Friday, 27 April 2012

Product Review: Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 Camera


Back in the Fall we were looking for a waterproof camera to take to Balmorhea State Park. We wanted something with a fairly high megapixel count, and light weight, but mainly we needed it to be waterproof. After reading many Amazon reviews and talking to friends I selected the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Digital Camera. It is advertised as a great little titanium cased action camera, capable of putting up with any kind of crap you can throw at it.

I purchased the camera from because they offered the best price I could find on the internet, free shipping, and they included a floating lanyard. I paid right around $200 shipped to my door. As I was writing up this review I checked Amazon and I see the price is currently reduced from $299 to $160.

Here are the specs from Olympus:

  • 14MP Digital Camera - 5x Wide Angle Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD 
  • Waterproof (33ft.) A revolutionary system of waterproof seals and gaskets keeps water out so you can take pictures as deep as 33 feet underwater.
  • Shockproof. Life can be tough, this camera is tougher. Rugged metal body and innovative shock-absorbing construction are designed to withstand a 6.6-foot drop, bump, or other mishap.
  • Freezeproof (14°F/-10°C) Boldly enter that winter wonderland without worrying about your camera. The Stylus Tough-3000 is winterized to perform at below-freezing temperatures.
  • Crushproof (220LBF.) With a rugged body and reinforced LCD, the Stylus Tough-8000 withstands up to 220 pounds of pressure so your camera and images are protected.
  • HD Video 720p A simple, one-touch button allows you to record movies with amazing clarity in high-definition, right from your camera.

At Balmorhea we used the camera both in and out of the water to take photos of the landscape, the pool, and the fish. The camera is light and easy to carry in a pocket without weighing down your shorts. The included floating lanyard is bulky, but when in the water I threw the camera around and it never let it go very far so it will more than serve its purpose. I would suggest keeping it in a bag or pack when not in the water. A few times grit got in the shutter of the camera, but by placing the camera lens up in water and opening and closing the shutter several times it was easily flushed out.

The screen is easier to see in bright sunlight than some LCD screens I have used before, including my iPhone, however it can be tough to see at times. My biggest hang up with the camera is that the internal software seems sluggish. It takes seconds for each photo to process before you can take another, which is inconvenient for action shots. Another gripe is the included internal photo editing software. This type of feature would be before served on a computer later, and save processing power and memory for the more integral features of the camera.

My final assessment after that trip and many continued months of use is that this is a great lightweight camera option for hiking, swimming, or rough terrain where you may not want to take a large expensive camera.

Sand and grit is easily flushed from the lens
Hawaiian float lanyard keeps camera from sinking
Action Shot Mode: Takes a rapid succession of photos
Double latch & seal system keeps battery and memory card dry and clean.
Size and weight are great for hiking
14MP camera takes good quality digital photos

Slow processing makes it difficult to take quick action shots
Photo Editing software wastes internal memory
LCD screen has typical sun glare problems
Float lanyard is bulky