Olympus Tough 8000: First Impressions

A couple of weeks ago I went to Subic to try out the Olympus Tough 8000 digital camera under unusual conditions, the Treetop Adventure while drizzling and the Ocean Adventure. The Tough 8000 is the newer version of the Olympus SW line of weatherproof digital cameras.

olympus-mju

When I took the camera from an ice cooler filled with ice and cold drinks, I didn’t doubt its toughness. In fact, I tried banging it on a wall for good measure. Hehe.

Here are the specs on how tough this Olympush Tough 8000 really is:

  • Shock-proof from heights of up to 2m (6.5 ft., I also tested this!)
  • Waterproof up to 10m (32.8 ft.)
  • Crushproof up to 100kg
  • Freezeproof up to ““10°C

For some stress test videos, check out these couple of recordings we made.

Inside the tough, metal shell of this compact camera you will also get:

  • up to 12 megapixels resolution
  • 28 ““ 102mm lens capable of 3.6x WIDE optical zoom
  • 640 x 480 video recording mode (mic is good on this one)

Ok enough of that, it’s now time to use it.

olympus-tough

I find the controls really intuitive that if you’ve been using digital cameras for quite a while then you can understand the dials and buttons without having to read the manual.

An upgrade from the old SW series of Olympus digicams, the Tough now has real image stabilisation (sensor-shift type) compared to the digital version of older models. I have the 1050SW and I always have trouble with blurred shots even with good lighting condition.

Another feature that the Olympus Tough 8000 have is the auto-photostitch when shooting in Panorama mode. You can line up to three adjacent shots and the Tough 8000 will guide you as to where to pan the next shot then it will do the stitching itself without the need of extra software.

macro

Image quality on the Tough 8000 reminds me of those taken from older digital cameras. I guess they didn’t put too much advancement into that area compared to other brands. However, they’re pretty serviceable actually for ordinary photos.

abewithdolphin

Quality of underwater shots depends on the water condition and how much light is available. Just don’t expect those professional underwater shots you see in travel magazines.

Underwater shot from Olympus Tough 8000

As for battery life, I wasn’t able to check if the one we got has a full charge in it but it lasted us for half a day with heavy previewing and video recording.

Just like other Olympus cameras, the Tough 8000 uses xD cards but quite fortunately, they also included microSD capability on this one as well.

Final Words

While it cannot produce the best image quality compared to its competitors, it’s really difficult to find a compact camera that you can bring into any weather conditions. The Olympus Tough 8000 camera is one of a must-haves for any extreme adventure junkie.

Taking snapshots while kayaking, or exploring caves, or just plain snorkeling, bring it on!

The Olympus Tough 8000 has a retail price of P26995 and comes with a 1-year warranty. It’s already available along with other Olympus cameras including the Tough 6000 at all authorized dealers. Axis Global Technologies is the distributor of Olympus cameras here in the Philippines.

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  • Wanted to know if anyone has an inside line on the new Olympus Tough 8000 coming out soon. The previous Olympus SW series got knocks for slightly inferior picture quality and being a little slow. Anyone know if these issues have been addressed. I am a kayak fisherman and the idea of having a waterproof/underwater/shockproof camera is great, just want to know what and how much I am giving up for it.