Rating: 8.6 / 10
Value for Money 1.6
Ease of use 1.7
Picture Quality 1.5
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.
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.
This is a great compact camera for weight conscious hikers for longer trips where weather cannot be guaranteed.
You can purchase the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Tough Camera online from Camera Pro
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$499.00 as at Decmber 2018
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
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer