Olympus reveals seven new snappers

By Naomi Mackay,

It’s that time of year, when all the technical bods gathered in Las Vegas to wonder at the latest innovations at the world’s biggest technical showcase – CES. And it’s also the cue for camera manufacturers to roll out a vast swathe of new and hopefully improved models for their adoring public.

Olympus CES

We’ve already seen what Canon has on offer; next up is Olympus, which has revealed a total of seven new cameras – one of which it says will challenge the future designs of compact cameras. So let’s take a look at it.

The Olympus E-PL2 is compact and lightweight and claims to offer beginners the chance to take SLR-quality stills and movies, as well as offering a good choice of lenses including 16 dedicated Micro Four Thirds lenses and three new conversion lenses – Wide, Macro and Fish Eye (prices start from about £60). Moving on from the E-PL1, the lens is now lighter and sensitivity now extends to ISO 6400. Expect to pay around £500.

Enthusiasts and professionals looking for a second camera are being served by the XZ-1, a compact camera that promises clear pictures in low light, which has long been an issue with compact digitals, and looks to rival the likes of the Canon PowerShot S95 with its fast f1.8 lens. Sensitivity is upped on most of its rivals – at ISO 6400 – and it has a 10-megapixel sensor. Priced at around £399, the general verdict from those techies lucky enough to get their hands on one in Las Vegas has been good so far.

With an optical zoom of x22, sports shots should be a breeze with the compact Olympus SP-610Z, which is Eye-Fi card compatible, allowing automatic wireless uploading of pictures to a computer or website. Priced at around £170.

And for those of you who are tough on gadgets, take a look at the latest range of waterproof, freeze proof and shockproof Tough models – the TG-610 (£250) and TG-310 (£200). They now feature a sliding double lock mechanism to protect cards slots, battery and ports as well as a lens barrier for protection when taking underwater images. They feature 14-megapixel sensors and the ability to shoot in 3D and be charged via USB.

And for newbies on a budget, Olympus has introduced the VR-310 (£130), a very compact camera with a 14-megapixel sensor, creative Magic Filters and the ability to shoot movies at 720p HD, as well as the VG-130 (£99.99), which comes in pink and black.

For more details head to www.olympus.co.uk/cameras