sharp image when you do eventually press the shutter release, and dual image stabilization combines mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization to help reduce blur. Intelligent Auto chooses the best image settings for each shot, and there's a three shot panorama mode.
There's also a stereoscopic 3D mode where you press the shutter release for the first shot, and then slowly pan the camera until it automatically takes the second image. The 3D data is processed in-camera and saved as an MPO file for onward display on a 3D television.
Completing the feature set is one-touch 720p high definition movie recording, the results of which can be viewed on big screen TVs courtesy of an included HDMI-out interface. Images and video are stored to SD/SDHC/SDXC media and the camera is Eye-Fi card compatible.
The Tough TG-810 will be available from next month in either silver or black for US$399.99.
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