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The Olympus Tough TG-4 is a member of the Tough series of cameras, which includes other models that provide complete protection against water, sand, and cold and accidental drops. Other desired characteristics include an integrated GPS and wifi system, a sharp f/2 25-100mm lens, a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, aperture-priority shooting mode, compatibility for Raw file formats, and the ability to record 1080p Full HD videos. The Olympus TG-4 may be purchased in either red or black and is priced at around £349 or $379.
See: Best Memory Cards for Olympus Tough TG-4
Olympus Tough TG-4 Build Quality
Olympus’ toughened series of shockproof, freezeproof, and waterproof digital compacts was memorably launched a few years ago by a TV ad in which, after kicking it about, a young lad of four or five shoved a muddied camera under an outside tap to give it a rinse. This was a simple yet effective pitch that any customer could comprehend.
You are more likely to see the latest ‘Toughs’ glamorously connected with alpine skiers or scuba divers due to the surge in market appeal of the ‘action camera’ category of consumer electronics products. The Olympus TG-4, which has a resolution of 16 megapixels and can save images in Raw format, looks the part; it’s more Monaco than Margate, whether in its bright red livery or the more subtle black with red detailing that we had in our hands to play with.
We discuss the aesthetics because that is primarily how this model is marketed: as a lifestyle item and a photography tool. The camera has an official weight of 247 grams and dimensions of 65.9 by 31.2 by 111.5 millimeters. It also has a battery and an SD memory card that can be removed.
The purported capacity of the Olympus TG-4 to thwart the introduction of anything unsavory is, without a doubt, a significant selling point for this camera. In this case, the specs include water resistance of up to 15 meters without the need for the extra casing, freeze resistance of up to minus 10 degrees Celsius, shock resistance against drops of up to 2.1 meters in height, and claimed crush resistance of up to 100 kilograms in weight. In addition to that, there is protection against dust as well.
The battery is charged within the camera, so there is no need for a separate mains charger; instead, you get a USB cable, a mains lead, and an AC adapter that sit between the battery and the mains to charge it.
The lens, which in this case has a usefully bright maximum aperture of f/2, is well-shielded and features an internal zoom mechanism. As a result, the lens does not protrude from the body at any stage in the zooming process. The featured zoom is the equivalent of 25-100mm on a 35mm film camera, and it is possible to take macro photographs from as close as 1 centimeter to the subject.
Not only does the TG-4’s built-in wifi and GPS make it possible to share images wirelessly, but they also make it possible to manage the camera from a smartphone as long as the applicable Olympus OI Share software has been downloaded. So at the very least, on paper, the TG-4 seems to provide pretty much all that we would anticipate it to provide at this point.
Olympus Tough TG-4 Image Quality
Even though the Olympus TG-4 is a snapshot camera due to the little 1/2.3-inch sensor at its core, the photographs generated by the camera are impressive. The standard natural color menu choice may be upgraded to a more dynamic appearance and vibrant color using the camera’s built-in menu toolbar.
When shooting at the default maximum 25mm equivalent wide-angle setting, there may invariably be some noticeable curvature to the edges of the frame. Additionally, there may be some fall-off of detail at the extreme edges of the frame if you examine them closely.
However, while the regular close-up/macro mode is sufficient for photographing flowers and other subjects of a similar nature, the microscopic method enables you to bring the lens so close to the topic that you are almost touching it while still maintaining areas of the image in focus. This is an advantageous feature that is well worth having.
The level of detail is high enough to see individual lines on the subject’s skin, making it an excellent choice for photographing scurrying marine life that lives in cracks in rocks. Photographs are also crisp at the telephoto end of the zoom range, and there is a digital zoom option available if you need to come in even closer but do not want to crop the image afterward.
When photographing in low light, you should stay above ISO800, and at the very most, you should go as high as ISO1600. This is true for every tiny camera with a 1/2.3-inch sensor.
At ISO3200 and higher, there is a discernible breaking up or softening of detail, as well as a draining of color; ISO6400 is only truly a choice if you are incredibly eager to capture any photo at all, regardless of the cost.
Olympus Tough TG-4 Specs
|Max resolution||4608 x 3456|
|Image ratio w h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||16 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||17 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||12800|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|Focal lengtEquivuiv.)||25–100 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive V.iew.|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4x)|
|Normal focus range||10 cm (3.94″)|
|Macro focus range||1 cm (0.39″)|
|Minimum shutter speed||4 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/2000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||Yes|
|FlaRangenge||7.90 m (at ISO 1600)|
|Flash modes||Auto, redeye reduction, fill-in, off, LED|
|Continuous drive||5.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 12 sec, custom)|
|Metering modes||MultiCentweighted spot pot|
|Exposure compensation||±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±2 (3 frames at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Format||H.264, Motion JPEG|
|Videography notes||High speed up to 480 fps + interval timer|
|Storage types||SD, SDHC, SDXC, Internal Memory|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (micro HDMI)|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Environmentally sealed||Yes (waterproof to 15m, shockproof to 2.1m, crushproof to 100kgf, freezeproof to -10C)|
|Battery description||LI-92B lithium-ion battery & USB power adapter|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||247 g (0.54 lb / 8.71 oz)|
|Dimensions||112 x 66 x 31 mm (4.41 x 2.6 x 1.22″)|
|GPS notes||with GLONASS, e-compass, landmarks|
Olympus Tough TG-4 Conclusion
Although the Olympus TG-4 has basic specifications that are comparable to those of a point-and-shoot compact camera, and the camera can be used as such in day-to-day life, it is probably best to consider the camera as a specialized tool designed for technical tasks to get the most out of your investment in it.
You will not be thinking about purchasing this camera unless you want one you can toss around without worrying that it will break. It is a lovely little bonus, even though the person who would shoot Raw files may not generally be the person who would buy a camera of this sort.