Review Price £150.00
Olympus TG-310 - Image Quality and Verdict
Used in good light and at low sensitivities the TG-310 is capable of pleasing results. Metering is reliably accurate with the camera striking a good balance when faced by high-contrast scenes. We did, on occasion though, encounter issues with banding (posterization) usually in bright skies contrasted against darkly shaded areas.
Aside from this, colour proves fairly punchy, with the camera more than able to produce deep blues, bright reds and all colours in between given good lighting conditions. We didn’t experience any problems with the automatic white balance setting either, meaning there was no need to manually change colour temperature while shooting.
Edge sharpness is pretty good for a camera of this price, as it detail. Of course blowing images up to 100% and beyond does reveal a slight loss/smoothing over of detail during the processing and compression process, although at smaller sizes (fior example a 150-inch laptop screen or an A4 print) there’s plenty enough resolution. We doubt many people will be using the TG-310 to print billboard sized posters with.
While lower sensitivities display only a modicum of image noise, performance at higher sensitivities does tail off quite considerably with ISO 800 and above displaying visible noise even at smaller image sizes. In addition, using the top settings also results a fair amount of colour degradation images.
Without a 3D monitor or TV to hand we didn’t have a chance to test the 3D imaging capabilities of the TG-310, however we can report that the Panorama mode is a real let-down with poor stitching leading to disjointed images that are, more often than not, barely usable. The various digital effects are very much a matter of personal taste so we won’t comment on them.
Given its 3D shooting abilities, digital filter effects, tough build and competitive price the TG-310 certainly holds some appeal. While image quality certainly isn’t bad, we do have some reservations over inconsistent AF performance and the camera’s overly small and stiff controls. Ultimately though, the TG-310 remains worthy of consideration if you’re looking for a ruggedised camera on a budget.
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