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Olympus TG-830 iHS

photo:   Olympus TG-830 iHS camera

Who wouldn't love a camera that tells you to sit it in a sink full of water for a hour to clean it?


  • Waterproof
  • Shock proof
  • Operable with gloves
  • More features than I know what to do with


  • Zoom is kinda weak
  • Overwhelmed by extreme color
  • Connector cables are unique, not carried at WalMart
  • I wish the LCD screen was brighter

For a techie review please move on, I have simple needs as a camera user: nice pictures, ease of use and no breaking while I'm trying to document how rad we got this weekend! 

My last camera was killed by sand, a "lens error" it said. I loved that little thing but the repair was about 90% of the replacement cost so I wiped my tears and moved on. This was the display model so I talked the sales lady into a sweet deal. 

The TG-830 said it was Life-proof which means it works under water, resists shock and anything Mr. Murphy might throw at it. My kids haven't even managed to break it yet and I know they have used it; they didn't erase the pictures.  Amateurs ;)


The manual lists soaking in the sink as the recommended way to clean it and it has several under water shooting modes so obviously they trust its dunk-ability. The charging and SD card hatches double lock to assure that the innards stay dry.

So I took it to the TG-830 to the mountains to document some other product reviews.


So it takes HD video, 16 MP pictures, uses an SD card for memory, has a wimpy 5x zoom and a hundred shooting modes which I simply ignore and use the AUTO, with much happiness.

The rechargeable battery lasts long enough to record a long day of product testing without getting much more than half dead. The problem is that the recharger cable has an end unlike anything I have ever seen so if for argument sake you "hypothetically" lose the charger cord say, within, the first week you own it, you will NOT find its replacement at WalMart and it will take four business days to get a replacement from Amazon online for $12.95. Or so I suppose, I'd never do such a thing.

The LCD screen was hard to see on a cloudy day but this is pretty true with all digital cameras.

Most of my outings this spring have been in the rain so I am very confident it its ability to not die in the rain. I also follow the recommendations and soak it after it gets dirty and it still runs like a champ.

The zoom

The lens has to stay self-contained to be water proof so a big, protruding lens is out so you must forgive it if it doesn't have a 16X zoom but that just means you need to sneak closer to the turkeys if you want to prove that they were actually chasing rabbits at the cemetery in Red Wing, Minnesota, (Just another Hypothetical example).

Some pictures

Zoomed in.
The white dots on my jacket are snow. There's water on the lens as well.


Not bad for a gray day. Some passing guy indulged my narcissistic need to have my picture taken when I am testing gear.


The intense orange overwhelmed the camera. The zipper is truly black but looks orange in this color overload pic.


Snow seems to wash out pictures from a lot of cameras but not this one. You can even kinda tell that my pants are olive, not black. I said to my guide, "can you take a picture of me?" then I tossed the camera to him in the snow and had no worries, a very nice feeling.

I dropped the camera, accidentally onto the pavement yesterday afternoon and couldn't even tell where it landed.  It's a tough little camera.

Who needs this camera?

Anyone who wants a simple, rugged camera that will go anyplace you go as long as you don't need a lot of zoom.

Someone who won't lose the power cord or is okay with shelling out the money to buy another one online.

Someone who is sick of losing cameras to sand, water, or exuberant children. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179

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Price Reviewers Paid: $179.00

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