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Olympus Tough TG-310

*Est. $130
Reviewed
May 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Olympus TG-310

Rugged, inexpensive shooter beats the elements but lacks speed

Pros
  • Waterproof to 10 feet
  • Freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Shockproof to 5 feet
  • HDMI port for viewing video clips
  • Shoots 3D stills
Cons
  • Washed-out LCD images
  • No optical zoom in video mode
  • Short battery life
  • Sluggish performance
  • Small, stiff buttons awkward to use
Where to Buy
 

For adventurers who want a compact point-and-shoot that can withstand the elements, experts say the rugged Olympus Tough TG-310 fits the bill. Built to endure temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, the TG-310 is also waterproof and shockproof, although it's not crushproof like some rugged digital cameras. But the Olympus Tough TG-310 does feature a two-shot 3D option that can be used underwater, and it's optimized for use with the Eye-Fi memory card for wireless transfer of your images. At 5.5 ounces, the TG-310 is significantly lighter than its predecessor, making it a portable shooter that "easily fits into your pocket," says Backpacker Magazine's Joel Nyquist.

Behind the TG-310's sturdy exterior is a modest 3.6x optical zoom lens (28 mm to 102 mm) and 14-megapixel sensor that delivers fairly suitable images, though PCMag.com's Jim Fisher says the resolution falters while shooting 720p HD video. Others find fault with the camera's small rubber buttons, which make it awkward to adjust settings with gloved hands "or even simply zoom in or out," says Nik Rawlinson at CNET's British site. In addition, experts complain that the 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot LCD screen produces flat, colorless images and that, at two to four seconds between shots, the TG-310 is slower than some of its competitors.

PCMag.com, CNET, TrustedReviews.com and ExpertReviews.com are among the photography enthusiast sites that test the Olympus TG-310 and compare it to its rugged competitors. Joel Nyquist of Backpacker Magazine provides an outdoor enthusiast's perspective, while users at Amazon.com post helpful feedback on real-life use.

Where To Buy
Olympus TG-310 Tough 14.0 MP Digital Camera with 3.6x Wide Optical Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD, (Blue)

 (139 reviews)
Buy new: $179.00   8 Used & new from $49.99

 

Our Sources

1. Backpacker Magazine

Joel Nyquist and his 2-year-old daughter subject the Olympus Tough TG-310 to extensive abuse, kicking it around the playground, tossing it in a freezer and dropping it from 5 feet onto granite. While the TG-310 emerges "none the worse for wear," Nyquist says the video afterwards was a "little jerky and at times out of focus." Otherwise, he's pleased with the image quality and considers the TG-310 a "perfect adventure camera."

Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 Point-and-Shoot Camera: A shockproof, waterproof, freeze-proof camera for all your outings, Joel Nyquist, Not Dated

2. Backpacker.com

Joel Nyquist and his 2-year-old daughter subject the Olympus Tough TG-310 to extensive abuse, kicking it around the playground, tossing it in a freezer and dropping it from a height of 5 feet onto granite. While the TG-310 emerges "none the worse for wear," Nyquist says the video afterwards was a "little jerky and at times out of focus." Otherwise, he's pleased with the image quality and considers the TG-310 a "perfect adventure camera."

Review: Gear Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 Point-and-Shoot Camera, Joel Nyquist

3. PCMag.com

Jim Fisher tests the Olympus TG-310's durability claims and finds that it withstands being submerged, dropped and frozen, though the camera's lithium battery loses juice in temperatures below 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Image quality is better than the competing Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3, but the TG-310 lags behind in speed and lacks the TS3's built-in GPS. Still Fisher says that "if you're looking for a camera that can withstand harsh environments, the Olympus Tough TG-310 is a solid choice with a very reasonable price."

Review: Olympus Tough TG-310, Jim Fisher, Sept. 22, 2011

4. PCMag.com

Review: Olympus Tough TG-310, Jim Fisher, Sept. 22, 2011

5. CNET (U.K.)

While the robust Olympus Tough TG-310 "offers fairly good value for money," Nik Rawlinson says other cameras are more resilient, particularly the crushproof Olympus TG-8010. Rawlinson is also underwhelmed by the camera's "average performance," small buttons and "one of the least pleasant LCD screen we've seen in a while."

Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 review, Nik Rawlinson, March 29, 2011

6. CNET (U.K.)

While the robust Olympus Tough TG-310 "offers fairly good value for money," Nik Rawlinson says other cameras are more resilient. Rawlinson is also underwhelmed by the camera's "average performance," small buttons and "one of the least pleasant LCD screens we've seen in a while."

Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 Review, Nik Rawlinson, March 29, 2011

7. Expert Reviews

The budget-priced Olympus TG-310 is a solid choice for outdoor adventurers "who need something robust, waterproof and inexpensive," but slow startup, small buttons and a "particularly cheap" LCD screen are among reviewer Ben Pitt's gripes.

Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 review, Ben Pitt, April 19, 2011

8. Expert Reviews

The budget-priced Olympus TG-310 is a solid choice for outdoor adventurers "who need something robust, waterproof and inexpensive," but slow start-up, small buttons and a "particularly cheap" LCD screen are among reviewer Ben Pitt's gripes.

Review: Olympus Tough TG-310 Review, Ben Pitt, April 19, 2011

9. TrustedReviews.com

Names one of the best waterproof cameras of 2011, the Olympus TG-310 earns a spot in Trusted Reviews' tough-cameras roundup. But reviewer Audley Jarvis doesn't like the small, stiff buttons, flat LCD images and inconsistent autofocus. Nevertheless, he ultimately decides the TG-310 "remains worthy of consideration" if you're looking for a rugged, budget-priced camera.

Review: Olympus TG-310 review, Audley Jarvis, June 7, 2011

10. TrustedReviews.com

Named one of the best waterproof cameras of 2011, the Olympus TG-310 earns a spot in TrustedReviews.com's tough-cameras roundup. But reviewer Audley Jarvis doesn't like the small, stiff buttons, flat LCD images and inconsistent autofocus. Nevertheless, he ultimately decides the TG-310 "remains worthy of consideration" if you're looking for a rugged, budget-priced camera.

Review: Olympus TG-310 Review, Audley Jarvis, June 7, 2011

11. Amazon.com

Reviews here are nearly divided, with about half of the 20-plus owners pleased that the waterproof Olympus TG-310 performs as advertised, while others complain of water leakage, grainy video images and short battery life.

Review: Olympus TG-310 Tough, Contributors to Amazon.com

12. Amazon.com

The Olympus TG-310 receives relatively positive ratings at Amazon.com, where over 50 reviews combine to give the camera a 4-star rating (out of 5). While most are pleased with the camera's ruggedness, others complain of water leakage, grainy video images and short battery life.

Review: Olympus TG-310 Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com

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