Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Review

Camera Reviews Olympus Uncategorized Underwater

Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Digital SLRThe Olympus Stylus 1030 SW is the latest top-of-the-line offering in the Olympus Stylus SW waterproof and shockproof digital camera line. Olympus has made a lot of improvements to the Stylus SW cameras since we reviewed the original 720 SW. Most obvious is the increased 10-megapixel resolution. The 1030 SW is also waterproof to 33 feet, can withstand drops of over 6 feet, and is crushproof and freezeproof. The wide, 3.6x optical zoom lens has a focal range of 28-102mm (35mm equivalent). Composing and image playback are done with a 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD display.

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Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Studio Test Images
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Olympus Stylus 1030 SW Swimming Pool Self-Portrait Sample Photo


  • Waterproof and nearly indestructible
  • Pocket-sized
  • Live histogram
  • 28mm, real wide-angle lens – yay!
  • Panoramic mode (requires Olympus xD card)

  • Too easy to get finger in front of lens
  • Image quality isn’t what I’d expect of a 10-megapixel camera
  • No mechanical image stabilization
  • No optical viewfinder
  • xD memory cards only work with Olympus and Fujifilm compact digital cameras
  • Mode dial rotates in pocket or case
Olympus Stylus 1030 SW - front and back

Olympus introduced its first waterproof and shockproof Stylus SW camera in 2006 (Olympus Stylus 720 SW Pro Review). The latest model, the Olympus Stylus 1030 SW, has numerous upgrades, including a 10-megapixel sensor; a wider, longer zoom lens; a larger LCD; and significantly enhanced water resistance and durability. Olympus is at the head of the pack when it comes to rugged, compact, outdoor digital cameras. I’ve used this one for a few months as a general point-and-shoot, as well as for some serious outdoor photography on the ski slopes and mountain bike trails. For snorkel testing, I sent the camera to Hawaii with PhotographyREVIEW.com Web tech, Valerie Woo, aka aquadog.

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • I_Dralion says:

    I think your review of the Olympus SW1030 was right on fair. I can vouch that the SW1030 can put up with the abuse of outdoor life. I’ve had it on standby for all my outdoor adventures and have been happy it’s been with me. Its nice not to have to worry over a camera. I’m not a pro by any means but its true that somehow it feels like its lacking in some regards. The sharpness of photos isn’t quite there for me and having to hold it dead still is an issue. I suppose this is where your suggestion for mechanical image stabilization comes into play. It true the SW1030 costs a fair bit of money for the average consumer in my opinion, but my rationalization in purchasing it was that it would last the years of outdoor fun. All and all I’m very happy with the purchase, now if I could only get some more time off work for a fishing trip to bring it along on I would be very happy.

  • bitflogger says:

    I would like to see and hear how this stacks up to the Pentax W60 where it seems one trades the shock resistance and some of the water resistance for more zoom and better video.

  • David Ferguson says:

    I purchased the 1030 w and would’nt recommend it for action water shots eg surfing why?when the sensor window has a beed of water on it the pitcure is crap because the auto focus can’t zero in on the subject. the results are pathetic.also viewing from the display is a very poor way of seeing the subject and the view finder is easy to cover over with the finger!!pitcure quality in my opinion under water is nothing to rave about if i could get a refund I would. also watch for water seepage on the battery terminals not real water resistant oh and don’t bother contacting Olympus the support team could’t care less save your money just don’t buy one .Dave

  • Photo-John says:

    Thanks for the comment. I agree the camera does have a problem focusing when there’s water on the lens. That’s likely a problem with any camera you use in the water, though. My solution was to keep dunking it to rinse drops off the lens. Although luck is still a factor.

    As for action, I agree with you. Without an optical viewfinder, accurately following your subject is next to impossible. I would really like to see a version of this camera with an optical viewfinder.

    I’m getting very mixed reports about customer service. A friend who had an Olympus Stylus 1030 SW fail while snorkeling had his replaced, no questions asked. It took a while, but they honored the warranty.

    Please post a review for your camera in our user reviews. That way you can add to the ratings. Here’s a link to that review page: http://www.photographyreview.com/mfr/olympus/8-10-megapixel/PRD_411732_6446crx.aspx

  • Peter L says:

    I purchased the 1030SW after owning a 720SW for the past two years, and thought it would be a nice upgrade.
    If you’re looking for a waterproof camera that’s not actually waterproof, then look no further!!
    I sent my 1030SW back for warranty, only to be told that it had leaked due to misuse… hmmm… by misuse I assume they’re referring to using it underwater in a 1 to 1 half metre deep swimming pool. I’m not new to the Olympus underwater camera as I did use the 720SW in underwater applications for 18 months with no leakage issues… in fact, I wonder if the seals are the same size and shape between the different models?
    I’ve been told by the person that sold me the 1030SW that they tested it and it is waterproof, which makes me wonder how I got moisture on the inside of the camera lens after swimming, but before opening the battery/card compartment? I also had water leak into the battery/card compartment.

    I would NOT recommend making the Olympus MJU 1030SW your next purchase.

  • jon Williams says:

    If you want an underwater camera that does what it says on the tin DO NOT buy the 1030sw!!!!!!!
    Mine leaked after 4 days use in the Maldives,i followed the instructions to the letter yet the camera still leaked.I met another guest at the resort and his 1030sw leaked after three days .

    The holiday was one of those special once in a life time trips and the damn camera let me down, so much so that i had to take it apart and clean the salt and condensation off the lens to get the camera to work in the basic mode (what Olympus will make of this remains to be seen ).
    I actually swam with a whale shark which was magical as you can imagine, however i have no shots of that wonderful time.

    The Olympus 1030sw as an underwater snapshot camera failed totally and as a camera in its own right its not that good anyway.

    Lets see what Olympus has to say but i am not to hopeful after reading other posts on the subject

  • Photo-John says:

    Thanks for posting a comment and please keep us informed about what happens with your camera. I am hearing positive reports from lots of people about this camera and the one I had for review is still working fine after much time underwater. I am wondering if we mostly hear from people who have problems and the people whose cameras work fine don’t post reviews or say much. If you check the user reviews you’ll see there’s one from someone who’s camera failed while snorkeling and Olympus replaced it, no questions asked. I hope the same happens for you. And I hope you do follow up here and let us know. Once you get it worked out, please post a review on the Olympus Stylus 1030 SW user review page.



  • Fran says:

    I’ve had the most fun capturing photos in swimming pools, lakes, fishponds and the ocean with excellent results. The bead of water is something you learn to deal with. If you immerse the camera viewside down and then point it toward your shot the bubble will be less likely to form. Sometimes it makes an interesting addition to a photo or can be cropped or Photoshopped out. NBD. I especially like how user friendly the Olympus 1030 SW is. I am still learning all it’s features but I have some great images. My first ever digital camera and I am shooting like a pro! It’s a handy, versatile little digital companion with the complexity of a professional camera. Instant pictures with amazing clarity!What more could I ask for?I’d give it a 5 out of 5!.
    HINT: The fireworks setting can be used for really impressive Light Painting techniques. Try taking pictures of city lights at night by shaking your camera…on purpose!

  • Pingback: PMA 2008 » Blog Archive » Olympus Stylus 1030 SW and Stylus Digital Cameras

  • Mike says:

    Sorry to say but this camera is definitely NOT waterproof. I live in Nicaragua and have bought this camera about a year ago to make pictures from my customers under water while snorkeling. The camera broke TWICE already and it took Olynpus months to send me a replacement. As long as it works it makes great pics but do NOT take it in the water.

  • Patty says:

    I am currently in Hawaii and took my Olympus Stylus 1030 SW diving for the first time and making sure I went no lower than 30 feet. I was surprised how well it performed. I took a great movie of a seahorse and a turtle. I am taking it again tomorrow and the only thing I need to work on is the color.I will play with the settings. The closer to the surface the better the color. About 10-15 feet looked great. I am having no problems with leakage so far. Love this camera!

