TODO alt text

Olympus Mju Tough-8000 review

Olympus' Mju Tough-8000 rugged zoom camera is designed to take the knocks as well as a serious soaking

Our Verdict

Rugged point-and-shoot camera for outdoor types

For

  • Waterproof to depths of 10m
  • Shockproof design
  • Decent wide angle lens

Against

  • Controls are awkward to use

Cameras that will not self-destruct when seriously wet are not new, but some are better at taking a good soaking than others. The real deal, however, is a camera that will keep on working when completely submerged.

The machismo of these Commando-style cameras is measured by how deep you can take them beneath the brine. As any swimming pool diver will know, water pressure builds up fast as you head below the surface.

The Olympus µ Tough 8000 can hold its breath and keep on shooting at depths of up to 10 metres. This makes a great gadget for surfers, sailors, snorkellers and accident-prone holidaymakers – but its real attraction is that it does not look like an out-and-out diver's accessory. It's not painted bright orange or yellow – it comes in blue, black or silver.

The Tough lives up to its name, as everything feels solid. The connector and battery covers are heavy duty affairs, and the shell is reassuringly metallic. And it's not just styling; Olympus says it can be dropped from a height of 2 metres or bear a 100kg weight, without caving in.

Despite this, the controls are too dainty for extreme conditions. The buttons would be hard to operate underwater or in a blizzard, and the menu system is hard to navigate.

Olympus mju tough 8000
TOUGH ENOUGH: This Olympus underwater camera is designed to be stood on, dropped, frozen or submerged to depths of 10m

The core features are well-suited to the outdoor life. The 3.6x zoom has a wide end (equivalent to 28mm on an old film camera). The close-up facilities are also top-notch. With limited visibility underwater, close focusing is essential if you're going to get good-looking pictures of marine life. There are three modes to do this; one uses an LED torch to light up the subject and aid focusing.

Image quality is reasonable, with a decent amount of detail and pleasing colours. Olympus gets extra points for supplying Mac-compatible software out of the box (OS X 10.3 or later). Master 2 has some rather useful image editing tricks up its sleeve.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution12 Megapixel
PictBridgeYes
Product Familyµ Tough
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedxD-Picture Card, MicroSD Card
Image StabilizationElectronic, OptiCAL
ColourSteel Blue
Optical Zoom3.6x
Digital Zoom5x
Brand NameOlympus
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)182 g
Flash Memory Capacity45 MB
Minimum Focus Distance20 mm
Maximum Image Resolution3968 x 2976
Maximum Frame Rate30 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Total Camera Resolution12.7 Megapixel
Height61.7 mm
Width95 mm
Depth21.5 mm
Focal Length5 mm to 18.20 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Audio FormatsWAV
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product Model8000
Product Nameµ Tough 8000 Compact Camera
Product Lineµ Tough
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberN3589092
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

People who quickly get bored at home need an off road camera like the µ tough-8000, the high tech tool that fits into every bag. It is waterproof to a depth of 10 meters, shockproof to a height of 2 meters and includes a high precision 3.6x wide optical zoom. This makes it the ideal partner for expeditions into the mountains and the canyons. With the convenient TAP Control you can operate the camera by tapping the body. Furthermore, the µ tough-8000 offers you Dual Image Stabilization for perfectly sharp pictures when using maximum zoom or shooting in lower light. So the next time you plan your adventures, make sure to bring your camera because the action is waiting to be captured by you.

Package Contents
  • µ Tough 8000 Compact Camera
  • Hand Strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • World Wide Warranty Card
  • Audio/Video cable (CB-AVC3)
  • USB Cable (CB-USB6)
  • Lithium-Ion Battery (LI-50B)
  • Lithium-Ion Battery Charger (LI-50C)
  • Software CD-ROM
  • MASD-1 (microSD attachment)
Display Resolution230000 Pixel
Limited Warranty2 Year