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First Look: New Olympus PT-045 & PT-047 Housings


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#1 JackConnick

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 08:28 PM

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Disclaimer: I am an authorized Olympus dealer.

Olympus Imaging has recently reved it's 2009 Stylus lineup with new re-branded "Tough" cameras and now the new PT-045 and PT-047 housings.

The T-8000 now sports 12MP, with the T-6000 at 10MP. Both cameras are practically indestructible and feature a shock, crush, freeze and water-proof design. The T-6000 is depth-rated to 10' and the T-8000 to 33'. Both have a great 3.6x lens with a 35mm equivalent of 28-102mm and dual image stabilization for blur-free photos, first seen on the 1030sw. Built-in macro can shoot down to .8 of an inch. New is a "Tap" control where you can access certain camera features simply by tapping the side of the camera case, even with gloves on.

Besides their durability and depth rating, what makes these cameras ideal for underwater photographers is their four built-in underwater settings to adjust the camera for different types of shots. These include Underwater Snapshot, Wideangle 1 & 2, and Macro. This is great for new users to capture different shots right out of the box. More advanced users will enjoy Programmed Auto and other modes. Much more information is available from Olympus.

As nice as these upgraded cameras are, what makes their release for underwater photographers even better are the sexy new black housings the PT-045 (T-8000) and PT-47 (T-6000). Olympus has copied features from their run-away best-selling PT-EO5 housing for the Olympus E-520 DSLR camera and brought them to point and shoot simplicity.

Features of both the PT-045 and PT-047 housings are nearly identical.

New is a locked twist cam closure, that along with simple drop-in alignment, makes this a plug and play housing, no trays, screws or other internal mounting is necessary.

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But the black isn't just there for looks, divers that use an external strobe have for years blocked off all the light coming from the camera's flash, except for a small area where a fiber optic sync cord is mounted to fire an external strobe. The trend today is for manufacturers to include a plug-in port for an optical sync cord on many DSLRs. Olympus now extends that idea with a black slide-in plug mount that replaces the strobe diffuser. The plug fits the standard Olympus, Sea & Sea, Fantasea and other plug-in cords.

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Other intelligent features of the Olympus housings (that are on the last generation as well) include a "hotshoe" style mount for a small strobe or focus light and ranked, labeled, camera controls that are separated both by position and height, so that use with gloves is much easier. Ports have 55mm screw-in threads and accept external wide and macro angle lenses from Fantasea and others.

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The cameras and housings are available separately or in bundles together.

Besides the above cameras, Olympus also released the value-priced PT-046 for the new FE-3010.

More photos here.

Edited by JackConnick, 09 February 2009 - 08:42 PM.

Jack Connick
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#2 ktwse

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:18 AM

Great report, Jack!

Would have preferred it in a different (compact or dedicated UW cams) forum though, not the obvious place to look... Anyway, this housing looks great and I'll be getting mine on Tuesday, very much looking forward to it!

You have to admire Olympus for their commitment to underwater / outdoor photography. Being in advertising, I only wish they'd do more to promote it. Feels like they have a unique position that they don't capitalize on... That said, spoke to a few dealers as well as an Olympus rep today, and it seems that - at least here in Sweden - very few people actually buy the UW housings... Then again, if they'd claim that position as theirs maybe that would change.

#3 JackConnick

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 05:18 PM

They seem to sell out of each run of housings though. I think they've learned not to over-promise and seem to over-deliver instead.

It is funny how limited the models of their cameras they make housings for. It is definitely a growth area for them and they have put a lot of resources towards improving and refining their systems. I've met Jun their designer for the PT-EO5, etc and he is a very sharp guy.

Sorry, should of posted this to the Digicams, realized my mistake, but was too late...

BTW; The PT-046 for the FE-3010 has been delayed, they won't be shipping for another 2-3 weeks. But what a great pricepoint; under $300 for a 12MP P&S plus housing with UW settings...

Jack
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#4 ktwse

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 02:44 PM

They seem to sell out of each run of housings though. I think they've learned not to over-promise and seem to over-deliver instead.

It is funny how limited the models of their cameras they make housings for. It is definitely a growth area for them and they have put a lot of resources towards improving and refining their systems. I've met Jun their designer for the PT-EO5, etc and he is a very sharp guy.


And this is what I find a bit odd... Truth be told, Oly DSLRs don't really offer anything unique to the table, and it could be argued that for a lot of applications they are inferior to Canon / Nikon cameras. Having a small market share, Oly should definitely aim for a niche... There are strengths to the system. For wide angle, shallow DOF isn't much of an issue, and it's the only system where you can get to 600 mm equiv at f/5.6 for less than $400. Their housings are very well thought out, but are only mentioned in passing. It seems that with a little effort, Oly could truly claim the position of the "outdoor / active lifestyle" camera makers and start capitalizing on what the cameras actually do deliver but instead they're stuck battling on Canon's/Nikon's terms.

Well, I'm looking forward to picking up the housing for the u-6000 this week and using it next weekend. And later this spring I'll probably shell out for the E-620 with housing as well... Still, seems like a wasted opportunity.

#5 JackConnick

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 11:45 PM

It may be a matter of resources as well. They seem to be selling all they are making. Dealer allotments are the rule. I do think Asian markets get first pick, and then they ship to other places. Which I guess is understandable.

I've been playing with a T-8000 and it's a very cool little camera. Although pretty automatic, it has so many presets available, that you don't really need manual control. Easy software to use, the Tap control is sort of cool, except it's hard to remember what side you tap to get to something. Excellent super macro and a nice built-in 28mm lens (equiv.). Looks to be a great camera you can get good shots without a lot of thinking. And practically near indestructible.

Damn, I think I may have to make this my new boat camera.

Jack
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Optical Ocean Sales.com Sea & Sea, Olympus, Ikelite, Athena, Zen, Fix, Nauticam, Aquatica, Gates, 10Bar, Light & Motion, iTorch/I-DAS & Fantasea Line -
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