Olympus Mju Tough 6010 review

The latest ruggedised compact camera from Olympus

TODO alt text

As soon as you pick up the Mju Tough 6010 it feels different to most other compacts. Where most opt for slimness and pocketability, the Tough is unapologetically robust. It weighs 149g and, while it will still slip comfortably into a pocket, you can forget about keeping anything else in there.

Mju tough 6010

There's not a hint of give anywhere on the body, and no sooner had we removed it from its packaging than we accidentally treated to a substantially longer fall than the 1.5m it's rated for: it powered straight back up.

The 6010's weatherproofing is also evident. The battery and USB socket doors are clearly made of tough stuff, and have rubber seals around them to prevent water getting in: it's these that allow Olympus to claim that the 6010 will survive dunks up to 3m (10ft), which makes this a great choice if you're a keen snorkeler. Even the buttons on the back feel sturdy.

They push far enough to click, but absolutely no further.

And the 6010 isn't just tough, it's cleverly-designed as well. The 3.6x lens is contained entirely within the body, so it doesn't whir out when you turn on the camera. This has twin benefits.

olympus touch 6010

First, if you drop it, the point at which the lens meets the camera body won't be damaged. And, if you're in a rush and you stuff the 6010 into a bag or pocket, you don't need to remember to turn it off first. The lens is protected by a motorised metal lens cover.

A strange but potentially-useful inclusion is an LED light next to the flash. Turn on the appropriate setting in the menu, and holding the DISP button on the back of the camera turns it on, allowing you to use the Tough as a makeshift torch. Handily, this works even if the camera isn't turned on.


And, usefully for a camera likely to be used in unstable places, the 6010 has two image stabilisation modes. One is effectively cheating, boosting the ISO to allow shorter exposure times. The other is proper gyroscopic stabilisation, shifting the CCD to compensate for movement.