Wednesday, May 19, 2010

the olympus tough series is...well, tough!

In honor of the upcoming Warrior Dash, and for any Southeasters who may want to overnight a camera that is perfect for running around with that day....

I've been known to participate in Photoshop hijinx here and there, but I assure you the above image is not digitally altered. That is my Olympus Stylus camera after some particularly awesome caving at the SERA cave carnival.

Somewhere in the evolution of point-and-shoot cameras, someone decided that it would be a good idea to make an EB-proof camera. Ok, so they weren't totally thinking of me when they made this. But seriously. After some of the things I've put my camera through, I'd swear they were at least thinking of someone like me.

Waterproof: as deep as 33 feet underwater.
Shockproof: designed to withstand a 6.6-foot drop, bump, or other mishap.
Freezeproof: winterized to perform at below-freezing temperatures (down to 14°F/-10°C).
Crushproof: withstands up to 220 pounds of pressure

After taking the picture you see above, we hosed it down and kept rolling. Seriously. Awesome. Camera. The image quality is great, too. The shake-free setting has given me some great results, as I don't always have the steadiest of hands. (Perpetual motion will do that to you.) It shoots great (HD) video, too. I've basically been beating on this camera for 2 years and it's still working splendidly.

The cons, to be fair:
  • Sometimes, it can respond a little slow with the memory card (other reviewers have noted the same thing)
  • When you've run it through so many mud baths, you start to lose the labels on the back. Then it's sort of a guessing game with the dial, which totally sucks if you're in a hurry and trying to change modes.
  • Sometimes I wish I had fancier settings like I have on my SLR, but that's not really what a point-and-shoot camera is about. 
  • You actually can get mud on the lens and in the lens cover (which retracts when you turn it on)...that's a pain for sure, though I've not personally done this. (One of our readers notes she's glad she bought the extended warranty particularly for this issue. She dropped it off for a cleaning and voila! All better.)

Still, the latest iteration of the Olympus Stylus (the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 14MP Digital Camera) has moved up in megapixels and awesomeness. I'm, of course, tempted to upgrade :-)

Note: there are several "levels" of this camera available for purchase, with varying degrees of megapixels, toughness...and cost. Dig around on amazon and you'll see what I mean.

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