Olympus TG-310 Review

One of the most popular destinations where lots of photos are sure to be taken is the beach. So people that are going to the beach are likely to remember to take their trusty shooter along. But they also need to remember not to accidentally drop the camera in the water or else all is lost. Affordable cameras simply cannot survive and if you are lucky, there might be an accessory that makes the camera waterproof.

But even in that case, you won’t be able to enjoy taking photos underwater unless you are prepared to fork over money for a decent waterproof camera. Even dropping the camera from a high height can damage any ordinary camera so it would help if the camera was shockproof as well. Olympus realizes the demand for these types of cameras so they are offering an inexpensive version of their Tough series. This Olympus 228050 TG-310 Digital Camera review will explain the company’s aim to bring the essentials and emphasize on the durability of a digital camera.

Design of the Olympus TG-310

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Olympus TG-310 Review

What is nice about the TG-310 is that it looks pretty much like all of the other Olympus Tough models. People won’t really notice that you have the cheapest waterproof model out of the bunch. On top of that, the TG-310 comes in 5 colors as well so you have red, orange, and blue models to choose from along with the standard grey and white versions.

It is also a rather light digital camera despite the Tough name but that is because the camera is compact so you can easily take photos with one hand. But the real design strength lies in waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof properties. This means you can take the camera with you underwater as long as you do not go beyond 10 feet or 3 meters. If you plan on diving with this camera, you should consider getting a higher-end model. But for the price that you are paying for this model, it is worth considering that this limitation is one of the minor differences between the TG-310 and other Tough models. If you have a swimming pool, this camera should be fine for those occasions.

Another plus is that TG-310 is as freezeproof as other cameras so this camera is still good for skiing trips and the like since it can withstand sub-zero temperatures going all the way to -10 degrees Celsius. The fact that it is shockproof also means that dropping the camera from 5 feet above won’t damage the internals at all. Sporty individuals are sure to like the durability features of this compact shooter.

The second difference between this camera and the pricier TG-610 and TG-810 models is the 2.7-inch display as opposed to the larger 3.0-inch display. But don’t forget that many other budget cameras have this kind of display. It would have been nice though if the display was anti-glare like the other Tough models.

Specs for The Olympus TG-310

The general specifications of the TG-310 are as follows.

  • 14-megapixel CCD sensor
  • 3.6x optical zoom
  • HD movie recording up to 720p

TG-310 Performance

All of the Olympus Tough models can take 14-megapixel photos so the TG-310 did not cut any corners there. Megapixels aren’t really much of a big deal but once you need to print those high resolution underwater photos, using the 14-megapixel mode is best. But not all 14-megapixel cameras are alike because the image processing plays an important role as well. The TruePic III+ properly plays this role just like it did for the digital SLR cameras. Sample photos show that the color accuracy is nice and many areas of the photos are sharp without much noise.

The Sensor-Shift image stabilization technology also helps when you need to take fast-moving subjects. It also supports high ISO sensitivity and quicker shutter speeds if you need to further reduce the blur. The 3.6x optical zoom is a bit low end which is understandable considering the price but it still gives wide-angle flexibility so you can take some nice group shots.

The main selling point of the TG-310 is its ability to shoot photos underwater. What Olympus doesn’t really mention is how great the image quality is when taking underwater photos. In fact in some situations, underwater photos look better than photos taken indoors. It has dedicated underwater modes to improve the look and clarity of these images. It is also easy to lock camera’s door so no water leaks in.

Like other point-and-shoot cameras, the TG-310 features some creative filters that you may play around with just in case you want to make your underwater photography more sophisticated. But unlike many of the ordinary point-and-shoot models, the 3D mode is the most attractive. While you do need a 3D TV or monitor to view these photos, you can add an extra dimension to your underwater photos now and view them as soon as 3D TVs become more affordable. The 3D technology can be used out of the water as well.

If you are not very confident in playing around with these modes, you can stick to the Program Auto mode which still does a nice job in taking good shots. The Intelligent Auto mode may also work better as it can better optimize the camera settings depending on the lighting conditions and scenery.

TG’-310’s Video Quality

The TG-310 doesn’t cut back in the movie recording department either since it supports 720p resolution. This may sound unattractive compared to the glorious 1080p resolution that people keep talking about but 720p is still enough to enjoy quality widescreen footage on any HDTV. HDTVs are more common in households these days due to their low prices so having this feature may be enough to not purchase a dedicated digital camcorder. Don’t forget that this feature can be used underwater too. If you have an Eye-Fi card, you may also wireless upload photos to other Wi-Fi devices which is quicker and more convenient. It also supports SDHC and SDXC cards if you happen to have those.

The Verdict

The TG-310 costs about $200 which is $100 cheaper than the TG-610. Considering the high number of similarities, this Olympus TG-310 review can conclude that this budget camera is a fantastic deal. You just have to ask yourself how deep you wish to go with your waterproof camera. The rest of the features really matter if you want better performance out of the water.

Super Macro TG-310 Digital Camera Test

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