By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Olympus Imaging Australia has unveiled its 2010 suite of digital compact and tough cameras.

In the digital compact category, Olympus has five new models. The flagship model is the SP-800UZ (RRP $699), a 14-megapixel palmsize unit with 30x optical zoom, iAUTO function and HD video recording. Also in the SP series is the SP-600UZ (RRP $399). This is a 12-megapixel camera with 15x optical zoom. Both these models come with internal memory (2 gigabytes and 1 gigabyte respectively). The high end includes a Li-Ion battery and has in-camera charging.

Olympus’ slim compact range has two new additions, the Mju 9010 (RRP $499) and the Mju 5010 (RRP $299). Both these models are 14-megapixel cameras with HD movie recording on SD cards. The real differences are in zoom capability: 10x versus 5x, and internal memory: 2 gigabytes versus 1 gigabyte.

In the increasingly competitive tough camera market, Olympus, which considers itself the pioneer of this category, has released two models: the high-end Mju Tough 8010 (RRP $599) and the more family-oriented Mju Tough 3000 (RRP $399). The high-end 14-megapixel model has some of the best tough specs on the market: waterproof to 10 metres, freezeproof to -10° Celsius and crushproof to 100 kilograms-force. This model is only available in silver-black.

Catering to the more casual tough customer, the Tough 3000, which is available in blue, pink and red; is waterproof to 3 metres and is protected from falls up to 1.5 metres. This is a 12-megapixel camera.