To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Olympus Tough TG-310 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £143
inc VAT

Image quality is nothing special, but this rugged, waterproof, low-cost camera makes a lot of sense in inhospitable environments.


1/2.3in 14.0-megapixel sensor, 3.6x zoom (28-102mm equivalent), 155g

The TG310 costs a lot less than most rugged, waterproof cameras. It doesn’t look especially invulnerable with its plastic shell, but its light weight and lack of extrusions mean that we don’t doubt Olympus’s claim that it’ll survive drops from 1.5m. It’s also waterproof to 3m and freeze-proof to -10 degrees centigrade.

Olympus Tough TG-310 front
The HDMI output is more than we’d expect at this price, and optical image stabilisation is another welcome surprise. Otherwise, its specs are typical for a budget camera, with a 14-megapixel sensor, modest 3.6x zoom and 2.7in LCD screen. The screen looks like a particularly cheap component, with slightly washed out colours. Thankfully, photos looked better once we’d uploaded them to the PC.

It didn’t make a great first impression, taking almost five seconds to switch on and shoot. This could be the difference between catching and missing a shot. Icons appear down the right edge of the screen, giving quick access to photographic options such as flash, drive mode and ISO speed. Exposure compensation and white balance options show three preview images side by side (see below) to demonstrate the effect of different settings, but this carousel of previews merely served to make adjusting these settings painfully slow. At least the camera was responsive in normal use, taking two seconds between shots. The 14-megapixel continuous mode was no faster but a 3-megapixel mode ran at a respectable 3.1fps.

Olympus Tough TG-310 back

The buttons are on the small side, which won’t find favour with those with big thumbs or stiff joints. They’re impossible to use with gloves, so this isn’t an ideal skier’s camera. The button labelled with a question mark is a nice touch, though, providing on-screen help for the selected menu option. There isn’t much in the way of conventional photographic options but there are lots of other features to keep casual users entertained, including automatic panorama stitching, pinhole camera and pop art effects and a Beauty mode for giving portraits an airbrushed effect. There’s even a Pet Detection mode, which apparently captures dogs’ and cats’ faces when they look at the camera. We wonder whether Olympus’s firmware developers have too much time on their hands.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 14.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.6x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-102mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,288×3,216
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; MP4 (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 19.5MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 150 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, micro HDMI
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 155g
Size 63x96x23mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £143

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.5 (wide), f/5.1 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets
Additional image controls Shadow adjust
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 2cm
Auto-focus modes Multi, spot, AF point, face detect
Metering modes multi, spot, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer