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339 of 343 people found the following review helpful
Color Name: Black
Let me start my review with some background information. I've been a professional photographer for the last 10 years and a digital-camera enthusiast since they started becoming available. I shoot with heavy, bulky, expensive equipment when I'm working, but when I'm having a good time with my family I look for something a little different in a camera.

Right now, most of us have phones that take pretty good pictures when in good light. The problem with phones, and other point-and-shoot cameras is that you can't get in on the action very well as you're using them. They're fine if you want to be the one who's on the sideline trying to get the people having fun to look at you.

If you're like me, this isn't good enough. I take pictures for a living, so the last thing I want to do is take more and miss out on all of the fun moments with my family. This is why I have been snatching up the "tough"-style cameras every year in search of one to love. After owning several Canons, Nikons, and even waterproof housings, last year I finally found what I felt was the *perfect* take-anywhere camera: the Olympus TG-1. Over the last 12 months, I have really given it a beating and it's still working perfectly. In fact, last month I just got back from a trip to the Great Barrier Reef where it took some of the most incredible pictures you can imagine.

Of course, when I saw there was an update to my beloved TG-1, I knew I had to have one. Fast forward to two weeks ago and my package arrived. Since I've rambled a bit on my intro, let me just summarize my thoughts after giving it a good dose of summer for two weeks:

Clearly, Olympus took everything amazing from the last camera, improved on it, and then added a handful of incredible features that I didn't know I wanted but now have fallen in love with!


Here's a BRIEF SYNOPSIS about what I LOVE:

Solid construction. This is no toy - it's the real deal and it feels great in my hands.

The lens is in the center. This keeps your fingers off it and makes it easy to hold during the action. (This is also a bonus for lefties!)

The user interface is intuitive. Unlike some other cameras I own, there is nothing buried in the menus. Plus, nearly everything you need is right on the dial.

I love the strap. It's thick, adjustable, and bright red. If you drop this on the ocean floor like I did, you'll be happy for this.

The battery compartments have double locks. First you lock it, then you lock the lock. This keeps you from nervously picking it open underwater and keeps your kids from doing it on accident.

The screen is big, and I find it's even visible in bright light and underwater through goggles.

The lens goes really wide. This is great to add drama to things, but also just to capture a whole-lotta fun in one shot. I get more group action shots on this than I do with any other camera.

The camera location tags your pictures with its built-in GPS. This is an awesome combination to Adobe Lightroom. I just import my pics and they're distributed on a world map. It's awesome to see all the adventures we've had this way.

The camera shoots fast. At full resolution, you get over 5 frames-per-second, which is the same that I get with my Canon 5d mark III. If you lower the resolution, you can get an incredible 60 FPS! And, if you need more than that, see below!


Let me tell you about some of the NEW STANDOUT FEATURES for me:

1. 240 FPS

One of the features I love about the TG-2 is the ability to shoot video at 240 frames-per-second. Yes, you read that right. Just think of all the money you'd save from buying a $120,000 Phantom HD camera!
All kidding aside, being able to shoot in this super-slow motion mode is incredibly fun. In fact, the other night my family spent hours making all sorts of videos with this camera. The kids would do crazy dives into the pool, we had watermelon eating contests, we did skateboard tricks, threw water balloons at each other, etc. and after each video was taken, the whole family would come running up to me and the camera and watch in amazement. This kind of fun is what life is all about. We had a great summer evening being together and just having a great time. The movement, facial expressions, impossible poses, and the things that happen too fast to catch in real time, were captivating to say the least.

There are two caveats with this feature which I think are important to mention. 1. There is no sound. This is because it would be slow-motion sound and would be too slow to even sound funny. This is why when you see the slow-motion videos on the internet, they're always done with background music. 2. The video resolution makes them tiny. You definitely aren't going to play these on your huge TV, but they're great to watch in a window on your computer.

2. Aperture Priority Mode

When I shoot professionally, I use AV mode on my Canons. The previous TG-1 did not have the ability to set the aperture, but the new one does and it's a welcome addition. Because my shooting style is more fluid and from the hip, I'm ok with letting the camera choose the shutter speed based on the aperture I want and this is doubly so with a camera like this. When I switch over to the A mode, I do it to blur the background and make the subject stand out. Because this camera goes down to f/2, I can get some pretty decent results from it, especially when zoomed all the way in on my subject. For example, when I want to take a poolside pic of my daughter, I can blur the background a bit and diminish the distracting fence and signs in the background.