  • Kris says:

    I live in Hawaii and have loved my Olympus 1030SW… until today. I’ve had it for about 6 months, I’ve snorkeled with it several times and I’ve gone parasailing with it. Today I took it out for a “Sharks cage” adventure. I took pictures while on the shore waiting to go out and then on the boat, waiting my turn to get into the cage. No problems, no warnings, everything was secure. Then when I had it with me in the sharks cage (which bobs on the surface), it did okay for about 5 minutes and then gave me the warning that indicated the battery compartment had come open. I had not opened it (I’m generally VERY careful with it). Unfortunately, I couldn’t get out of the cage right away (we are several yards from the boat & have to wait for them to pull us in), so when I got back on boat & opened it, there *was* moisture inside. I’m home now. I used a blow dryer on the inside of the camera (it’s a wait & see mode right now). I *was* able to take the media out and the pictures I *was* able to take before it went belly up turned out okay. Now I’m just hoping Olympus will honor their warranty (what is it?). I’d like to remain a proud owner.

  • Jeff Henster says:

    The autofocus worked for about two weeks, but now it goes into focus, and then readjusts itself a little bit out of focus. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem. We’ll see what Olympus does about it. I can’t think of anything that happened to it, to “knock” it out of calibration–one day it worked perfectly, the next day it didn’t. Otherwise nice concept, but sorry to hear of so many leaking cameras by people writing in to this site.

  • Manuel says:

    i have a leaked 1030sw second day it leak, dont buy it try another camera.

  • jay says:

    hi…also have the olympus SW 1030..but we have some problems with regards to the audio of the video…do you also have the same prob? there’s this thudding sound that comes once in a while in every video that we take. we went to a service center and they insist that it’s normal…but we really doubt that cause it really disrupts the beauty of every video that we take…..

  • Anna says:

    I work for a camera store in Banff, Canada. I bought the 1030 less then a month ago and have already had to send it in for service. My camera did not leak, however several spots showed up on my images, much like that of sensor spots in DSLRs. There was nothing on the lens itself. So something, somehow, managed to find its way onto the sensor, and for a ‘waterproof’ camera I find this quite unacceptable.

    I have had 5 other customers, who all bought the 1030, have similar issues with it. We replaced two and the three others send theirs in for service as well. We have also had 3 other customers with other model Olympus point and shoot cameras have similar defects.

    To say the least, we as a company are not happy with the performance of these camera and I would NOT recommend them to anyone.

  • Natnee says:

    I bought this camera before my trip to Puerto Rico and got some really awesome shots with it. Since it was still under a Sam’s Club warranty and very easy to take back if I didn’t like it, I wanted to put it through the ringer before it became an Olympus issue. So I took it to 36′ (I know it’s deeper than I was supposed to go, but it was the dive operator’s fault!). Anyway, I wanted an acid test and it held water, no problems. The viewscreen did get compressed by the weight and I could see a “pressure bubble” where the glass on the viewscreen pressed up against the LCD. It went away as soon as I surfaced with no residual effects.

    Waterproof-wise, I’ve had zero problems despite extreme tests. And I’m not obsessive about cleaning the seals, either. One thing, it’s a good idea to treat the lens with eye-glass cleaner to make the water roll off the lens (that way the drops roll right off when you get out of the water)

    I like the shadow-adjust settings and the SCN (pre-selected shooting modes for sunsets, indoors, etc), as well as the built in digital filters for sunlight, clouds, incandescent, etc. Battery life is good, the proprietary card thing is irritating, but a fact of life (only “Olympus cards” let you take hi quality videos and panorama, and so far only 2 GB is available) .

    I don’t like the fact that the zoom is 3.6x, but I understand why that is. The video I’m not crazy about. Even high-quality isn’t impressive – I mean, it’s ok for youtube and casual viewing, but for anything you want to splash onto a TV, it’s pretty bad, even if your expectations aren’t that high. And in-film zooming is disabled for above-water videos (I think the zoom made too much noise or vibration in the video or something so their solution was just to disable it), which is irritating.

    The freedom this camera gives me is invaluable. I really wish everything video-related about it was better, and I’d like to see a higher zoom or a higher MP to compensate, but that’ll come in time. I’m happy with this camera IF it continues to function as it has thus far. Anyone interested in the pictures I took with it in Puerto Rico (as well as upcoming pictures from Costa Rica) can see them on my blog, http://www.TravelWithNatnee.com

  • Amanda says:

    This is for the post by “Jay”.

    Jay, I was having the same problem. I called the customer service line for Software and Peripherals. I spoke with Lucielle. She investigated the issue and found that the ‘thudding’ was coming from a firmware issue. If you installed the associated Olympus Master 2 software, then it should be an easy fix. All you have to do is connect the camera to the PC with the USB. Make sure you have a good battery. Take out the Memory Card. Once this is all done, go to the Master 2 menu and click where it says Camera. Once there, click the Camera Update portion. This will take you through the update of the camera’s firmware itself. Once the firmware was updated, it got rid of that ‘thudding’ sound when taking the video recordings. I must say I was extremely happy for the fix because I hated that sound!! :o) I hope this helps.

  • loraine says:

    the black color in the front panel of my olympus 1030 disintegrates/disappears after using it underwater.. is this normal?

  • Targe says:

    I had just purchased a black one, took it on vacation, and the black color on the front panel IS flaking away… this also caused the view finder ‘sun cover’ to fall off. This did not affect the operation of the camera, and we were still able to use it, but it now looks hideous and when you take a land picture in the sun the picture is too exposed (not by much, but its annoying).

  • Vinnie says:

    I agree that the camera is not waterproof. I had the same problem after taking the camera into the water for the third time at the beach. It gave me an error message that compartment is opened when i clearly hadn’t open it. it’s a shame.. my wife and i really wanted a waterproof camera :(

  • Scan says:

    At first I was excited to purchase 1030sw. But after read some of the comments about leakage, I become hesitant. Could anyone advise other camera that don’t have leakage problem? Thanks

  • Keith says:

    My 1030 sw leaked and died the second time I took it snorkelling. Also, like the other reviewers, my camera paint peeled off after being in the water, and the lens shade also fell off, since this seems to be just stuck on to the paint. I had the camera replaced under warranty. The new camera has just leaked and died after two times in the water at less than 2 m depth.

    Apart from the leak problem, this camera has a below average lens, resulting in very soft photos, even at 10 mps. Forget about low light photography – any ISO setting above 200 will result in severe noise. The controls are tiny and hard to use, especially underwater. The screen is nice, but nearly impossible to see in bright sunlight, such as when you are snorkelling.

    I’m sending the dead camera back again. The concept of this camera is great, but it just doesn’t work. Olympus should withdraw this product from sale as it is unsuitable for underwater use.

  • Sally says:

    Bought this camera to take to Mexico, mostly for snorkling, was disappointed. Unless no clouds and clear water, and no deeper then about 3′, pictures are poor quality. Great on beach in sun, not great in evening. About the 3rd day after about 20 min snorkling, when came out and rinsing off with fresh water the black paint started peeling off, looks terrible. Wish I could return it.

  • Rollz says:

    Ive been 100% happy with my 1030 sw, but ive found 1 little hic-up. I take alot of surf pics from in the water and you cant have it on auto mode and shoot sequence shots, fair enough. So I take all my pics on the setting that is represented by the pic of the camera. On sunny days more than 60% of my pics come out really bright and aqua, too bright to use or fix, but when i flick it back to auto mode, it is perfect…..but no sequences. This makes me think its a setting but ive looked and read extensively with no luck. Can any one help????

    As for the not so waterproof subject, the manual states that some water will seep, i get little beeds of water in my battery hatch every surf, but i dry it with a tea towel and shes still clicking!! Look at the rubber seels, they arnt as big as the hatch lid, they are like a secondery back up. Where i surf and take pics is a VERY heavy shore break in south Australia, and ive had it out there 10 or so times so I think it has passed the ultimate test!!

