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on 28 November 2012

It really is rugged. I've dropped it, stood on it and bashed in (not on purpose) and you'd never notice. I took it into the sea for some snorkelling in the maldives and it performed outstandingly! Hours in the sea and at depths of over 5 meters. Seriously good at video, much better than my canon SLR! I bought a 32GB card which gave me over 3 hours of HD video.

The screen at the back! wow! Its back lit and give stunning quality. better than any ££££ SLR screen that i've seen.

As for general photo quality its very good for a basic point and shoot. It takes a very resonable photo in a range of conditions and its very easy to use. Its won't match an SLR of course but thats understandable. It has a range of 'fun' modes to play with but you won't end up using them if you just want to take good photos.

There really is only one, but unfortunately its a BIG one. Battery. Its terrible. Ive had 5/6 cameras this size over the last 10 years and even the earliest out performs it. You can put it on power save mode and this helps alot but to be honest, it feels like you haven't got full use of the camera because it immediatly trying to turn the screen off.

I guess it is a bit fat for some pockets but that doesn't bother me.

Does the poor battery life mean don't get the camera? NO! its a superb camera. Just get your self a spare battery (£12ish)
I'm very happy with it and many of my friends who are keen SLR users are considering getting one as backup.
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on 22 March 2012
This is my eighth digital camera and third waterproof one after a Pentax WP1 and Olympus Tough 8000. I use the waterproofs for sea kayaking and both cameras worked well for 3 years and I only replaced them because specs improved. I like the Olympus because it has true OIS for steady shots whilst bobbing about and a lens cover to stop drops on the lens and USB charging, which you can do anywhere including from a solar charger. The 820 takes good shots and is noticeably better than the 8000 in all respects except one. I never had a drop of water enter the 8000 in 3 years. During my first trip out with the 820 the access door just flapped open. It has two slide locks to keep it closed, one moves up-down and is locked by another moving front-back. Both are quite loose and I found that with fumbling wearing gloves it is too easy to knock one then the other and open it pops!
This is very poor design. Doesn't anyone test these things!?
I like the camera otherwise, the pictures are great, its faster to wake up and works better than the 8000, so I looked for a way to solve the problem. I used a strip of self adhesive foam rubber with a couple of holes for access to latches and stuck it over the door, so the latches can't be knocked accidentally. This seemed to work even when I tried to defeat it. Without this glaring problem I would have voted 5*.
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on 27 October 2012
Light, rugged, aesthetically pleasing, the TG-820 does all it says on the box. 12Mpix gives great clear shots. Fun feature shots, especially on HDR setting. I didn't go to the max depth but it gave us great underwater swimming pool shots, perfectly focussed. I bought this as I was wary of taking my SLR to the beach and pool. I take my 820 now wherever I go. Love it.
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on 15 April 2014
I got this camera just before I left to go travelling for a year. I got it ON my birthday 2013, and it was INCREDIBLE. Such a decent camera. I was told to buy a GoPro (I was on my gap year, everyone said it would be better, tougher, more durable etc) but I'm really glad I didn't. It's strong (dropped by several Fijian children onto concrete floors) and waterproof. Another person I met had a different olympus tough model, and said it always leaked. I haven't experienced this problem. When you leave it in sunlight, a funny colouring (like mist?) comes up on the screen sometimes, but it soon fades away. I bought a cheap polaroid designed floatation device (get this instead of the actual Olympus designed one- it does exactly the same thing and works really well- though make sure you squeeze out the water from the sponge regularly though- and only costs 25% of the price). Whenever I dropped it in the water from the boat, it was fine, and I took it snorkeling on several occasions.

However, despite the amazingness of this camera, I did find a few faults.
1) The video quality is fine- but the format when you move it onto your computer isn't the most common, compatible file version. I'm not a computer geek, but I'm pretty adept at computers and movie making and facebook etc, and the file format that these video's are saved on the camera as aren't very compatible. Can only open and watch them on itunes and apple imovie maker. Windows doesn't support it. Weird, or I'm just being very stupid.
2) Literally EXACTLY a year on from getting it (my birthday in 2014!) I took it snorkeling with me in Australia. Suddenly, it just stopped taking pictures and the screen didn't work. I took it home, assumed that it was dead on battery, so plugged it in and charged it. Thank God I was at home and didn't leave it charging! Within half an hour a strong burning smell came from the camera, and it had corroded the camera insides, the charger, the usb port it was plugged into, and the adapter I was using! I didn't even use the actual plug point for 2 days! It was really worrying. I sent it back to the uk with some friends, who sent it to get a warranty. I was always really careful about the camera and it's care. I always (ish) washed it in tap water after taking it in the sea, and always made sure the seal was completely closed. Of course Olympus did the usual "not our fault/proof of purchase" etc but when they did fix it it came back almost brand new. Apparently they recommend the seal be regularly replaced. I had never, ever been told this, and everyone else who has this camera was never told this either- so they really need to make this clearer!
3) The zoom in/out button is now stiff and gets stuck sometimes rather than flicking back to the centre position- BUT this was my fault from not washing all the salt out.

