16.00
Megapixels
4.00x zoom 1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Olympus Tough TG-4
Front side of Olympus TG-4 digital camera Front side of Olympus TG-4 digital camera Front side of Olympus TG-4 digital camera Front side of Olympus TG-4 digital camera Front side of Olympus TG-4 digital camera
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Olympus Tough TG-4
Resolution: 16.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
(6.2mm x 4.6mm)
Lens: 4.00x zoom
(25-100mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 6400
Extended ISO: 100 - 6400
Shutter: 1/2000 - 4 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.0
Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in.
(112 x 66 x 31 mm)
Weight: 8.7 oz (247 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 05/2015
Manufacturer: Olympus
Full specs: Olympus TG-4 specifications

TG-4 Summary

The Olympus Tough TG-4 adds RAW image capture and multiple fun shooting modes, helping it leap to the front of the pack of rugged compact cameras. Imaging performance is solid for its class, but where this camera separates itself is through its fun-to-use shooting features and versatility.

Pros

Rugged and waterproof camera body; RAW image capture; fast f/2.0 maximum aperture; fun shooting modes; fast AF speeds for its class.

Cons

Heavy noise reduction, even at base ISO; no continuous RAW image capture; underwhelming video performance.

Price and availability

Available since May 2015, the Olympus TG-4 retails for around $350 USD.

Imaging Resource rating

4.0 out of 5.0

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Olympus TG-4 Review

by , Arthur Etchells, Jeremy Gray and Zig Weidelich
Overview originally posted: 04/13/2015

Updates:
06/22/2015: Field Test Part I by Arthur Etchells added
: Field Test Part II by Jeremy Gray added

05/18/2016: Review Conclusion added

---
Special updates: The Olympus TG-4 was named Best Rugged Camera in our 2015 Camera of the Year awards! Also, see the TG-4 in action with an underwater housing that allows it to go much deeper, and see this article for the TG-4 when paired with the optional wide angle and telephoto conversion lenses.
---

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image

Olympus brings the follow-up to 2014's rather fun and impressive TG-3 waterproof/rugged camera with the appropriately named Olympus TG-4. With altogether unchanged exterior styling and control scheme however, the improvements to this year's model are all under the hood, with new scene modes, faster GPS, and a big feature that's sure to please many enthusiasts: RAW capture.

Indeed, the Olympus TG-4 is not only Olympus' first, but also the industry's first rugged, waterproof compact camera with RAW file capture capability. The TG-4 should please those looking for maximum image quality from a camera that can take a serious beating right out of the box. The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4, like the TG-3 before it, includes both Program and Aperture Priority exposure modes as well as a host of scene modes and filter effects. And the ability to record RAW files is available in all shooting modes that do not deal with composite shots or art filters.

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image

And speaking of scene modes and composite shooting, the Olympus TG-4 gets an upgrade in that area, as well. Taking a cue from the E-M10, which originally introduced this feature, the TG-4 includes Olympus' Live Composite mode. Using Live Composite, the TG-4 is able to capture night scenes, cityscapes and even impressive long exposure star trail shots all in-camera and in real-time -- no need for computer-based post-processing to build these types of photographs manually from multiple images.

Another first for Olympus' Tough line of cameras is AF Target selection. Like their OM-D cameras, for example, the Stylus TG-4 allows you to use the rear 4-way directional control buttons to quickly and easily move the focus point. This makes it easy to compose and frame your shots, and then precisely control your point of focus.

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image

Being fully waterproof and ready to explore the deep blue sea (or, well, 'deep' to a maximum of 50 feet without an add-on housing), the TG-4 includes a selection of underwater-specific shooting modes, including Underwater Snapshot mode as well as underwater wide-angle and macro modes. New for the TG-4, however, is a unique "Underwater HDR" mode, which captures and composites multiple images with increased shadow and highlight detail. The TG-4 is able to compensate for slight movements, but if the movement is too great, the camera will alert you and not capture an image.