  • wayne says:

    I’ve puchased a stylus 1030 sw camera .. im veryhapy with all the picture qualities.. i really enjoy the available light option … like so many others i took my camera snorkeling and got a card door warning is open . i had th camera out twice before that and never opened the compartment.. i have just sent my camera back to olympus for repair on Feb.7,2009 . lets see how long before i get a reply …… i could buy the plastic inclosure for the camera but it defeats the reason why i bought the olympus….. its hard enough seeing the view screen behind a snokel mask .. put another piece of plastic between and it would be imposible. might as well buy a disposable water camera

  • stacey says:

    I am so upset with this 1030sw camera!!! My husband and I bought it for our vacation in Hawaii since we had plans to snuba and snorkel. On our very first day in Hawaii, I took it with my first snorkle trip and after 5 minutes of using it in 2 feet of water, the alert came on that the battery door was open…I was so upset and now I don’t have any cool pictures with this camera. Another thing to make things worse…we bought this camera at Circuit City when they were having their close out sale, so we cannot return it. Does anyone know if I can still send it in to Olympus for them to have it serviced or at least give me a replacement??? I still have my reciept.

  • Photo-John says:

    Sorry to hear about your camera leaking. The warranty is between you and Olympus. You should be able to take it in to any authorized Olympus dealer and have them handle it. If that doesn’t work, contact Olympus directly. You should have recieved service information and a warranty card with the camera. You can also check the Olympus Web site.

  • bernie says:

    Just had the same thing happen with my Oly Stylus 1030 that others here have: On my fourth snorkel trip, and just barely below the surface of the water, the screen went black and I saw water seeping across it. It would not work. When I got back to the boat and opened the battery door, water poured out. I’m very disappointed. I think the thing takes really good pictures and it’s definitely rugged. But in my experience, waterproof it is not.

  • John says:

    Underwater my camera will not focus correctly for stills but seems to do well for video. Above water no problems. So far. Went scuba diving and had the camera up to dephts of around 70ft – no leaking but it takes fotos only down to the advertised depth of 30ft.

  • Denise says:

    I bought the 1030 SW for the fact that it said water PROOF to 33 feet, not water RESISTANT.

    Cut to Xel-Ha on the Mayan Riviera this past Saturday, snorkeling in the lagoon… My first time taking it in the water, have not opened any of the hatches at all. I got no warning. One minute I’m happily snapping away in about two feet of water, the next minute my display screen is dead.

    When I got back to my hotel, I tried to see if it was working and THEN got a message saying “Battery compartment is open”… Kind of like closing the barn door after the horse has left.

    I am hopeful that I won’t have any hassles with the company since the camera is less than one year old and suffered absolutely NO abuse whatsoever. I was completely happy with it until my trip last week.

    Now, I may have lost all of my prior days of photos AND am out $40 I had to put out for disposable underwater point and shoots.


  • Jim says:

    The surrounding metal frame around the view finder front fell off my camera and now I’m not sure if it is still waterproof. Can I simply reglue the frame???

  • Corey says:

    Jim, I had the exact same thing happen to mine. I called Olympus and they told me to send it in because it does compromise the water-proof-ness. I sent it in and got it back a week or so later. The black paint had also peeled off and they fixed that too.

    I loved this camera and thought I had a chance of winning the contest they just held, here is my video that I have taken with the camera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFHzI0nsf6c watch it in HQ.

    The camera did awesome so far, but on a recent trip to San Diego, I had condensation behind the screen and also behind the glass lens. It still takes pictures but I don’t know if I should take it under water anymore. I have had it down to 23 feet, deepest I could go by myself with no gear, and it has done fine.

    My 6 month warranty was up in February, but I feel as though since they repaired it that it is not up to the original standard. I am extremely happy with the camera though. Makes a great joke at the bars when you drop it in a girl’s drink and they freak out :)

    I would recommend this camera and so far Olympus has been extremely helpful. I feel as though there may have been a few bad ones that some people have had and while mine may be out of commission, I am still hoping for the best.

    Honestly, I treat this camera like hell and it puts up with it. I constantly drop it just for fun, step on it just because, and submerse it in beer.

    I crushed my old camera (not an Olympus) snowboarding and this one has put up with all the pain I can deal out. Hopefully I can get the condensation thing fixed.

  • David Bibby says:

    My Camera leaked in water after trying to use it in a swimming pool just under the surface. I Returned it to the Service Dept of the Internet company I purchased it from.
    I have just Received a Mail from them stating that they have checked it and blame me for Misuse and Neglect!
    I couldnt have been more careful following the instruction manual to the T.
    They now want £200 to repair the Camera I have only had it 9 months they only cost £210-250 new!
    I am devastated and now angry, what is the point in spending so much money for a waterproof camera that isnt waterproof!
    After reading other peoples coments on here, has anyone got Olympus to repair the Camera under warranty?
    Can anyone suggest what to do next? all I can think of is to try Olympus

  • Corey Hass says:

    David, I have had mine repaired under warranty once, that was after 5 months of hard use. Once it is repaired, you get a 6 month service warranty, which is what I am looking at now.

    Call Olympus, they have been very helpful with me.

  • MY says:

    I recently bought a 1030 SW. I was shocked to find many reviews about the battery cover popping out while in the water. I suspect that this is caused by the air in the battery compartment being presurised and push open the battery cover. As soon as the battery cover pops out, the camera is ruined. I have heard some people managed to get free replacement fr Olympus while under warranty.I guess if your camera is out of warranty, you whould be very carefull. To SOLVE this problem, I bought a BATTERY COVER SECURE LOCK! This little gadget securely locks the baterry cover and will never pop out. I think this will help may camera users protect their waterproof camera fr getting damaged. Any interested parties can contact me if you are interested to find this product. email the salesman sales@city1.com. I think this gadget is a must have for all Olympus camera users. You can never be too sure. With this the battery comparment will never pop out by itself.With this installed you can’t even open the cover in anyway. Great product. Now I feel more confident bringing my camera into the water. I have never seen the battery compartment warning ever with this installed.

  • David Bibby says:

    Cheers Corey
    Am still waiting for (simply electronics) to return my camera has been weeks now, my last email to them they thanked me for my patients! cheeky sods!
    Have emailed Olympus and they have asked me to send the Camera to them, wish I had done that in the first place.
    Fingers crossed they will be able to repair/replace my Camera. I really now think there are a certain amount of the 1030′s that do have a problem after the many reviews I have found since my Camera leaked.
    Fingers crossed on this one will let you know guys.

  • joffo says:

    another 1030 leak story. second day of beach holiday, snorkelling in a couple of metres came up to find my 1030 flooded. no more pics for that holiday.
    i thought that maybe i’d caused the leak by bumping the battery compartment or that there was sand in the gasket so when i got home i tested it again by putting it in a basin filled with water. there was a steady stream of bubbles coming from the mode selector dial. it would seem that this is the weak spot.
    camera has been at olympus for a month now and no news – not sure what’s happening.
    I have no confidence taking this camera into the water again which was the main reason i bought it.

  • Darryl Steynor says:

    YO, I got a black 1030 SW, first time I went swimming in Bermuda all the black paint came off, that was cool, but i just got back from Costa Rica and noticed the sun cap thing by the lens was missing. It must have fell off while I was snorkeling. Camera is 5 months old, only used for a week in BDA and a week in Costa Rica. The camera is still water proof but looks like crap! When I call Olympus, will they help me out?

  • Darryl Steynor says:

    If not I’ll be pissed, I dont get how a shock proof/ crush proof camera has pieces fall off it???

  • Heather says:

    I love my 1030sw! My husband bought it for me for Mother’s day last year and I have loved it ever since. We live in Hawaii and are taking it in the ocean constantly. We haven’t had any leakage problems. I also let my 2-year-old play with it and it still works like a champ! And now she is becoming quite the little photographer as well! It seems like only the black ones are having the issue with the paint falling off? Mine is green and I haven’t had any problems. I would recommend this camera to anyone.

  • Darryl Steynor says:

    Olympus said send it in, they will examine it and see if it is still under warranty, and hopefully they will fix it without a charge. The camera takes awsome pictures and mine is definatly waterproof, its just missing the suncap over the lens. Ill be upset if they dont honour the warranty. Does anyone know about the new super tough stylus 8000? its the newer version of the 1030sw.

