New Olympus Stylus-7010 ultracompact sports 7x wide-angle zoom for under $200

In comparison to the fanfare surrounding the announcement of the Olympus E-P1, the company's four newest cameras slipped out with a mere whisper. But don't let that fool you--there's plenty to take notice of in the new Olympus Stylus-7010.

In comparison to the fanfare surrounding the announcement of the Olympus E-P1, the company's four newest cameras slipped out with a mere whisper. But don't let that fool you--there's plenty to take notice of in the new Olympus Stylus-7010Announced on Wednesday alongside three new models in the FE budget camera series (which will sell for as little as $99.99), the Olympus Stylus-7010 packs a lot of punch in an super-slim body.

Though I wouldn't quite categorize it as a megazoom (I'd reserve that moniker for 10x zooms and higher), the 12-megapixel shooter's 7x zoom lens is impressive for a camera of this size -- that is, 3.8x2.2x1.0 inches, 4.4 ounces. It's also nice and wide at 28–196mm, equivalent (f/3.0-5.9). Though I generally like cameras that go even wider, you can't argue with its estimated street price of about $199.99. My only real complaint is that unlike the fabulous E-P1 which smartly takes SD cards, the Stylus-7010 sticks to xD-Picture Card (or microSD via an included adapter) which I find to be a drag in so many ways. Still, there's a lot to like in this slick little camera, such as both sensor-shift and digital image stabilization, a 2.7-inch/230,000-dot LCD, autofocus tracking, and face detection of up to 16 faces.

Additionally, the 7010 borrows some features from its higher-end siblings, such as the Pop Art, Fish Eye, and Pin Hole art filters (called "Magic Filters" here) and in-camera panorama stitching.  The "OR," or Olympus Recommended, button lets you quickly access these and other features, such as the Perfect Shot Preview which lets you preview the various effects on a live multi-window screen. There's even a Beauty Mode (I like to call it the Botox filter) which detects flesh tones and smooths out wrinkles and blemishes on your subject’s face--useful when taking photos at, say, your 20th college reunion. The camera will be available in dark gray, silver, or pink when it ships in August.

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