Olympus mju Tough 8000 Review

4.0
April 20, 2009 | Zoltan Arva-Toth |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4Mb.

The Olympus mju Tough 8000 produced images of good, though not outstanding, quality during the review. The lens clearly struggled to keep up with the extreme pixel density of the sensor, and this resulted in slightly soft details and some blurriness in the off-centre areas of the frame. In consequence, you will likely find that the images allow somewhat smaller enlargements than could be expected on the basis of the pixel count alone. At medium to high sensitivity setting, the maximum print size is further limited by noise. To be fair though, most compact camera owners are not likely to print big anyway, and as long as you limit yourself to smaller print sizes, you may even find ISO 800 shots usable, particularly if taken in neutral light. Automatic white balance works quite well, especially under natural and fluorescent light, though it leaves a tad too much warmth in images taken in incandescent lighting. Shadow adjustment works well and can come in handy when dealing with high-contrast scenes.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Olympus mju Tough 8000. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 64 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% Crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Olympus mju Tough 8000 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (4.57Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (2.45Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Olympus mju Tough 8000 handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Olympus mju Tough 8000 offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 2cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Olympus mju Tough 8000 are Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Fill-in - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Off - Telephoto (102mm)

Fill-in - Telephoto (102mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the On or the Red-eye reduction settings caused any red-eye.

On

On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye reduction

Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Olympus mju Tough 8000's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds in the Night scene mode, which is disappointing news if you're seriously interested in night photography, as it doesn't allow you to capture enough light in most situations. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 4 seconds at ISO 160. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Olympus mju Tough 8000 has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/10th / 28mm
1/4th / 102mm

Entry Tags

compact, 12 megapixel, beginner, 2.7 inch LCD, waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, 3.6x zoom