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  1. #1
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    Olympus Tough TG-830 Review

    Finally got my camera, and played around with it a bit last night. Figured I would give an initial review of it for people that are interested.

    Camera: Olympus Tough TG-830
    Price: $279.99

    The Good: Shock-proof up to 7ft, Waterproof up to a depth of 35ft, decent photo's

    The Bad: Price, "heavy features", weight, battery type

    First of all, the one thing I noticed when I opened the camera, was that it uses an LI-50B battery pack. I had hoped for something a bit more universal, say.. AA batteries.

    The camera boasts that it is shockproof from a drop of 7 feet, and waterproof up to a depth of 35 feet. Both of these are perfect for me. It also boasts that it has a GPS, which can be used to geotag your photos, as well as a means of location finding if / when other means are not available. I could have done without this feature, since it adds weight to the camera.

    It can also record videos (what camera cannot these days?) and uses the H.264 codec for compressing the video. It can record up to 1080p, which I wouldn't expect anything less really.

    The shooting modes are a bit less involved, as it is a true point and shoot. You can't create custom ISO levels or exposures on the fly, which I find a bit depressing. It does have several modes that you can shoot in that automatically adjusts those levels though.

    Another downside to picture taking, is that it only gives you two options for compression, Fine and Normal. It does not have an option for RAW.

    Speaking of exposure levels and RAW photos, one of the modes that is has is for HDR. You take one photo, it creates up to three, automatically sets the exposure levels on each, and then merges them into one again. From my tests, it takes roughly 45s - 1 minute for the camera to do its thing. However, it does not create the "surreal" effect that you typically see with HDR imagery, but rather, it makes the picture quite a bit more "clearer".

    One thing that I find odd about the camera's layout, is that the lens is on the upper left of the camera face, rather in the middle. It also does not have a view finder, so you're stuck with using the LCD display. If they had centered the lens, and added a viewfinder, that could have been another way to save on battery life.

    I plan on going out this weekend to some local trails, I'll post up the photofeed at some point!

  2. #2
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    I don't think any of the compact P&S cameras have a viewfinder, nor do any of the tough cameras.

    The TG-1/2 have the lens in the center, but all the other Olympus (and most of the other brands) have the lens in the corner. My Panasonic TS-3 met its demise because of that. But my older Olympus 770sw seems to be a bit more inside the body and has a nice metal ring around it, so it's survived a lot of hits.

    As for RAW, that's a perennial complaint about P&S and tough cameras. They don't have it. With a P&S, though, do you really need RAW? I guess I ought to try RAW with the DSLR and see what I'm missing, huh?
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  3. #3
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    RAW format is good if you're going to be doing effects or re-sizing to specific sizes since it is not compressed. The format itself uses a ton of space, but double-compressing photos or videos will degrade it. How severely it degrades is up to what compression methods, how many times it was re-compressed, effects, etc..

    Then again, that is getting more into the professional side of things, which would be SLR territory rather than P&S territory. But its just an.. "i wish it had this feature".

    As the saying goes, you can't have your cake and eat it too I guess.

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