The Bottom Line
Having a "tough" camera available can be a big advantage for your photography plans. My Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 review shows a model that can work in water depths up to 33 feet, can work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees, can survive a fall up to 6.6 feet, and can handle up to 220 pounds of pressure.
Having a camera like the 8010 for use in tough weather is a nice idea, if you can afford the nearly $400 price tag. (You may be able to find this model for around $350 by shopping around.)However, its response times and overall image quality aren't quite good enough that I'd recommend using it for your only camera.
- Tough features are handy in poor weather
- Panel protecting memory card and battery slots is especially secure
- Some good intermediate photography features
- Lens remains protected at all times
- Macro modes work very well
- Response times, especially start-up time, are below average
- Overall image quality could be a little better
- LCD is a little small, but is of good quality
- MSRP is a little high, although price has fallen a bit
- Menus can be a little tough to learn to use
- Resolution: 14.0 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 5X (28-140mm equivalent)
- LCD: 2.7-inch, 230,000 pixels
- Maximum image size: 4288x3216
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
- Dimensions: 3.9 x 2.5 x 0.94 inches
- Weight: 7.6 oz. (without battery and memory card)
- Image sensor: 1/2.3-inch CCD
- Movie mode: 720p HD
Guide Review - Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 Review
The image quality with the Stylus Tough 8010 is a little below what I'd like to see in a $400 camera. There isn't just one thing to point toward with image quality, but the images just seemed not quite as sharp as I'd like to see or have colors quite as bright and vibrant as I'd like to see. The image quality isn't bad, it just isn't as good as I'd expect.
The Stylus Tough 8010 includes a 5X optical zoom lens, and it includes some limited wide angle capabilities, which is nice. With 14 megapixels of resolution, the Stylus Tough 8010 can create large prints, too.
The Stylus Tough 8010 offers three different macro modes and performs well in close-up photos. It also has a very good panoramic mode.
As with many newer point and shoot cameras, the Stylus Tough 8010 can shoot HD video. When shooting video, the camera measures the amount of storage space remaining on your memory card and counts down the amount of time you have remaining to shoot video, which is handy.
Finally, one of the nicest changes I found in my Stylus Tough 8010 review is that this camera can accept SD family memory cards. Older Olympus consumer cameras have been limited to xD memory cards, which aren't as easy to find as SD cards.
I've heard from a few of the site's readers who have had trouble with older cameras in the Stylus Tough family, especially with the waterproof features. Olympus appears to have fixed this problem with the 8010, as the panel that protects the memory card, USB, and battery slots has a double latch, strongly securing the most vulnerable areas of the camera.
Otherwise, the design of the Stylus Tough 8010 is similar to previous Stylus Tough models, with a sturdy, thick feel to the camera and with the lens strongly protected in the upper right corner of the camera. The lens never extends outside the camera body, which provides additional protection. However, with the positioning of the lens, you have take care when holding the camera, making sure your fingers don't block the lens. The Stylus Tough 8010 is available in silver and black, with silver trim.
Olympus has included some nice intermediate photography features with this camera, including a dedicated "info" button that gives you information about the camera's settings for each photo, along with good manual control options. However, I found the menu structure for the Stylus Tough 8010 to be a little confusing.
Finally, the 2.7-inch LCD is a little smaller than I'd like to see, but you can control the brightness level, which is nice.