GCN LAB REVIEW—Rugged devices

Olympus Tough 8000

Pros: Rugged, good picture quality, works underwater.
Cons: Nothing significant.
Ruggedness: A
Performance: A+
Ease of use: A+
Features: A
Value: A-
Price: $379

GCN Lab Reviewers Choice small logoThe lab recently looked at a prototype Tough-8000 in a standalone review and brought in a production unit for this one. We were highly impressed with the picture quality of the 10-megapixel unit and its ruggedness. Even with a 2.7-inch LCD screen, the Tough-8000 wasn’t damaged at any height dropped from within military specifications.

The Tough-8000 also works underwater, down to 33 feet, something nothing else in the review could claim. We took many underwater photos, and they all looked like something from a National Geographic special.

But the most impressive and probably overlooked feature of the Tough-8000 is that it has tap sensors that can be enabled. This is great if you happen to be wearing a heavy jacket or some type of thick underwater gear. Just because your camera is rugged doesn’t mean that you are. But instead of having to expose bare skin to harsh conditions, with the tap sensor, you can just hit the camera slightly to advance menus or set up for a shot. So you don't have to even take off gloves to take a picture. The Tough-8000 remains one of the most impressive rugged devices we have seen in a long time.

Olympus America, 978-468-8944, www.olympusamerica.com

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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