Olympus has proved the rumor mill to be right once again, by detailing its new TG-1 iHS compact after it was accidentally leaked across the web last week. The new king of the TOUGH Series of cameras more than lives up to its hard-as-nails moniker, being waterproof to 40 feet (12 meters), shockproof to 6.6 feet (2 meters), able to operate in temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C) and capable of withstanding a crushing weight of up to 220 pounds (100kgf). In spite of all this rugged muscle, the new model's most impressive feature is its f2.0 - f4.9 aperture lens.
Olympus says that the TG-1 iHS is the world's first rugged camera to feature a high-speed bright f2.0 lens, but it also has another trick up its sealed sleeve. A converter ring allows for the addition of a CLA-T01 conversion lens adapter, which in turn can be used to attach either a waterproof Fisheye Converter Lens or a Teleconverter Lens to further expand the camera's capabilities. All optional extras of course, but a nice touch all the same – details and pricing can be found on the accessories tab of the source link at the end.
The TG-1 iHS features a 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor that works with a TruePic VI image processor to deliver high-speed autofocus, enhanced Intelligent Auto, up to ISO6400 sensitivity and fast response speeds. The camera has been treated to the same FAST AF system technology found in Olympus PEN cameras, and there's a new Super Sport Mode located on the dial which combines the high-speed AF with fast shutter speeds of up to 1/2000 to fire off five successive frames, so that you won't miss that all-important action shot.
The 3-inch display panels of recent models in the TOUGH range have been steadily increasing in resolution – 920k dots on last year's TG-810 and 1030K dots on the recently announced TG-820 iHS – but the TG-1 iHS suffers a reduction to 610,000 dots. The panel on the new compact is OLED instead of LCD, however, so this should help make up some ground.
Elsewhere, the TG-1 iHS has dual image stabilization, features built-in GPS and e-compass which give users the option to record location and landmark information along with every image, and includes a manometer to record elevation and water depth, and which usefully warns the user when approaching the maximum depth. Its 25 -100mm equivalent lens has a water-repellent coating that should help keep images free of annoying droplet distortions. It also features a 4x zoom, which Olympus says can be effectively doubled using Super-resolution zoom technology with "virtually no loss of image quality."
Full 1080p HD video is supported with Linear PCM audio recording, and the camera's iHS Technology is said to bring faster processing speeds and enhanced color reproduction to video recording. Its brand-new LI-90 Li-Ion battery is said to offer around 220 images per charge, it's SD/SDHC/SDXC media card compatible and has both USB and HDMI ports.
The Olympus TOUGH TG-1 iHS will be available from June for an estimated street price of US$399.99.