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Olympus announced the Tough TG-820, a replacement for the TG-810, in February 2012. Other additions to the range are the TG-620 and TG-320. The TG-820 is available in red, blue, black and silver for £252.00.
Of course, the TG-820 isn't called Tough for nothing. It’s crushproof to 100kg, waterproof 10m, shockproof to 2m and freezeproof to -10°C. All this will help protect the camera components, which include the 5x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 28 - 140mm.
The TG-820 can also record videos, at full 1080p HD. During recording you can use Magic Filters and optical zoom with stabilisation available to ensure steady videos.
- Waterproof to 10m
- Shockproof to 2m
- Crushproof to 100kg
- Freezeproof to -10°C
- 5x wide optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)
- 12 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
- 1080p Full HD Movie and HDMI Control
- Multi-motion Movie IS
- iHS Technology
- 3.0 inch 1,030,000 dot HyperCrystal III LCD screen
- Dual Image Stabilisation
- Magic Filter Movie and/or Stills
- HDR Backlight Adjustment
- Advanced iAuto and AF Tracking
- Face Detection and Advanced SAT
- Super-resolution Zoom
- 3D Photo Shooting Mode
- Beauty Make-up Mode
- Pet Detection Mode
- In-Camera Panorama
- Tap Control
- LED Illuminator
- Scene Modes
- Eye-Fi Card compatibility
- USB-Battery Charge
- Metal body
If your gloves are so thick you can't possibly press the buttons then it's time to switch on Tap Control. This means you can cycle through the shooting options by tapping the camera left, righ, up and down, with a double tap on the screen for OK. It works really well and you can adjust the sensitivity.
The rear of the camera also host a 3 inch, 1,030,000 dot LCD screen which is scratch-resistant and easy to view. To ensure the insides of the camera don't get wet, the battery, memory card and cable connectors are housed behind one door which requires the pressing of two locks to open.
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||0.1 seconds|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.2 seconds|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.4 seconds|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.0 seconds|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||0.3 seconds|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||2.3 seconds|
Sequential shooting records at full-sized 12 megapixel resolution, with high-speed 1 and 2 shooting at 3 megapixels.
Olympus Tough TG-820 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/500 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/320 sec | f/5.9 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100
Digital Zoom | 1/160 sec | f/5.9 | 25.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/15 sec | f/4.7 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
There's no noise at ISO 100, but it does start to appear at ISO 200 and more so at ISO 400. At ISO 800 noise is making the images slightly softer and again at ISO 1600. As you'd expect, noise continues to increase through ISO 3200 and 6400, but a usable image is still produced, particularly if you are resizing for web use, with colour reproduction remaining good throughout the ISO range.
Olympus Tough TG-820 ISO test images
ISO100 | 1/15 sec | f/4.4 | 15.1 mm
ISO200 | 1/30 sec | f/4.4 | 15.1 mm
ISO400 | 1/60 sec | f/4.4 | 15.1 mm
ISO800 | 1/125 sec | f/4.4 | 15.1 mm
ISO1600 | 1/200 sec | f/4.4 | 15.1 mm
ISO3200 | 1/500 sec | f/4.4 | 15.1 mm
ISO6400 | 1/125 sec | f/13.0 | 15.1 mm
Landscape mode takes pictures with good blues and greens. Portraits have excellent skin tones and are free from red-eye. Sport mode has been used to gain a fast shutter speed to capture the movement of the water. The TG-820 takes a very impressive seamless panoramic picture.
Olympus Tough TG-820 Scene modes
Landscape | 1/125 sec | f/11.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Landscape With Building | 1/160 sec | f/11.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 100
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 400
Sport | 1/500 sec | f/5.5 | 21.2 mm | ISO 200
Panoramic | 1/40 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 800
Example images taken underwater.
Olympus Tough TG-820 Sample Photos
Underwater LED Macro | 1/40 sec | f/4.7 | 6.6 mm | ISO 800
Underwater 1 | 1/50 sec | f/4.7 | 6.6 mm | ISO 800
Underwater 2 | 1/6 sec | f/4.6 | 6.8 mm | ISO 1600
The LED macro mode is a great way to lighten up a close-up scene, here are some examples.
Olympus Tough TG-820 Other sample images
LED Macro | 1/125 sec | f/4.7 | 6.6 mm | ISO 800
LED Macro | 1/160 sec | f/4.7 | 6.6 mm | ISO 500
LED Macro | 1/160 sec | f/4.7 | 6.6 mm | ISO 320
The auto white-balance (AWB) setting takes an image with a 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-820 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/4.9 | 8.8 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/10 sec | f/4.9 | 8.8 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.9 | 8.8 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.9 | 8.8 mm | ISO 100
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-820 Digital filters
Magic Filter - Dramatic | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Drawing | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Fish Eye | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Fragmented | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Pin Hole | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Pop Art | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Punk | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Reflection | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Soft Focus | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Sparkle | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Magic Filter - Watercolour | 1/30 sec | f/5.7 | 13.1 mm | ISO 800
Video ModeBelow is a video shot at full 1080p 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 MoneyThe Olympus Tough TG-820 is currently priced at £252.00 and is at the top of the Olympus Tough range which includes the TG-620 and TG-320. If you want the most waterproof and shockproof camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 ticks the box.
|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|
TG-610 which was featured packed with good image quality. The TG-820 does not disappoint, with the latest top of the range Tough camera building on previous results. There is now full 1080p HD video recording, a higher-resolution screen and an extended ISO range. There is very little to fault and some unique features, such as TAP control and LED macro, really make the Olympus Tough TG-820 stand out as an ideal camera for those who like to take pictures in extreme conditions.
|The Olympus Tough TG-820 is another excellent performer in the Tough range.
Olympus Tough TG-820 ProsExcellent image quality
Built for extreme conditions
Full 1080p HD video recording
High-resolution LCD screen
Good panoramic pictures
Fast continuous shooting modes
Olympus Tough TG-820 ConsQuite a heavy camera
AWB wayward under our studio lights
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Olympus Tough TG-820 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.9 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||28mm - 140mm|
|CCD pixels||12Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/2000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 6400|
|Video FPS||No Data|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery|
|CIPA Rating||No Data|
|Box Contents||LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery, F-2AC AC Adapter, CB-USB6 USB Cable, CB-AVC3 Audio/Video cable, Hand Strap, World Wide Warranty Card, Image Management Software|