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Olympus Tough TG-320 Digital Compact Camera Review

Olympus Tough TG-320 Digital Compact Camera Review - Looking for a budget waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof camera, the Olympus Tough TG-320 may be the answer.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Olympus Tough TG-320
Price : £28
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Olympus Tough TG-320 Front Angled

The TG-320 was announced in February 2012 as one of three new cameras in the updated Olympus Tough range, with this model being the cheapest. It is available in red and blue, priced at £139.00.

Olympus Tough TG-320 Front

Olympus Tough TG-320 Features

The Olympus Tough TG-620 has a 14 megapixel sensor and a 3.4x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 28 - 102mm. Of course, the TG-320 isn't called Tough for nothing. It’s waterproof to 3m, shockproof to 1.5m and freezeproof to -10°C. To help make picture taking easy, the camera has Intelligent Auto mode, as well as a range of scene modes, 3D shooting, magic filters and panorama mode.

The TG-320 can also record videos at 720p HD. During recording you can use Magic Filters and optical zoom with stabilisation available to ensure steady videos.

Olympus Tough TG-320 Top

Key Features

  • Waterproof to 3m
  • Shockproof to 1.5m
  • Freezeproof to -10°C
  • 3.6x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-102mm)
  • 14 megapixel sensor
  • 720p HD movie recording and HDMI Control
  • 2.7 inch 230,000 dot colour LCD screen
  • Dual Image Stabilisation
  • Magic Filter Movie and/or Stills
  • iAuto and AF Tracking
  • Face Detection and SAT
  • 3D Photo Shooting Mode
  • Beauty Mode
  • Pet Detection Mode
  • In-Camera Panorama
  • Scene Modes
  • Eye-Fi Card compatibility
  • USB-Battery Charge
Olympus Tough TG-320 Rear

Olympus Tough TG-320 Handling

The more expensive models in the Tough range look like they are really well built to survive extreme conditions, with the TG-320 being much lighter and feels more like a typical compact camera. It has a plastic body with a solid clip to hold the battery and memory card cover firmly in place. The TG-320 lacks the chunky OK button, used for changing the camera setting, with a standard d-pad instead. There is also a metal plate which helps grip and is also used to attach a strap and the playback button allows viewing of your pictures and videos even when the camera is switched off. The rear of the camera also hosts a 2.7 inch, 230,000 dot LCD screen which is easy to view in all lighting conditions.

Olympus haven't provided a CIPA rating for the camera's battery but it was charged before testing and was not needed to be recharged. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.

Shutter Response   0.2 seconds
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.75 seconds
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.8 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.25 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   1.9 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.7 seconds
Sequential shooting
  0.6 fps
High-speed
  3.1 fps

Sequential shooting records at full-sized 14 megapixel resolution, with high-speed shooting at 3 megapixels.

Olympus Tough TG-320 Battery And Memory Card

Olympus Tough TG-320 Performance

The Olympus Tough TG-320 produces images which are really well exposed with very pleasing colour reproduction. Detail is good at both ends of the lens, soft in the corners and with some purple fringing in high contrast areas. In super macro mode the camera has a minimum focusing distance of 2cm, allowing decent close-up shots to be taken.

Olympus Tough TG-320 Lens test images


Noise is minimal at the two lowest settings of ISO 80 and 100, with noise increasing steadily at ISO 200 and 400. Noise causes images to become soft at ISO 800, with ISO 1600 producing images with lots of noise, not ideal for large prints, but colour reproductions is still good, even at the higher ISO settings.

Olympus Tough TG-320 ISO test images


Below are example images taken using some of the scene modes, as well as underwater. Portraits have good skin tones, there is some red-eye when using the flash.

Olympus Tough TG-320 Sample Photos


The auto white-balance (AWB) setting takes an image with an orange cast under the incandescent lighting, with the respective preset taking a better picture. Under the fluorescent lighting, the AWB setting has a very slight magenta cast, with the fluorescent preset giving a much stronger magenta cast.

Olympus Tough TG-320 White-balance test images


There are a range of magic filters available to add creativity to both images and videos, although not all of them can be used for video recording.

Olympus Tough TG-320 Digital filters


Video Mode

Below is a video shot at full 720p HD, the camera also allows the use of optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.



Value For Money

The Olympus Tough TG-320 is currently priced at £139.00 and is at the bottom of the Olympus Tough range which includes the TG-820 and TG-620. If you want the most waterproof and shockproof camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 ticks the box.

Camera
Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Price
Kodak Easyshare Sport C123 3m - - £50.00
Olympus Tough TG-320 3m 1.5m -10°C £139.00
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT10 3m 1.5m -10°C £144.00
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 5m 1.5m -10°C £169.00
Fujifilm FinePix XP50 5m 1.5m -10°C £189.00
Pentax Optio WG-1 / (GPS) 10m 1.5m -10°C £204.00 / (219.00)
Olympus Tough TG-620 5m 1.5m -10°C £214.00
Canon PowerShot D10 10m 1.2m -10°C £214.99
Fujifilm FinePix XP150 GPS 10m 2m -10°C £219.00
Olympus Tough TG-820 10m 2m -10°C £252.00
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3 12m 2m -10°C £259.00
Sony Cyber-shot TX10 5m 1.5m -10°C £269.00
Nikon Coolpix AW100 10m 1.5m -10°C £294.95
Pentax Optio WG-2 / (GPS) 12m 1.5m -10°C £299.00 / (£339.00)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 12m 2m -10°C £329.00
Canon PowerShot D20 10m 1.5m -10°C £349.00
Ricoh G700 5m 2m -10°C £449.00

Olympus Tough TG-320 Verdict

With a limited set of features and fairly decent performance, the Olympus Tough TG-320 is a worthy option if you are looking for a waterproof camera, but have a limited budget. If you have more money to spend, Olympus offer the TG-620 and TG-820, which have scored higher in our reviews.

Olympus Tough TG-320 Pros

One of the lowest price waterproof cameras
Freezeproof and shockproof
Magic filters

Olympus Tough TG-320 Cons

Limited features
Only one lock on battery and card cover

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL

Olympus Tough TG-320 Specifications

ManufacturerOlympus
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/5.1
35mm equivalent28mm - 102mm
Optical Zoom3.6x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels14Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4288
Pixels (H)3216
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)6.16mm
Sensor Size (height)4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230000
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Spot
  • ESP Light Metering
ISO sensitivity80 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting0.6fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLI-42B Lithium-Ion
CIPA RatingNo Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsLI-42B Lithium-Ion Battery, F-2AC AC Adapter,CB-USB6 USB Cable,CB-AVC3 Audio/Video cable,Hand Strap,World Wide Warranty Card,Instruction Manual, [ib] Image Management Software
Dimensions
Weight155g
Width96.3mm
Height63.4mm
Depth22.7mm

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Photographs taken using the Olympus Tough TG-320

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