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on April 17, 2010
I have owned many Olympus cameras in the past but this is my first camera I have purchased from their "tough" line. As advertised this thing looks and feels very sturdy. The seals on it look like they will hold out any kind of moisture and dust and the lens has its own protective shroud and cover to protect it from scratches or damage. The lens also does not extend or retract so dust, sand, and dirt cant jam it up (which is a problem I have had before). It also has a minimum of buttons to break or stick and it has a very soild body construction. So on a toughness scale of 1-10 the Stylus tough 8010 gets an 11. This camera really is in a class of its own on when it comes to durablity, and it is the only camera I have seen my colleagues take with them into combat zones.

On the other hand it looks like Olympus tried to cram all the wrong things into this rugged camera. The first thing you will notice when operating this camera is how slow it is between pictures, even with a class 6 SD card in it, its write speed seems painfully slow. Don't get me wrong I am very happy Olympus finally got ride of the XD card but it doesnt seem like they've fixed their write speed problems. Picture quality also isnt that great but thats not a major hit given the small lens they are working with.

One thing you find on the camera that shouldn't be there is all kinds of picture editing or "Beauty" features in the camera. This software does an okay job but take way to long to proccess. In my opinion Olympus should leave photo editing to photo editing software on a computer and instead focus on making this camera take better pictures with less lag time between shots.

Over all this camera is great if you plan on going to a very rough part of the world, or even swimming with it. But if your just an average person looking for a camera to take good pictures this is not for you. Instead buy a cheaper camera with a better lens and get a good camera case to protect it from everyday life.

**Update - I had to send this camera in for warranty repair because it stopped reading my SD card, I also complained about the long delay between shots. Olympus repair gets 5 stars. They replaced the cameras circuit board and updated the camera with the latest firm ware and had it sent via 2 day UPS shipping in the same day they received it.

The camera is faster now; it went from a 3 second delay to about a 2 second delay between shots and it's more responsive when scrolling through the menu. I will take a 33% increase in speed, it's still not great but then again this is a "rugged camera" so you have to chose your battles.

I bought this camera when it very first came out which I am sure is why it had old firmware on it. Olympus should put this firmware update on their website so everyone can have it without having to send their camera in, but I would say that it would be worth it to send your camera in if you are as frustrated as I was with the delay that this camera has.
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on June 3, 2010
Do not assume that I am biased or jaded, my score is based upon real-world usage of this camera. I own the Olympus Stylus 1030SW and have been very happy with its performance as a all-around point-and-shoot as well as an underwater camera, so I was thrilled to see the 8010 come out as the upgrade with higher resolution, better zoom and deeper capabilities. I pre-ordered the 8010 and it arrived just days before we left on our cruise which enabled me to do some real-world validation. I was sorely wishing I had brought my 1030SW as I was trying to capture images on the trip.

The Good:
The overall exterior design is great on the 8010. I really liked the new double-lock on the battery / memory compartment. Kudos for moving to the standard SD format as well. The new 720 video resolution is nice as well. It still feels like it drops a frame or two every so often at 720, but it is very good quality for the optics. The camera performs well underwater with good vibrant images.

The Bad:
The software running this camera is the complete downfall. The menu and selections are very sluggish, going from option to option you have to deliberately think 'go slow' or you will find yourself very frustrated. I am not sure what Olympus did with the white-balance of this camera but its functionality lies somewhere between 'completely broken' and 'completely frustrated'. I could take several pictures of individuals on the beach and one image would be completely blown out like a whiteout and the next image would look like it was a completely dark overcast day. I tried several times to change the settings to compensate for this, and I found that if I angled the camera around enough I could almost get the picture I wanted. The trouble was that for nearly every shot I was taking a picture, then tweaking the settings several times and have to adjust where I am pointing to try and get the image to come out partially descent. I have never had to manipulate a camera so much - EVER. All the while my daughter standing next to me would snap the same shot with her $95 Nikon and it would look great. It also appears that the flash is much less powerful, typically when the individual in the image is too dark, with a lighter background, I would change the settings to force the flash, but with this camera it hardly made a dent. Also on several of the videos take at the beach it was almost as though the sensor was overloaded as I would get a bright white / pink streak on the video as we were shooting on a bright day.

