Olympus TG-320 Review

Waterproof

14 Megapixels    3.6x Zoom

Dimensions: 96.3 x 63.4 x 22.7mm    Weight: 155g

Good Points: Sharp pictures, robust features, value for money

Bad Points: Colours can lack a bit of zest


Olympus TG-320 Shutter Lag Rating par Ease of Use easy Camera Name Rating

Overview

The Olympus Tough TG-320 is a robust digital camera. It is waterproof to 3m, shockproof to falls of 1.5m and freezeproof to -10 degrees centigrade. You can find digital cameras that are waterproof to greater depths , but the Tough TG-320 is a fair bit cheaper than most of those models.

Other features include 14 megapixels and a 3.6x zoom lens. You can shoot 720p High Definition Movies. For close up work the camera can focus from 2cm.

Compared with other robust digital cameras at this price point the Tough TG-320 has the following:

Plus Points

  • Image Stabilisation
  • 3D Photo Mode
  • USB Battery Charging
  • 3D Photo Mode

Negative Points

  • 2.7 inch LCD screen

Why Buy the Olympus TG-320

This is one of the cheaper robust digital cameras. As long as you are not looking for a digital camera to go diving with this camera does a good all round job and offers value for money.

Features

Megapixels and Zoom

The Tough TG-320 has 14 megapixels and a 3.6x zoom. The focal length of the zoom is equivalent to 28 - 102mm in 35mm format.

Memory Cards

You can use SD, SDHC and SDXC cards to store images. The Tough TG-320 is also compatible with Eye-Fi memory cards. These give you Wi-Fi compatibility with other devices.

To record High Definition Movies you will need to use SDHC or SDXC cards that are class 6 or higher.

Robust Features

The Tough TG-320 is waterproof to 3m, shockproof to falls of 1.5m and freezeproof to temperatures as low as -10 degrees centigrade.

Batteries

A lithium ion battery is used to power the camera. As well as being able to recharge the battery using a wall socket you can also charge it by using a USB computer terminal. Olympus supplies the battery and all you need to charge it with the camera.

Movie Mode

You can shoot 720p High Definition Movies. The maximum recording time for a HD movie is 29 minutes.

LCD Screen

The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size.

Scene Modes

Olympus have provided the following scene modes: Portrait, Beauty, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Scene with portrait, Sports, Indoor, Candle, Self-portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach and Snow, Underwater Snapshot, Pet (cat) and Pet (dog).

Macro Mode

For close up shots the camera can focus from 2cm away from your subject.

Image Stabilisation

Image Stabilisation has been built into the camera. This helps to guard against picture blur caused when the camera is not help perfectly steady when a picture is taken.

Magic Filters

If you would like to add some special effects to your photos Olympus has equipped the camera with some Magic Filters. These are: Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle and Water colour.

Image Quality

Picture Quality Summary

It is a case of some plus points and some negative points with the Tough TG-320. To start with the pictures look sharp. In most cases that sharpness is retained well as you move towards the edges of the photo. In addition the camera also manages to show good levels of detail in areas of light shade.

A couple of negative points are colours that look flat compared with other brands, plus a lack of detail showing in areas of photos where there is not a great deal of contrast.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 1

The first test shot shows some of the plus points covered in the summary. Looking at the brickwork on the building it is in sharp focus. As you move out towards the edges that sharpness continues to show. There is also plenty of detail showing in areas of light shade.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 2

As with the first test shot the Tough TG-320 manages to produce a sharply defined photo. This is an impressive effort as many cameras find it hard to produce a photo that remains sharp as you move out towards the edges.

Outdoor Scenic Shot 3

In this shot the lack of detail in areas of similar colour shows up. This is especially true with some of the smaller trees and also the roof tiles. This is something that can be noticed with other Olympus digital cameras too.

Outdoor Building

Sharpness levels are very good in this picture too. Focusing levels are retained well as you move out towards the edges of the shot. This shot also shows how green colours lack a bit of zest. This can be seen in the bushes that run along the front of the building.

Outdoor Portrait

Maybe this photo could have been a shade lighter. Apart from that there are no issues. Moving in close makes no difference to the sharpness of the shots and the skin tones take on a natural look.

Indoor Portrait With Flash

Providing you can get in quite close to your subject you should be able to fire off good quality portrait snapshots. The flash unit puts out just enough light to reach the hard to light areas such as the hair without washing out colour from the face.

