Olympus 550WP camera is 'dunk and shoot'

Olympus Mju-550WP
The 550WP works in up to 10ft of water. 11ft? We're not so sure.

Hot on the heels of its FE-series cameras and SP-590 Ultra Zoom model, Olympus is unveiling the tough-as-old-boots STYLUS-550WP (aka Mju 550WP) at CES.

"In a recent study of consumers considering the purchase of a new digital camera, they overwhelmingly selected weatherproofing as a desired feature," says Tomoko Matsunaga, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc.

So if you're looking for a camera that you can dive with, swim with or drop in a glass of water for the fun of it, then the 10 Megapixel 550WP should fit the bill.

Waterproof and weatherproof

"The new STYLUS-550WP camera borrows technology that was originally developed for our Stylus Tough cameras," adds Matsunaga. "It meets the needs of those consumers who want to take pictures under water or in the rain without paying for other rugged features they may not need."

Described as a 'point-dunk-and-shoot' model, the STYLUS-550WP is sealed from the elements by a series of interior rubber gaskets and O-rings. It can be submerged in up to 10 feet (3m) of water.

As for features, an Intelligent Auto Mode enables the camera to identify the scene being photographed (I.e. Portrait, Landscape, Night + Portrait, Macro or Sports) and to automatically adjust the settings for the best quality results.

Basic in-camera editing

Face Detection software can track up to three people at once, while Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to help prevent blurry images.

Perfect Fix, meanwhile, enables some basic in-camera editing options such as a Red-Eye Fix, Shadow Adjustment Edit, image resizing and cropping.

Olympus describes the design of the STYLUS-550WP as "an attractive black body reminiscent of a scuba diving wetsuit." It will be available in February (and also in aqua blue), priced at $199.99 (£131).