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Olympus TG-310 - Image Quality and Verdict

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

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.Olympus TG-310 5

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.

VERDICT

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.

dbeckrify

June 7, 2011, 7:44 pm

"Buttons are small and stiff" and "Panorama mode is rubbish" are Pros? LOL. Maybe. I don't really care about Panorama mode either. However, you may want to reconsider making those Cons. Somehow it makes more sense that way. :D

David Gilbert

June 7, 2011, 7:52 pm

Thanks for pointing that out. Fixed now.

siamdave

April 13, 2012, 9:46 pm

Either I have very bad luck, or you folks don't really do much testing. This camera leaked the first time I had it in the water, ruining not only it but the battery and memory card. As did the Fuji XP I tried before it. I am careful with such things, follow all the instructions etc - but they leaked. So if there is no mention of this in your reviews - what am I supposed to think about all the other cameras you review?

Rundun

June 25, 2012, 6:31 am

Worst camera ever, I bought it three and a half month ago I was surprised for the performance I only used for family photos and with friends (no extreme sport uses) yesterday the video stopped recording with audio and some times it says the battery is empty when it is not. The reseller told me they will send it to the manufacturer it will take four to six weeks and IT COULD BE CHARGES FOR REPAIR OMG!!!!. I will loose the next four to six weeks of my trip without could take any picture. Olympus post-sail service is terrible they say they could change your camera for a refurbished one or repair it, they never will change it for a new one. I highly recommend not to by this camera particularly if you want to do any sport.

Micky Do

November 21, 2012, 11:28 am

I have one, the first digital camera I have owned, and am pleased enough, especially considering the price I got it for (3,500 baht / £71 as the end of the line at the local supermarket). Yes the controls on the back are a bit stiff, but OK. Shutter lag is poor.... compared to the DSLR I have used recently, and the rangefinder film cameras I have previously owned. It is a good first digital camera, well used from in the sea (didn't leak) to taking photos of sports events (good enough to publish in the local newspaper). It won't be my last or only digital camera, but as one to throw in a bag and take anywhere (cycling, motorcycling) it works and will probably be with me for a while.

charlibubs

December 16, 2013, 10:52 pm

Santa bought it for my daughter & it just stopped working 18 months later. Not happy at all as they arent cheap. Was only in our pool twice & isnt wet inside. Stopped working on our 3 week outback holiday, daughter is devastated

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