3. Super-Macro mode

The Super-Macro mode is phenomenal. In fact, this is the first camera that can shoot all the way up to a tiny 1 centimeter from the subject! It's literally MICROSCOPIC! In this mode I was able to hold the camera right up to my eyeball, snap a shot, and see every little detail and pigment in my eye. A more practical way I've been using this feature is for the watches and other items I sell on eBay. It really adds value to my listings (and winning bids!) when I'm able to post close-ups of the watch dials to give the buyer confidence in my listing.

Another way I've been using this mode is with my children. We've been running around the house (and park, and tide-pools, etc) and photographing everything small and making it BIG. From hermit crabs to rolly-pollies, my kids love getting right on top of something and "blowing it up!" Most recently we've been playing a game where they take the camera around the house, shoot an item, and then run back to me and have me guess what it is. It's been great fun and of course I don't have to worry about them breaking the camera.


SHOOTING MODES: (most are the same from the TG1, but there are a few differences)

iAUTO - Camera chooses the mode based on the scene

Program Auto (this is what I use mostly) - Like iAUTO, but allows you to make changes to: flash, macro, self-timer (12 sec, 2 sec), exposure compensation, white balance, ISO, sequential (1 fps, 6 fps at 12mp, 60 fps at 3mp), and photo size (megapixels).

Scene mode - Changes modes based on subject. This is a great way to ensure you get the best picture you can without having to rely on auto-mode.The choices are: portrait, beauty, landscape, hand-held starlight, night scene, night portrait, sport, indoor, self-portrait, sunset, fireworks, cuisine, documents, beach & snow, snapshot, wide 1, wide 2, macro, pet mode -cat, pet mode -dog, snow, panorama, backlight HDR.

If you shoot a lot, it should be pretty easy to speculate what settings each mode makes. For example, sunset mode bumping up the saturation on reds, purples, yellows; fireworks mode using a longer shutter-speed to get light trails; beauty mode using a softer focus, neutral skin-tones, etc. This being said, I have no idea what the difference would be between cat and dog mode. If you figure this out, post it in the comments!

Magic mode - Here you can take Instagram-like pictures in real time, seeing the effect as you shoot. Many of the effects even work for videos as well.

Pop art - oversaturated colors
Pin hole - vignette, like an old camera
Fish eye - simulates a fish-eye lens (really fun!)
Line - drawing turns the picture into something like a coloring book page
Soft focus - like old school glamour shot
Punk - turns pictures pink and black (actually more fun than you might think)
Sparkle - simulates a star filter, which turns any points of light into stars (great for Christmas lights or city lights)
Watercolor - mutes the colors, adds line (see `Line' above)
Reflection - like a kaleidoscope (my kids favorite)
Miniature - simulates a tilt-shift lens. If you haven't heard of this style of photography, Google it. Super fun, and something I use for landscapes when I hike with it.
Fragmented - like a shattered mirror
Dramatic - processes pictures with a "grunge" look

C1 and C2 - These custom modes are incredibly useful. If you find yourself dialing in certain settings for situations you encounter often, you can just assign those settings to one of these 2 modes on the dial. For example, my brother-in-law likes to examine my nephews pitching on the 60fps (3mp) mode so he has assigned these settings to the C1 mode and just remembers that C1 mode is "Zach's Pitching Mode." Now when he takes pictures during a game, he can just flip over to the C1 from iAUTO mode whenever Zach pitches. Super-useful!


BONUS! Here are some UNDERWATER PHOTO TIPS from my experiences:

As far as underwater pictures go, this camera performs wonderfully. Colors are bright and accurate both above and underwater, and the contrast is excellent for an underwater camera as well. This being said, let me give you some tips on getting the best shots.

1. Just like with regular photography, 12 noon is the least desirable part of the day to shoot. A good rule of thumb is that the further you get from noon, the better the quality of light. Another way to think of it would be the closer to sunrise/sunset, the better the quality of light will be.

2. Even though you are underwater, there are better angles/directions to shoot in. I haven't been able to come up with a rule, but when you get into the pool, test an underwater shot from each direction and you should be able to see which looks best.