  • Dave Bibby says:

    Did eventually get my Camera back from (Simply Electronics UK)
    I would advise anyone no matter how much cheaper they are, not to buy anything from them!
    They blamed me for my Camera leaking and wanted to charge me £200 to repair it.
    Thankfully after advise from here and some other sites, I returned the Camera to Olympus who are repairing it as we speak, under Warranty and giving me a further 6 months Warranty.
    Thank you Olympus.
    As for Simply Electronics make your own minds up, they are supposed to be authorised repairers for Olympus! I will be writing some letters!
    Good luck to anyone else that may need this site, I have got some good valued info from it, though will be I little scared to use my Camera under water again.

  • KeithC says:

    I’ve had three of these cameras now. They all leaked – the last one only lasted a couple of minutes in the water. I eventually sent it back to Olympus with a note saying their cameras are not fit for sale as they are not waterproof, and asked for a refund. They wouldn’t do it but instead gave me a new Tough 8000 with 12 months warranty. I haven’t taken it underwater yet but the battery door looks identical to the 1030 so I doubt it will work for long. A friend who works at a camera shop said they had three leaked 8000 cameras returned the first week they were on sale.

    So far my tests with the 8000 indicate that picture quality is about equal to an average camera phone. If you want to use these cameras underwater, especially on a holiday, then I would recommend an UW housing or else expect disappointment. Better still, get a good camera like a Canon with UW housing. That’s really the best option for snorkellers.

  • loz says:

    My husband purchased my 1030SW as a birthday gift in January in anticipation of a long-awaited holiday of a lifetime to Mauritius in April. As a keen snorkeller I couldn’t wait to photograph the coral and marine life within the shallow lagoons that surround the island. I was gutted when on the fourth time in the water I got the “card cover open” warning and the camera was DEAD. I had used it just a few minutes earlier without any problems, and had been meticulous about following all the instructions and checks. Of a 22-day holiday, I had used the camera for just 6 days. All the great snorkelling we did after that could not be captured on digital memory, only rapidly fading human memory. We have contacted the supplier, dabs.com, who have asked us to return the camera, but it remains to be seen what they will offer to do. To be honest, I have lost confidence in the product as a waterproof camera and am not sure that I even want a repair or replacement. I already have a perfectly good digital compact and the 1030SW was bought specifically for its waterproof feature.

  • triggerfin says:

    Bought this camera for fishing. First time in the water (approx. 1 ft. to take an underwater pic of a fish I had just caught) and, you guessed it, it had leaked and been ruined. The picture quality is also very unimpressive. I will definitely be pursuing a refund with Olympus as the camera is clearly not waterproof as advertised. Strongly recommend against purchasing this camera.

  • Hélio Júnior says:

    My 1030sw leaked while snorkeling at less than 10ft after 6 month of use. I have followed all instructions in the manual very carefully. After that it doesn’t turn on. Definitely it is NOT WATERPROOF.

  • Jane M Davidson says:

    I got the sw1030 in Dec and am very happy with it, except for the spots that appear on it when I use the flash. It can be inside or even outside at night. The spots are very bad,and it there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to when it will happen. I contacted Olympus support and they told me that it was free floating dust that I was capturing on my lens.
    I told them that it was a good try, but that I didn’t buy that answer. They finally said that I could return the camera to the repair dept and they would look at it. I have yet to do that.
    Has anyone else had this issue?
    It worked great for me this Feb in Key West when we went snorkeling, I like the underwater shots that I got. I did rinse it when I got back on deck and let it dry out for awhile.
    Looking forward to hearing if anyone else has “spots” issues.

  • loz says:

    Follow-up to my post No 46: Within a week of returning the dead camera to dabs.com they advised us that they are issuing a full refund, no questions asked. That’s a result! Only problem now is which alternative waterproof camera to buy. Any recommendations?

  • David Bibby says:

    34/37/44 Olympus couldnt fix my camera in the end.
    Great customer service from them they replaced it with the new Tough 8000. Thankyou Olympus
    All this after my initial quote of a £200 repair from Simply Electronics for repairing a camera I was supposed to have damaged myself!
    Thank god I stuck to my guns, Olympus never accussed me of doing this!

  • Me says:

    I just took my 1030 sw down to 30 feet or so… The same story as the other guy that went 36′, no problems..

    The pressure made the plastic screen touch the LCD under it but went back with no damage apon assent…

    I think your problems with leaks are not a design issue it is a manufacturing issue..I got a nice one made on a Wednesday where as others may end up with one made at 6:00 on a Friday by aunderpaid temp worker thinking about going out to the Japanese bars later or where ever they make these…

  • Marc V says:

    I purchased mine in 7-2008 and it started the leak crap today… never been below 5 feet in the water… i first noticed this when the lens got foggy, then i took the battery out and it was slightly wet… i guess i need to open a ticket and get it back to olympus..

    reading these reports here makes me wonder if its not a design flaw with the battery door. I have always thought the camera took lackluster images, but just like most it was the ability to use it underwater that made it for me.

    Ill keep the group posted as to what they say.

  • James says:

    Great camera which takes great pictures, but wouldn’t say it’s waterproof… have been desperately buying up these olympus waterproof cameras because I’d like to have some surfing picks of myself and friends… but each time there’s an issue… with the last version it was the lens cover that got jammed, sent it bacnd got it fixed and it jamed again. With this one I got an error message saying that the battery cover was open when it wasn’t… quite disapointing, keep thinking about buying the newer model STYLUS-550WP but don’t want to be burned so many times in a row!

  • ajm999 says:

    I’ve been using this camera for a little over a year. Worked great for a while but I just got back from a trip to barbados where it died the second day we got there. Seems like it leaked when we took it into the water (not even snorkeling, just hanging out at the beach in the water.) Contacted Olympus to see what they could do and they sent me a canned response on how to send it to the repair center and wanting payment info so they could charge me to get the unit repaired. I’ll probably never buy another Olympus camera again. There are WAY better cameras out there that do HD video also and have more advanced features (like object tracking.) Why would I waste my money on a unit rated to go to 30ft that flakes out at 2 ft after just 1 year. I checked some other review sites and it seems that I’m not the only one who has experienced this camera leaking water. Do your homework and you’ll quickly realize this camera should stay on dry land (preferably in the box in a warehouse shelf somewhere.)

  • sartis says:

    4 out of 5 cameras leaked and I have come to the conclusion as per other comments that this is Not A Waterproof Camera!

    I just returned from a trip to Hawaii and I am 1 of 4 people who have/will be contacting Olympus about 1030sw cameras that ceased to work by day 5. On a previous trip to Hawaii last year my father had an excellent experience with his 1030sw (black) and as a result 4 of us purchased a unit (all green) to be used for snorkeling. However, all 4 new green cameras leaked at various points within 5 days and stopped working: one within 10 minutes of snorkeling on day 1, the second within 10 minutes of day 2, the third on day 3, and the fourth on day 5.

    Additionally, the 1 working camera that was originally black began to have the paint flake off on day 2 until it was completely silver. Once the paint had been lost, the metal frame piece around the lens fell off while snorkeling at some point…but it continues to work.

    What was even more interesting is that on a snorkeling trip to Lanai, the deckhand overheard us talking about the cameras leaking and she jumped in to say that her 1030sw had stopped working on the 10th time in the water. Plus, she has run across multiple other customers/passengers who experienced the same thing. Appears to be a trend…

    Olympus is sending me a repair form via email and indicated that repairs/service are guaranteed for 6 months. Since my 1 year warranty will expire before my next vacation, I plan to test for leakage as soon as it is returned from repair.

    I actually followed all instructions in the manual and the first day I was snorkeling for just about 1 hr, let it soak for 10 minutes after use, etc. My camera failed after 10 minutes in the water on day 2 with an LCD warning that indicated the battery door or USB port was open, of which both were completely closed. I swam back to the beach with the camera out of the water and dried it off. By that time the LCD had gone blank and the camera would no longer respond.

