Olympus Tough 790 SW
- Incredibly sturdy design, suitable for a huge variety of users, sharp pictures
- Colour and white balance issues, a little sluggish at times
Olympus' latest tough model, the 790 SW, is a brilliant camera suited to a wide variety of users. Whether you want a family device that you can give to the kids or a rugged photography machine for skiing and hiking, it will do the job, and while its pictures aren't exceptional they will be more than adequate for most.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Ever found yourself accidentally dropping your camera into a pool of water on a dusty and snowy day? Then we bet you wish your camera of choice was the Olympus Tough 790 SW. It comes in a waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, crushproof and snow proof chassis, the 790 SW can take just about as much pain as you can dish out, and still captures some fairly good pictures to boot. There were some white balance and colour issues, but these aside, the unit performed well and is a great choice for people leading a more rugged life.
Waterproof to three metres, it is ideal for snorkelling or days at the beach. Meanwhile it is also shockproof to 1.5 metres so you never have to worry about knocking it off a table or having it slip from your hands. It is snow proof to -10 degrees and also crushproof up to 100kg, so you can comfortably throw it in your bag and forget about it. All of this adds up to a camera that is great for everybody, from families to those with a more extreme lifestyle.
Its 7.1-megapixel sensor also captures some good pictures. The only issue we encountered was with regards to the white balance. Shooting outdoors using the daylight preset, we noticed colours looked a little inaccurate but this became more obvious during our indoor tests. When using the tungsten preset (we use two 3200K tungsten lights for our testing), our images had a noticeably cool cast that had a negative impact on the colour balance. Switching to automatic white balance improved this slightly, but the hues still weren't as accurate as on other units. Imatest's rather poor score of 21 for colour is therefore not surprising.
This issue aside our pictures were fairly impressive. The 790 SW scored 1504 for sharpness, which is in line with our expectations for a 7.1-megapixel model. Our shots were crisp and clean with sharp edges and minimal blurring. There was quite a bit of haloing in high contrast and high exposure areas, and Imatest confirmed this awarding a score of 0.125 per cent for chromatic aberration, but this generally won't be an issue in small- to medium-sized prints.
Image noise was fairly minimal, with the 790 scoring 0.54 per cent at ISO 100 in Imatest's noise test. This is a strong performance; however, we did notice a little blotchiness in areas of block colour even at this low sensitivity. The noise ramped up as expected as we increased the sensitivity. Shots captured at ISO 400 should be fine for small prints but this is as high as we'd go.
In our speed tests, the 790 SW performed moderately well. Its 0.12-second shutter lag was a little disappointing as was the 2.1-second shot-to-shot time, but the 1.6-second power up was impressive. The burst mode operates at roughly 2.4 frames per second, although a much higher speed version is also on offer if you don't mind low resolution pictures.
Most of the usual features are present including ISO sensitivities up to 1600, a variety of focus and metering modes and a host of scene modes. Face detect makes a welcome appearance as does Olympus' guide mode, which is brilliant for helping new users (although the interface is extremely intuitive). Our only disappointment in this regard was the lack of manual white balance.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCFront-End DeveloperQLD
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)NSW
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- CC.Net Developer x 2QLD
- CCSAP ISU Device Management ConsultantNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- CCCyber Security ArchitectNSW
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 requiredSA
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- FTSalesforce AdministratorQLD
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXACT
- FTDevelopment Manager - SaaSQLD
- FTSAP BW ConsultantACT
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- FTOnline Solutions AnalystNSW
- CCScrum MasterQLD
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperVIC
- TPSOE AdministratorQLD