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If you're going on holiday this year, then this is the camera for you. Especially if you have kids.
Going on holiday, I knew I'd need a camera I wouldn't leave lying around. I'm also extremely clumsy, so I expected to drop it a few times. I saw this camera and knew it was exactly what I needed.
The camera is waterproof to 10ft and shockproof to 5ft, and I can agree with that whole-heartedly. This means the user can take it in the pool, in the sea, to waterparks and drop it every now and then and not a single thing would happen to it, tried and tested. Just make sure you keep the side panel to the charger socket locked.
The camera takes beautiful pictures and videos on perfect quality. The zoom isn't the best, but it isn't a fancy professional quality camera, and you get what you pay for. The battery life is amazing when only taking photos, but taking videos drains it quite quickly. I would recommend buying a spare battery online.
The inside panel has a battery slot, which makes it easy to remove and replace the battery if you keep spares, 1 SD card slot (the bigger card), 1 SDHC card slot (the tiny card), and a usb slot for the charger.
The charger itself comes with a detatchable usb wire, so you can use the usb box on the charger to charge any phones or iPods also.
The product delivered exactly what it said it would, and it was worth every penny of the £110 I paid for it.
Another tip with cameras is to get the memory card (usually SD) online, not in shops. Look for a 16gb card, as you will never fill it up with normal use, but 8gb is usually too small.
If the battery life was better, it would get a perfect 5 star rating, but it will only get a 4 this time round.
The Olympus Tough is a great little digital compact camera which is both waterproof and shockproof. I bought my camera at Christmas with a forthcoming trip to Disney in mind. I had previously had the Olympus Mju with a waterproof case which I bought seperately, but that was on it's last legs so I needed something a bit more reliable to see me through a day at the Disney waterparks. This camera did the trick and more.
Let me give you some technical details:
It has 3.6x wide optical zoom.
It is Shockproof to 1.5m/5ft.
It is Waterproof to 3m/10ft.
It has a 2.7" screen on the back of the camera.
It is a 12 megapixel camera.
Now allow me to elaborate on the features and performance.
When you first turn the camera on it takes a few seconds for the screen to come to life. When it does, the picture is clear and well focused. There is a menu down the right hand side of the screen which at first I found a little irritating,but soon learned to ignore. The most important information it shows you is which setting you currently have your camera on. It also tells you about the flash setting, the macro setting, the self timer, and several other things which quite frankly are unimportant to the average point-and-press camera user, but probably vital to those who take their photography a little more seriously - like ISO and white balance adjustment, but I don't understand these much so I just leave mine on Auto. You can also adjust the number of pictures you can take in one press from the standard one to sequential and hi-sequential. In the bottom left hand corner of the screen a counter tells you how many photographs you have left and how much video time you have remaining. This is very useful.
There are many different setting on the camera. I have mine almost permanently set to Program Auto, but it includes the following: Beauty (can't work this one out but it seems to take two photos automatically), iAuto, Scene (including Beach/Snow, Snapshot, Pet, Portrait, Landscape, Night, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks, Documents), Panorama, and Magic (which bizarrely does Pinhole, Fisheye, Drawing and Pop Art). I have played about with all of these. Some are useful, some are just gimmicks. The Drawing one looks cool, changing your photo to white with black outlines, but honestly, what would you use it for?
In general usage the photographs this camera takes are of superb quality. The colours are very true to life, the sharpness of the pictures is excellent, and I am very happy with it. And underwater it is excellent, the pictures still remain clear and in focus. We had great fun taking photographs with the camera underwater and the children above the water, all distorted through the ripples on the surface.
The Tough takes an SD card which is inserted via a door which opens at the side of the camera. You pull the lever and it swings open. This is also where the battery and charging lead are inserted. I was a little worried, at this point of exploring my new camera, about how well that would stand up to being dunked in water, but relax, dear reader, it is completely waterproof. The Tough also has its own internal memory, and this, let me tell you, in astounding. I have not encountered a camera with quite such fantanstic internal memory. It will take 155 photos or just over 10 minutes of video!! I'm used to cameras that do 10 photos on internal memory if you are lucky, so was well impressed when I discovered that.
To the right of the screen are the buttons, all nicely covered with a black rubbery-stuff. The wide/telephoto buttons seem a little small but are not when you start to use them. All the usual suspects are there: menu, view photos, record, erase. The only one that isn't is flash, which has to be accessed via the menu button. There is even a speaker so you can hear your video recordings.
The video was the most astounding feature of the camera for me. I bought it thinking only to take photos with it, but when we discovered the video at the Disney waterparks there was no stopping us and some of my best video moments of the holiday were filmed on this camera. We videoed whilst going down the waterslides, in the wave pools (including being hit by the Big Wave at Typhoon Lagoon), and underwater.And when you look at the clips on the TV there is no difference in quality between this cameras video and that of the camcorder we also took with us (see previous review).
The camera took some pretty heavy usage. As well as all of the above, I took it round the lazy rivers at the waterparks, so it was often in my hand while I paddled my rubber ring along, much to my husbands disgust who told me it was not meant to be used as an oar. It didn't break. It really is waterproof. And it is sooooo much better than trying to operate a camera through one of those bulky waterproof cases.
The only thing that is slightly disappointing about it is the speed at which it takes photos. There is perhaps a 1-2 second delay between pressing the button and the picture taking, which meant taking snapshots was at times problematic, as children had turned their heads away or rushed out of shot to the next exciting thing. But in the grand scheme of things, this wasn't the end of the world and didn't happen very often. The great features of this camera and its superb performance in all other areas negated this one anomaly.
The battery can be charged via an ordinary mains plug or through a USB lead straight from a computer. It will easily last for a whole day of quite extensive use. I never ran out of charge on any one day, but didn't risk not charging it in between.