Olympus Mju Tough 6010 review

The latest ruggedised compact camera from Olympus

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Olympus mju tough 6010

We disliked:

We're not thrilled to see Olympus persevering with the xD card format. xD cards are more expensive per gigabyte than SD cards, and currently top out at 2GB, compared to SDHC's 32GB.

It's not such a problem if all you want to do is take pictures – a 2GB xD card will take roughly 350 shots on the 6010 – but if you're away for a long time or want to shoot a lot of video, you'll need to buy more cards.

The only potential good news is that you can get an xD to microSD adapter. A further knock is the proprietary USB port: lose the cable on holiday and you won't simply be able to connect a mini-USB cable. The Tough's claimed battery life of 250 shots is also a little less than some other compacts.

The Tough's video mode is another potential sticking point. There are plenty of sub-£300 compacts around that record 720p HD video, so merely 640 x 480 is a little disappointing.

The idea of shooting underwater HD video really is tantalising, and it's a shame it's missing. Finally, for all the 6010's Schwarzenegger-like toughness, we'd expect to see a metal tripod-thread, rather than plastic.

More seriously, advanced snappers – the type of people likely to spend £300 on a compact – will be put off by the lack of creative control. There's no shutter or aperture-priority modes, and while there are several white balance modes, you can't set white balance from your own image. There's no concession for those who want to focus manually. This is a true point-and-shoot camera with very few features to pull in serious users.

We liked:

But the fact that the Tough 6010 is waterproof is a huge bonus - most compact cameras don't have optional housings, and when they do it pushes the price beyond the 6010's £300 price.

There's also no doubting the effort Olympus has put in to making the Tough well-built: this is a superb choice if you find yourself in inhospitable places, or simply have a track record of destroying compacts.

Moreover, the 6010 takes great pictures. The quality of our test images is truly impressive, and the high resolution sensor means you'll be able to print them at large sizes with little loss of quality.

It's true that the Tough isn't without its drawbacks, but if you're looking for a camera which takes superb-quality images and will withstand just about anything you can throw at it, consider this £300 well-spent.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
Product Familyµ Tough
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card, microSDHC Card, xD-Picture Card
Image StabilizationDigital, Optical
ColourRed
Optical Zoom3.6x
Digital Zoom5x
Brand NameOlympus
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)149 g
Maximum Image Resolution3968 x 2976
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height63.4 mm
Width95.3 mm
Depth22.4 mm
Focal Length5 mm to 18.20 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelN3594592
Product Nameµ Tough 6010 Compact Camera
Product Lineµ Tough
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberN3594592
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

From adrenaline packed days to activities with the family, the Olympus µ Tough 6010 is ready for action. Whether enjoying a day at the beach or out carving on the slopes, this 12 Megapixel powerhouse is the ultimate companion. Shockproof, waterproof, and freeze proof, it ensures extreme fun.

Package Contents
  • µ Tough 6010 Compact Camera
  • LI-50B (Lithium-Ion Battery)
  • F-1AC Adapter
  • CB-USB6 (USB Cable)
  • CB-AVC3 (Audio/Video Cable)
  • MASD-1 (microSD attachment)
  • Instruction Manual
  • World Wide Warranty Card
  • Hand Strap
  • Software CD-ROM
Limited Warranty2 Year