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Olympus µ Tough-8000 review

Ben Pitt
23 Jun 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
249
inc VAT

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Specifications

1/2.33in 11.8-megapixel sensor, 3.5x zoom (28-102mm equivalent), 182g

This is a camera that means business. It's able to withstand 10m of water pressure, drops from 2m and being crushed under 100kg. That's around 16 stone, so depending on your burger intake, you can probably tread on it without fear of damage.

The recessed lens sits behind a glass window, but there's also a sliding lens cover to protect it. The cover keeps the window clean but it can also lock water behind it. We found that droplets got into the area where the cover is stowed during shooting, and were sometimes deposited on the window hours or days later. It didn't seem to do the camera any harm, but these droplets could affect image quality.

For a camera that's so tough, it's strange to find a Beauty option on the mode dial. Select it and the screen shimmers with an animated vanity mirror graphic. Subsequent pictures are treated to a digital facial, smoothing over skin textures with a hazy, effervescent blur. We doubt that many outdoors types are interested in such a feature. Then again, weathered skin does come with the territory, so maybe Olympus is on to something here. The same feature crops up in the other two Olympus cameras we tested this month.

Another feature that's common to all three Olympus cameras is shoddy video capture, which is disappointing. The Tough-8000 also shares the Tough-6000's tap control system and macro lamp. Stills performance was better than the Tough-6000's, with 3.6 seconds to the first shot, 2.2 seconds between photos and 1fps in continuous mode. Image quality showed no significant improvement, however. Photos were marginally sharper and the stabilisation had a better success rate, but even in sunlight there was some evidence of blotchy discoloration in darker areas of photos. In dimmer lighting, photos were covered in multi-coloured splats of image noise.

Although the Tough-8000 is more rugged than the 6000, its disappointing image quality prevents it from being more than average.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
CCD effective megapixels11.8 megapixels
CCD size1/2.33in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom3.5x
Zoom 35mm equivalent28-102mm
Image stabilisationoptical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution3,968x2,976
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotxD, microSD
Mermory supplied45MB internal
Battery type3.7V 925mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)240 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, DC in
Body materialmetal
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight182g
Size62x95x22mm

Buying Information

Price£249
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.olympus.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)64 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