• Weight 261 grams
  • Physical size W: 113 mm / H: 66 mm / D: 31.9mm
  • Sensor size 1/2.33 inch
  •  
  • Cost $499.00

Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera

Rating

Rating:         8.6 / 10

Value for Money                  1.6

Durability                            1.9

Ease of use                         1.7

Weight                                1.9

Picture Quality                    1.5

Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera Review

After my much loved Sony RX100 died (my fault) I started carrying my larger, heavier SLR, until I purchased a new compact camera.  Earlier this year I found myself in the situation where I was out on a hike and it started to rain just enough that I had to put my camera away and with that my opportunity for photos disappeared. Given that on a multi-week hike I average around 800 photos/week this forced me to seek out a camera that was going to cope with whatever the elements threw at me and after much research I ended up purchasing the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera. I’ve been using this compact camera for just on seven months now so how does it perform?

Firstly lets look at the positives. As the name implies this camera is about as bullet proof as it gets. Olympus rates this camera usable down to 15m deep underwater and freeze proof to -10 degrees celsius. In addition this cameras is rated to cope with being dropped from 2.1 metres. While I’m never likely to take this camera underwater this ultra robustness means that you can pretty well drag it out regardless of the weather and it will keep on going. This all round weather proofing is the main reason I purchased this camera which I carried on my five week long Bibbulmun Track hike where I only had eight days without rain. This built in toughness and compact size meant that I could just slip the camera into my pocket and bring it out easily as i need to.

The battery life on this camera is rated to 340images and this includes a range of shots including flash use. I find that in normal use I will usually get around 3-4 days out of a single charge if not longer as I don’t tend to use the flash unless I absolutely have to. The Olympus TG5 also has the ability to Geotag photos which is handy if you want to know the exact location of an image. However this function does suck through the battery so I would suggest that you use it sparingly. I accidentally knocked on the geotagging function and managed to drain through the battery in a single day before I realised what I had done.

In addition the TG5 has some preset modes such as macro and underwater which make it easy to use as well as shooting 4k video which is now considered the industry standard.This camera has lots of other little features which makes it hard not to like.

Now for the negatives. Most people will realise that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ camera and any choice you make will involve compromises. Just what these are are going to be will depend on what you are trying to achieve.

In the case of the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera there isn’t a lot wrong but there are a few bug bears with the main negative being the relatively small sensor. My now deceased Sony RX100 had a 1″ sensor and the image quality on the TG5 with its 1/2.33 inch sensor is just not as good. For most people this won’t be an issue but if you do want to reproduce large high quality printed images then the TG5 is not going to suit you.

The next issue with this camera, as well as with many other compacts, all be it a relatively minor one, is that the zoom is not as long as I would like it. The last issue for me is that I would like an auto shooting function without the flash as a standard manual control which is how I shoot most of my images. You certainly can turn of the flash on this camera but it involves going though to the digital menu and resets when the camera turns off which is annoying.

Last words

If I want artsy high resolution images, particularly on short trips I will still drag my SLR out. But for multi-day, multi-week trips this is now my camera of choice as I know that it will cope with whatever nature will throw at it.

One final thing that I will say with this cameras is that you can buy some additional accessories to expand on this cameras performance with the main ones being including a teleconverter, and a fisheye convertor. Both of these tense convertors can be used underwater as well as above ground.

We Like

  • Relatively light weight for such a bullet proof camera
  • Compact size that fits into a pants pocket which make sit easy to bring out at the drop of a hat
  • This camera is about the most bullet proof that you can get. No longer do you need to worry about getting your camera wet or cold with the TG5
  • Memory: SD memory cards
    • Easily available storage available in most towns if you run short
  • RAW image capability if you are into serious editing
  • Removable battery which means that if you have a spare you can just keep on shooting
  • Readily available in most camera and electrical stores
  • Accessory lenses help to expand on image quality with this camera

We Don't Like

  • Lack of viewfinder. The main visual access point of this camera is the rear LCD screen and while this is OK in low light, on bright sunny days it is hard to see exactly what you are shooting and what the outcome is without finding a shady spot to review the image
  • Macro and artistic shots aren’t quite as good as with an SLR but when I’m serious about taking macro shots I tend to use a high quality dedicated lens anyway
  • The sensor size on the TG5 is a bit small image quality is as good as I would like it
  • Focal length is 28-100mm. This is typical of compact cameras but something longer would be nice

Best Uses

This is a great compact camera for weight conscious hikers for longer trips where weather cannot be guaranteed.

Buy One

You can purchase the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera online from Camera Pro

Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our gear reviews

If you have used the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below

Investment

$499.00 as at Decmber 2018

Other Versions

This Olympus TG5 comes with emerge a red or a black body

Front view of the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera. This camera comes in red or black

Top image of the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera. The main manual adjustments are done here

Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera rear view showing the LCD screen. The main digital settings are done here

Olympus TG5 bottom view showing the access port on the right to the battery and SD card/. this ports are double locked and bring sealed

Olympus TG5 battery and SD card opening. the battery can be swapped out if you have a spare as well as the SD card

Olympus TG5 wrist strap mount

Olympus TG5 side view closed-port access

Olympus TG5 Side view port access open

Disclaimer

This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer

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