  • another Stylus 1030 SW leaks, ruins everything says:

    My Olympus Stylus 1030 SW had a water leak yesterday, I took it to the beach in Ft lauderdale, FL. I’ve had this camera for only 13 months from when purchased brand new. Before going into the water I took a few pictures and it was working as expected, then I got to swimming and then took the camera out for my snorkeling partner to take a picture. The LCD never turned on and the little amber LED next to the dial was blinking trying to tell me something as well as the camera giving it’s audible funeral tones. The lens cover worked for some time while holding the camera above the water. I took it out of the water immediately but after my resuscitation attempts and letting it dry with it’s guts to the sun, it was clear that Olympus had ran away with my money. I must say that I never trusted the battery door latch and sealing molding on this camera and it finally did it’s dirty work. The paint on the face of the camera has started to peel, plus I found the picture quality average. The thing that this camera had going with me was that it was “water-proof”. I’m currently looking to jump ship to a better brand of under water camera after my Olympus mistake, as I’m not even going to try to get it fixed, instead I’m going to let it swim with the fishes. I am dissatisfied with and do not recommend the Olympus Stylus 1030 SW.

  • Deena says:

    2nd day of our holiday in Cozumel, first time in the water, the camera leaked and then died. Piece of **** . All the ads were misleading I feel really cheated will never buy an olympus camera again!!

  • Edward says:

    I have had the camera for around 8 months now but , used it in the water but at the surface and never had any problems. This weekend I actually went down about three meters to take a picture of a fish on the bottom.

    Now its saying card cover open when it is not!! There was a minimal amount of moisturenear the sensor but thats it.

    The seals do not really look like they can take 10 meters anyway. No real o rings…..

    Drying it out now to see what happens.

    I hope Olympus will replace if i do not manage to get it working.

  • Sungroupie says:

    I purchased my green 1030 SW and 2GB card about 5 months ago. I already have a Canon digital SLR for our “land” photos but wanted the Stylus for underwater photography after seeing the pictures a friend took diving in Tahiti. I’ve not been disappointed.

    I’ve taken nearly 200 photos and about a dozen videos on our snorkeling trips to Montego Bay and Negril, Jamaica, Key West, Cozumel, and the Gulf of Mexico near Tampa. Unlike so many other reviewers, I’ve had no issues with leaking, paint chipping or parts falling off (knock on wood). The underwater photos and videos have been clear and well-lit (mostly taken from the surface). I took some great videos going down the water slide at a resort in Jamaica. Pictures taken out of the water have been sharp with a natural color balance.

    That being said, the camera is by no means perfect – but what can you expect for that price? Probably my main concern is the fogging or condensation that occasionally appears on the images. This seems to occur after the camera has been in the water and then immediately used to take pictures above the surface. Unfortunately, the fog isn’t seen on the LCD screen and you don’t realize there’s a problem until you review the pictures later. I’m not sure how to rectify this other than taking multiple shots in these circumstances – some will probably turn out okay.

    As someone mentioned earlier, the lack of an optical viewfinder is bothersome. In bright sun, it’s difficult to see your subject in the LCD screen, especially if you’re facing the sun. Someone else also pointed out that drops of water sometimes adhere to the lens and you’re unaware of it until you see the photos.

    Despite these minor issues, I’m happy with the camera. Its size, price, ruggedness and picture quality make it ideal for the casual photographer.

  • Al Rose says:

    I’ve had mine over a year and I’ve been in the sea and swimming pools with it. It has also had lots of abuse from my 3 year old who loves to both use it and throw it around. So far, it has been a joy to use. The only real drawbacks have been the lack of optical viewfinder and the lens position. Fingers seem to be a popular photo subject.

    I’d recommend it (as a 2nd camera) to anyone.

  • Ryan says:

    Everything seemed great – took it in a pool and had amazing underwater shots. Loved it! Then took it on my fishing trip – worked great when wading, and got some great shots. Next I took it in a pool with me – it stopped working after a few mins. Nothing opened, I wasn’t being rough with it – somehow it got water inside. Now I have no camera on my amazing vacation.

    I recommend this camera only for brief periods of underwater – it obviously has issues. Also, make sure to bring a back up camera with you if you plan on taking this underwater – you might need it. Very annoyed.

  • Mr. Reeee says:

    I’m surprised so many have had leakage troubles.

    I got a 1030SW for a 10 day Aruba snorkeling trip in January (2009). I swam with the camera roughly 2 hours every morning and 2 hours every afternoon. I just spent a week snorkeling around the Northern Greek Sithonian Penninsula, again swimming for 2 or 3 hours ever day.

    I’ve been EXTREMELY careful about thoroughly fresh-water rinsing and drying out the camera after swimming with it. Never a leak or any other trouble. Knock wood.

    That said, I have NOT been very pleased with the ABOVE water picture quality.

  • Mr. Reeee says:

    I NEVER shoot in 10 MP mode as the images are very soft and grainy. EVEN in full sunlight and “ideal” conditions. Shooting at 5MP is MUCH better. The lens and CCD sensor size are simply too small for 10MP!

    The flash is extremely hot, so I shut it off underwater 90% of the time. I need to find a way to soften it a bit, since there are no in camera flash adjustments.

    Battery life is good… roughly 150 photos (usually more) per charge.

    The camera has lots of shortcomings, but if you take the time to adjust to them and work around them, you can get some excellent underwater results!

  • annoyed says:

    i’ve had so many problem with this camera it’s spent more time being serviced than it has in my hand.
    waterproof my @$%!
    frist time i used it in a pool..barely submerged water leaked in..
    i sent it in to fix and received it back with the lcd screen very bright beyond adjustment… i sent it back in and they changed the lcd…. so all in all the built me a new camera..
    but then i take it in a pool.. again submerged jut so the lens is underwater it was there all of 5secs before water leaked in …again.. some service job.
    yesterday i called in and they said to send this camera in and they will replace it with the new model .. but i don’t think i’ll be using that one in the water

  • Tim Youde says:

    ..as per alot of the comments above – this camera is not water proof. Just used it in Egypt – and it died within 2 days. A friend who also had the same camera has had the same issue. Interested to see what Olympus say..!

  • Adam Vincent says:

    I got this camera almost a year ago and used it diving on the Great Barrier Reef with no real problems. THe lack of a view finder is annoying underwater because the screen reflects so much light that it turns bright white or pitch black. You have to point in the general direction and take as many shots as possible.
    It seems strange that Olympus would market a product like this knowing the dissadvantage of not having a viewfinder. Even an old school crosshair on top of the camera would do the trick.

    Also, while the camera is waterproof the paint is not! The Pacific ocean was fine but as soon as it met the Indian Ocean the paint started drifing off into the current revealing polished stainless steel beneath. I’m no expert but I know not to apply paint to a polished surface without first roughing it up a little. Unfortunately when the paint peels off italso takes the lens shield with it!

    Bad construction techniques but a functional camera so far. It’s a bit like buying a car and having the paint peel off when it starts moving at any speed. It works fine but ends up looking old and battered after one use.

    Bad form Olympus.

  • Stefano says:

    I used this camera in Maldives, I used it with the underwater case: no problems, great pictures.
    But when i first used it “bare” -I was just snorkelling…- a message appeared telling the battery door was open and after that the camera just shut down! Of course I’ve handled it very carefully, after an expense of about 300€ !
    I sent it to the Olympus service, they didn’t repair/replace it because “the camera is oxydated”!!!
    Now I have an empty underwater case, two useless 2GB xD cards, 400€ less in my bank account (case+camera+cards) and a great anger inside!
    I wouldn’t suggest Olympus cameras to anyone!!!!

  • Liana says:

    I purchased an OLympus Mju 1030sw because it was dubbed as the most durable camera in the world. Tested it out on holiday in the Pacific Islands and the black paint started coming off on my leg. Then the lens frame fell off as well and water condensation formed on the LCD when i took it in the sun/water. I tried it out snorkelling at 1-2 metres and all was well until the screen displayed the error message “card cover open”. I took the camera out of the water to find water inside both covers. I allowed the camera to dry and tried it again, but from then on the error message remained. I sent it into the company Expert Infotec, unaware they are parallel importers (I paid full price for my camera) and they said that the camera was out of warranty and this was proven by the fact that there was corrosion inside. No S&^%m, thats because I went snorkelling and SALT WATER GOT INSIDE!!.

