Olympus Tough TG-5 Review

Olympus Tough TG-5 Review

The Olympus Tough TG-5 is not a competitor to DSLR cameras. Furthermore, this is not an action camera but rather one designed for those disappointed by the low-quality images and films produced by action cameras.

You shouldn’t expect the best low-light photos ever taken. Still, with a quick 25-100mm lens that has a maximum aperture of f/2.0 (which is unusual for a waterproof compact) and 20fps burst shooting, this camera is leagues ahead of action cameras if still photography is your main concern, as well as other so-called “rugged” cameras.

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Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black

Last update was on: May 29, 2023 5:10 am
$299.99 $449.00

See: Best Memory Cards for Olympus Tough TG-5

The fact that Olympus took the unprecedented step of reducing the pixel count from 16 MP on the TG-4 to 12 MP on this model sets it apart from other similar products on the market. Because the pixels on a relatively tiny sensor are not packed together nearly as densely as they would otherwise be, the noise performance should be slightly improved. One should not overlook the fact that the TG-5 can shoot raw files.

Raw files are images that have not been processed in any way by the camera, in contrast to JPEG images, which may also be captured with the TG-5. This indicates that the files have not been processed; however, it also implies that you can make these selections later (using Photoshop or another program of a similar kind), which will ultimately lead to a better end product with more detail and better noise management.

Olympus Tough TG-5 Features

It’s so tough that they call it ‘ultra-rugged.’ In addition to that, its photographic capabilities are rather impressive. Nevertheless, it is best not to get too enthusiastic about the TG-5 if you are an outdoor photographer seeking a sturdy small camera with some manual features and the option to shoot raw.

To put all that into perspective, the TG-5 is a compact camera with a small sensor that is primarily intended to capture snapshots in well-lit environments. It is capable of doing all of those things, and it does the majority of them rather well.

Do not anticipate DSLR-level quality from a camera that fits your pocket, but expect enhanced performance. Yes, it does shoot raw, which is a massive advantage for anyone taking images in dim light because raw files are less susceptible to noise. All of it is useful for shooting in the great outdoors.

The lens is quick, but the optical zoom on its 25-100mm lens can only go up to a maximum of 4x since it needs to be kept inside a glass shell to prevent damage from moisture.

In practice, however, it provides a broad angle of view and optical zoom. Additionally, it has several microscopic macro close-up settings, such as focus bracketing and focuses stacking modes, as well as many scenes presets and filters.

Olympus Tough TG-5 Design

The TG-5 is all about its reputation for being a rugged vehicle. The fact that it is waterproof up to 15 meters makes it suitable for snorkeling and shallow dives, and the fact that it is crushproof up to 100 kilograms means that you can take it skiing and keep it in your salopettes without worrying about damaging it if you happen to fall on it while you are white-out skiing.

Skiers and hikers who have been on mountains at 0 degrees Celsius and encountered the feared “frozen phone” will most readily appreciate the TG-5’s capacity to function in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. In addition, the fact that it can withstand being dropped from a height of 2.1 meters will appeal to all users.

Aside from its armor, the TG-5 has a solid physical design, and the layout of its buttons is well thought out. The TG-5 weighs 250g and is 113 x 66 x 32 mm. It has a lot more to it than other compact cameras, including plenty of knobs and buttons, and its dimensions are as follows:

The GPS module is located in the middle of the camera’s top, close to a lever that puts it into log mode. This mode will trace your travels and drain the battery on the TG-5. You can transfer this field sensor data into the Olympus Image Track (OI.Track) app through maps and graphs. This data includes temperature and altitude readings.

It functions properly, but it would be much more helpful if it were incorporated into the primary Olympus Image Share (OI.Share) program that the TG-5 employs to transmit files to a phone.

Olympus Tough TG-5 Image Quality

The fact that the TG-5 can shoot in raw format is maybe the most fantastic feature of this camera. It may sound like a function you don’t need, but the ability to process an ORF file (an Olympus Raw Picture file that saves unprocessed image data) is precious. So again, this feature may sound like it’s not something you need, but in practice, it is.

It is mainly concerned with dim light. Even while the f/2.0 lens of the TG-5 helps it perform better in low light than the majority of compact cameras, the JPEG compression utilized to generate the image results in a picture that is murky with noise at roughly ISO800.

However, if you load the ORF file into post-processing software like Photoshop, you will suddenly be able to work with a “real” file with much more information and detail. You will have an easier time removing flaws, but you will also be able to adjust many more characteristics of the shot without generating artifacts.

Just keep in mind that even if the TG-5 is configured to record in super-fine JPEG and RAW, the compressed JPEG that appears as a preview on the LCD screen won’t look very similar to the image you’ve just taken, even if you’ve set the TG-5 to record in both of those formats. In this regard, utilizing the TG-5 is more like working with a digital single-lens reflex camera than a small one.

However, that skill with raw files isn’t all the TG-5 has to offer; it also has other capabilities. It produces the highest quality results when used outside in bright situations, much like any other camera, but especially a little compact.

Since it was primarily developed for hiking, bicycling, kayaking, ski vacations, and days out on the beach, that is where the TG-5 will accomplish most of its job. When used in these situations, the automated modes provide highly saturated colors, with a clear blue sky being mainly well handled by the camera. It is also recommended that you experiment with the different HDR modes.

Olympus Tough TG-5 Specs

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Image ratio w h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorTruePic VIII
ISOAuto, 100-12800
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
Boosted ISO (maximum)12800
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notesUp to 2.5 stops
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper fine, fine, normal, basic
Focal length (Equiv.)25–100 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2–4.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (2X-4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range10 cm (3.94″)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39″)
Number of focus points25
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityNo
Manual exposure modeNo
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, redeye reduction, slow sync, redeye slow sync, fill, manual, off
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 120p / 25 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 30p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1280 x 720 @ 25p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I compatible)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedYes
DurabilityWaterproof, Shockproof
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLI-92B lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)340
Weight (inc. batteries)250 g (0.55 lb / 8.82 oz)
Dimensions113 x 66 x 32 mm (4.45 x 2.6 x 1.26″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPS notesGPS, compass, manometer, thermometer

Olympus Tough TG-5 Verdict

The Olympus Tough TG-5 is a rugged camera that is dust resistant, shockproof from 2.1 meters (7 feet), crushproof to 100 kilograms (220 pounds), and waterproof up to a depth of 15 meters (50 feet). In addition, the lens will not fog up thanks to the dual sheet of glass protecting it.

It has a lens range of 25-100mm, a maximum aperture of 4.9, and the company’s TruePic VIII image processor. In addition, it comes with a built-in compass, temperature, manometer, and GPS.

A tracking mode will correlate this data with the photographs and videos you take, and the Olympus OI Track app will allow you to view them on a map. A 3″ LCD with 460k dots, up to 20 fps of burst shooting, Wi-Fi, and the ability to record 4K video are some of the other features of this camera.

Olympus Tough TG-5 Price

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Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Black

Last update was on: May 29, 2023 5:10 am
$299.99 $449.00


Joseph is a talented photographer and videographer based in the USA, with a thriving career as a freelance creative. Over the past several years, he has had the privilege of working with renowned brands, capturing captivating images and videos. His portfolio encompasses a diverse range of subjects, specializing in fashion, portrait, and lifestyle content creation. From editorial shoots to engaging social media videos, Joseph's versatile skills ensure exceptional visual storytelling in every project. Beyond his professional endeavors, he nurtures a personal passion for travel and nature photography, channeling his deep appreciation for the environment into a commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.

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