The final new feature on the TG-4 is the improved GPS module. Using "next-generation" GPS, the TG-4 reportedly can acquire a signal in under 10 seconds, which should make it more convenient to geo-tag media from your adventures. As in the predecessor model, the TG-4 can utilize both US-based GPS as well as the Russian GLONASS satellite positioning network. Using the OI.Track smartphone app as a companion, you can include GPS metadata when transferring and uploading images and videos to your favorite social media and photo sharing services. Like the previous model, the TG-4 includes an e.Compass mode that provides direction in addition to latitude, longitude, barometric pressure and altitude/water depth all on one screen. In addition to GPS and environmental sensors, the TG-4 features Wi-Fi connectivity, that when paired with the OI.Track smartphone app, allows for wireless transfer of stills and video as well as robust remote shooting capabilities for photos and video.

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image

As for other factors and specs, the TG-4 borrows heavily from its predecessor. The body design and ruggedness specs remain the same. The Olympus TG-4 is able to withstand drops from 7 feet (2.1m) high, freezing temperatures down to 14°F (-10°C), crushing pressures of 220 pounds (100kgf), dusty conditions, and, of course, watery depths down to 50 feet (15m). The imaging sensor is coupled to the same TruePic VII processor, which provides the same sensitivity range and burst-shooting performance of the earlier TG-3, that is to say: ISO 100 to 6,400 and full-res images bursts at five frames per second for as many as 100 frames.

In front of the same 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor is a versatile 4x optical zoom lens that provides a comfortable 25-100mm-equivalent focal length range and a nice, bright f/2.0 aperture at the wide end. The aperture narrows to f/4.9 at full telephoto. However, for low-light shooting and particularly in dimmer underwater environments -- where a wide-angle perspective is very useful and often desired -- the bright f/2.0 aperture is a much-welcomed feature. The camera features an Aperture Priority mode, but unlike your typical camera, the aperture adjustments on the TG-4 are not as finely grained, but rather a three-step system. You can choose from f/2.0, f/2.8 or f/8.0 at the wide angle, and from f/4.9, f/6.3 or f/18.0 at telephoto.

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image
The Olympus TG-4 shown here with attachable fisheye lens adapter (sold separately).

Like the TG-3 before it, the lens on the '4' focuses to an impressively close 0.4 inches (1cm), and does so at 30 to 100mm equivalents, making for a very respectable macro performance. And to help combat blur from camera shake, Olympus has included mechanical, sensor shift-type image stabilization. There's also a five-mode flash strobe to help brighten nearby subjects.

To further enhance the macro photography capabilities, there are a handful of macro-specific shooting modes in addition to the normal "Microscope Mode." There is a Microscope Control Mode, which uses a digital zoom function to enable 1x, 2x, and 4x magnification ratios for increased macro effects. Furthermore, since macro photography introduces very narrow depths of field, the TG-4 has both an automatic focus stacking mode as well as a manual focus-bracketing mode to create macro shots with deep depths of field or ensure sharp macro photos.

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image
The Olympus TG-4 shown here with the optional LED Light Guide. This simple ring attaches around the lens and redirects light from the on-board LED to function as a ring light for even close-up and macro photography.

Video recording capabilities remain unchanged from the TG-3. Video resolution tops out at 1920 x 1080 at 30p with 720/30p and VGA at 30p also offered. Standard videos are saved with H.264 compression in a .MOV container, however the TG-4 also supports high-speed and time-lapse movies, both of which use Motion JPEG compression in an AVI container. Time-lapse movies, which have a maximum resolution of 720p, can be as long as ten seconds, and play back at ten frames per second, for a total of up to 100 video frames. High-speed movies drop down in resolution to VGA (640 x 480 pixels) at 120 frames per second, or 320 x 240 resolution for 240 fps.

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image

Images and movies are stored on Secure Digital cards, including higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC types.  The Olympus Tough TG-4 uses the same LI-92B rechargeable lithium-ion as its predecessor, with battery life rated the same at 380 shots per charge. The battery is charged in-camera, via the included AC/USB adapter.