When I returned from my trip, I saw the great reviews here on Amazon and figured i must have bought a defective one so I called Olympus. I received no satisfaction from them, so I ultimately returned it to Amazon. I then purchased a 2nd one to see if truly my original was defective and found the exact same results and as such I have returned the 2nd camera as well. Thank goodness for Amazon's fantastic return policy. I am now using my 1030SW and looking to see what is the real solution for the next upgrade from that camera.
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on June 14, 2010
This was my first underwater video taken in Aruba, off the beach at the Renaissance Aruba's private island! I love swimming off the island - dive boats park nearby. This was also the trial run for my Olympus Tough-8010 camera and since I watched YouTube videos before deciding to purchase it, I thought it was important to post a video, mentioning how satisfied I am with the camera. Natural lighting and conditions had the most significant impacts on pictures - pretty much, what I saw, is what I got in video and still photos. The underwater scene selection was a time saver as is the handy 1 click video button. The only problem I had was probably unavoidable - underwater I could not see the picture preview at all - not enough light, I suppose -so I was forced to point and hope that I was taking the picture as intended. Very satisfied with the camera overall!!!
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on April 1, 2010
The Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 digital camera withstands inhospitable environments while taking very good pictures. The heavy-duty housing is well-sealed from the elements, with the battery compartment and usb and hdmi connections sealed by an o-ring protected double-locked door.

Initial camera set-up is VERY simple. After inserting and partly charging the battery (via the camera USB connection), camera initialization can be performed from the attached computer. Image-processing software can also be installed from the camera itself. The software is basic, but does have a couple of Olympus-specific touches.

Out of the box, users must charge the replaceable battery via the usb connection while the battery is in the camera; via a computer or the provided wall charger. In order to continue shooting, I've since purchased an external charger and extra battery so that I can swap batteries and continue shooting while recharging the depleted cell. Each is readily available from online vendors; both Olympus original and facsimiles.

The camera has numerous scene modes, face recognition, and effective anti-shake technology. The panorama mode is nice, but slow to stitch pictures together and is not entirely accurate.

Shot delay from the time that the shutter is pressed sometimes causes a moment to be missed. Save times for 14 mb images to a SDHC card are a bit lengthy.
The non-standard mini-usb connection at the camera end is less-than-secure, causing occasional connect-disconnect cycling.

Overall, I find this camera relatively easy to use; though it can be confusing to a digital photography newcomer. The camera can be set to a fully-automatic mode for those folks. I've not yet explored all of the scene modes, but the three tried thus far aid in obtaining sharp pictures.

For someone who wants a capable camera that can be used at the beach or in the pool; this is the best I've found. For those who don't need weather or environment resistance, other choices at approximately half the price will fill the bill nicely."
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on May 1, 2010
If I had it to do again, I'd buy a lesser model underwater camera (ski, impact resistant) and use the extra $120 toward a good point and shoot. All in all it acts like an amazing 2.5 MP camera. The 14MP is too much for the lens I guess. Try and zoom in on a pic during editing and it's grainy. Olympus offered to inspect my brand new camera at a repair facility, but given other online reviews, I think this camera just takes mediocre pics.
It's worth about $200 to me, but I paid twice that, so I'm disapoonted and annoyed. I feel I need to carry another point and shoot camera to take good normal pics; for $400 I feel it should be able to do that.
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on March 14, 2012
I think the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 is the best of the underwater POS cameras. When writing "How To Take Stunning Underwater Photos Using Point And Shoot Cameras" (Kindle, Nook, Lulu and Apple) we tested and tried every POS underwater camera we could find and the Tough 8010 was the clear winner for price, quality, and ruggedness. I am about to buy another. This will be my forth in three years. Not bad when you consider we are in the water most every day and the cameras get tossed around without much care. (I work as a yacht captain) The cameras are all still working, but get a little tired after about a year of abuse.

The only drawback seems to be the LONG reset time between photos. Still check out the video we are posting. Pretty good stuff for a POS pocket camera.

One more thought is we have had dozens of underwater photos published taken with the Olympus Tough. That is pretty good when you consider most published photos were taken with expensive, SLR underwater cameras.

Hope that helps other choose.
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on July 2, 2010
After my toddler destroyed a Canon point and shoot, we decided that a tougher camera would be useful for our upcoming trip to Mongolia. We thought the Olympus was an obvious choice. Shock resistant, water resistant, and possibly toddler resistant. Before you buy this product, be warned that it is SLOW.

Pro's
Tough. We dropped it a number of times and the toddler threw it across the room. Survived.
Water resistant. Washed off the sand, almost went into a toilet, survived.
Lost. Toddler lost the camera in a Chinese taxi. Yes, that is a pro.

