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Olympus µ Tough-6000 review

Ben Pitt
23 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
206
inc VAT

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Specifications

1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 3.6x zoom (28-102mm equivalent), 149g

The µ Tough-6000 isn't quite as rugged as its more expensive sibling, the Tough-8000, but waterproofing to a depth of 3m and shock protection from 1.5m are still competitive.

It has the same lens cover as the Tough-8000, with the same benefits and drawbacks.

We don't think much of the cramped buttons, some of which have labels that are etched rather than printed. These will be tricky to see and operate in water. However, the camera makes up for it with an innovative tap control function. Tapping the right side of the camera brings up flash settings, while the left side accesses macro options. This includes a macro mode with LED lamp illumination. Tapping the screen switches to image playback, and it's then possible to flick through shots by tapping either side. This isn't so useful when bobbing around on the ocean, but it's ideal for reviewing photos when wearing skiing gloves.

Sadly, there's little else about this camera that impresses. It's the slowest in the group, taking up to five seconds to switch on and take a shot. The gap between shots depends on what sort of media is used; with an xD card we measured an average of 4.4 seconds. Using a microSD card via the supplied adaptor reduced this time to 3.2 seconds, but even that is still slow, though. Continuous shooting ran at just 0.6fps, but an alternative mode captured 3-megapixel photos at an impressive 5fps.

The ? Tough-6000 trailed behind the others for image quality, too. Details looked sharp in favourable lighting, but comparisons with Canon's D10 and Panasonic's DMC-FT1 revealed that the 6000 failed to resolve subtle textures. Noise was extremely heavy in low light, but at least it was a more uniform colour than the Tough-8000's kaleidoscopic splodges. So many of our test shots were blurred that we have to wonder if optical image stabilisation was malfunctioning and introducing shakes, rather than eliminating them.

Even if we disregard this problem, the poor performance, low quality shots and high noise mean that we can't recommend this camera.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
CCD effective megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom3.6x
Zoom 35mm equivalent28-102mm
Image stabilisationoptical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution3,648x2,736
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotxD, microSD
Mermory supplied42MB internal
Battery type3.7V 925mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)230 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, DC in
Body materialmetal
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight149g
Size63x95x22mm

Buying Information

Price£206
Supplierhttp://www.morecomputers.com
Detailswww.olympus.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)50 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets
Additional image controlsshadow adjust
Manual focusNo
Closest macro focus2cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer