Olympus made the rather odd marketing choice of launching seven new cameras in a day, some of which feature interesting new specs.

At the top of the launch is the SP-550 UZ, which boasts a record 18x optical zoom. Superzooms, up to 30x or 40x are becoming increasingly common on videocameras, but still cameras are lagging behind somewhat. Olympus seems to be coming ever closer to bridging the gap.

With a focal length of 28mm – 504mm on a 35mm equivalent scale, camera shake may be a bit of a problem, although Olympus has added Dual Image Stabilisation to compensate.

The 7MP camera has a 2.5-inch LCD on the back, a Super Macro mode for shooting as close as 1cm away, and 23 scene modes. It will be on sale in March at around £375.

Next on the list of interesting features for the new range is the FE-250, which features 8 megapixels, plus Bright Capture technology that boosts the ISO up to 10,000 when shooting at 3MP, and up to 3200 at full resolution.

At the back is a large 2.5-inch LCD, and it has a body that measures just 16.7mm. The FE250 will go on sale in February for around £200.