Olympus Waterproof Camera

Decided on a 1030 SW a while back, but didn’t get around to buying it. When I looked again recently, it looks like it has been replaced by the 8000.

Is the 8000 just the new and improved version of the 1030, or am I missing something.



Olympus Tough 8000
I do not have one but have been looking at getting one. The Tough 8000 is supposed to be more waterproof and shockproof than the old 1050 (which is currently “on sale” just about everywhere while they clear out stocks). They have also now got the Tough 6000 which is “a bit less than” the 8000.

I see that Canon have just announced a new one that might be better for watersports in that it has larger buttons (can be worked with gloves?). CNET reviews http://reviews.cnet.com/1770-5_7-0.html?query=Tough+8000&tag=srch say that maybe the 8000 isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Another great place to check out cameras is dpreview.com . Real users in real situations.

Not ready to “pull the trigger” yet but I’m going to have to make up my mind before next spring’s trip to the Southern Caribbean.

I got a new Oly 850 SW for about
$145.It takes excellent photos once you get familiar with the settings.

Not sure about the 8000 but…

– Last Updated: Sep-18-09 2:44 PM EST –

The 1030 is a bit more camera than the 1050 in terms of optics, in general that series gets less so as the numbers get higher.

That's one reason you see the 1050's on sale everywhere and the 1030's thru lower hold higher resale value - a lot of people read the same reviews.

The old 850 was less physically hardy than the original of the 1010 thru 50 series, less metal etc. Fine camera for being waterproof under general paddling, but not the one you'd leave in your PFD pocket for getting pounded in surf. Older optics than the 1050, which in the case of these cameras is good.

I don't know the 8000, but it may be the start of a new series with really bomb-proof cases and some older, better optics.

I snorkled in the Carribean with the old 710 in my wrist for a couple of sessions of over two hours each, and it was fine. The newer cameras have more user-friendly buttons than the older ones.

Another camera you may want to consider is the SeaLife ECOshot Digital Camera. My husband has one of these, and while we are not sure the software is the hardiest it has big buttons and is very hardy.

So, So
I bought the Tough 6000 and am not totally happy with it. The main problem being the slow speed between when you press the release and the actual snap of the shutter. I like to grab the camera as we paddle along and snap the pics as they appear but this camera won’t cooperate. Image quality doesn’t seem as good as with my old 4.0 Minolta P&S. Low light, terribly noisy images. I give this camera a D+ or C at best. Maybe I need to play with it a bit more though?


lucky that you procastinated
I own the original 720SW and later purchased two 1030SW (wider angle lens).

The 720 lasted 3 years before some droplets of water made it past the battery compartment door (still working but not for on-water use).

While the 1030 takes decent images it does not last.

Sent for warranty repair after 6 months (corrosion on panels, speaker failed) it was flooded on recent trip (bubbles escaping from lens!, not user error forgetting to close properly camera)

The second 1030SW has same signs of corrosion around panels, doors (so bad that they don’t close anymore correctly and must be forced).

The black paint lifted off after a few months and the lens cover fell off.

Waiting on the first one to be replaced to send second one in for warranty repairs.

Now, I have to say that I use the camera in salt water, but that’s what was designed for.

A local instructor went through 5 (!) replacement 1030SW in one year (flooding) until warranty ran out and Olympus would not give him a new one anymore.

Mind you the camera was used very frequently, always in salt water.

He now has the Canon and so far no problems.

I also hear good things (durability) on the Panasonic.

Olympus has produced great waterproof cameras but the 1030SW was a lemon.

The images are usually great when it works.

A collection of vibrant colors sea kayak images at www.flickr.com/gnarlydog

I have a 1030SW. Works great though
it is not used in salt water.

If I’m not mistaken, anything that is used in saltwater MUST be well taken care of as salt, no matter what it may touch, can corrode. Which means rinsing and drying really well.

I purchased my camera online at Broadway and though not used in salt water, I clean it off at the end of the day each time it’s been used.

Why pay hard earned money for an item if you’re not willing to care for it properly? A little time can save you a lot.

Love my camera that is waterproof to 33’.

The 1050SW is different in that, I believe it is only waterproof to 10’ has ‘touch’ capabilities for some of the functions and has not gone over well.

1050SW is pretty decent
for the price. It also has a lens cover panel that keeps spray off when not in use. It really appears to be shock/waterproof.

The 1030 has a wider lens and is rated to 33’, but for paddling 10’ is more than sufficient. Almost all the shots here were taken with the 1050SW:



Ive used my 1030 snrkeling in salt water
simply soak it in clean fresh water for 30 minutes afterward, I’ve had zero problems with mine.

I bought a Pentax w60 instead
I bought the Pentax W60 instead. I decided the 5X zoom was more important. It turns out I use it at the max most all the time for wildlife. It takes good photos for the price. I have taken tons of video. Here is a list of my Youtube Videos.


The photos are also very good. If your looking for better it’ll cost you a grand I’ll bet.