    I think this camera is a heap of cheap rubbish, and I really was careful with it to follow the instructions, plus it broke the first time I used it outside the house!!

    Olympus Mju 1030SW, the world’s most rediculously overstated camera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Suzy says:

    Well I bought my 1030 sw as I’m currently traveling round South East Asia for 3 month, I read it was the best and toughest camera according to the Olympus camera but as above….

    the black paint on mine is also starting to come off (which im not that bothered about) but when the silver square round the lens fell off yesterday whilst in my backpack, I was a bit worried. IS this camera no longer waterproof without that silver square round lense?? We are swimming with elephants soon so i really need it repairing if that is the case.

    I am trying to find a Shop in Bangkok that will repair it cheaply, but to be honest it looks like the lense was just stuck on with glue.

    “Toughest camera in the world”???…I’m not so sure now, unless they made a bad batch…
    chopsuzy@hotmail.co.uk if anyone has any advice. thanks

  • Photo-John says:

    I have seen a bunch or reports about the paint coming off, Suzy. I wouldn’t worry about that. Although I’m sure it’s disappointing, it won’t affect camera performance. I’m not sure about the “silver square round lense” you refer to. Did the glass lens cover come off, too? Or is it just the decorative trim? My guess is that as long as the glass lens cover is intact, your camera is fine. Fingers crossed for you…

  • Bitten by the Travel Bug says:

    I the camera after I was travelling around the world and of course on the last leg of my trip, the camera I had ‘took a swim’ in the Mekong Delta… so when I got home I really did alot of research and found the Olympus 1030, which they said was supposed to be indestructable…

    I purchased it right before my trip to Panama & unfortunately it broke in the middle of the trip & I had to get a replacement for the remainder of my time there.

    I literally dropped if from about waist height into the sand and that was it. I had been swimming with the camera & am not sure if perhaps some sand may have had an effect. I thought I was the only person who had a problem with it because I tend to ‘break’ cameras. Yes at the time I was uber disappointed because I had yet to go north where I had planned on diving with the camera, but I will say this…. this is a fairly new concept & for as new as it is its a pretty good camera. I am sure the next couple generations are going to build on what this one has already provided.

    All and All I am happy with it. Although I haven’t been able to take it “diving” I can say it takes great underwater pictures. Although you should have a spare battery since it seems to die pretty quick with the underwater pics.

    If it does break send it out immediately. They are pretty quick about getting it back.

  • Marc says:

    I’ve read almost every comment and all of those bad thing happend to my Olympus Stylus 1030 too!
    -The black paint starting to come off ———– Who’s not a problem
    - the silver square round the lens fell off ———- Who’s not a problem neither
    - but two days ago, I went for snorkeling in Barbados and lost the screen ——— who’s a problem

    Until now I thought I had a really good camera. Now a year and a little more after my purchase it break! I’m now talking whit Olympus customer to see if thay can do anything with that kind of problem! Hoping they can do something…If they wanna honor the Waterproof camera…they better do something!

  • Andrew says:

    Camera leaked while snorkeling in maui and I don’t know why. I was horrified to see on the screen, “check or clean xd card contacts” message. I knew right away that it likely was leaking. Gut wrenching to see water in the camera when the hatch was opened.

    All the black paint bubbled and peeled off like a poorly painted domestic car.

    The video sound knocks and is awful.

    The plastic piece around the lens fell off. I re-glued that on.

    Autofocus troubles.

    I have gotten some nice pics but really, the waterproofness of this camera is highy questionable.

  • Andrew says:

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention; the camera leaked 13 months after purchase date. I hope I’m not scuppered. Olympus will get the camera delivered to them anyway with a nasty-gram.

  • Luke says:

    Camera had moisture on the memory card and battery after throwing it in a pool at a party to take some pics says “memory hatch open” warning. Still works tho, maybe im just lucky. Anyone have a technique to further waterproof this in the shed, i been looking up alot about this camera and looking into adding silicon or heated glue around the edges to give it more pressure around the seals however i shouldn’t need to do this. I cant be unhappy with the camera since i got it for free and i don’t really care if it breaks.

  • Dan says:

    Have done fair bit of underwater work with this camera. However my ‘silver metal square thing’ around the lense fell off today- are their people on here that can tell me they still use the camera underwater without it with no problems?



  • Jesper says:

    Can sunlotion be the bastard destroying this camera?
    Sitting in Malaysia with the very same camera… missing the “suncap” and with the paint pieled off… I´ve had it for 1 1/2 years using it everyday at work inside and outside, and so far no problem. It´s got some dents, but still working fine, until today.
    Went snorkeling (maximum depth of 1m) and suddenly noticed that the screen died, but the rest was as usual. Could still turn it on and off. Then I saw bubbles under the black paint and it started to peel off. It all came off eventually, but that´s good since you can see your reflection while taking shots of yourself . Found drops of water in the battery compartment and the connection compartment.
    After leaving it open to dry, it finally worked again. After reading all these comments I saw that some people had their lenscap come off, so I just wiggled it a little and it came straight off.
    Don´t know if anyone mentioned it, but I think that sunlotion makes the paint come off and when that comes off it breaks some sealing. I´ve used the camera before without sunlotion and nothing happened.
    Does it mention in the manual that you shouldn´t let the camera get in contact with sunlotion? If not, we should all be able to have our cameras replaced.
    Now I´m bringing out the Tesa tape to put the lenscap back…

  • Dan says:

    Anyone still use it underwater with the lense cover off?

  • Keiron Meakin says:

    Re the 1030 I bought one in March 08 lasted two weeks,into a round the world trip. It leaked Could not get it sorted till back in home country. had a Canon 400d with me as well so got some photos. Replaced under warranty bu Olympus as uneconomical to repair. same thing has just recently happens. As I suspected would be expensive to repair as no longer under warranty. had a look inside sure there it was ,water leagage. Dried it out, a bit of corrosion. But broke a wire ribbon on reassymbly . So now looking for a replacement. I contacted Olympus just to let them know what I found and asked if the newer models have improved sealing. Deepest camera had been was about 2 meters ( advertised 10 m) No reply yet.
    Any suggestions on a replacement camera

  • Dee says:

    Bought the 1030 in November 08. One year and two weeks later (ie just out of warranty), and now living in Cape Town, South Africa, the LCD simply blanked out – no warnings. When I opened the battery compartment there was a tiny bit of water inside. Now I’m told that the LCD has blown and it will cost almost $300 to replace. The technician tells me that it is as a result of water damage. I’ve never had the camera more than a meter down in the swimming pool. I’d estimate it has been in the pool maybe 12 times in total. I’m off to buy a Canon Powershot 10D. Anyone want my Olympus for spare parts!?

  • Paul says:

    Hi Dee,

    I have had EXACTLY the same issue as you, I swear these things are designed to die just out of warrenty.

    Aprt from that I was very happy with this camera, got some great shots underwater, just a shame it cannot be relied upon.

  • Ken says:

    Firstly, I am a long time, I mean mid-1970′s) avid Olympus camera fans. That being said, with this previous ZERO Problem history with Olympus cameras, I purchased one of these new Stylus 1030 SW in June 2008 and used it a total of 1 time in 1 foot of fresh, mountain river water, and rinsed it after using according to the manual’s instructions.

    However, imagine my abolutely shocking and completely unexpected experience when we took this camera with us to Mexico 14 days ago, and within the first 5 minutes of having this camera in a lagoon on the first day, and without warning, EVERYTHING on the camera went completely dead, a black screen, no power, nothing… There went ALL of our pictures from the trip… gone… and NO CAMERA for the restThen, when we returned yesterday, I did some web searching for the possible reason and source of this kind of total failure… And from the looks of the 82 posts here I can only conclude that I am also one of the victims of Olympus’ really terrible product design.

    This camera is not waterproof, not crushproof, takes mostly substandard, grainy pictures on land and even worse pictures under water, has an annoying clicking sound during video and is now D E A D. Oh yeah, then there’s the problem of the hood over the lens now being about ready to fall off the face of the camera. What did they glue this together with, watersoluble glue???

