The Bottom Line
Although I did not test all of the "tough" features of the Stylus Tough 8000 -- there's something just not right about trying to force yourself to drop a loaner camera from 6 feet in the air -- it's very obvious that this model is one of the most well built point and shoot cameras around. I have no doubt about the truth of the shockproof, waterproof, and weather-hardy features that Olympus claims. Beyond its tough exterior, the my Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 review shows a model that is easy to use, with many very useful scene modes. A slightly lower price than its MSRP of $399 would be nice, but this model is great.
- Camera has a very sturdy feel and look
- 12 megapixels of resolution is above average
- Several easy-to-use shooting modes
- Close-up images are sharp
- LCD is very sharp and bright
- Price is a little high
- Subtle markings make camera's buttons tough to decipher
- Start-up time is a little slow
- Stray noise shows up in photos occasionally
- 3.6X optical zoom lens could be larger
- Resolution: 12.0 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 3.6X (28-102mm equivalent)
- LCD: 2.7-inch, 230,000 pixels
- Maximum image size: 3968x2976
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
- Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.4 x 0.85 inches
- Weight: 6.4 oz. (without battery and memory card)
- Image sensor: 1/2.33-inch CCD
Guide Review - Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 Review
For an almost $400 camera, the image quality with the Stylus Tough 8000 is a mixed bag. In good lighting, you'll find excellent images most of the time, with good color and sharpness. However, when the lighting is not as good, you'll tend to find some stray noise in images. With 12.0 megapixels, you'll have plenty of resolution for making large, sharp prints. Because of the stray noise, you may need to do some photo editing after shooting.
With a 3.6X optical zoom lens, the Stylus 8000 cannot match the zoom capabilities of many cameras in this price range. Those looking to shoot photos over distances will want to look elsewhere. It does offer some wide-angle options, though.
The only serious downfall for the Stylus 8000 in terms of performance is with its start-up time, which can require 3 seconds. This camera's other response times are pretty good. Occasionally, in low light, the auto-focus can be a little slow.
Beginners will appreciate the menu structure with the Stylus Tough 8000, which is easy to use and provides access to the shooting modes. The "document" mode, for example, makes it easy to snap well-focused close-ups.
The 2.7-inch LCD is bright and sharp, even in bright sunlight, and it's built to work well when framing underwater photos.
For those who need a "tough" camera, the Stylus Tough 8000 lives up to its name, which is a bit of a surprise for an ultra-compact camera (0.85 inches in thickness). According to Olympus, it will work underwater up to 33 feet, will survive a fall from 6.6 feet, will survive up to 220 pounds of force, and will operate in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
The camera body is raised around the LCD, which prevents inadvertent scratches. The Stylus 8000's lens doesn't extend beyond the camera body, which provides more protection.