Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Lightning Review: Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Olympus Stylus 1030SW

Illustration for article titled Lightning Review: Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Olympus Stylus 1030SW

The Gadget: The Stylus 1030SW, Olympus' semi-indestructible 10.1MP point-and-shoot, is designed for fairly extreme conditions. Olympus claims the camera is shockproof (to 2 meters), waterproof (to 10 meters), freezeproof (to 14°F), and crushproof (to 220 lbs.) We've seen other cameras with features like this, but it's rare that they're all combined into one.

Advertisement

The Price: $400 retail, we've seen it as low as $340.

The Verdict: It's tougher than Glass Joe, but it's no Mike Tyson.

Illustration for article titled Lightning Review: Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Olympus Stylus 1030SW
Advertisement
Illustration for article titled Lightning Review: Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Olympus Stylus 1030SW
Illustration for article titled Lightning Review: Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Olympus Stylus 1030SW
Illustration for article titled Lightning Review: Waterproof Shockproof Freezeproof Olympus Stylus 1030SW

I tested the 1030SW under fairly rigorous conditions, and for the most part it stood up to the challenge. After dropping the camera to the ground from around six feet, it took pictures without any problem. Next was the underwater test. I didn't take it to the limit, but I did bring it with me in the tub. The camera works under water, and there are options designed for capturing images of sea life. The pictures didn't come out too well, but that could be my fault as it is likely designed to shoot fish in clear water and not sitting in a bathtub, taking pictures of my...er...feet.

Advertisement

Things got a little trickier during the freeze and crush tests. I left it in the freezer for about two hours, and when I took it out I had a "Battery Empty" message. Worried that I damaged the camera, I let it thaw and it came back to full power after 10-15 minutes. For the crush test, I placed all 170+ pounds of myself on top of the camera. At first I heard a little unnerving crunch, and when I picked it up, I saw what looked like a crack in the LCD screen. However, after about 15 seconds, it went away and I was left with the same crack-free screen I had when I started.

Advertisement

As for the pictures, they came out well for the most part. In optimal conditions, they looked great. When I was under water, or in a dimly lit room the snapshots left a little something to be desired. I was able to correct some of the shots with the various exposure options, but it's still a point-and-shoot.

If you are going on an outdoor adventure and looking for a light, easy camera to take, this is a good bet. I wouldn't recommend pushing it to the advertised limits, but it's definitely sturdier than other cameras in its price range. [Olympus]

Advertisement

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

12-inch-idongivafuck-sandwich-old
12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich

I purchased this camera before my Spring Break cruise. It worked incredibly well, and easily took the beatings I gave it.

One of the cool features is that it tells you how deep you have taken it, so when I was snorkling (and diving down to take pictures of fish), I could see if I was getting close to the 33 ft limit (I took it about 25 ft). I had it out on the pool deck, where I dropped it on the tile pool deck, tossed it in the pool (and let it sink to the bottom), and had it in the back pocket of my board shorts and sat on it.

My pictures all came out well. I had a couple blurry ones, but that was probably due to my drinking and not reading the instruction manual/knowing how to use the camera properly (I had it overnighted to me the day before my cruise left, so I didn't have time to read over it all).

Final verdict: It is a great camera, and did everything I could have asked for. Perfect for college students, vacationers, or anyone who is rough on their electronics (I'm all 3).