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.
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.
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.
Optical Ocean Sales NanoFocus Light Kit
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.