Olympus Tough TG-5 Review | Trusted Reviews

What is the Olympus Tough TG-5?

As the name suggests, the Tough TG-5 is a tough and rugged compact camera designed for use in conditions that would turn other notes and shots into a useless plastic stack.

Resistant to water up to 15 meters, freezing proof at -10ºC, crush proof at a pressure of 100 kg, sealed against dust and sand, protected against falls of up to 2.1 m and equipped with anti-fog glass on its lens, it is also notable for its 12 megapixel sensor of large pixels. The latter has been chosen to improve performance in low light conditions and the ability to capture both RAW and 4K video files.

Available in red or black finishes, the TG-5 includes a 4x optical zoom lens, built-in Wi-Fi and a series of sensors including GPS, compass and thermometer. It weighs 250g, including a battery and SD card.

Related: Best waterproof camerasOlympus Tough TG-5 – Design and features [19659008] Almost all cameras tested Water are designed to look at the piece, and the TG-5 is no exception. It’s an angular issue with a lot to grab. It has a striking red / black color scheme, but it is not overly flashy or thick, and it fits in a trouser pocket without digging uncomfortably into your thighs.

The camera keeps its connections and slots for your card and battery under double-closed doors and sealed with rubber, to keep water and dust away from the precious entrails. There is also a pleasantly thick cord to wrap around your wrist.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the physical design is the removable ring that surrounds the lens. Remove it and you can screw a fisheye lens, a telephoto converter or an optional ring LED light to illuminate close-up macro photos. While we could not test any of these accessories on our own, they seem to add valuable ammunition to the TG-5’s creative arsenal.

Another optional extra is the PT-058 underwater housing (available for an outlay of £ 279.99), which expands the camera’s underwater skills to a depth of 45 m, while providing access to all controls and functions.

Regarding the functions, Olympus has lavished the TG-5. You can capture videos at 4K / 30 fps for the highest level of detail, but also at 1080p / 120 fps if you want slow slow motion playback. He is still filming Raw, allowing those with editing programs a wide margin for postprocessing, as well as dedicated modes for underwater photography and macro close-ups.

There is also Pro Capture, which takes a series of frames even before pressing the shutter button. The idea is to help you when you try to shoot a complicated moving target.

GPS, compass, manometer and on-board thermometer mean you can add all kinds of extra information to your photos. This is perfect, if you are the kind of photographer who will remember your photographs years later and want to know not only the location where you took them, but the precise direction you were in and how warm it was. at that moment!

Olympus Tough TG-5 – Screen

The 460,000-dot LCD screen is not the most impressive feature of the TG-5, and its rivals like the Nikon W300 have it beat comfortably in resolution terms. It is not tactile, I would not expect it, since this camera is designed for underwater use, but it is reasonably bright and detailed to fulfill its purpose.

The user interface of the screen can be toggled between several modes by tapping the information button, including one with spirit levels driven by sensor and one with a peak light graph. As someone who throws crooked shots, crooked too often, I found the first useful, it is not a feature you would find in many compact.


Olympus Tough TG- 5 – Performance and handling

The zoom lever, adjustment wheel and mode dial are all invaluable physical controls that must be taken, and In no way are they possible in a rugged camera like this one. Most other models use buttons or rockers to control the zoom, which are more difficult to use.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the mode dial, which allows you to quickly switch between TG-5’s trigger modes (also as two customizable modes by the user), is susceptible to the sand remaining trapped behind him. This makes turning more difficult, until you clean it with a toothbrush or blower.

Sometimes autofocus may have problems in low light, but it works fast enough and accurately outside. The TG-5 also includes a large number of manual trigger options (such as the ability to set ISO sensitivity) that give the user more control over image results than other rugged compact ones.

Olympus Tough TG-5 – Image quality [19659002] That figure of 12 megapixels may seem low for a camera at this price, but the 1 / 2.3-inch sensor uses large pixels that allow more light to enter than the comparative size sensors with 16 or 20 megapixels. This, coupled with the maximum f / 2.0 aperture, makes the TG-5 perform better in low light conditions (even underwater) than its rivals, providing strong shots instead of the noisy and discolored images you would expect .

Bright light, outdoors, its shots are vivid and vibrant, showing a decent amount of detail. Get closer to your JPEG files and there is some smoothing and blurring, possibly partially caused by the additional layers of glass that protect the lens. Seen in normal size, however, the images are impressive.

4K video suffers a similar softening when viewed on large screens, and does not compare in terms of cleanliness or sharpness with engraving on larger and more expensive cameras, although you can really appreciate the slow motion mode, which records video at 1080p at 120 fps for smooth playback.


Why buy the Olympus Tough TG-5?

It is the rugged waterproof camera that offers the best round mix of image quality, flexibility and features. Yes, it’s expensive, but if you want more than a tough compact, you want a compact that offers the best performance, as well as survive a rafting session, then we can not think of a better model.

The only advantage of other models over the Tough TG-5 is the screen resolution and a slightly higher zoom range, but the combination of Olympus performance, features and design remains the gold standard in this category.


Still the standout among the rugged compact, with great image quality and more features than any other model.

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