3. The camera has a coating on its lens designed to keep drips off when you're playing in the water. I can't tell you how many pictures I've missed on other waterproof cameras when there was a drip that obscured the subject of my photo. This being said, here's a tip that has helped me get a 100% success rate in the pool: I just dip the camera in the water and peek at the lens. If there's a drip that has managed to stay on the coated lens, DON'T wipe it with your finger - just blow it off. Because of the coating it'll slide right off



As you can see, I'm thrilled with this new addition to my camera line-up. The Olympus Tough line has proved it can take a beating and this new model has taken what I called a *perfect* underwater camera and made it even better.

In my group of friends, I'm the guy everyone comes to when they want to buy a camera. When they tell me they want a point-and-shoot, I love it because it's an easy answer: the Olympus TG-2.

If you found my review helpful, let me know! I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have about this camera or any general photography questions as well.
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183 of 197 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
Color Name: RedVerified Purchase

Fast lens. Probably the single most defining feature of this camera as compared to other waterproof options available today.

Takes pictures immediately when you press down the shutter. Very responsive.

Built very well. Bigger than some other waterproof cameras, but feels much more sturdy. I like the trade-off.

Looks nice. Red color is dark, perhaps crimson. Nicely done.

Compartments lock, just like the TG-1, so as to ensure no unwanted openings.

Picture quality is excellent for a point and shoot. Lower light photos are okay. I shoot most low light with a DSLR, and this doesn't really compare, but it is better than the average point and shoot camera.

Flash is quick.

Menu/screens are nicely done. Easy to navigate. That can't be said for all waterproof point and shoot cameras. Olympus has done this well. Viewing screen is pretty clear, too. I like it.

Ability to take it anywhere. This alone has merit. But there's not much use in taking a "lifeproof" camera places if it can't keep up to some minimum standards for photos. The 2.0 lens really helps allow light in for low light situations, and it is exceptional for snapping photos right when you want. Not two or three seconds after you press the shutter.


Video noise. I bought the TG-1 two separate times. The first time I thought there might be an issue with the unit I had. The video was noisy and had a ticking/jack hammer type sound. Not sure what it was. I returned it and gave the TG-1 another chance. Second time--same thing. Major bummer. Hoping the TG2 would be better, I bought it the first day it became available. The TG2 has improved upon the video noise issues, but hasn't eliminated them. It's like there's a small buzzing sound in the background while you record video all the time, and then there are select moments when there's more noise, probably due to the camera trying to autofocus. I'm not sure exactly how to describe it other than saying that there are electronic vibration noises when the camera tries to focus. Sounds kind of like a little mini star wars laser war. .

Zoom in/out during video. Just avoid it. The sound is overwhelmingly unwelcome and annoying. Some cameras have incorporated silent zoom (or what I would refer to as mostly silent zoom) while recording video. Not this one. Would have been nice.

Other observations

Size. It's really about the same dimensions as the TG-1. Was hoping it would be smaller. Actual dimensions might indicated 0.1 inch smaller in the depth dimension, but I can't notice it.

Sensor. Not sure there's much of a difference between this sensor and the one from the TG-1. It's supposedly a newer sensor, but I am not able to discern a difference in the photos. Both seem to do fairly well. I wouldn't worry much about it, but don't expect much of a difference. There may be some change in the lab or scientific measurements, but real life it appears to be the same.

Better than the TG-1, at least from the standpoint of reduced noise during video recording. But the main issue which made me return the TG-1 is not improved upon enough for me to keep the TG2. I'll admit I'm very picky. It may not bother you, but it's noticeable enough for me to return it, find something cheaper (this is close to $400 - really ought to reflect more refinement with the video), and wait for the TG3 or a comparable competitive camera. Would be nice if Nikon or Canon or Panasonic would come out with an bright/fast lens waterproof camera.

The only real downside / achilles heel I see to this camera is the video issues. If I were just looking to keep it for stills, it would be a home run.
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133 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2013
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I have used a (highly reviewed) 10MP f2.8 Canon SD790 from 2009 for the past few years, and have sought an upgrade due to common issues with such small point-and-shoot cameras (1) effects (vignetting, blurring) from lens aberrations that were especially noticeable in landscape photography (2) fragile construction. There have also been many circumstances when I have not been able to use the camera due to moisture or excessive dust during outdoor activities.

(Note: Before discovering the TG series, I was convinced to buy either the Panasonic LX7 or Sony RX100 for sake of their extremely high image quality.)

Photo Performance: small but noticeable upgrade
At first glance, the SD790 photos seemed to be better with bolder colors and better definition. But on closer inspection, the difference is only due to a lower average exposure on the SD790, and higher processor contrast. Carefully analyzing small leaves and tree trunks, the TG-2 does show much more detail. On 0% zoom, test photos do show some pixel distortion in the 4 corners of the shot, but zooming in a tiny bit (about 10%) is enough to remove the distortions from your shot. Low light photos give great colors, and the f2.0 lens is way better than most cameras, but the noise level will never be DSLR quality; head to the Sony RX100 or bigger if that is your priority.
I have not used the super macro yet, but professional reviews claim it is very good.

Add-on Lenses: extra expensive plus
The two extra lenses are probably not quite worth the $110 each, considering that you also need a $20 adapter (I recommend 1 each). They are both small, high quality glass. I have had very satisfying results with the teleconverter, which should be most useful for shots taken from a fixed location (sports, performance, cruise) but is of course not as useful as a normal zoom lens. Because of the heavy lens vignette, the camera must use it's maximum optical zoom (4x) to use the teleconverter. Thus any further zooming uses digital zoom only. Minimum zoom shots are 100% equivalent quality to the best non-teleconverter shots, but at higher zoom. From that point, further digital zoom still looks nice, but naturally collects noise. If you want a variety of shot composition options, you will have to quickly take the teleconverter off, and switch the camera mode back to normal. This is easy and quick, but not seamless, about 5 seconds.
The fisheye lens has a mild fisheye effect, and confers a wider-angle as well. No intelligent thoughts on this one yet.

Extra Features: this wins it
If you're going to pay the extra cash for this camera, pay it for the extra features. You can pull this out in ANY situation, at ANY time (rain, snow, boats, dust, rocks, children) without fear of destruction. Seeing how much my SD790 has aged (lost screws, creaking case) and with stories of zoom failure in extended dust exposure, the value of a sealed case (and sealed zoom) is more than underwater novelty. There have been many awesome experiences in the past few years that I was not able to capture because of moisture, dust, etc. Despite that security, my only fear is that the lens glass will be scratched even though it is recessed. The GPS tagging is also a blast to help you relive your adventures in the future.

Big picture:
If you're looking for a small point and shoot that takes the best possible photos, don't buy this (get something cheaper and smaller).
If you're also considering mirrorless or larger cameras for the variable lenses and sensor quality, don't buy this (get something cheaper and larger).
This IS a camera for the adventurer/outdoorsman/chronic klutz that is also a discerning photography enthusiast. Without the lenses, this is a camera that you can use in absolutely ANY context without fear of destruction. You will get shots and videos that you could never consider with any other camera. Adding the expensive lenses into the package puts the camera into a strange limbo category that is well above any expensive point-and-shoot camera, but below any cheap mirrorless camera.

Personally, for my interests in extended outdoor adventures, quality + low-light photography, and creative composition (teleconverter + fisheye), this is an excellent camera. But I have definitely paid a high premium for that flexibility.

P.S. The two main reasons to purchase this new model instead of the TG-1 is (1) aperture priority mode to take advantage of the f2.0 lens (2) improved super macro mode.

P.P.S Comparisons with the soon-to-be-available Pentax WG-3 are appropriate with caveats (1) its larger 16MP sensor does not necessarily correlate with better shots; wait for the reviews (2)the WG-3 looks like a toy; I would not bring it to a wedding, etc. (3) the battery life is not as good (4) I see very little information about the new addon lenses.

UPDATE #1: Lens Adapters + Filters
I have added a rainbowimaging lens adapter with UV protector filter to protect the lens in pocket/etc, and there is no vignetting on the edges of the shot. However, the rainbowimaging adapters have a slightly less secure detent than the OEM products, so I recommend OEM adapters for the lenses.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2013
Color Name: Black
I love this camera. There is a mechanical humming noise during recording, but this camera was designed with the adventurer in mind. I purchased the TG-2 instead of the GoPro Hero 3, after much research.

I did not buy this camera to record video at a wedding, birthday, holiday, or a picnic. Although I could, I have other cameras for that. I strap the TG-2 to my backpack while hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and my gear while diving. The wind noise I record while biking, or the silence I record while on the peak of a mountain, or the noise underwater, is not important to me, nor is the mechanical noise, the reason why I wanted to record a video is to save the sights and reminisce. And the video that the TG-2 takes is remarkable under all conditions. Very high quality considering how rugged it is, and that it can survive the abuse of an adventurer in land and sea.

