Olympus Tough 1030SW
- Waterproof to 10m, shockproof from 2m, snow- and crush-proof, fairly sharp images, low noise levels
- Colour issues, chromatic aberration problems, slow burst mode
Olympus' Tough 1030SW doesn't take massive leaps ahead of its predecessors, but it does introduce a few minor improvements and remains a good choice for users after a unit that can take more than its fair share of punishment.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Olympus has been relentless the last year or so in keeping a steady flow of camera refreshes hitting the market. One of the key beneficiaries has been the company's Tough series, and today we took a look at the new flagship in this line, the Tough 1030SW. As with the past refreshes it doesn't change all that much, but includes some minor improvements to the tough functionality. While it isn't a necessary upgrade for owners of past Tough units it certainly makes it that little bit more appealing for everyone else.
The main upgrades come in the form of increases in the strength of the interior. The Tough series is known for its waterproof and shockproof units and the 1030SW ups the ante to two metres shockproof (up from 1.5 metres) and a massive 10 metres waterproof (up from 3 metres). The increase to two metres is somewhat of a big deal because now it's guaranteed it won't get damaged even if you drop it from head height while taking a shot. Similarly 10m is enough to not be concerned when snorkelling although it won't help serious divers.
Other Tough features this model sports include crush protection up to 100 kilograms and snow protection to a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius. All of these add up to one extremely tough camera. We gave it a more than reasonable number of drops and bounces as well as submerging it in water for several minutes but everything continued to operate perfectly.
Another area where improvements have been made is the sensor, which has had a resolution increase to 10.1 megapixels. While this does have an impact, and the unit captures some decent pictures, it does have the same flaws spotted in past Tough series models.
The most obvious of these is poor colour balance. The automatic white balance doesn't adjust well to indoor conditions and the incandescent setting produced pictures that were far too cool. This really made some colours come out a little paler than usual. The same issues were not as noticeable outside using the sunlight preset.
Our other main issue with the 1030SW's images was the relatively high chromatic aberration levels. Our shots lost a lot of clarity towards the edges of the frame and there was significant purple fringing in our outdoor shots as well as haloing on high contrast edges indoors.
Fortunately the rest of the shots were crisp and sharp. The 10-megapixel sensor has made a noticeable difference in this regard and the images produced by this camera are more than adequate to be enlarged well beyond 4x6in.
Image noise was also handled very well. At ISO 100 there was none visible at all and we'd be comfortable using any setting up to ISO 400 regardless of our intended print size. At ISO 800 the noise notches up a fair bit, but these shots will still be alright for standard 4x6in prints.
In our speed tests the 1030SW was an excellent performer. It exhibited a very quick 0.07-second shutter lag and took just 1.3 seconds from power up to first shot. The shot-to-shot time was also very speedy at 1.7 seconds. The only disappointment was the burst mode, which was a very sluggish 0.9 shots per second at full resolution.
The feature set is fairly standard for an Olympus compact, that is to say, it is impressive. It features an underwater movie mode to complement the rugged exterior as well as shadow adjustment and face detect focus mode. Olympus' great on-board panorama makes a welcome return along with the wonderful guide mode. Digital image stabilisation is also included and while it does a reasonable job it is no match for a decent optical- or sensor-based solution.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPProject OfficerQLD
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- TPProject ManagerOther
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- FTDevelopment Manager - SaaSQLD
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- TPService Desk Analyst - Level 1VIC
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- CCApplication Solution Designer (Automation) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTIT Project Coordinator - Mascot/AlexandriaNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXVIC
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTScrum MasterQLD
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- FTSenior Solution ArchitectSA
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW