Olympus TG-4 Brief Review


REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 16 megapixel 1/2.3” backlit CMOS sensor
  • Bright f/2-f/4.9 lens
  • Maximum shutter speed 1/2000
  • 4x optical zoom
  • .4 inch super macro mode
  • RAW and JPEG
  • Automated modes plus programed and aperture priority
  • Burst shooting at 5 fps (up to 100 images)
  • Sensor shift image stabilization
  • Waterproof to 50 feet
  • Crushproof to 220 lbf
  • Shockproof to 7 ft.
  • Freezeproof to 14 degrees
  • 1080p HD video
  • Wi-fi
  • GPS
  • Compass
  • 3” LCD
  • Li-ion battery rated at 380 shots
  • Release Date: 2015-04-11
  • Final Grade: 97 4.85 Star Rating: Recommended


Olympus' top waterproof camera gets even better
Photo-editing bugs rejoice, the top waterproof camera now has RAW shooting.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 6/8/2015

Olympus's waterproof cameras have a long history of high rankings--and for good reason. It's not unheard of for even a professional to pick up the top camera in this line-up so they don't have to damaging risk their pricier gear for an off-duty trip to the beach. The TG-4 has everything we loved about the TG-3, but adds RAW--that's great news for anyone who likes to edit their shots.

The TG-4 (and TG-3) gets a high ranking over other similar cameras for one big reason--it has a bright f/2 lens, while still offering respectable features all around. Lighting is much more limited when heading underwater, so that bright lens is a big deal for this category. The Ricoh WG-5 also has a bright lens--but offers a disappointing burst mode where the TG-4 at least hits average at 5 fps.

The TG-4 also has an excellent crushproof rating (220 lbf), where many other manufacturers don't even specify this trait. It's also still sporting the 50 foot depth rating and 7 foot drop rating of the older TG-3.

The TG-4 adds RAW files to allow for a greater range of possibility when editing shots. Most (if not all) cameras with RAW though have full manual modes--the TG-4 does not. It does offer aperture priority and programmed modes to offer some control over the settings, but the camera still doesn't include full manual mode. Since most consumers looking for RAW are also looking for manual modes, this is a bit disappointing.

While RAW is the biggest addition, there's also a few other minor tweaks over the TG-3. There's a new underwater HDR mode as well as a live composite mode which will combine multiple images (often used for night landscapes or shots in dark conditions). Oh, and there's two custom slots on the mode dial, so users can save their favorite settings and return to them quickly.

We're glad to see Olympus continue to make improvements on our favorite tough camera. While we'd like to see additional improvements in the future like the addition of manual mode, the TG-4 looks to be an excellent camera that can withstand some pretty tough conditions. If you don't edit your shots (and don't plan to in the future), watch for a price drop on the very similar TG-3.


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COMMENTS, QUESTIONS, & ANSWERS FORUM BY VIEWERS AND EDITORS

2 comments
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  • Picture
    Freedom Run

    I really wish you gave more technical details in your review of this camera. I would like to compare it to the newly released TG-870 Tough camera in some of the details. What about Sharpness & detail? What about ISO? What about noise reduction? Low light performance? Otherwise, you make great reviews. Thanks.

    Reply about 2 months ago
    • Thumb 45 ai hillary 45x45
      Hillary Grigonis

      Hi there! Unfortunately, we cannot review every camera there is with a hands-on model. This is a brief review based on the camera's tech specs, history and the manufacturer's reputation. While we've asked for a review model, we have not been able to receive one yet -- that's why there are no sample images or further details on this post. We will keep trying to get hands on reviews of the latest cameras -- thanks for understanding!

      Reply about 1 month ago

Olympus Reviews

Olympus is a long-time camera manufacturer, but lately they've been offering innovative, compact imaging options that are well worth a look. While Olympus doesn't have a camera in every category like Nikon or Sony, their focus on the cameras they offer shows.

Olympus' main, and best, cameras are their mirrorless line. The OM-D line offers mirrorless cameras that rival professional results while their PEN options offer the most portability and affordability. Most of their mirrorless cameras have simple, retro designs that work really well. Their kit lenses are often a bit higher quality than most. The Olympus mirrorless cameras we've been able to test have shown excellent image quality and usability.

While most of Olympus' focus seems to be on their excellent mirrorless line, we haven't been disappointed with any of their compacts we've put through our tests either. The TG-3 and TG-4 are among the best waterproof compacts on the market. And when we put the super zoom SP-100 to the test, we were quite happy with the image quality and performance.

Olympus may not have a camera in each and every category, but they've really put a lot into their existing cameras, making them excellent options.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.