Olympus Debuts 50x Superzoom with Very Useful Dot-Sight and Tougher Tough Cam


The E-M10 wasn’t the only announcement to come out of Olympus tonight. Also arriving (and also noteworthy) is the longest superzoom Olympus has ever made, and a new, tougher tough camera — both of which have some world’s first features to their name.

Olympus Stylus SP-100

First up is the Stylus SP-100, a 50x superzoom that reaches farther than any Olympus has made before it. Of course, the reach in and of itself doesn’t make the SP-100 particularly noteworthy (plenty of companies make 50x and higher superzooms) and so Olympus has built in a first-of-its-kind feature that will help you actually use all that zoom without pulling your hair out.

It’s called an Eagle’s Eye Dot Sight, and it’s basically a screen that you peer through with a dot in the center that shows you what you’re pointing at in the distance. No more fully zooming in to catch that eagle in flight and seeing only blue through the viewfinder, just peek through the dot sight, adjust your angle, and you’ll center the frame every time.

Here’s what the dot sight, which is located underneath the pop-up flash, looks like when it’s opened up:


The remainder of the specs are fairly standard. Inside you’ll find a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor, ‘next-generation’ TruePic VII processor, 24-1200mm equivalent lens, 920K-dot EVF, 3-inch 460K-dot LCD, lens-shift image stabilization, a focus-limit button, AF lock feature, manual focusing and the ability to shoot Full HD 1080 footage at 60fps.





Olympus Stylus Tough TG-850

Next up is Olympus newest Stylus Tough model for the underwater shooting, camera dropping adventurer in all of us. And while most of the features are you standard minor improvements on the previous model, there are two features that are all-new and unique: a widest-in-class lens and tiltable waterproof LCD!


And that exclamation point is well-earned. It might not seem like something you need, but a flipping LCD can come in very handy on a camera with which you can shoot underwater. No more having to get down to the level of the camera for those half-above, half-below water shots, just flip the screen up and frame away.

In addition to the flippable screen, Olympus is also boasting the widest 5x zoom lens of any rugged camera at 21-105mm equivalent. And, of course, all of this comes in a camera that is freezeproof (14°F), waterproof (33ft), crushproof (220lbs), shockproof (7ft) and dustproof.







Inside you’ll find the same 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch back-lit CMOS sensor, True-Pic VII processor and 3-inch 460K-dot LCD found in the SP-100, in addition to 7.1 fps continuous shooting, “FAST AF” autofocus, lens-shift image stabilization, Full HD 1080 video recording at 60fps and a built-in intervalometer function that will let you shoot 99 images at preset intervals of between 10 and 60 seconds.

Both the SP-100 and TG-850 are scheduled to arrive on store shelves in March — the superzoom only available in black for $400, and the tough camera available in black, silver or white for $250. To learn more about either of these shooters, head over to the Olympus press center by clicking here.

  • Genkakuzai

    Neat concept with the eagle sight, assuming it works well.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    It’s usually a dot in most rifle scopes, not with a huge ass circle outside of it.

  • Aaron Link

    From the makers of Call of Duty… but seriously, the “dot” (which isn’t really a dot, now is it?) is an interesting idea. However, I would expect looking through the dot site and then moving one’s eye to the viewfinder of the lens zoomed out to 40 or 50x would provide enough jostling of the camera to lose the subject. This defeats the whole point of the dot site. Besides, isn’t starting at a wide focal length and then zooming in more effective anyway?

    Telescopes have similar setups with a secondary scope meant for locating the general vicinity of the sky you’re trying to observe. This is helpful since the main scope typically doesn’t zoom and it’s mounted on a tripod. I suppose the red dot site might be helpful if the photographer were limiting the camera to one (long) zoom setting, but they will certainly need some kind of support. At 1200mm-equivalent focal length (Olympus’ specs) the user is going to need more than a dot.

  • Espen

    Does it matter?

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    Yep. So you know you don’t try to mount this on your hunting rifle and expect to nail that buck at 500m.

  • Daniel

    It actually looks very similar to the reticule on an eotech sight.

  • Mike

    As I remember, even EOTECH sights, which indeed are similar, do not use such fat lines.

  • Mike

    but is this thing just a silly piece of plastic with a cross painted on, or is it properly parallax free?

  • faloc

    it looks more like a holographic sight from EO-Tech ^^

  • Vlad Dusil

    Does the tough cam blend?

  • Kynikos

    Just what the world needs. Another 50x super zoom.

  • Sterling

    Is parallax a big issue when using a 1200mm(equiv) lens?

  • Mike

    Yes it is, because a badly made sight will point to a totally different point than the image center area, and this point will shift more depending on where your eye is relative to the sight.

  • lord eels

    oly really knows how to market to the mouth breathing American demographic that buys superzooms! make it work like a gun and/or video game!!! lol, such an obvious play.

  • Wing Yip

    Pretty cool sighting system, but I still don’t understand how it works.. more specifically, how does using the dot sight suppose to ensure a more accurate shot and frame than using the camera’s viewfinder or rear lcd? Aren’t you suppose to get 100% accurate image and composition while using the viewfinder or rear lcd anyways? Maybe just a gimmick, but still pretty cool looking device.

  • Mike

    If Chuck Norris blends it.

  • mooboy

    It’s not supposed to make it more accurate, more to help you find the frame in first place. e.g. if tracking an eagle against a blue sky, look through viewfinder, and all you see is sky.. it’s hard to know if should move up, left, down, etc.

    With this, the idea is you first line up said eagle in the cross-hairs, which should put it somewhere in your EVF for final framing. Pretty neat idea, if it works well.