By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Olympus was asking all the questions today, turning the tables on PMA attendees by grilling them on the tech specs of their full range of cameras.

The Olympus exhibit, dutifully attended by plenty of brand reps, was divided into four main sections that showcased cameras from their DSLR, Traveller, Tough and PEN ranges. Visitors were invited to visit each section and learn about the devices in each range, before stamping an expo “passport” to show they’d done their research.

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At the section devoted to the Olympus Tough Series, spoke Elaine Saad, Olympus’ marketing communications specialist.

“Olympus has got the heritage of ‘tough’,” said Saad. “We started it, so it only makes sense to have a dedicated tough range.” The range includes the TG-310 (RRP $299), the Quiksilver-branded TG-610 (RRP $449) and the top of the range TG-810 ($549).

Each camera is freezeproof to -10° Celsius, Shockproof to 1.5 metres (2 metres for the TG-810) and Waterproof to 5 metres (10 metres for the TG-810). Each camera also offers a 14 megapixel sensor and one-touch recording of movies in HD 720p. The TG-310 boasts 3.6x optical zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD monitor, while the TG-610 and the TG-810 offer 5x optical zoom with 3-inch 920K LCD screens.

Olympus Account Manager for Victoria, Brett Cook, said the range was perfect for sports fans, extreme sports fans and travellers.

“The TG-810 features GPS so it geo-tags your shots, and there are thousands of points of interest pre-loaded into the camera,” said Cook. “So if you’re lost in Paris, you can look in your camera and find out that the Eiffel Tower is 5.1 kilometres that way, because there’s also a built-in compass.”

There’s even a depth gauge that will tell you how deep you are when you’re diving. Talk about extreme.

Brett Cook, Olympus Account Manager for Victoria, gets snap happy at PMA.

Over at the PEN camera pen, Elaine Saad talked up the features of the E-PL1 PEN camera and the new E-PL2.

“The PEN offers the image quality of an SLR, but it’s as easy to use as a compact,” said Saad. “It also features dedicated art filters to create effects such as soft focus and ‘diorama’ images. The art filters really bring out the creative in people!

“They’re fantastic for people who don’t know how to use Photoshop, so users can be creative without having to spend all that time on the computer afterwards.”

The E-PL1 is available for RRP $549 (single lens kit) and RRP $749 (twin lens kit). The E-PL2 is available for RRP $799 (single lens kit), RRP $999 (twin lens kit) and RRP $1,299 (zoom lens kit).

Check out that lens – The Olympus E-PL2.