The GPS, manometer, altimeter, barometer, and compass further give the adventurer all the more reason to buy this camera. I'm going to bring this camera on my next flight lesson to compare altimeter accuracy.

The pictures are high quality in my opinion. This camera also has aperture priority and a super macro mode, which makes this camera flexible for advanced users. There is also a high speed setting, that records at 120 or 240 fps with a reduction in video size. I have some great lighting strike videos, an environment that is not something you would easily be able to pull out most cameras for (in drenching rain or have a high speed video setting).

The battery life is also very good, plus is rechargeable via USB. This means anyone with a portable solar charger can bring this on a long wilderness or backcountry camp/hike and easily save all the memories on a few cheap SD cards... Appalachian Trail anyone?

Please understand what you are buying when looking at this camera. If you want true broadcast quality video and audio with waterproof capabilities, buy a $3,500 camera with a $1000 waterproof enclosure. That setup may weigh around 5 lbs but you won't have a mechanical hum noise. If you want high quality pictures, video, and something you can literally throw into your bag and take just about anywhere, the TG2 is perfect.
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89 of 99 people found the following review helpful
Color Name: RedVerified Purchase
Update: google moron smugmug to get an idea what this camera can and can't do - there is a clicking noise in the videos occasionally and the autofocus struggles in low light but the camera will survive just about anything you can throw at it


Besides the waterproofing/toughness (I like to kayak) what attracts me to the TG-2 are the fast 2.0 lens speed, the aperture priority mode, the OLED screen, the primarily positive reviews of the TG-1 and most importantly the ability to add the TCON-T01 telephoto converter lens - birds are difficult to photograph with only a 100mm (35mm equivalent) lens so I was eager to see how it all came together.

(If you're getting an accessory lens I recommend taking the extra effort to track down Olympus' CLA-T01 adapter instead of buying a third party product as the OEM item includes a lens cover. I have no affiliation with Olympus.)

So far the results are exceeding my expectations, particularly the telephoto which allows optical zooming to roughly 170mm (as I understand it the digital zoom gets you around 340mm): even at maximum zoom the image quality to my eyes is good which I presume is largely a function of the fast lens speed. Please see the three customer images I uploaded for examples of what the telephoto lens can do.

The camera feels solid in your hands and the buttons seem like they aren't going to wear out anytime soon. I also like the mode dial which allows you to avoid manipulating some menu screens - IMO one of the banes of digital cameras.

The microscopic macro mode gave me new perspective on my right thumbnail which had recently been broken and accordingly trimmed short - see customer image taken with only natural light which reduced depth of field.

I tested the video: the microphone recorded clearly the birds chirping nearby and the muted noise from the interstate quite some distance away. Keeping in mind how comparatively quiet it was I could hear the zoom, most noticeably when zooming out and approaching the widest angle position. I reckon if you were recording any kind of noisy environment it would be difficult to hear.

I haven't quite bought in to all the gizmos (`magic art filters' etc.) but they're there. The GPS is nifty but I'm concerned it will reduce battery life appreciably although I really don't know how big a deal it is... you can turn it off.

It's early on but I think this camera/lens is going to suit my wants very well.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 2, 2013
Color Name: Black
The Olympus Stylus TG-2 is a waterproof/shockproof action-oriented point-and-shoot camera that packs a ton of features and also manages to take very decent photos. It is an evolutionary improvement over the excellent Olympus Stylus TG-1 which more or less redefined the tough camera genre by combining unsurpassed survivability, long battery life, and good image quality. I used to have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 and had access to a Fujifilm FinePix XP50, and those cameras were simply outclassed by the TG-1. With the new Stylus TG-2, Olympus is essentially competing against itself.

Physically, the TG-2 is very similar to the TG-1: they share the same chassis/battery/accessories but the physical controls have been slightly updated. While it looks like a metal block, the TG-2 is reasonably light and unobtrusive to carry, even in jacket or cargo pockets during all-day excursions. I have big hands, and in my opinion, the overall layout is pretty good. The camera is usable even while wearing thin gloves because the buttons are distinct with good tactile feedback. My only complaint is the placement of the microphone, which is on the top left and prone to getting accidentally covered by stray fingers.

