Olympus Tough TG-320 camera leads new budget charge

Olympus has announced a bevy of compact cameras for those on a budget at CES in Las Vegas this week.

The new models try to cover all angles from tough to ultra zoom and will all cost under £230 when they launch in the UK in the coming weeks.

On the tough side of things, the company has announced the shockproof (up to 1.5m), waterproof (up to 3m) and freezeproof (to -10C) Olympus Tough TG-320.

The camera, which Olympus say is "virtually indestructible", will cost £140 and let you capture 720p HD movies and still photos at 14 megapixels.

Making sure it really is that "tough" Olympus has protected the 3.6x optical zoom lens with a special hard glass barrier as well adding a sliding double lock mechanism to protect the battery, card slots and ports. Around the back you'll get a 2.7-inch scratch-resistant LCD.

"You can get creative with 3D underwater photo shooting or Magic Filters and share your shots wirelessly via an Eye-Fi card that automatically uploads stills and movies to a website or PC."

It is available in blue or red from mid-February.

The Olympus SP-720UZ

If tough isn't what you are after then you can opt for the company's two new ultra zoom models the SP-620UZ and the SP-720UZ.

The SP-620UZ comes with a 21x optical zoom while the more impressive SP-720UZ offers 26x magnification getting some way near matching the new ultra zoom models announced by Fujifilm at the beginning of January.

The SP-720UZ offers a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor while the SP-620UZ comes with a 16-megapixel CCD sensor.

Users will get Multi-Motion Movie IS and 1080p Full HD Movie with sound recording on the SP-620UZ and HDR Backlight Adjustment on the SP-720UZ. The SP-720 supports 720p HD Movie recordings.

Both models offer Magic Filters for adding creative effects to HD movies and/or stills: Punk, Pop Art, Pin Hole, Drawing, Fish Eye, Soft Focus, Sparkle (photos only), Watercolour, Reflection, Miniature, Fragmented and Dramatic. As well as Eye-Fi support.

The SP-720UZ is available from late March for £229.99 while the SP-620UZ goes on sale for £179.99 in mid-February. Both cameras come in silver or black.

The Olympus SZ-14

On the super zoom front there is the SZ-14, a 24x or 25-500mm equivalent camera that has the Multi-motion Movie IS found in the SP-620UZ and the same creative filters so you can "Instagram" your photos.

The SZ-14 will be available from mid-February 2012 in silver, black and red for £199.99.

720p HD movie with sound recording and a 14-megapixel sensor complete the package.

The Olympus VR-340

Finally for those really on a budget there is the VR-340 and the VG-170.

The VR-340 comes with a 10x super wide optical zoom lens (24-240mm), a 16-megapixel sensor and will be available late February 2012 in silver, black, red and purple silver for £129.99.

The VG-170 is a 14-megapixel camera with a 5x wide optical zoom that costs £99.99. It’ll be in the shops from the middle of February.



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