There are some cameras that are built to withstand harsh weather. The Olympus Tough 3000 is one of them. It can even be carried along when it’s raining or when you’re scuba diving.
The camera comes in a rugged plastic encasing that’s quite tough. It is neither compact nor bulky. At 95.9 x 65 x 23.4 mm, it is average sized and weighs just 160 g. The fully matte body prevents fingerprints. The rear sports a 2.7-inch screen that performs decently under direct sunlight. The navigational buttons are placed to the right of the screen. First-time users shouldn’t find using the camera difficult as it comes with a detailed in-camera manual.
One noteworthy feature of this camera is that every function has a detailed explanation. Everything from the modes to shooting posture to picture composition is explained in detail. Another major plus point is the built-in 1 GB memory. The Olympus Tough-3000 is designed to weather harsh conditions. The camera can survive freezing temperatures of – 10 degrees Celsius and is waterproof to a depth of 3 metres. We did a drop test and found that it can withstand a fall from 1.5 m.
What I didn’t like was the tactility of the device. The rubber buttons are not very responsive, forcing you to press them really hard. I found it easier to press down with the thumbnail.
The Olympus lacks fluidity when changing modes or settings. But it does have a handful of predefined modes such as Pop art, Fish eye, Drawing and Pin hole. There are a total of 15 scene modes. Other than VGA and QVGA, the Tough-3000 can also record in HD (720p). However, the video lacks the the picture quality and sharpness that one would expect in an HD video. The end result is
comparable to an ordinary VGA output at a higher resolution.
The overall colour and saturation is good, with a decent level of sharpness. However the top edges of images are not as sharp.
The camera’s Night mode was a bit of a letdown as the image was a tad overexposed. The Olympus does well in taking macro shots and its Super Macro range falls at a sweet 1.3 cm, while the normal Macro comes in at 5 cm.