The TG-2 carries over the same f/2.0 wide-zoom lens and backside illuminated CMOS sensor but offers many subtle improvements across the board including a deeper underwater rating, 120fps/240fps slow-motion video modes, slightly faster autofocus, aperture priority mode, and somewhat different magic/scene modes. Technical details aside, the TG-2 is a solid take-anywhere photography tool...whether or not you will like it really just boils down to what you expect and what you want to do.

As with all other multi-function, jack-of-all-trades devices, the Olympus Stylus TG-2 has a broad range of talents though it makes several compromises along the way. For starters, while the TG-2 is capable of producing fantastic images, this is somewhat with respect to other shockproof/waterproof/crushproof/dustproof/freezeproof cameras. The TG-2's images are well exposed and have great color, but strictly speaking, they are on the soft-side and sometimes exhibit purple fringing and reduced detail. While the TG-2 is easily outperformed by similarly priced traditional cameras, the caveat is that the TG-2 goes where those cameras can't.

Another area where the TG-2 makes some compromises is the autofocus system. Compared to the TG-1, the TG-2 feels faster in most scenarios and when it works, it is one of the fastest focusing cameras I've had the pleasuring of using. Unfortunately, this new focusing mechanism is noticeably nosier (it makes rapid ticking noises in operation) and while this isn't an issue for photography, the ticking can be heard in videos shot in quiet environments. Also, for such a fast autofocus, there are some situations where it won't lock on, even if set to single-point focus mode. The alternative is to slowly sweep the entire focal range, and that is what many cameras do, but the TG-2 eschews this.

Personally, I am pleased with the Olympus Stylus TG-2 though I believe there is plenty of room for future improvements. Hopefully Olympus can make the autofocus more reliable and add more creative control. I initially bought a tough camera to take pictures in places and situations where I wouldn't dare, and that freedom has grown on me ever since. I also own an Olympus OM-D E-M5 and use it as my "serious" camera, and I discovered that unless the situation calls for it (eg. clinical image quality, very low-light situations, specialty work, etc.) I find myself reaching for TG-2 quite often. There's a saying that the best camera in the world is the one that's with you, and with its go-anywhere qualities, long battery life, and good-enough picture quality, chances are that camera is going to be the TG-2.

1) The camera DOES NOT come with a dedicated battery charger. The battery is charged in-camera with one of the waterproof doors open.
2) While the TG-2 can be charged using USB, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using either the stock charger or getting an external battery charger. Quality control for USB chargers is all over the place and all it takes is a bad one to fry your camera!
3) This camera is complex enough to warrant a printed manual but Olympus only offers it in electronic format.
4) The TG-2 offers Aperture Priority! The lack of manual controls was my biggest gripe with the TG-1 so I'm glad Olympus did something about it, even if is still quite limited. You're only offered 3 choices at any focal length: wide-open, stepped down, and really stepped down. At 25mm, you get your choice of f/2, f/2.8, and f/8. At 100mm, you're at f/4.9, f/6.3, and f/18. While I could see a depth-of-field change between wide-open and stepped down, I couldn't tell the difference between stepped down and stepped down all the way. For example, depth-of-field changes between f/2.0 and f/2.8, but from f/2.8 to f/8 it looks the same despite needing a slower shutter speed to get the correct exposure. Perhaps they're using ND filters to simulate it?
5) Microscopic Macro Mode is awesome! (Up to 14x magnification at 1cm)
6) The built-in GPS serves primarily to geo-tag photos and is reasonably accurate. It takes a few minutes to lock-on and you won't get information like speed, bearing, etc. The landmark database works internationally! The TG-2 also includes a built-in digital compass and manometer (which is functionally similar to a barometer).
7) GPS Log files are recorded in NEMA format. If you press the info button, the camera will jump to the GPS/compass information screen from the off-state. A-GPS is available, though you need to download a tool from Olympus's site and update the camera every couple of weeks.
8) Underwater, the camera performs well in automatic mode, though the screen's view angles become quite narrow due to reflections. You pretty much need to be behind the screen while shooting underwater. The waterproof doors on the Olympus are more robust than those on my old DMC-TS3.
9) Battery Life is Awesome. You can use it all day and not really worry about the battery dying. If you want to leave the GPS tracking on or have all day/all night excursions, a second battery is still necessary.
10) The TG-2's menu is very similar to recent Olympus cameras and it's good because the menus are clear and well organized. My only gripe is the excess visual fluff such as full-color graphics, sliding animations, etc. While these are impressive the first time you see it, they don't really add value and only slow the camera down.
11) FLASHLIGHT MODE! From the off-state, press and hold INFO for a few seconds to toggle it on/off.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
Color Name: RedVerified Purchase
I bought this camera prior prior to any reviews, but based on the success of the TG-1 and the cool macro feature, I decided to give it a shot. At $380, this camera is expensive! Adding in the telephoto lens (TCON-T01) and the required adapter ring, I'm $500 in. That's the same as a basic DSLR! Now, I have owned several cameras, including point and shoots, superzooms, waterproof ruggeds, and DSLRs. Of all those, this is now my favorite camera. Does it take the best pictures and videos? No, my Canon T2i does. Does it have the best zoom? No, my Panasonic ZS3 does. Is it the most compact rugged camera? No, my Olympus Stylus S720 SW is.

