51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2010
This thing really does all the things Olympus claim. The photo quality is just so-so though. It's not ever worth taking 12MP photos with it so I have mine set to 8MP. Like so many high MP cameras today, the lens just isn't good enough to capture the detail - and what do you expect for a $200 camera that's waterproof? However, it does allow you to digitally zoom that bit further and the video is great. It's unfortunate that the video format is not standard, and doesn't work with anything or any software I've found so far. I'm sure they'll fix that at some point.
The battery life is very poor - but I found some higher capacity compatible batteries on Amazon that were very cheap (like 2 for under $10) so I'd advise just buying replacements.
The menus are a little confusing and at first it can seem that you're limited and the camera can't do certain functions, but it actually can if you figure out why certain features are restricted in certain modes. The camera has a very unhelpful message like "Not supported" that it will display - but doesn't explain why the mode you're trying to select is not supported. It will take a thorough read of the online instruction manual to figure this out, but don't give up and you'll figure it out.
Apart from that, I'm very happy with it. It won't replace my 'land' camera, but it is awesome for snorkeling, boating, and swimming. Here's a video I took with it last week in Maui. You'll have to cut/paste this in a browser because Amazon won't recognize it as a link... [...]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2011
I see a lot of Reviews of this product by "Photographers", who yap on about ISO settings, and blah, blah, blah. Here's the deal. If you're such a pro, why are you using a hundred dollar camera? For all you shutter jockeys out there reviewing hundred dollar cameras, STOP PLAYING WITH THE SETTINGS! It's a point and shoot!
I bought the Stylus Tough 3000 PURELY ON PRICE POINT to replace a Stylus 1030 SW that is aging.... The 1030 SW is three years old, and believe me, it's been used and abused in and out of pools, saltwater, sand, drops, and you name it. I never had it sent to Olympus for waterproofing maintenance , so I won't submerge that camera anymore, but I did for almost three years, and it still works, and I would take it in rainy or wet conditions with no qualms. I gave it to my daughter and she uses it. It takes great pics on auto setting if you know how to use the focus. It still takes great shots.
I am a little disappointed there is no retracting lens cover like on the Stylus 1030 but, I haven't had it long, and haven't seen what abuse will do to that part. However, I was used to using the focusing feature on my old 1030, and this one is very similar. I like it. It takes sharp photos in different scenarios if used correctly. When it arrived in the mail, My daughter and I took it for a test run in the shallow waters around my home town..... I took underwater photos of various things at depths of just a couple feet. I took multiple pictures at macro and super macro, and normal modes, underwater and in the open daylight, with and without flash, and with different flash settings. It was partly cloudy, so I had opportunities to shoot full sun shots of my daughter, wildlife, etc. in shady or sunny conditions... We spend the day wading, playing in the sun, and taking pictures. The camera stayed in my pocket, even while wading in belly-deep waters. I wouldn't normally swim all day with it. I was just giving it a trial run, basically to insure it will perform over it's life as advertised so I can send it back now if necessary.
The battery is the smaller one, and that I dislike. I don't mind charging it with the USB as others have complained about. I am lucky to have USB adapters for everything, but I can plug it into the car, my computer, someone else's computer, a wall, etc... It doesn't charge so fast, but hey.... It's a hundred dollar camera. Plus, you can get dock chargers for these batteries pretty easily and cheap. Buy an extra battery or two as well if you want to use it all day.
The Stylus Tough 3000 has more internal memory than the 1030 SW, so I was happy about that, but had a limit as to the amount of pics I could take on it. However, it still took about 75 shots on the 12MP setting, which I don't normally use. Normally, I'd use 5MP on the 1030 SW, I will probably continue using 5MP because even that is too large to print from almost any normal printer at it's native resolution, and it's much larger than most computer screens. Why waste the space if you aren't using them for a professional job? Anyways, the internal memory isn't bad at all, even with firmware taking up much of it. I have a 16GB SDHC card on the way.
Obviously, the seals held for the day. It turned out that out of the 75 or so pictures I took, about 3 of them were unusable and blurry, maybe ten of them were just acceptable for most computer screens and had some different anomalies and such, but the rest were brilliant. If you factor in human error (which is a BIG factor in these reviews), I think that is pretty impressive for a hundred dollar waterproof camera. I have a decent sized (23") monitor, and they look great on it. I have pics all over my Facebook, and everything. people comment on how gorgeous the pictures are from both Olympus cameras I've used.
I Only used the automatic settings for the day, as well. What's cool about it is it has different automatic settings for different scenarios. It even has a feature for stitching together multiple shots into a huge panoramic, even a 360 degree pan. I tried that, and didn't do it correctly, but if I had, it would have been a great image. I just had to figure out what to do, that's all. after viewing the file, I saw where I erred, and could easily create wonderful pan shots now.
I haven't used the video yet, but on my 1030 SW the video is not good. Not good at all. However, I've seen video taken with the Stylus Tough 3000 online, and I was fairly impressed. I wouldn't expect to get different results from this camera.
My last Olympus is still getting abuse and taking good shots after more than three years.... I'm more impressed with the images this new one creates. I just hope it will prove as sturdy as the last one. I see no immediate reason why it shouldn't.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2011
We bought this camera specifically for a kayaking trip we were going to do on vacation. I wanted to be ableto have a camera that could get wet, possible go underwater, be durable enough to withstand being jostled and of course take some nice pics!! We are NOT overly tech savvy, but had no problems running the camera in basic daylight/scenery functions. The battery lasted all 6 hours of our kayaking tour, but was dead by the return to the hotel, I used it ALOT though in that time. I did turn it off during periods of non-use though in effort to save battery.
I do consider it a downfall to have to plug the camera in to charge, but now that we know we like the photos it takes we are going to invest in extra batteries to have a backup.
I took probably 200 photos of scenery, animals and underwater shots. The water was crystal clear, and could see clearly with the camera at least 10 feet underwater with very high detail...i'm guessing it would go a bit further but that's not what I was focused on at the time. I have beautiful long-distance landscape shots of the water and mountains in the background, everyone who looks at our photos have been in awe that they were taken from an "underwater" camera.
I did not try the video mode.
Also did not try to take photos at night.
I've recamended this to friends, and am very happy with our purchase and the chance to use it again as our children get older and we(hopefully) go on more water-based trips!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2010
As a professional photographer I wanted a little waterproof camera to document my family's adventures without always having to drag out my big camera. I liked the idea of this camera. Admittedly, I am spoiled by using my pro equipment all the time. I find this camera slow to focus and not great for the action shots. The LED screen is hard to see in the sun so you really don't know what you have until you get home and load them up. The worst thing is that it soaks up the battery faster than anything I have ever seen. Don't leave home without it fully, I mean FULLY charged.
Now with all that said, the pictures that do come out in focus are great and it does do a really good job with the actual underwater stuff and I love the fact that you can take video underwater, so much fun!
Will I use this as a replacement for all my family pictures, absolutely not. But it is a fun toy to have in my bag.