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Olympus µ Tough-8000 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £249
inc VAT


1/2.33in 11.8-megapixel sensor, 3.5x zoom (28-102mm equivalent), 182g

This is a camera that means business. It’s able to withstand 10m of water pressure, drops from 2m and being crushed under 100kg. That’s around 16 stone, so depending on your burger intake, you can probably tread on it without fear of damage.

The recessed lens sits behind a glass window, but there’s also a sliding lens cover to protect it. The cover keeps the window clean but it can also lock water behind it. We found that droplets got into the area where the cover is stowed during shooting, and were sometimes deposited on the window hours or days later. It didn’t seem to do the camera any harm, but these droplets could affect image quality.

For a camera that’s so tough, it’s strange to find a Beauty option on the mode dial. Select it and the screen shimmers with an animated vanity mirror graphic. Subsequent pictures are treated to a digital facial, smoothing over skin textures with a hazy, effervescent blur. We doubt that many outdoors types are interested in such a feature. Then again, weathered skin does come with the territory, so maybe Olympus is on to something here. The same feature crops up in the other two Olympus cameras we tested this month.

Another feature that’s common to all three Olympus cameras is shoddy video capture, which is disappointing. The Tough-8000 also shares the Tough-6000’s tap control system and macro lamp. Stills performance was better than the Tough-6000’s, with 3.6 seconds to the first shot, 2.2 seconds between photos and 1fps in continuous mode. Image quality showed no significant improvement, however. Photos were marginally sharper and the stabilisation had a better success rate, but even in sunlight there was some evidence of blotchy discoloration in darker areas of photos. In dimmer lighting, photos were covered in multi-coloured splats of image noise.

Although the Tough-8000 is more rugged than the 6000, its disappointing image quality prevents it from being more than average.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 11.8 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.33in
Viewfinder none
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 3.5x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-102mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 3,968×2,976
Maximum movie resolution 640×480
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot xD, microSD
Mermory supplied 45MB internal
Battery type 3.7V 925mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 240 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, DC in
Body material metal
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 182g
Size 62x95x22mm

Buying Information

Price £249

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) 64 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 6 presets
Additional image controls shadow adjust
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 2cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer