Olympus Tough TG-6 Review

The Olympus Tough TG-6 builds on the success of the previous model, the TG-5, by adding a few minor upgrades to that camera’s already robust list of specifications.

These include an improved 3-inch LCD screen, with 1.04 million dots rather than 460k, and a new anti-reflective coating in front of the sensor. Additionally, there is a new anti-glare coating on the back of the sensor.

The new model also comes equipped with some innovative new underwater shooting settings, as well as the ability to employ the close-focusing capabilities of 1 centimeter outside of the environment for Underwater Macro (specifically in the program and aperture priority modes)

See: Best Memory Cards for Olympus Tough TG-6

These additional modifications are layered on top of a competent core consisting of a 12MP sensor working in conjunction with a lens with an equivalent focal length of 25-100mm and a maximum aperture ranging from f/2-4.9. Raw photography and 4K video recording are also available. In addition, the camera’s rugged design makes it resistant to temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius, as well as depths of up to 15 meters (50 feet), 2.4 meters (7 feet) of drop, 100 kilograms (220 pounds), and 100 kilograms (220 pounds).

Olympus Tough TG-6 Design & Performance

Because the faceplate screws are exposed, the Olympus Tough TG-6 has an appealing appearance that combines elements of a sporty and industrial aesthetic. This should appeal to photographers and action addicts who seek the best of both worlds in one piece of equipment.

It has a sturdy feel in the palm of your hand while yet being compact enough to carry in a pocket, and the 25-100mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens that is internally stacked does not protrude from the body at any point, removing any possibility of it becoming damaged or lost. Our demonstration model came in a red livery, but you can also have it in an all-black finish if you prefer something less flashy and more subtle in appearance.

Because the operational buttons on the top plate, while on the larger side, are not overly oversized, you won’t feel out of place using this camera on dry ground or in the water, even if the top-plate buttons are on the larger side.

The backplate controls are almost identical to those on a camera that has not been ruggedized. These controls include small lozenge-shaped buttons, a shooting mode wheel, and a four-way navigational control pad with the well-known ‘OK’ activation button at its center. Unfortunately, these controls must be operated with the fingertip or the thumbnail. Because the number of manual settings is somewhat restricted and you have to navigate deep into the menu to access them, the Tough TG-6 is mainly intended to be used in automated mode.

Both the base compartment of the TG-6, which houses both the SD card and battery and the side compartment, which houses both the HDMI and USB ports, are protected by doors that feature a double-catch mechanism to prevent the doors from being opened inadvertently. At the same time, the camera is submerged in water or at another inconvenient time.

We considered these catches tiny for a camera of this sort, requiring careful fingertip manipulation. It would be hard to operate these catches while wearing heavy gloves, but on the positive side, there is a low possibility of you opening anything by mistake.

As with the vast majority of small cameras produced in the modern period, the camera can be turned on and operational in a matter of seconds from a cold start. Moreover, it can locate focus with a half-press of the shutter-release button in the blink of an eye.

Instead of a separate mains charger, a USB lead and mains plug connection are used to charge the battery while it is housed within the camera. This eliminates the need for a separate mains charger (although one is available). In addition, the price and the ability to charge the gadget from a laptop are reduced due to this design decision.

Your shooting options are expanded thanks to the inclusion of a fisheye converter, a silicon jacket, and additional waterproof housing that allows for use at depths of up to 45 meters. These features lend credence to the manufacturer’s assertion that this product is not merely a camera but a system, albeit at a premium price.

Image composition and evaluation are conducted only through the 3-inch LCD located on the camera’s backplate. This is to be expected in the absence of any eye-level viewfinder, whether optical or otherwise. The screen does not have a touch-sensitive surface, but readability is generally excellent, and navigating the on-screen menus is not too difficult.

Olympus Tough TG-6 Image Quality

We have never seen an image from a rugged camera that could compete with one from a DSLR or mirrorless model that could be purchased for around the same price, and this instance follows the same pattern.

When shooting close up at the widest setting on the TG-6, a slight fisheye effect is unavoidably produced due to the wide-angle view that is equivalent to a 25mm focal length. Additionally, we discovered that images are dangerously close to being overexposed in exceptionally bright and sunny conditions, resulting in a loss of highlight detail.

If you discover this while you’re shooting, you can manually dial down the exposure or adjust the ISO setting. However, bright conditions also impact the LCD panel’s visibility, making the situation much more difficult.

Although it is advantageous to have a zoom lens, the range provided here is minimal. We discovered that the level of clarity decreased when the telephoto setting was increased to its maximum, mainly when shooting handheld. When using a camera with a lens that is internally stacked (and therefore does not sit proud of the body), the user must exercise caution to prevent unwanted elements, such as stray fingertips or the camera strap, from appearing in the corners of the image.

Olympus Tough TG-6 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, ISO 100-12800
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes (4 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
CIPA image stabilization rating2.5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper fine, fine, normal
Focal lengtEquivuiv.)25–100 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2–4.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4X)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range10 cm (3.94″)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39″)
Number of focus points25
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,040,000
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, Red Eye Reduction, Slow sync. (1st curtain), Red-eye Slow sync. (1st curtain), Fill-in, Manual, Flash Off
Continuous drive20.0 fps
Metering modesMultiSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
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 PCM
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-I support)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB chargingYes
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)253 g (0.56 lb / 8.92 oz)
Dimensions113 x 66 x 32 mm (4.45 x 2.6 x 1.26″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPS notesGPS with e-compass, manometer, thermometer, accelerometer

Olympus Tough TG-6 Verdict

The image quality of the Olympus Tough TG-6 is adequate without being exceptional, and the build quality is reassuringly solid. In addition, the Olympus Tough TG-6 is pretty simple to use and operates straightforwardly. However, if you don’t require the few additional functions that were added, the TG-5 from before or the Panasonic TS7/FT7 might be a better alternative for you right now.

Olympus Tough TG-6 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Raw shooting is considered a benefit.
  • Zoom lens with stacked elements on the inside
  • Easy to understand and utilize
  • Video up to 4K resolution
Need Improvements
  • No eye-level viewfinder
  • When there is a lot of light, the image quality and LCD degrade.
  • A little sensor right in the middle of it
  • A drop in image quality as the focal length increases

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