Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS

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Waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, crushproof, dustproof – that’s Olympus’ Tough series. The new TG1-iHS adds a 4x (25-100 mm equivalent) f/2 lens plus converter-lens compatibility, as well as 1080p Full HD video.

There’s a 3-inch high-resolution OLED display with protective coatings help to prevent scratches and cut down on reflective glare.

The new lens has the same AF system technology found in Olympus PEN cameras and a water-repellent lens coating.

The camera is waterproof to 40 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet, freezeproof to -10°C ,and crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds (a hair less than 100 kg), claims Olympus, saying it’s the toughest Tough model to date,

Inside is a 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor backed up by a TruePic VI image processor, resulting in high-speed autofocus, enhanced Intelligent Auto for scene and subject recognition, and 8x zoom. All of this combines to deliver what Olympus says is unmatched image quality in challenging shooting conditions with improved lighting, less noise and response times twice as fast as traditional cameras.

The new Super Sport Mode combines high-speed autofocus with fast shutter speeds – up to 1/2000 sec. – to freeze the action. Conveniently located on the dial, this mode captures five shots in a high-speed burst. Low Light Mode is for capturing low-light indoor scenes, beautiful sunsets or late night outdoor festivities without ruining the ambience with a bright flash.

Burst shooting goes as high as 10 frames-per-second, with videos cranking out 60 fps at lower resolution for slow-motion playback.

Thanks to iHS Technology, videos are said to benefit from excellent colour reproduction and faster processing speeds, while Multi-Motion IS compensates for user movement during recording, creating smoother videos.

Linear PCM Recording, an audio technology pioneered by Olympus for professional voice recorders, records videos with high-definition audio for optimal playback results.

In iAuto mode, the camera automatically detects the subject, lighting and situation to identify the scene you’re shooting – up to 30 different scenes including Night, Sport, Beach and Snow, Underwater Snapshot and Backlight HDR – and adjusts the settings for ideal results.

A converter ring allows you to add a lens converter adapter, waterproof fisheye converter lens and teleconverter lens for use on land or in water.

The fisheye captures is said to capture panoramic, wide-angle shots without sacrificing the brightness of the f/2 lens.

The teleconverter extends the optical zoom from 4x to 6.8x.

Both converter lenses are waterproof to 40 feet. If 40 feet is not deep enough for you, the new Olympus PT-053 underwater housing is designed specifically for the TG-1 iHS, enabling you to dive to depths of 135 feet (45 m).

With the GPS and e.compass functions on the TG-1 iHS, location and landmark information will be displayed and recorded along with every image. The camera is also equipped with a logging function so you can track the route taken from recorded images by using applications such as Google Earth and Picasa.

The camera boasts four different underwater scene modes – Underwater Snapshot, Underwater Wide 1, Underwater Wide 2 and Underwater Macro – each carefully calibrated to allow for optimal colour balance, exposure and flash.

An LED illuminator on the front of the camera enhances focus and exposure for macro shooting – great for underwater close-ups where light is scarce. The LED illuminator also works in conjunction with the flash to help illuminate subjects in low-light conditions.

The Olympus TG-1 iHS will be available in June carrying an estimated street price of $399.99.

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