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gear review

Olympus 1030 SW Underwater DigiCam

May 7, 2010

Olympus 1030 SW Underwater DigiCam

Rating: star star star star star (1 out of 5 stars)
Maker: Olympus
MSRP: P27,000
Date Acquired: May 27, 2008
Frequency of Use: for underwater shots, about 5 times in 2 years

    Features (company claim)
  • underwater for up to 10 meters
  • drop-tested up to 5 feet
  • crush-proof up to 100 kilos

Why Anyone Would Buy This Camera
Let's be honest here. The reason why anyone will buy this camera is because it can take underwater shots for up to 10 meters WITHOUT a marine pack. So at the very least, that is what this digicam should deliver, right? And if the camera fails to deliver that promise within its warranty period, the company should uphold the warranty, and replace the camera with presumably a better model, right? Well, my experience with this camera and the company selling this product has been very dismal on both accounts.

Salt Water in the Digicam's Guts
I've only used the digicam underwater on about 5 occassions - that's it. On the 5th use at Apo Island this April, it stopped taking pictures. I immediately went to shore to check it out. My fears were realized - water got inside! I took the battery and memory out and dried it up as much as I could - like using a hair dryer upon reaching home. It worked again after a few days but temperamental. It would give error messages on some shots.

Questionable Reliability + Dealer with Questionable Ethics
Needless to say, I can't take it underwater anymore and due to salt water intrusion, its shelf life, I'm sure, has been shortened. If that's not bad enough, it's distributor in the Philippines renegs on its warranty obligation. You have to report them to the Department of Trade and Industry to make them honor the warranty.

Parting Words
Unless Olympus perfects its underwater digicam technology, and unless it tells its distributor to clean up its act, I would never buy another Olympus product again.

--- TheLoneRider

Comments? Email

Reader Comments:

(Aug 21, 2010) I was planning to have one. Pictureless na ako for a year, no? = ( ....shucks failed costs under US$200 kasi yung Olympus...tough?....tafon pala. (tough? disposable!)

(May 18, 2010) You're the third guy I know who had that experience with an Olympus underwater camera. Pangit yata talaga technology nila (ugly technology). Pangit nga din after sales service (no after-sales service). Canon is better! go Canon!

(May 18, 2010) din yung olympus 1050 ko. nahulog sa upuan ng kotse, nung ginamit ko sa kiddie pool pinaosk ng tubig. shockproof at waterproof pala ha.
( Olympus 1050 also failed. It fell off the car seat, then when I used it at the kiddie pool, water soaked into it. Shockproof and waterproof? Yeah, right!)

»» next story: How to Get a Rogue Vendor Honor Product Warranties
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