Olympus mju 1030SW review: Olympus mju 1030SW

Typical Price: £250.00
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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Bomb-proof build; great screen and lens; fine 10-megapixel pictures.

The Bad Average focusing and detail; aggressive styling.

The Bottom Line Remember when electronic kit was easy to use and built to last? Those days are back -- the diamond-tough 1030SW takes good photos, thrives on rough treatment and offers competent point-and-shoot operation. Drop it, kick it, freeze it, splash it -- this camera can take it all and keeps on shooting

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8.3 Overall

If the Olympus SW shockproof and waterproof cameras are the go-anywhere paratroopers of the camera world, this flexible top-end 10-megapixel model is Special Forces: it can be dropped from higher, sunk lower and crushed by heavier loads than any other snapper on the market. The mju 1030SW is available now for around £250.

Strengths
Each generation of Olympus SW cameras gets a little smarter and a little tougher. The 1030SW is the flagship of the ruggedised range, with a specification that is little short of awesome. Waterproofing is extended to 10m deep, taking it beyond the previous 3m splash-about ratings and into the world of serious scuba diving. Drop-proofing is up to 2m (from 1.5m), so even the lankiest snappers can afford to be butter-fingered, and a 100kg crush-force should cope well with vigorous trampling.

In the past, we've found Olympus' ratings to be on the conservative side, so you can probably push these figures another 20-30 per cent (although don't come crying to us if your shiny new camera springs a leak while exploring the Great Barrier Reef).

The photo side of things has been improved, too. A wide-angle 28mm lens is an excellent addition to a camera that will be used in extreme outdoor conditions, being much more forgiving of framing and focusing errors. There is a touch of distortion at this wide-angle setting, but you don't sacrifice much at the top end -- the 3.6x zoom extends to a respectable 102mm equivalent telephoto. The 69mm (2.7-inch) screen is crisp and colourful.

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