Con's
SLOW. Fast toddler plus slow camera equals missed opportunity.
Big. Bigger than comparable point-n-shoots.
SLOW. The start up speed and time between pictures should have nothing to do with the "tough" series. 3 year old Canon was MUCH faster.
Usability. Fairly easy to use, zoom was slow and the button was small. Almost a pro.
SLOW. Delay between pushing the shutter button and taking the picture means missing Toddler.

Overall, I'm happy that we lost the camera. Already bought a new Canon that is much faster, smaller, and has more features for a lower price. We are willing to take the chance that it will survive a fall or two to make up for speed and usability.
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on September 7, 2011
I spent a lot of time investigating underwater digital cameras. Each and EVERY camera had roughly 10% to 20% of negative reviews. I visited different stores to hold the cameras in my hands and to see how sturdy they each felt.

After 4 weeks of intense review, I decided upon this camera for the following reasons:

1) 5X optical zoom
2) Cool color blue
3) Sturdy and solid as a rock
4) Price is highly competitive
5) One touch video recording
6) The buttons are very EZ to use...even under water

We took this camera to Punta Cana in the Caribbean. I used it in the kids water park, in the large adult pools, in the ocean, on a deserted island, while snorkeling, and while scuba diving. This camera met each and every challenge with no problems whatsoever! I even banged it against the side of the pool two or three times by accident and it just keeps on working. It's EXCELLENT. It's rated for a depth of 16.5 feet, but I took it 20 feet under during a 40 minute dive and had zero problems! I never had to use the manual because the camera has a help button that provides more details for every menu option.

The camera is easy to use for still photos and video. In terms of battery usage, it does very well when shooting still photos with the flash on. For some reason it seems to consume the battery pretty quickly when shooting video....but that doesn't matter because you can pick up an extra battery for very little money on Amazon. The video files are saved in the MP4 file format....which is GREAT because it takes up less space than AVI files !!! Check out the pictures I uploaded!

I had zero problems with the camera focusing. It's awesome!

UPDATE: November 2011 (2 months since my original review). I purchased the camera in August and took it on vacation (as mentioned above). The camera was awesome on the trip and still works just fine. I have zero regrets and will continue to take this camera on vacations/trips etc. After using it for 3 months, I think it's AWESOME for underwater stills and video. I most recently took this camera to the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon - it was such a great feeling to use it for video rather than bringing along a separate camcorder! My only "concern" is that when I shoot pics of my kids at school (indoors), the photos come out just "average". I'm not sure if it's me, or the flash isn't strong enough, or maybe I need to read the manual, but some photos come out a little dark, and sometimes a bit blurry. Having said all this, the camera is still AWESOME for the pool, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, and anything where the conditions are wet!
review image review image review image
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on April 9, 2010
PROS:
* WATERPROOF, SHOCKPROOF, FREEZEPROOF, KID PROOF
* GOOD QUALITY 720P VIDEO - LINK TO WATCH SAMPLE VIDEO (...)
* ANOTHER VIDEO - (...)
* EXCELLENT PICS @14 MEGAPIXELS
* GREAT LOW LIGHT PICS
* GREAT LOW LIGHT VIDEO
* ACCELEROMETER FOR GLOVES/SNOW/WATER ETC

CONS:
* SLOW WRITE TO SD MEDIA EVEN SDHC CLASS 6 COMPARED TO PREVIOUS OLYMPUS 1035SW SUPER FAST WRITE WITH XD MEDIA
* MENU IS A CROSS BAR LIKE PS3 THAT REQUIRES MULTIPLE PUSHES VERSUS FAST ACCESS TO FEATURES
* NO SHUTTER SPEED CONTROL

SUMMARY:

BEST DESTRUCTION PROOF CAMERA YOU CAN BUT THAT WILL GO ANYWHERE AND DO ANYTHING AND STILL KEEP TAKING PICTURES AND VIDEO
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on April 23, 2010
I bought this camera for a trip to Ecuador after purchasing two others that I returned, the Vivitar and the Pentax. This one was definitely much better. The pictures were clear, it worked beautifully underwater. I took it down to only about 10 feet though. I would have liked a bigger zoom, but this one beat out all the competition for an underwater camera. It's small size was great to put in my pocket. I ended up using it on most days rather than my larger Olympus C740. It takes great close-ups with the macro lens too. I am extremely pleased with it.
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