TG-810: Olympus gets tough with its latest camera


Okay – hands up anyone who has managed to trash their camera through their foolhardy and careless ways? I see you – and so did Olympus – which has brought out what it claims to be its toughest camera to date. The latest tough guy to come onto the market is the Olympus TOUGH TG-810, which, according to its maker, is crushproof up to 100Kg – so unless you’re around the 16 stone mark, you should be able to sit on it, plus it is resistant to water, cold temperatures, scratches and shock.

Function-wise it offers HD movie recording and 14-megapixel stills, as well as electronic compass and three-sensor GPS. Along with its glare-resistant LCD screen, it sounds like a good companion for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors, whether walking, biking, hiking or skiing.

In silver and black, the TG-810 has a sliding double–lock mechanism and metal lens barrier for protection and can survive in temperatures down to -10 degrees C and water depths of 10m. A built-in manometer will ensure you don’t take it too deep – and skiers will be glad of the Tap Control function, which lets you operate the camera by tapping the body – great if you’ve got thick gloves on, or, indeed if you’re underwater.

The Tough camera comes in at £269.99 and is due to be released mid-late March.

If you take your camera out and about but are maybe not quite so adventurous, having a camera that can take great stills AND video is a real bonus – after all, unless you’re actually on a photography field trip, carting around two different cameras is a just a bit of pain.

Enter Olympus (again), which has come up with the first camera capable of taking both movies and 16-megapixel still images at the same time. The Olympus SZ-30MR is one of the camera makers’ Super Zoom models (which means it offers a 24x wide optical zoom) and also boasts Dual Engine TruePic III image processors – which is what gives it the ability to record in more than one mode simultaneously. So as well as taking movie and stills at the same time, you could record two movies at once – in wide angle for instance and close up, or with a filter (there are seven Magic Filters on offer for movie recording).

Olympus has another camera up its sleeve – the Olympus SZ-20, which offers 16-megapixel images and 12.5x wide optical zoom as well as a Smart Panorama function and a Starlight Mode for taking sharp images at night even without a tripod.

Both cameras have built-in flash, onboard manual, USB charging and 3D shooting mode for stills. Both come in black or silver.

The SZ-30MR comes in at £299.99 and will be released in April, while the price of the SZ-20 is yet to be announced.