Olympus TG-4 Shooter’s Report Part I: The newest tough camera proves a worthy adversary


posted Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 4:41 PM EST

Olympus recently invited Imaging Resource to Whistler, British Columbia to shoot with the TG-4, the newest camera in their long-running line of waterproof and tough cameras. While the constant rain was something of a disappointment for the trip, it proved the perfect setting to test the TG-4's waterproofing (and the weather sealing of its distant cousin, the E-M5 II).

The little waterproof camera offers much more for the enthusiast photographer than competing models and a couple unique modes make it an appealing buy for newer photographers in the market for a waterproof and tough camera, as well.

Among other improvements over its predecessor, the TG-3 (TG-3 vs TG-4), the TG-4 supports RAW shooting -- for the first time in a waterproof/tough camera! That means you'll get more latitude to recover highlights or rescue detail from shadows in post-processing.

RAW capability means you'll have more freedom to rescue shadow detail in photos like these!

Perhaps my favorite feature of the TG-4 is its fantastic Live Composite mode. This feature gives the TG-4 unique long-exposure capabilities unlike anything in other waterproof and tough cameras. Just switch to the Live Composite mode and click the shutter button, then watch every passing headlamp or lightning strike appear on the TG-4's display every second or so. Click the shutter again to stop the exposure. It's a genuinely great experience not available elsewhere. However, you'll want to read on to find out about some gotchas and suggested workarounds...

The Live Composite feature let me take this photo of a local suspension bridge lit by a runner's headlamp, beneath the departure flight path of Atlanta's international airport.

While we enjoyed the TG-4, it was not without its drawbacks, particularly for an enthusiast photographer. Curious to know more? Read on!

Olympus TG-4 Shooter's Report