Olympus model numbers
Olympus model numbers are not an indication of the relative capabilities of the cameras. As already noted the 1050 is less rugged than the 1030.

I know a few paddlers who have 1030s and have used them in surf, tide races, etc… The camera does seem to take a beating and keep working. I bought one recently because of the experience of paddlers I know.

I have a SeaLife Eco Shot. Very rugged camera which is easy to use (big buttons). It also has some neat and unique(?) features such as ‘spy mode’ - taking a photo a set intervals. However the optics make those of the Olympus 1030 look nearly like my old Nikon 35mm SLR :wink:

Smilar experience …
“The black paint lifted off after a few months and the lens cover fell off.”

On mine the black paint has lifted and the shield over the lens has fallen off (not the lens cap that closes to protect the lens). Has been used in both fresh and salt water, although I do rinse after use in salt water. Haven’t seen any signs of corrosion yet.

Still takes great pictures. Had it for a little over a year and purchased it with an extended 4 yr. warranty for an additional $40. Seemed like cheap insurance at the time.



I’ve used my 1030sw for two a little over a year and have had no problems with it. It is used in salt water and always gets wet in surf, rolling etc. I am not usually that good about washing my gear but I always rinse the camera in fresh water, so far so good.

I also have the Olympus SW1030. Not particularly happy with it however. I bought it mainly for kayaking and snorkeling. It takes good pictures on land, but does not have optical image stabilization. From what I understand the Canon D10 does have this. There have been a number of times my pictures have come out “blurry” or out of focus, and I believe if I had optical image stabilization that would not be the case. I also find it difficult to change menus while snorkeling. While I have not actually physically seen the Canon D10, I will soon be going to look at one and possibly trading in the SW1030 to get the D10.

olympus 720 and 6000
I own a 720 sw and a tough 6000. Both are great cameras for what they are designed to do. I would like an improved shutter speed, but I have no complaint with either.

I have used the 720 all over the world. My new 6000 has been on a few trips as well. The 720 has actaully been to 25’ despite its 10’ rating with no leaks or problems. It is nice to have a camera in your pocket at all times that you do not have to worry about. Can’t recommend them enough. I recommend getting one witht he deepest depth rating. One of the units has 30 reting which I did not know when I got my 6000.

Taken with my 720 in the Galapagos


with my 6000 on the hillsborough river


Olympus Camera review website
You can find detailed info on www.dpreview.com.


It also has data on the older camera as well.

Hope this helps.

Tough 8000
I own a Tough 8000 nad it does take some getting used to all the various settings to get great pictures. Initially I was not very happy with the picture quality, but most of that was due to my lack of knowledge of all the features and settings this camera has. After a few months of use, I am taking some incredible pictures. I have used this camera in salt and fresh water, it’s been dropped, beached, swamped, yet it has not leaked, corroded or failed me. Get to know the camera and I think you will be impressed.

6000 2ND LOOK
OK, so after a solid week of using my 6000 I am beginning to warm up to it. I now am getting some nice shots with it. Although I did buy a second battery, the original one lasted the week without showing any power loss. My nikon DSLR mainly stayed nice and dry in it’s drybox while the Oly 6000 took the brunt of the bad weather and opened my eyes to this new to me camera.


Poor image quality on my 1030SW
I sold it.

I studied the manual, tried different settings, remapped the pixels, etc etc and still it gave lousy results for certain types of subjects. I used a heavy tripod for all these tests, so stability/blur was not the problem.

The problem seems to be that Olympus included some kind of automatic pixel-blurring function that works on things it cannot “identify.” Or perhaps it takes fine lines and automatically blurs them because it considers those to be skin wrinkles even if they’re not, and even if the user did not set any such functions.

For example, when I took photos of manmade objects (things with hard, defined edges and obvious lines/shapes), image quality was good. But a photo of my dog had the fur all smudgy even if his eyes were shown sharply. A photo of my house with leaves on the ground got the lines of the wood siding well but not the irregular grain, and especially not the leaves that were in the same focal plane. One or two leaves would be depicted with clear outlines, and the rest were a smudgy mess, as if someone took fingers to a painting and smeared what he couldn’t identify.

The problem was not due to camera movement, subject movement, or shallow depth of field. There was some other odd thing going on, something that never happened even in the cheapest point-and-shoots I’d ever used.

I went back to using my old Optio WR43 with the hot pixels. I’ll take wrinkles on a face any day over automatic softening. Those wrinkles show DETAIL.

Canon D10
I got the Canon D10 in June and love it. It has gone on every paddle since. Easy to use, 12Mpix and has video option. Nice screen.

Works great underwater (used it for swimming and Kayak rolling classes) and is rugged.

My only complaint is that they could have made the screen more scratch resistant (I tried to use teh screen protectors but they come off easily when sliding the camera into a PDF pocket). You have to watch the water droplets or clean the screen on the lens or have blurred shots. The Accessory kit with a neoprene cover & extra cable attachments with caribiner ends look helpful but are pricy. Note that the camera does not float so securely attach or provide a float.