    This sickens me that for $400 the camera failed to operate as it was designed to and left us without a camera on our once in a lifetime vacation with our family in Mexico.

    I cannot in my right mind pay Olympus to repair a product that totally failed to deliver on just about any and every category for which I purchased it.

    I am deeply disturbed that a camera company would put out a product so unready for the mass-market, and so incabable of producing high quality above and under water images all the while being a reliability-nighmare.

    I am asking Olympus to repair or replace this camera as I am obvioulsy not the first, nor will I apparently be the last to be the beta tester for a sub-standard, horrifically designed, weak, incapable product with the Olympus name on it.

    Signed, once a loyal Olympus fan.

    P.S. I was considering buying 3 more of these for my wife and 2 children, but given this experience, I will be buying 3 of the Canon’s new waterproof D10 cameras instead.

  • Pat says:

    We had the same problem two times. The first camera failed on the second day of a Christmas Cozumel trip(2008). Returned it for a new one. Took it to Hawaii for Christmas (2009). On the second day it again leaked. We bought a throw away “film” underwater camera at a big box store to salvage our vacation. Very disappointing this happened two vacations in a row. Would not recommend this camera to anyone . We are very careful and meticulous people and feel that human error was not involved.

  • Brenda says:

    Purchased this camera for our daughter last Christmas. She was hesitant to put it in water despite the fact that it is “WATERPROOF”. After much convincing, she finally put it in the water, snorkelling in the Sea of Cortez Mexico this Christmas – 1 year later. After 5 minutes it died. My 13 year old daughter knows better than to always believe the claims! Sent it back for warranty when we got home in January – not 3 weeks after our warranty expired. Olympus refuses to warranty it saying that it has been “misused due to leakage in the battery compartment”. On a cameral that is supposed to be WATER PROOF NOT WATER RESISTANT. Olympus – you have let down our faith in your company. Will never, ever by a camera from your company again! If any of you want a waterproof camera, this sure isn’t, despite the advertising!

  • Brenda says:

    PS – we didn’t have a cameral for the rest of our holiday!

  • clark says:

    Olympus Water Proof camera for me is a crap. Used it once in coron palawan and its ok. However, 7 months later after its debut in water, I used it again underwater and oh boy its darn dead. I noticed that there’s moisture on the battery compartment. I disassembled it and found out that some capacitors inside are corroded. It is not really water proof as they claimed it. Don’t buy one…

  • Lauren says:

    I’ve had the 1030sw for almost 20 months now. Never had a problem with it leaking and I’m suprised at all the people that had.. it’s been a good camera- yeah the photo quality isn’t excellent but the “shockproof” and “waterproof” is great. Before this camera, I had a Canon with the waterproof case- well the waterproof case leaked one day in Fiji and Canon wouldn’t fix it- because the case itself has no warranty.
    I do have the black 1030sw though, and my paint has been slowly but surely falling away.. and like everyone else with this problem, the sun cap/lense cover thing has fallen off. I sent Olympus an email about it, wondering if it was essential for the waterproofness, and they sent me back a completely generic email telling me they’re sorry about my camera issues, its a quality product, blah blah blah.. send it in AT YOUR OWN COST (even if its under warranty) and they’ll fix it if its under warranty, or tell you how much its going to cost.
    All I wanted to know was if I could glue/silicone it back on, or if I even needed it.
    I don’t even know if it has the extended warranty because the camera was a gift.

  • Margaret says:

    Same problem as the others!! Error message after snorkling. Card compartment open! but it was not. Not sure if Olympus will honour the warranty but hope so!
    Has anyone got it to work again after drying it out?

  • Dave says:

    I have had a Stylus 8000 for a little over a year. It has been in the water 3 times. Prior to using it I always clean and silicone the covers. Well, this time I got the “cover open” message…it wasn’t but the camera is dead. This ain’t no waterproof camera. I would recommend buying a waterproof disposable camera before this piece of junk.

    Dave The Captain!

  • nat says:

    i accidently iserted the battery in the wrong direction. how do you recommend gettin out. it is jammed in there pretty good. thnx

  • Steve says:

    Short and Sweet. Stay away from this camera. Biggest rip off I’ve ever had. Every problem possible and every excuse by the service people under the sun. It WILL let water in and break and will not be replaced after 6 months!! I would like to take the matter further, if anyone would like to take this further, let me know

  • Steve says:

    Just got a message saying it would cost $499 to repair my camera. It has already been exchanged 3 times and now is out of warranty. 1 year old! They will give you all the excuses.
    I’m in Sydney , Australia and would like to get a few others who have been very ripped off to take this matter further. Possibly Consumer Affairs?
    Who’s Interested?

  • Martin Kowal says:

    After puting camera to water, I have black screen with information that cover is openned.
    My black paint from camera disapeared….

    Totaly crap.

    What should I do?

    I think about going to court – mabe we can go together – it’s looks like they know about error, and they still sell camera… – it’s good idea to selll normal bad quality camera with information that it’s water proof…

  • Brian says:

    I have owned the 1030sw for about 2 years now. It has been attached to my belt loop via the nice clip you can purchase from olympus for almost the last 2 years. I use it out in the field for my job taling pictures of houses. It has been dropped more times than I can count and still working without fail. Just got back from vacation and the 1030sw spent 2 days at the water park without any flaw. I would and will by another 1030sw any day of the week.
    I wish the new Olympus 8010 would have the same response time between photo’s as the 1030sw.. so i guess i go to ebay for another 1030sw for a backup while I can still get one.

  • d gooch says:

    Bought our 1030 SW in 2008 shortly before a two week snorkel vacation in Hawaii. Tested it to 8′ deep in a pool before going. Once there, used it daily for a week or so to depths of 20′ with no water leakage other than the tiny droplets in the batt/card compartment. Rinsed and dried it each night as prescribed. The failure was the lens cover, which froze shut, and the loss of the lens shade. Olympus promptly repaired it on warranty and returned it. Until last week it’s only use has been on land. It’s great for short videos of the grandkids! But last week, on another two-week snorkel vacation to Hawaii, it lasted 9 days. We take short videos as much as stills and have many good ones from this trip of, sea turtles, eels, and a small Humuhumu attacking the camera. Then, after a successful snorkel session, I tried to review our videos before returning to the water, and there it was! The dreaded “Card-cover open” warning. Like all the others here, my cover was not open. It has even had the extra protection of the silicone jacket accessory since purchased. It stil flasshes the same warning. I have loved it but will now research the Canon Powershot D-10. Thanks to all for your helpful stories.

  • Kris says:

    I’m interested in purchasing this camera more for it’s shockproof aspect. Most of the reviews and comments regarding it cover the waterproof aspect well, but have little to no information on how resistant it is to drops, falls, etc. other than the Olympus specs. Does anybody who owns it have any info that they could share? Thanks!

  • george says:

    hey Kris it is pretty much resistant for drops, i’m 2 meters tall and i’ve dropped it on purpose and accidentally a couple of times it can withstand quite tough falls. As well as it can go quite deep underwater. I was diving with one guy in Fiji and we took his the camera 40 meters underwater. so i think it really depends on this particular camera you’ll get because some of them a really good and some not.
    I was using mine for almost a year but now every time i take it underwater it stops working after 10 shots. After a day or two when it dries it works again.

  • Sharon says:

    We bought our 1030 SW 2 years ago and took some great underwater shots in Florida, and loads of great fishy pics in Turkey last year. We had no problems with the camera until half-way into our trip to Mexico last week. The black paint bubbled and started to peel off then the silver square round the lens fell off. It still worked so we didn’t worry about it. – until we went on a “snuba” diving trip. We first went for a swim round a “lazy river” when the camera started playing up. Just as we were about to go diving the camera died completely – no time to get a replacement disposable camera so no great shots of the barracuda and turtles that we saw. We were so disappointed as it was the first time I’d ever gone diving like this and missed out on some great photos. Up until then the camera had worked brilliantly – even the above ground pics were great (apart from night-time scenic shots, hard to get good picture). We have always been very careful about rinsing after taking in salt-water and chlorine swimming pools. After reading several comments from people with similar problems having occured in Mexico I do wonder if the heat and humidity there has played a part in this as the camera was used frequently underwater in Florida and Turkey without problem. As the camera is now 2 months out of its warranty from Dixons, we have emailed them to see if they would be willing to do anything to help us. I doubt it though. We WON’T be buying an Olympus if we need to replce it.