Indoor Portrait Without Flash

The Tough TG-320 makes the most of the lighting that is available for this shot. It compares well against other models as it is able to show high levels of definition. You should be able to produce window lit portrait shots with this camera.

Macro

This camera is fine if you are looking to produce the occasional macro snapshot. It is able to focus close up on your subject and throw the background out of focus.

Colours

Colour is a matter of personal taste. So what I like to see in a picture and what you like to see may differ. When it comes to scenic shots with plenty of green the Tough TG-320 produces colours that look somewhat muted compared with those produced by other brands. There appears to be less difference with other colours, but greens do look toned down. To my eyes this can make pictures with a lot of green in them look a little dull.

Noise

The Tough TG-320 does well to keep noise levels under control in tricky areas such as light shade. This can be seen around the names of the boats in the first picture. As mentioned above the indoor portrait also controls noise well.

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Olympus TG-820 Rating 83/100

There are a number of robust digital cameras with similar features and general qualities. The Olympus TG-820 is priced a little lower than most of its direct competitors, so if you are looking for a good quality, robust digital camera and you would like to keep a few pounds in your pocket then this camera could well be the one for you.

Read Review: Olympus TG-820 Review

Olympus TG-320 Rating 81/100

The Olympus Tough TG-320 offers quite a lot of features for the price. It is able to cope with most typical snapshot opportunities. It scores well for ease of use. All in all it is a good choice if you are looking for a digital camera with robust features and you would like one with a lower price tag.

Read Review: Olympus TG-320 Review

Panasonic DMC FT20 Rating 81/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FT20 is a mid range robust digital camera. In terms of performance it is mid range too when it comes to picture quality. It is one of those digital cameras that do not stand out from the crowd, but at the same time it is hard to come up with reasons not to buy it. Picture quality is fine for snapshot print sizes.

Read Review: Panasonic DMC FT20 Review

Related Pages

Olympus TG-320 Specification

Olympus TG-320 Sample Images

Digital Camera Reviews

Olympus Digital Cameras

Review Date

Review Date: August 2012

Verdict

The Olympus Tough TG-320 offers quite a lot of features for the price. It is able to cope with most typical snapshot opportunities. It scores well for ease of use. All in all it is a good choice if you are looking for a digital camera with robust features and you would like one with a lower price tag.

Ratings

Ease of Use:
Features:
Movie Mode:
Build Quality:
Colours:

9
8
8
8
7

Photo Quality:
Style:
Indoors:
Macro:
Value for Money:

Total:

8
8
9
8
8

81

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:
Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

14
3.6x
2.7 inches
96.3 x 63.4 x 22.7mm
155g
2cm
Yes
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD / SDHC / SDXC

Shutter Lag Times

Single Shot:
Five Shots:
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:

0.35 seconds
10.19 seconds
0.57 seconds
14.88 seconds
4.93 seconds

Shutter Lag Table

Handling

General Handling

The position of the lens means that extra care is needed to keep fingers out of the way. The back of the camera is also quite busy, but there is room to squeeze in your thumb one way or another.

Flash Positioning

The flash unit is positioned more or less in the centre, near the top of the camera. This positioning means it is out the way of your fingers when taking a photo.

LCD Screen Quality

LCD screen quality is about the same as most digital cameras. As long as the screen is kept out of direct sunlight you should have no problems viewing it.

Turn on Time and Shutter Delay

It can take a long time for the camera to be ready to take the first picture after you turn it on. Once it is up and running the shutter delay times are about average.

Design and Build Quality

Waterproof cameras tend to look different to any other type of digital camera. That is true of the Tough TG-320. It has a large, rectangular lens in the top right hand corner as you look at the camera. The lens is integral. This means that it does not extend out from the camera body when you zoom in.

As you would expect for a digital camera with robust features it has a solid feel to it.

Camera Controls

On the top of the camera are two buttons. One button is for turning the Tough TG-320 on and off. The other is for taking a picture. The zoom controls are on the back at the top. Beneath these are a button for shooting a movie, one for reviewing images, a button to display some help text and one to access the menu. Further controls are available to change the information displayed on the LCD screen, confirming a setting and deleting an image.

Product Shots

Front View

Olympus TG-320 Front View

Back View

Olympus TG-320 Back View

Top View

Olympus TG-320 Top View

Sample Menus

menu 1 menu 2

menu 3 menu 4

Buy the Olympus TG-320

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GBP 129.99
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