Olympus mju Tough-3000 review: Olympus mju Tough-3000

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The Good Chunky, practical design; good value for a ruggedised camera; useful wide-angle zoom.

The Bad Stodgy controls; over-smoothed shadow details; poor definition generally.

The Bottom Line With all rugged cameras, you're buying toughness over picture quality. On that basis, the Olympus mju Tough-3000 offers a good blend of features, durability and affordability

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6.5 Overall

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Olympus' mju Tough-3000 can dive to 3m, survive a drop of 1.5m and still works when it's frozen at -10°C. You also get a 12-megapixel sensor, 3.6x wide-angle zoom, in-camera panoramas, 720p movies and 1GB of internal storage. All that makes the £165 asking price look rather appealing.

Skinny nutter
To make a waterproof camera, Olympus has used a non-extending, 'folded' lens, so the 3000 is very nearly a super-slim camera. The chunky shockproofing beefs it up somewhat, but it's still small enough to slip into a trouser pocket.

In fact, you've got to ask yourself: why get an ordinary super-slim camera when you can get a ruggedised camera like this? It's not much bigger and doesn't really cost any more. The 3000 is chunky and funky rather than elegant, but it's highly practical. When you're not under 3m of water or waving it around on the piste, it'd be perfect as a general-purpose family camera.

The 3000's colour rendition and exposures are fine, but its weak definition and tendency to smooth over dark tones mean you wouldn't want to blow the pictures up too much (click image to enlarge)

There's not much to see on the front. On the back, all the controls are clustered on the right-hand side, under a matte black, waterproof panel. The controls are easy to figure out because all the main shooting functions are displayed as icons running vertically down the right-hand side of the screen. You use the up and down navigation buttons to select a setting and the left and right buttons to change it.

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