It sounds like the camera is shoddy, but I was so so happy when I got it back from Olympus after they fixed it. For its price, it's incredible. And not just for its price. It's such a quirky camera, far better than most digital cameras (I'm a keen photographer too and have a range-I have a cheaper Nikon Coolpix- new version and a Nikon SLR D60) and this is by far my favourite. It's perfect for travelling. Out of all the travellers I met and looking at their pictures afterwards, mine had the best quality pictures- and I could also do more with it. It really is tough- I wasn't worried about dropping it, getting mud on it, or anything.

It survived 1 month in a tribal fijian village being thrown about by kids, crushed in between massive bags, covered in mud and thrown into waterfalls.

Really recommend it.
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on 10 December 2014
I bought this camera a year ago and I was really happy with it until one day it just stopped working. If I tried to switch it on there was a series of clicks and it switched off again. I sent the camera back under warranty and it was returned to me about two weeks later having been repaired. After just one week the camera stopped working again. If I tried to switch it on it would come on briefly and then click and go off again. I suspected that it wasn't recognising that the battery was fully charged. I sent it back to Olympus and explained the fault and two weeks late the camera came back again. They had cleaned the lens but they hadn't repaired the fault. So, after one year I had an expensive camera that I had saved up for over a period of time and it was unusable. I am currently waiting for a courier to come and collect it and take it to Portugal for repair. Meanwhile I have no camera and I as I use it for work I am losing money. In depseration I have had to buy another camera to tide me over. I would say a camera like this that works is great but not if it only lasts a year. I'm not holding my breath with regards ever seeing my camera working again. I suspect I have wasted my money.
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on 10 October 2013
Bought this camera after having to return another one that was more expensive, we took it to Maldives and waoooo we were not disappointed at all. All pics were clear,camera was easy to use, the fact that we could take it in to the pool and snorkelling was amazing, we took great shots and can highly recommend it. Iv also given it to my son to use inside the bath,he abs loves the idea that he can take his own shots inside/under the bath.
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on 20 June 2012
Bought camera for Carribean trip. Amazing pics, clear, crisp, very good colours
The "magic" modes are quite fun too.
Underwater excellent pictures and videos
Very happy with it, recommend it highly
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I bought this camera because I lost one previously by an accident with water. I read the product information and it not only a 5 m water resistance was described, but also a 6 feet drop shock resistance. I decided this was the camera for me as I am a bit "accident prone" with my electronic items. I was very happy with my "sensible purchase". However this summer 2014 I was in my room in a hotel and my camera dropped from the bed to the floor and has not worked since. This must have been a less than two feet drop, which is much less than what promised in the specifications. Very disappointed, now will try to contact the manufacturer to get it repaired (hopefully) for free. Not a good purchase for me.
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on 10 December 2013
I bought one of these in April 2012, which was shortly after they first came out, on the strength of some camera magazine technical reviews. I have taken it on two holidays, both of which included diving, and used it extensively around the UK, and have never been disappointed with the results. The autofocus is unusually quick, with almost no need to pause between 'press' and 'release', and results are clean and noise-free except under the lowest of low light conditions, with the autofocus sharp right into the macro range. The HD video facility also works very well, and the results are difficult to fault even on a big-screen TV. You will notice though that compared to commercial footage the colours are a bit over-saturated and 'gaudy', something that is easily fixed in an editing suite by turning down the saturation. There is probably a setting on the camera itself that performs the same function, but since I practically always put my footage through an editor I have not bothered to look for it.

Although people here have made negative comments about the sound I have noticed no problems and no more than average sensitivity to wind.

I have used the camera underwater in Indonesia and Greece, and have been a little naughty in taking it deeper than recommended, and it has always given excellent results, and not a trace of water seepage into the camera. Before underwater use I put a minute smear of silicone grease on the rubber seal of the battery compartment, which is a useful insurance policy. Underwater it's much easier to take video footage than still shots, since the creatures that interest divers don't stay still very long, and this facility works well. As with the video from most non-dedicated cameras the focus is a bit inclined to 'hunt', especially in low light, but you soon learn to compensate by avoiding unnecessary jumps from distant to close objects. Battery life is very good and the ability to charge it from the USB lead is a welcome perk.

The only thing I don't specially like about the camera is the tiny and difficult to work button you have to press to take video clips, which is particularly fiddly underwater. Also I would ideally like a viewfinder for precise framing when it's sunny, but the screen display is bright enough for most conditions.

Overall, I would say this is a great choice for people who want to be able to take stills and video clips of good quality wherever they happen to be but don't want to carry a load of equipment around with them. I consider it about the best value for money I've ever had in a digital camera.
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on 30 December 2012
The images are great, even under water, with bright, balanced imaging and excellent capture in low light conditions...the menu is easy to fathom, and the various 'special effects' really do make a difference (although some are a little hokey!).
The battery/card door stayed attached, even without a prior reviewer's gaffer tape fix...but I remain nervous enough to apply tape as a failsafe next time I'm snorkelling.
If I go to the Antarctic or inadvertently play basketball with this camera, I'll report in again with news of crush/drop/freeze performance...but in the meantime, I'm delighted with this camera.
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