Wired connectivity consists of a Micro (Type-D) HDMI port and a multi-connector for USB 2.0 data, analog A/V out and DC input.

Olympus TG-4 Review -- Product Image
The Olympus TG-4 shown here with the new Sport Holder CSCH-123.

Like its predecessor, the Olympus TG-4 is compatible with a growing system of accessories such as cases, float straps, an underwater housing, plus fisheye and telephoto conversion lenses, as well as the LG-1 LED light guide introduced with the TG-3. For additional underwater protection, the Underwater Case PT-056 (sold separately) increases the TG-4's underwater depth rating to 45m (about 147 feet). A new accessory for this model is the Sport Holder CSCH-123, which can be used to quickly mount and de-mount the camera to a backpack strap or belt. The Sport Holder includes a carabineer and elastic shock cord to hold the camera and prevent drops and falls.

The Olympus TG-4 began shipping in May 2015 in black or red with a list price of about US$380, which is slightly higher than the US$350 list price of its predecessor.

[To see images shot with the TG-4 in an underwater housing
that allows it to go much deeper, click here!]

Olympus TG-4 Field Test Part I

Outdoor Adventures: Shooting the TG-4 in British Columbia

by Arthur Etchells |

Olympus TG-4 shooter's report photo I traveled to Whistler, British Columbia to test Olympus's newest entry in their Tough series of waterproof and rugged cameras, the TG-4. The Olympus TG Tough series of cameras has a long history (Olympus TG-1, TG-2, TG-3) in the waterproof market and this newest camera is an appealing choice, for a number of reasons.

I had a great time with the camera, but there are some gotchas and caveats to be aware of. Read on for all the information!

Find out how the TG-4 performed in the wilds of British Columbia

Read our TG-4 Field Test Part I

Olympus TG-4 Field Test Part II

Rugged TG-4 makes few compromises, delivers good image quality

by Jeremy Gray |

Olympus TG-4 field test photoIntroduction
The Olympus TG-4 was named our "Best Rugged Camera" in our 2015 Camera of the Year Awards for good reason. It is not just incredibly rugged and solidly-built, but it is capable of capturing impressive images. The TG-4 also includes a wide array of features that make it an excellent value, too.

A rugged camera with a good user experience
I found the TG-4 to handle quite well out in the field. Being a tough camera, it needs to be well-sealed and rugged. This could have led to aspects of the camera body that might make it feel uncomfortable or awkward to operate, but this is not the case with the TG-4. Many of the controls are easily-accessible and feel good to use, although the directional pad does feel a bit cramped.

 

Olympus TG-4 Conclusion

RAW capture & fun features make the TG-4 a great tough camera

by Jeremy Gray |

If you want a tough, waterproof camera that can capture RAW images, the Olympus TG-4 is for you. The industry's first rugged camera to deliver RAW image recording has a lot of great features, including improved GPS, underwater HDR, and a series of optional conversion lenses to increase the flexibility of the built-in 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 equivalent lens. The TG-4 is a worthy successor to the TG-3 and won our "Best Rugged Camera" award in December.

The TG-4's body is unchanged, but it's still mighty rugged
The Olympus Tough TG-4 camera is all about fun and ruggedness. This is a camera that you can take with you anywhere. Waterproof to a 50-foot depth, shockproof for drops up to 7 feet, resistant to temperatures below freezing (down to 14 degrees F), dust-proof, and crushproof to up to 220 pounds of force, this little camera is remarkably tough. We didn't push this camera to its absolute limits, but it certainly lived up to its "tough" billing and withstood whatever we threw at it.

In the Box

The retail package contains the following items:

  • Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 camera (in red or black)
  • LI-92B Rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack
  • F-2AC USB-AC power adapter
  • USB cable
  • Wrist strap
  • Instruction manual and quick start Guide
  • Olympus Setup CD-ROM

 

Recommended Accessories

  • Extra battery pack for extended outings
  • Large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card. These days, 16GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity (UHS-I types are supported).
  • Small camera case

 



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