Olympus Tough Waterproof TG-5 Camera quick review. Are cameras made like they used to be? These days huge demand has sparked a massive, and here to stay, surge in the mass production of digital cameras. As I’m sure you’re aware, cameras aren’t the only product being mass-produced world wide. In fact, it’s basically everywhere you look. With mass production comes faster production times, with deadlines to meet and profit margins to keep.
As a result of this inevitably comes less overall care given to each product, shoddy workmanship, and even sometimes, lower quality components used in each item. This is not always the case, but it now seems to be more common than ever. Of course, this could also be partly due to the sheer number of cameras owned by people now in 2018 compared to a few decades ago. Maybe I’m being harsh, but with so many years to perfect the camera making process, the top brands should really fare better where overall reliability is concerned.
With that in mind, and with how expensive some cameras can be, the future for low to medium priced cameras really lies in “tough” cameras like the Olympus TG-5. Other than having an excellent specification, the Olympus Tough Waterproof TG-5 is made with toughness and longevity at the forefront. This makes it a great choice for taking on vacation / holiday, and for people who partake in extreme activities. It’s also a wise investment for clumsy amongst us who are forever dropping their cameras. Yes, I’m one of them.
Even if you’re not clumsy, accidents happen all the time. My cat knocked my favourite camera of all time off a sideboard a few years back and made it faulty forever! Hazards are potentially everywhere. Tough cameras make a lot of sense. They are certainly not as streamlined as the standard models, and much more rugged in appearance, but that’s the trade off you have to make if you want something that can withstand some serious abuse. Anyway enough about that, let’s take a look at some of the Olympus TG-5’s features. Looking for the manual? You can find it here.
Olympus Tough TG-5 Camera Quick Specification
- 12 Megapixel Image resolution
- 1/2.33” CMOS Sensor
- 4x wide angle Zoom Lens
- F2 Bright Lens & Tropic VIII Processor
- Optical Image Stabilisation
- Dual pane anti-fog glass
- 3 Inch LCD display
- 1080p quality @ 25fps, 30fps, 50fps or 60fps
- 120fps Full HD High Speed video (without sound + limited duration)
- 4K 25p Video (3840 x 2160)
- RAW mode capture
- Waterproof (15 meters)
- Shockproof (from a drop distance of approx 2 meters)
- Cold proof (to minus 10)
- Crushproof (up to 100KG of pressure)
- Micro HDMI
- USB 2.0
- SD card slot
- Li-92 Lithium Ion Battery
- ISO range 100 ‑ 12800
- Built in Thermometer
- Built in Compass
So, how waterproof is the Olympus Tough TG-5
Well, it is waterproof to a depth of 50 feet / 15 meters. Many items that claim to be waterproof usually exclude the sea due to the increased conductivity of sea water. But surprisingly, the depths stated for the Olympus TG-5 include the sea. Many “fully waterproof” cameras fail at sea, so with there being so many reviewer images uploaded alongside their feedback of successful sea adventures with the TG-5, this is very impressive. Interested in underwater photography? Read more about it here.
For the majority of people the 50 foot depth range with be sufficient for most activities. But for the more adventurous individuals who want to record video and take pictures while doing things like deep sea diving, there is an additional housing that will need to be purchased separately. This is needed if you plan on submerging the TG-5 underwater any deeper than the maximum depths considered safe for the camera to be used with no protection.
Stand out features by far are the ability to record video in 4K resolution, excellent quality images, especially when close to the target / macro, very respectable battery duration, RAW file format capability, and, of course, the confidence a reinforced item like this brings when making the decision to take it with you everywhere and anywhere regardless of the terrain or weather conditions. Due to its versatility and increased chances of lasting many years, this really is a fantastic camera. However, it’s not perfect, no camera is. Read more about that below.
Some people find the video functions rather limiting because of the recording duration limitations when filming at high frames rates per second and in slow motion. While the Olympus TG-5 is great at taking close up images, some claim the TG-4 is better. This is because the extreme macro super zoom function present in the TG-4 has not being included in the TG-5. Self timer options are also quite limited. And, there are a few reports of unwanted noise being heard when playing a previously recorded video. The noise originates from either the manual zoom or auto focus function, and its most probably being picked up / recorded due to the close proximity of the microphone to the lens.
And lastly, the price. While you do get a lot for your money, it’s still a fairly expensive camera. So be sure you need, or want a tough camera and will be taking advantage of all its rugged features. Because if you won’t be, you may as well buy something else and save some money in the process. There are lots of standard cameras, without the “tough” label attached to them that can match the Olympus TG-5 when it comes to HD video and image quality. Some of which are considerably cheaper in price. So choose wisely.