Olympus Tough Stylus TG-870: Tough as it gets

The camera is not only hardy, it also provides a great photo-taking experience.
The camera is not only hardy, it also provides a great photo-taking experience. PHOTO: OLYMPUS

The Olympus Tough Stylus TG-870 is one of the best rugged cameras on the market right now.

At first glance, the grey model that we tested did not look particularly tough. It had subtle black rubber bumpers along both sides, and rubber accents on the front and back surfaces.

The only giveaway that it was not a regular point-and-shoot was the word "Tough" in red letters on the front of the polycarbonate housing.

It certainly lived up to its claim. It held up well under our stress tests, with the body and lens of the camera emerging unscathed.

 

Even the corners of the camera, which were damaged on most of the other models we tested, were left unmarked.

The only sign that it had been abused were shallow scratches on the display.

The camera was not only hardy, but it also provided a great photo-taking experience.

While it was not the snappiest camera in this line-up, it was reasonably quick to focus.

It churned out sharp pictures even when I moved the unit around as I was snapping.

The camera was also easy to operate, with quick buttons for many of its functions.

For example, it has a scroll wheel with different modes on it, such as automatic, sport, selfie and panorama. None of the other cameras that we tested has a similar wheel and, in order to select modes, users had to navigate through a menu with buttons - a difficult prospect when on the move.

There is also a red button on the front of the camera, which functions as a secondary shutter button. This is handy for when the regular shutter button is not within easy reach.

This camera is also the only one with a flip-up screen, which makes it easier to take selfies.

There is even an "e-Portrait" function under the selfie scene mode that identifies faces and smoothens out uneven skin tones.

•Verdict: A feature-packed tough camera with a flip-up screen that is great for taking selfies.


Tech specs

PRICE: $398

IMAGE SENSOR: 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor

WATERPROOF: 15m

SHOCKPROOF: 2.1m

DISPLAY: 3-inch LCD, 920K-dots

WEIGHT: 221g, including battery and MicroSD card


RATING

DESIGN: 4/5

FEATURES: 5/5

PERFORMANCE: 4/5

OVERALL: 5/5

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2016, with the headline 'Olympus Tough Stylus TG-870: Tough as it gets'. Print Edition | Subscribe