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Olympus Mju Tough 8000 Digital Camera Review


Digital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 


There is absolutely no need to drum up hype for the Mju Tough 8000. Its long and remarkable list of ‘proofing’ capabilities paired with its ease-of-use and high standard of image quality, make this Olympus unit a star in its class and entirely worth every cent that you pay for it.

The Tough 8000 is, get this, waterproof to 10 meters, crushproof up to 100 kilograms, snowproof to minus 10 degrees Celsius, and on top of that, shockproof up to 2 meters.

Take it swimming, waterskiing or scuba diving, take it to the snow or to areas that experience below zero temperatures, accidentally drop it while out-and-about, stand on it, sit on it, ride over it with your bike - you name it - and you will be surprised at how the Tough 8000 endures the most extreme conditions, under which, so many other compact cameras would fail.

Its surface-coated stainless steel outer has been designed and tested to Military standards and houses shock absorbers to protect the lens along with a floating electric board that disallows shock from affecting the inner circuitry. There is no doubt therefore, that Olympus are daring consumers to use this camera in some fairly extreme conditions and thus far, it’s proving to withstand all of them.

While it’s one thing to be built tough and rugged, it’s a whole other matter to be able to simultaneously produce quality images. After all, what’s the use in being able to take the Tough 8000 on extreme outdoor adventures if the photographs it takes don’t do the experience or scenery justice?

Thankfully, this is a non-issue as Olympus has in no way compromised image quality in order to create what they refer to as ‘the strongest camera in the world.’

The Tough 8000 is a 12 mega pixel unit with a dual shift CCD image stabiliser, 28-102mm equivalent focal length, a 2.7 inch HyperCrystal III LCD, and a powerful built-in flash.

Olympus have also included their face detection and shadow adjustment technologies to help ensure balanced and correct exposure is achieved and dual image stabilisation reduces camera shake in hand-held photographs taken in low-light or other difficult shooting situations.

The Tough 8000 repeatedly produces sharp, well exposed and colour correct images in automatic point-and-shoot mode (among others), making it a reliable camera that always works, and does so quickly and with minimal fuss.

The 3.6 optical zoom performs quite well with minor noise beginning to show at full extension and five times digital zoom is available (18 times combined with optical zoom) however it is not advisable due to the heavy increase of noise at this level and the blur that is difficult to avoid whilst hand-holding the unit in this setting.

19 scene modes are available (landscape, indoor, sport, sunset, snow, documents, cuisine etc.) including some specifically designed for underwater usage (underwater snapshot, wide angle, and macro.)

Beauty mode is accessible via a quick turn of the mode dial in order to help further enhance portraits (see Olympus Mju 7000 review for more information) and in-camera beauty fix offers additional options to help clear skin, create sparkle in a subject’s eyes or to create ‘dramatic eye,’ which appears to enlarge the eyes for increased effect. These features operate with varying results depending on the original image but are entertaining to experiment with and often yield successful results nonetheless.

Other welcomed features include movie mode, three macro options, in-camera panorama and image quality adjustment (saturation, black and white, sepia, re-size, and red-eye fix.)

Tap control mode is somewhat of a gimmick marketed mainly toward those who are often at the snow (and wearing gloves) and find it difficult to operate the small controls on the camera body. By tapping the top, back and sides of the unit you can control the camera’s basic functions without removing your gloves. It’s an interesting idea in theory although can prove tricky to operate, with or without gloves.

The mode dial and function buttons are quite small and may prove finicky for those with a fleshy thumb pad but given time, their control is likely to become second nature.

The Tough 8000 body is approximately 9.5cm wide, 6.2 cm high, 2.1cm deep, and on the heavier end of the compact camera weight spectrum at 182 grams - the reality being that it is virtually impossible to create a unit as robust and seemingly indestructible as the Tough 8000 without gaining some minor additional weight as a result.medal-gold-r.jpg

The unit is available in either black or silver and both options have a highly reflective surface meaning that not only does the camera easily double as a portable mirror in you backpack or handbag, it also takes the guess work out of self-portrait shooting because the reflection allows you to see exactly who or what the lens is directed towards.

The boxed kit includes the Tough 8000 camera body, strap, dedicated battery and charger, a microSD attachment, USB and AV cables, Olympus Master 2 software, manual and warranty card.

There isn’t much this Olympus unit isn’t able do for a camera in its price range and there certainly aren’t many places it can’t be taken. So for the oft travelling, adventure seeking, and those who would prefer to really use their camera to its fullest rather than keep it tucked away for special occasions, this unit is one to seriously consider.

With its extensive ability and remarkable durability, overall the Olympus Mju Tough 8000 is an extremely versatile unit that consumers already do, and will continue to, love.

Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
4.5 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
View finder / LCD screen 3.5 stars
Value for money 5 stars
RRP (AUD) $599
Effective Pixels 12 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 8 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 28mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 102mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 3.6x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 3968 x 2976
Shooting Modes 19 Scene options
Face Detection Yes, up to 16 faces
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 70cm - infinity
Aperture Range F3.5 - F5.3
Aperture Priority No
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 10cm - infinity (wide), 30cm - infinity (tele)
Shutter Speeds 1/4s - 1/2000 s (up to 4 sec. in night scene mode)
Shutter Priority No
ISO 64 - 1600
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 2.7" LCD Screen
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto, Red-Eye reduction, Fill-in, Off
Hot Shoe No
White balance Auto, Overcast, Sunlight, Tungsten, Fluroscent 1 - 3
Self Timer Yes, 12 seconds
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes
Storage Type 512MB ~ 2GB xD, Micro SD via MASD-1 Micro SD adapter (included)
Storage Included [Mb] 45MB Internal Memory
Image / Audio Formats JPEG, EXIF 2.2, PIM III, DPOF
Connectivity USB
Power Source D-7ACA ( using CB-MA1 multi power adapter )
Battery Options Li-50B Li-Ion Battery
Dimensions (W) 95.0mm x (H) 61.7mm x (D) 21.5mm
Weight 182g






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About Olympus


In Greek mythology, Mt.Olympus is the home of the twelve supreme gods and goddesses. Olympus was named after this mountain to reflect its strong aspiration to create high quality, world famous products.

"Olympus" has been used as a trademark since the time of Takachiho Seisakusho, the predecessor of Olympus Corporation.

In Japanese mythology, it is said that eight million gods and goddesses live in Takamagahara, the peak of Mt.Takachiho. The name "Olympus" was selected as the trademark because Mt.Olympus, like Mt.Takachiho, was the home of gods and goddesses. This trademark is also imbued with the aspiration of Olympus to illuminate the world with its optical devices, just like Takamagahara brought light to the world.

Takachiho Seisakusho was renamed Takachiho Optical Co., Ltd. in 1942 when optical products became the mainstay of the company. In 1947, the name was changed again to Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. in an attempt to enhance its corporate image.

And in 2003, the company made a fresh start as Olympus Corporation, to show its willingness to establish a dynamic corporate brand by unifying the corporate name and the well-known brand.

In recent years, Olympus Corporation has focused on "Opto-Digital Technology" as its core competence, technological strengths that competitors cannot easily imitate, to maximize corporate value and to become one of the top optical instrument manufactures.

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