  • paul says:

    While snorkling in Hawaii I found an Olympus 1030 SW buried in the sand 8 feet underwater. Nearly all the paint had chipped off. I bought a battery charger and after drying out the camera and charging the battery was able to view the stored pictures in an effort to identify the owner. (I also sent the serial number to Olympus asking if the owner had registered the camera, but no luck.) The last picture on the camera was taken over three months earlier in the location that I was snorkling. So the camera had been buried in the sand underwater for months. And yet it still worked perfectly. I was very impressed.

  • Doug Robertson says:

    I have had my Olympus 1030 for three years, as other writers I was impressed by the pictures it took. However recently the camera black finish to the front of the camera came off followed by the the small lences cover which seems to be fixed to the paint finish. Then the camera decided not to work. I am not impressed as the camera is suppose to be a hardy breed. I have emailed Olympus who stated if I return for repair it will cost me a min of £135 plus postage and if I decide after their checks, not to repair this under water indestructible camera I will still be charged £15 for the trouble. I don’t think the 1030 lives upto the advertisment brief and will not be buying another or giving Olympus the pleasure in ripping me off further.

  • georgie says:

    i hate olympus underwater cameras with a passion, this is my forth with warranty and i try so hard to do everythign right but somehow water blacks out the screen everytime. i am extremly dissapointed and i dont know what i am doign wrong, at the moment i have an olympus m tough 1000

  • Olympus Camera Class Action says:

    Terrell Marshall & Daudt PLLC (“TMD”) of Seattle, Washington and Ram & Olson LLP of San Francisco, California have filed a class action against Olympus Imaging, Inc. concerning problems with Olympus Stylus SW cameras. The Olympus class action alleges that the Olympus Stylus 1030 SW and 850 SW cameras contain defects that cause the cameras to fail or malfunction when underwater or when dropped, despite Olympus’s representations that the cameras are waterproof and shockproof.

    If you have experienced problems with an Olympus Stylus SW camera and would like to speak to a TMD attorney, please email olympusclassaction@tmdlegal.com.

  • Photo-John says:

    Sounds like a ridiculous lawsuit to me. It will increase the cost of cameras for everyone and likely only make money for the lawyers. It may even mean we don’t get any waterproof cameras anymore. Any kind of product can fail, but when it happens with a waterproof camera that failure is drastic. How about you also go after car manufacturers for cars break down? Stupid.

  • DufferAT says:

    We bought two SW1030 cameras one for my daughter and one for my son. I went to Australia to travel with my daughter and before we got to go to the Great Barrier Reef, we got robbed and the camera was stolen. BUMMER!! My son had his camera earlier this year in Cuba and got some great pictures at various depths so the camera was not leaking, however, when I took it to Hawaii last month, I managed to snap 3 or 4 pictures and the camera died. I was barely below the surface of the water snorkeling. When I took it on shore, I opened the battery/card compartment and there was a lot of water present. I took out the battery and the card and yet more water. IT IS TOAST!!! Out of the water pictures were quite satisfactory but as far as waterproof durability, I’m not sure if I can trust Olympus any more. Will definitely check out the class action suit above.

  • Jane says:

    Hello all … after reading all the posts, I felt I had to add my two cents worth as well … if only to ensure that any other prospective Olympus Stylus 1030 SW purchasers at least become aware that there IS most definitely a problem with this camera. I purchased this camera in Cancun during February 2009. I paid, if I remember correctly, close to USD 500, as it had just arrived on the shelves. Now, please understand, I am South African and my rand/exchange rate was, at the time, 10 to 1, thus THIS particular camera cost me a small fortune!!!! Especially as I had just purchased my Canon EOS 400D for just under USD 700. I HAVE been quite happy with the camera in most aspects of it, particularly its portability as, although I love taking photographs, it is often very cumbersome dragging a DSLR camera around with you and the underwater aspect of this camera sold me so completely as I have purchased the throw-away underwater cameras for use on snorkelling trips before and been very disappointed at the results. So for those “grab that moment” type of photo or video capture, it suited me just fine. I took it to Xcaret in Mexico with me, where it went underwater to a depth of no more than possibly 8 or 9 feet and it was fine. It has not been in the water since then – until now. I am in Bonaire and have been on three snorkelling trips already – with everything just perfect. I do not go deep as I am simply a surface snorkeller. I have, however, been changing mode from video to photography in the water – just in case this is proving to be one of the problems. Yesterday morning, on land, my husband wanted to take some photos, which he did, and then, when he wanted to review the photos, yes, you guessed it … BLACK SCREEN!!! It was clear that the camera was still functioning as the sounds of the camera could be heard and the LED light would light up when changing function. As that day was the day my husband wanted to try windsurfing, I decided to use it and hope for the best anyway. I used it “blindly” … ie., pointing it in what I hoped was the right direction, and, lo and behold, when we managed to actually download the videos and photographs directly off the card, as the camera would not switch on either with the USB cable) I had managed to get what I wanted and thus we do have memories of this occasion. We have left the camera open to dry all night, just in case any water did manage to get in, but, this morning, although the screen does go on for a few seconds – perhaps a minute or so – it reverts to a black screen. I also noticed yesterday that the green paint on the front facing of the camera has begun to peel off, like many other posters here, and I guess that possibly means that the sun-hood of mine will also now come off at some point. I AM gutted as I am clearly out of warranty and now sit with an underwater camera that cost me a lot of money at the time and which now either CANNOT or, at the very least, I REFUSE to take underwater ever again, if I want it to at least continue working for a while longer. I note that a previous poster has mentioned a class action suit and that another poster felt that would be ridiculous … my two cents, very simply, is that Olympus, as with all other shoddy manufacturers who only care about their profit margins as opposed to satisfied clients, need to KNOW that there IS absolutely a problem with this camera, specifically with the function for which most people will have purchased this camera – ie., the underwater function. Speaking for myself – although I am quite sure it is the case with most people – I take care of my belongings, I read the manuals on electronic / photographic equipment I purchase and I absolutely follow the manufacturers recommendations to the letter … yet this camera has now followed the same problematic route as it has with many other posters. Olympus needs to be made aware – as do other prospective purchasers.

  • rich says:

    I’ve had an older 8 mp version of this for almost 4 years now and it finally bit the dust. Not sure exactly how it leaked but there was water in the battery door. I dried it out and the camera works fine but the lens is murky now so its basically useless. I’m going to try to wash it in distilled water or alcohol to see if it will clear up but the alcohol will probably kill the seals.

    I had another one for about two week prior to buying this one and the same thing happened so I took it back right away. However that time I was on a -40 mountain in a very hot outdoor hot tub so the contraction probably killed that one.

    I’d say I got my money’s worth, I paid $220 for it and I beat the hell out of it. It has dents in it, a crack in the screen, worn paint, I actually bent the USB door shut and had to pry it open with pliers… just crippled looking and still worked for along time.

    I took at least 10,000 pics with it. I just came back from vacation where I put 1000 on it before it died out on me.

  • J. Fisher says:

    I’ve had nothing but trouble with Olympus customer repair. After getting my camera back from costly repairs due to leakage on a barely-used camera, I experienced problems with it again the first time I used it – snorkeling in Bora Bora!! They would not repair free as I didn’t get it back to them within 6 mths of original repair. Live in Northern Alberta… Not, much opportunity to try out camera without major holiday. They didn’t care… Do not buy Olympus!!

  • Fran says:

    Been using it since Christmas 2008 and couldn’t be happier.
    Well, as long as I didn’t zoom, that is.
    I use it for taking photos on my motorbike and it’s stood up to all conditions, sun/rain/sleet/snow/mud…

    Last week we went to Rarotonga for 10 days.
    The screen died the 2nd time we went snorkling.
    It still takes photos but no LCD activity at all.


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