Olympus has an great mix of compact PEN EVIL cameras, stylish point and shoot cameras, and "tough" cameras in its digital camera lineup. These cameras have been released in the past 18 months, and they represent the best new cameras from Olympus, both in its Stylus point and shoot camera lineup, in its Stylus Tough lineup, and in its PEN lineup.
Olympus has created what it calls the world's smallest and lightest PEN camera, which, considering the history of the PEN family of cameras, makes it one of the smallest and lightest interchangeable lens cameras from any manufacturer. The PEN E-PM1 is a fun camera, and it may be the most colorful DIL camera, too, as Olympus is offering it in brown, black, pink, purple, white, or silver camera bodies.
The PEN E-PM1 offers some really nice features, too, including 12.3 megapixels of resolution with a CMOS image sensor, full 1080p HD video, and a 3.0-inch LCD. It measures only 1.33 inches in thickness (before you attach the lens) and it weighs only 7.65 ounces for the camera body.
The latest "mini" camera from Olympus, the PEN E-PM2, should be another very nice DIL model to build upon the recent success of the Olympus Mini PEN E-PM1, which made my list of the best 5-star cameras.
The E-PM2, which is now available in silver, black, white, or red camera bodies, features 16.1MP of resolution, interchangeable Micro Four Thirds lenses, a 3.0-inch touch screen LCD, and full HD video.
The E-PL3, which sometimes is called the PEN Lite, includes a tiltable 3-inch LCD, which is handy for shooting odd-angle photos. It offers 12.3 megapixels of resolution with a CMOS image sensor, and it can shoot at up to five frames per second. The PEN Lite will be available in a variety of body colors, depending on where it's sold in the world.
The PEN family of DIL cameras has always had great looks and fun-to-use options. One of the latest models, the Olympus PEN E-PL5, includes an improved feature set over its predecessors too.
The PEN PL5 has an articulated touchscreen LCD, 16MP of resolution, interchangeable lenses, and burst mode shooting up to 8 frames per second.
The Olympus PL3, listed above, is a great camera that I've had a chance to review, and I'm sure the PL5 will follow in its footsteps.
Olympus has had good success reaching into its past for a classic digital camera design with its PEN family of cameras. The company has done it again with its recently released OM-D E-M5 digital interchangeable lens camera, which borrows its design from the OM film cameras from four decades ago.
You'll find 16.1 megapixels of resolution, a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD, and full 1080p HD video capabilities in the Olympus E-M5. The electronic viewfinder is a nice touch.
The E-M5 is available in an all-black camera body or as a black camera with silver trim.
Olympus has packed plenty of features into a sub-$200 camera with its 14MP SZ-10 digital camera. The SZ-10 offers an 18X optical zoom lens, which is nice to find in a camera in which Olympus recently dropped the suggested price by more than 10%. You'll also find a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD with the SZ-10.
OIympus has included the ability to shoot 720p HD video, to use WiFi to connect to a computer, and to shoot in a 3D photo mode, all of which are impressive features for this price range.
Small cameras with big zoom lenses are becoming a bit of a special niche for Olympus, and one of the company's latest offerings is the SZ-15.
The SZ-15 features a 24X optical zoom lens, 16MP of resolution in a CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch LCD, and full HD video recording. The SZ-15 fits in a desirable price point. It's available in red, black, or silver camera bodies.
The sharp-looking Olympus SP-620UZ fixed lens camera offers a 21X optical zoom lens that provides quite a bit of power in a small camera body.
The SP-620UZ has 16 megapixels of resolution, a 3.0-inch LCD, nice wide-angle capabilities, and 720p HD videos. One thing that some people will like about the SP-620UZ is that it can run from AA batteries, if needed.
The Stylus 1 includes several advanced features, including a 1/1.7-inch 12MP image sensor, a viewfinder, and an articulated high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD. Olympus included built-in Wi-Fi with this model, too.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Stylus 1 camera, though, is its 10.7X optical zoom lens. Many advanced fixed lens cameras have very small zoom lenses, which limits their appeal, but Olympus has conquered this problem.
Look for the Olympus Stylus 1 to be available in black.
The latest tough camera from Olympus, the TG-830, provides a nice mix of photographic features and "tough" features.
The TG-830 has 16 megapixels of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, full 1080p HD video capabilities, and a 3.0-inch LCD. Olympus recently dropped the price on this camera. It's available in blue, red, silver, or black body colors.
11. Olympus VG-160
Among sub-$100 cameras, the Olympus VG-160 carries one of the better specification lists that you're going to find.
Granted, the VG-160's features aren't going to stand up well against most of the other cameras introduced in 2012, but this model does compare strongly against other cameras in this price range, thanks in particular to a really good performance with flash photos.
You'll find 14 megapixels of resolution, a 3.0-inch LCD, a 5X optical zoom lens, and 720p HD video capabilities with this model. Olympus is offering the VG-160 in red, orange, black, and silver body colors.
High-end digital interchangeable lens cameras (also called DIL or ILC) haven't appeared in the marketplace all that often in the past few years, but Olympus is looking to make a splash in that area with its now available Olympus OM-D E-M1.
The E-M1 is considered as a successor to the Olympus E-5 DSLR camera because of its strong image quality, even though the E-M1 is a mirrorless DIL option.
The Olympus E-M1 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th of a second, offers an electronic viewfinder, a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD screen, a 16.3MP 4/3 Live MOS image sensor, and built-in Wi-Fi. You can use any type of Micro Four Thirds lenses.