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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth 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
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTTeam Leader Solution DeliveryQLD
- FTSenior Marketing Manager | Global Technology CompanyNSW
- FTInfrastructure Engineer - End User ComputingNSW
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- CCData Migration Lead | Recruitment Focus | DocklandsVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- FTSoftware EngineerWA
- FTPMO LeadNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantVIC
- TPAgile Projet AdministratorVIC
- FTSCRUM Master, CX, Financial ServicesNSW
- CCService DeskSA
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTFrontend DeveloperNSW
- FTProject Manager - Accountin Finance and AssetWA
- CCMid-level Business Process Analyst (Automation) - Contract - ParramattaNSW
- FTStorage EngineerSA
- FTDigital Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCManaging Architect - Satellite - TelcoVIC
- CCICT Security Systems AdministratorNSW
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- FTManagement AccountantNSW