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Olympus Tough TG-310 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £143
inc VAT

Image quality is nothing special, but this rugged, waterproof, low-cost camera makes a lot of sense in inhospitable environments.


1/2.3in 14.0-megapixel sensor, 3.6x zoom (28-102mm equivalent), 155g

We’re yet to be impressed by the photos from any 14-megapixel compact camera, but the TG-310’s snaps were better than some we’ve seen. Details were a little scruffy and vague, with noise reduction ironing out subtle textures, even at the lowest ISO 80 sensitivity.

Olympus Tough TG-310 sample 1
Click on this example to enlarge it

However, the camera managed to keep photos on the right side of respectable up to ISO 800. These shots weren’t fit for scrutiny but they looked OK when resized to fit the screen. Sadly, the automatic ISO mode was reluctant to raise the ISO speed to avoid blur, resorting to shutter speeds as slow as 1/4s before the ISO speed ventured beyond 200. It sometimes switched itself automatically to the Sport scene mode and used faster ISO and shutter speeds, but it’s worth doing this manually when shooting people in low light without the flash.

The lens performed well throughout its zoom range, with little sign of distortion or chromatic aberrations. However, taking photos in the vague direction of sunlight often resulted in bleached out areas of the frame – we put this down to the glass window in front of the lens, which makes it waterproof but also increases reflections in the lens.

Olympus Tough TG-310 top
Video capture is at 720p, and quality was much like the photos – a bit scruffy but generally up to scratch. Optical zoom was fixed but autofocus remained active while recording, and the efficient AVC compression and 30-minute running time are welcome.

The TG-310 is uncannily similar to the Fujifilm XP30 with its water-, shock- and cold-proof body, 14-megapixel sensor, 2.7in screen and low price. The XP30 wins on paper with its 5x optical zoom and built-in GPS for tagging photos. However, the TG310 catches up with its not-terrible image quality, something the XP30 sadly can’t claim. Its 150-shot battery life is woeful, but avid snappers who need longer battery life will probably want better image quality too. They might want to hold out for our forthcoming review of the Panasonic FT3, a considerably more upmarket rugged camera.

So while the TG-310 is no object of desire, it’s a solid choice for outdoor adventurers, holidaymakers and children who need something robust, waterproof and inexpensive.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 14.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.6x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-102mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,288×3,216
Maximum movie resolution 1280×720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; MP4 (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 19.5MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 150 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, micro HDMI
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 155g
Size 63x96x23mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £143

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.5 (wide), f/5.1 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 4 presets
Additional image controls Shadow adjust
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 2cm
Auto-focus modes Multi, spot, AF point, face detect
Metering modes multi, spot, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer