Olympus TG-4 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Red)
|Olympus V6200660U000 Li-92 Rechargeable Battery (Silver)
|BM Premium 2 LI-90B, LI-92B Batteries and Charger for Olympus Tough TG-Tracker, SH-1, SH-2, SP-100 IHS, SP100EE, Tough TG-1 iHS, Tough TG-2 iHS, Tough TG-3, Tough TG-4, SH50 iHS, SH60, XZ-2 iHS Camera
|Olympus LED Light Guide (LG-1) for Olympus TG-1/2/3/4
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Most helpful customer reviews
431 of 443 people found the following review helpful.
Great underwater photo quality, microscope mode, and RAW capture
I'm a nature photographer and I've had this camera for a few weeks now. I bought this camera for a trip where I would be taking photos on a kayak and during snorkeling. I considered only bringing my DSLR camera and getting waterproof housing for it, but after reading stories online from photographers who tried this method only to end up with leaks, I decided not to risk it. I recommend this product for photographers who are serious about getting quality photos where water is an issue, and care about technical details like its RAW capture ability and microscope mode. I don't recommend this product for people who are casual shooters because they probably don't need the advanced features and can find a cheaper product that fits their needs.
Great photo quality while shooting underwater:
This camera takes great underwater photos with good image quality. The focusing is fast and accurate. The camera is very light at less than a pound, so very easy to lug around on trips. I took all of these photos in RAW and processed them in Lightroom.
Quirks on using RAW shooting:
- Getting the RAW setting enabled was more difficult than it should be. Usually this is accessed by the settings menu on other cameras. For the TG-4, you have to go to the main shooting screen and select it from the options on the live screen. Also, Olympus doesn't have a RAW-only option, instead you have to choose RAW+JPEG, which I find to be pretty unnecessary and the JPEGs just take up more space on my memory card.
- Also, I will mention that RAW capture is not available in all shooting modes. You cannot use RAW for underwater HDR, microscope mode, and portrait mode. Luckily for me, none of those modes are commonly used by me, but I would still have appreciated knowing this prior to purchasing the product. Especially since Olympus advertises the TG-4 as a RAW shooting camera.
- Note: If you're going to process RAW images, you'll need Lightroom 6. Older versions of Lightroom don't have the ability to process TG-4 RAW images.
Amazing microscope mode:
- I didn't get this camera for its microscope mode, but this feature was definitely a very pleasant surprise and one of the highlights of the TG-4. First of all, it can focus when the camera is EXTREMELY close (just 1 cm!!!) away from your object. This is a very unique capability. If you take a look at Wikipedia on Macro photography lenses, they provide a table of macro lenses and their closest focusing distances. The shortest focusing distance on that table is about 5 inches. Compare that to the TG-4, which can be as close as 1 cm.
- The magnification up to 44.5x is breathtaking, as the world looks completely different at that magnification. This is such a cool feature, and another reason to use this camera instead of my DSLR. I took a photo of a pair of shorts, and zoomed in all the way (see photo attached to this review). You can see the fibers of the material. Wow. This will definitely be a useful tool for me in the future.
Negatives about the camera:
- Poor photo quality in dim lighting. The camera sensor is really noisy when the lighting isn't optimal. This is the case even if I use nighttime shooting modes, so I was pretty disappointed. Most of my darker images were very grainy and no amount of post-processing was able to salvage them.
- Disappointing aperture control with f/2.0 lens. One of the main reasons that I bought this camera was to be able to control my aperture size and have it as large as f/2.0. However, the camera only lets you choose 3 aperture sizes depending on your current zoom. I didn't end up taking advantage of the aperture setting as much as I would have preferred.
- Battery life is short. You need to completely recharge the battery after just a few hours of usage, even when it's not shooting all the time.
- The camera's battery slot was a bit damp after an underwater shoot in the ocean. Now, after each underwater shoot, I make sure to rinse the camera in fresh water, then open all of the slots and let them dry out.
- Just because it's shockproof, crushproof, and rugged doesn't mean that it won't scratch. I was riding on my bike, had my camera sitting in a bike basket and it got scratched up. So be careful and maybe get a pouch for it.
- Lack of a manual setting. I know, it's a point-and-shoot camera, but I would still prefer to be able to control the exposure time, ISO, and aperture.
- The USB cable is not a standard mini or micro USB cable, and is instead a non-standard one. Sigh.
- The camera does not come with a full user manual in hardcopy form. Instead, Olympus provides a 121-page PDF document of the manual.
378 of 395 people found the following review helpful.
Excellent camera but Olympus could make some small changes to make it better
By A. Read
I have had this camera for about 3 days now, and am generally very impressed with it. I bought it for an upcoming canoe trip in Canada, so I wanted something waterproof. I also plan to take it scuba diving to shallow depths.
So far I have seen some good, some bad, and some ugly about the camera.
* Image quality is excellent, although perhaps a bit too saturated for "normal" mode.
* Focus is fast and accurate.
* Shutter lag is minimal. Not as fast as my DSLR, but still tolerable.
* The "microscope" mode is breathtakingly awesome. I shot a picture of a dish towel and the fibers of the cloth are easily visible. Also I shot one of my phone, and was able to make out not just the pixels but easily see that the pixels are little vertical stripes of red, green and blue.
* The water seals are great, although the latching mechanism is a bit fiddly.
* The size and weight of the camera are just right.
* The colors are bit over the top. They need to tone down the saturation a little.
* Low-light performance is not great. There are some setup options you have to configure to get it to focus at all (ie turn on the AF illuminator) and even then it's very voisy and has soft focus. Enabling the flash fixes all that, of course, but sometimes you don't want to use a flash.
* Enabling RAW mode is a bit weird. In most cameras there's a setup menu where you choose compression, image size, and RAW/JPEG but on this camera the compression setting is in the setup and the image size and RAW option are accessed from the main shooting screen.
* Manuals are only on the CD -- no printed manual past the one-page quick-start guide
* Some of the setup options require a bit of knowledge (e.g. your current altitude for the manometer) or a bit of trouble (GPS setup wants a PC)
It's possible to insert the battery backwards. No damage to the camera, but it won't turn on or charge. This is the first camera I have seen in nearly 15 years where it's possible to insert the battery incorrectly.
Non-standard USB connectors for interface and charging. Seriously, Olympus? Only USB mini or micro should ever appear on a modern device.
If not for the battery and USB cable issues, I would give the camera 5 stars...but those two are annoying enough that I have to downgrade it a little.
290 of 305 people found the following review helpful.
A Decent Rugged Camera with Some Unique Features
By P. Carlson
I am a pretty serious camera person. I have two full frame Sony cameras (Sony A7S and Sony A99), an older Olympus mirrorless camera, a Sony Nex-5T (my favorite pocket camera) and a Panasonic LX-7, which I am not fond of. I also have thousands of dollars of lenses and accessories. What I didn't have was something I could use underwater or in extreme conditions.
This is a good camera for what it is, a point and shoot that can take a good deal of punishment. There are also some unique features, such as the Microscopic Mode, that can let you take photos that you couldn't otherwise get without expensive equipment and software. As far as I know, this is the only camera that offers this type of mode with in camera focus stacking. I am also excited to try out the time lapse function. Though a couple of my Sony cameras have a time lapse app and I also have and intervalmeter, I don't want to leave my expensive cameras out unprotected in a thunderstorm.
I just got this camera and haven't had much time to test it. I will update the review with some shots once I get more time to play with the camera. I can say that I am enthralled with the Microscope Mode. As a more serious photographer, this feature alone is worth the price of the camera. It will take photos that my more expensive cameras can't easily take.
The other unique feature this camera has is the ability to shoot in RAW. RAW shooting, is of course available on many cameras, but this is the only super tough, waterproof camera that has it. At first I couldn't find the RAW setting because it wasn't in the camera menu as it is with my other cameras. You need to access RAW from the FN menu. Hit the INFO button while in shooting mode, if you don't see it. It will not shoot just RAW, it does a RAW plus a JPEG. I believe the JPEG is not at the full 16MP resolution. I had no trouble loading the RAW photos into Lightroom.
The TG-4 does not have a manual setting. I knew this when I bought it, but its one of those things I wish it had. The TG-4 does have Aperture Priority but the Aperture Priority setting is really disappointing. It only lets you choose from 3 apertures depending on your current zoom. At the wide angle setting you have only a choice of f/2.0, f/2.8, and f/8.0. At the longest lens setting you have f/4.9, f/6.3, and f/18.
The other really annoying feature is the proprietary USB cord and you will need that proprietary cord to charge the battery in camera. It doesn't come with a separate charger. No written manual doesn't bother me. You can easily find the PDF manual online and download it to your phone. I don't like to bother with the DVD since I have Lightroom and Photoshop.
I spent yesterday shooting with the camera. The camera takes decent photos in good light. As with most cameras with this small a sensor, digital noise is an issue, if you need to go to higher ISO settings or even crop much. The close focusing on the camera a real standout. You don't necessarily need to use the microscopic mode to take advantage of it My favorite close-up was of the inside of a Foxglove flower and was taken in aperture priority, using the smallest aperture (largest #) to get maximum depth of field. You can see tiny hairs inside the Foxglove that I didn't even see with my eyes. The microscopic mode is great. It has one mode that magnifies and one mode that focus stacks. You really need a tripod to take advantage of these modes. I also took advantage of the close focusing to do a short video of ants moving their larvae. Video is not supposed to be a strong point on this camera but I thought this video came out really well. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q98OBR-GEu0
If you don't need a rugged camera and want a camera in this price range that takes the best images, check out the Sony Nex-5t. It's not much bigger than this camera and Amazon is currently selling it for 349.99. It has the same size sensor as larger DSLRs and the image quality is comparable to a DSLR.
The camera loses a star for the proprietary USB and the crippled Aperture Priority Mode.
Update 6/13/15 - If you want to shoot in RAW in Aperture Priority or the Program mode, make sure you have it set to take a single shot. It will not shoot in RAW, if you have it set to take multiple shots. It took me a little while to figure out why I couldn't get it to shoot in RAW and finally figured out it was because I had it set to "Sequential" shooting. I love how well this does with close-ups but I have found that rather than shooting in Microscopic mode, I get the best macro shots, if I shoot in Aperture Priority and use the smallest aperture for maximum depth of field. In most cases you will also want to use flash to avoid camera shake. You can also use RAW capture in this mode to give you better post processing options. The focus stacking mode does not work well hand held or even on a tripod with moving objects like bugs. You can check out some of my shots here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/penny_carlson/