We had the announcement for the Olympus Tough 8000 a few weeks back, since then we have seen released the same sort of compacts from Canon and from Panasonic. Being naturally curious for “unbreakable stuff” I wanted to check one of them out and Olympus, as they were first out of the gate, got the call…
The first thing I did when I removed the little Olympus Tough 8000 from its box was to go to the kitchen, get a water jug, fill it with water and watch (and laugh) as a colleague shrieked as I dropped it in. It was brilliant! So, The camera is waterproof to 10m but without the help of a really deep bath I guess I’m stumped…
This compact camera has a brilliantly sturdy feel to it, noticeable as soon as you handle it, It feels very solid and like you should actually drop it, not that we treat our expensive camera gear like that! but, in this case you can drop it without fear of it smashing into a zillion tiny pieces! The Olympus Tough 8000 is a camera that will take all that you can throw at it, or indeed all that you can throw it at! It is waterproof to 10 meters as I’ve mentioned, it’s freeze proof down to -10c (see image below!) and dust proof, it is also crush proof (I didn’t want to test this as at the minute I weigh 103kgs and it’s only crush proof up to 100kgs) – Can you image if I’d broken it!… (Sorry Olympus)
The 3.6x optical zoom with the built in dual image stabilization work quite well together, even for someone like me with VERY shaky hands.
Another feature that I thought was quite nice was the “tap control” feature. I have used cameras underwater before and one of the main issues I had was trying to change settings whilst underwater with diving gloves on. With the Olympus, certain features can be turned on or off with a simple tap to one side or the other of the actual camera, and OK is as easy as a simple two taps on the top of the unit – I found this to work quite well.
I have used another brand of camera for the last ten years and am very familiar with the menu structure, so as such changing to another brand should have been quite tricky, but it only took about an hour of use for me to be pretty familiar with the way the Olympus menu system was set-up.
Just in case you missed the tech specs last time, here they are for you again…
- Shooting in toughest situations – shockproof to 2m, waterproof to 10m, crush proof to 100kg and freeze proof to -10°C
- High-precision 3.6x wide optical zoom (28-102mm) to capture great scenes through to stunning close-ups even in extreme conditions
- Avoids blur thanks to Dual Image Stabilization
- TAP Control Menu for great convenience
- 12 Megapixels to make poster-size prints
- 6.9cm/2.7″ HyperCrystal III LCD for best ever preview even in brilliant sunlight and at extreme angles (230,000 dots)
- Face Detection for perfectly focused and exposed faces plus correct exposure of other image areas
- The easy way to perfect images – Intelligent Auto Mode detects the five most commonly used scenes and adjusts settings, focus and exposure automatically
- Manometer for easy air and water pressure checking
- LED illuminator to lighten up underwater or macro sceneries
- Liven up your memories with movie recording with sound
- xD-Picture Card and microSD Card compatible
And, as I usually give you a rating (in stars!) I am going to give you a slightly different rating this time… Do I like the Olympus Tough 8000? Well, I now use one as my full time compact camera. (Yep, Love it!)