So why is this my new favorite? It takes very good pictures, there's no shutter lag, it focuses quickly, it has a built in LED light, the flash works amazingling well indoors, it has an attachable telephoto lens, it has reasonable depth of field, it has GPS, it has tons of fun filters, it has an incredible super macro mode, and it's waterproof! This means I can take this camera on vacation with no worries, or shoot soccer games in the rain and snow. My daughter can use it without fear of breakage, and its small enough to fit in my pocket. Yes, my DSLR takes better pictures and video, but I'm not about to take it to Costa Rica and subject it to rain, mud, and potential theft. And, my DSLR weighs about 3 pounds with the zoom lens.

There are some negatives. In full auto mode, the white balance doesn't always adjust properly indoors, and pictures are a little dark. So I use program mode and adjust the white balance, exposure compensation, ISO, etc and get great results. The video is fine visually, but there are some irritating noises (read about this in other reviews). So what! I can use this where I can't use my DSLR. If I'm going to a piano recital or play, I will use my DSLR with an external microphone to capture the best sound. But if I'm sledding with my daughter, I don't care about a little noise. Besides, most edited videos (which I tend not to bother with) have music dubbed over the original audio. Finally, I don't love how the telephoto mounts to the camera. The mounting ring is made of plastic, and I'm concerned that it will wear out with frequent removal and mounting of the lens. Time will tell. One note about the telephoto lens: the camera has to be told that it's got an external lens attached. To make this quicker, I set up one of the two Custom modes for the telephoto lens. This allows me to switch back and forth between using the telephoto lens or not, and all I have to do is turn the mode dial a click to switch modes. Pretty easy, but still a bit of work.

I'm rating the camera 4 stars because of the noisy video and inconsistent white balance. Maybe they will fix these issues with a firmware update, but until then, I will be happily shooting pictures with my favorite new toy.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2013
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
Like it... Here are my list of things that would bump it to "LOVE".

I purchased this camera for a few specific reasons. GPS, f2.0, rough and tumble.

First the GPS. You must plug it into your computer to download the current orbital info (every 2 weeks) in order to get any type of a fast lock. This works great, however if you forget, and you're up in the woods, and you want a fast lock for a picture, you're out of luck. Then you're at the mercy of that standard 12.5 minute full GPS signal rotation... I was able to get lock in about 3 to 5 minutes, but it wasn't fast enough for my liking. I'm very used to the GPS in smartphones that cache all that data, and so you get lock in seconds, even in challenging situations.

Second the USB cable. It doesn't seem to be any type of cable that I already have several of laying around. It seems to have a standard USB Type A on one end, then some form of a tweaked USB mini-B on the camera side that prevents me from using any one of a dozen cables everyone already owns. This was a big disappointment for me. I use a solar charger on my longer excursions, and have become accustomed to using standardized cables for all my electronics. I now have a cable that I can only use on this camera, that is black, short, and one more thing to lose, and pack with me if I plan on doing an extended trip.

Third the start-up time. I haven't used it too much, only on a few hikes in the woods. However I noted that the startup time/function seemed glitchy. At least 3 times when turning on the camera from cold, I would get a screen where I thought I could click a picture, then the screen would go black almost instantly. This threw me off, so I pressed the power again, and then it came up "normal". I missed a picture of a small herd of elk in the woods due to this, and so... My nature shots were screwed. I took to hiking with the camera on, just so that I wouldn't miss another shot of 10 elk like that.

None of this is a deal breaker for me. I just need to use the camera on a few more hikes, and get to know it better. But I can assure you I'm going to load the GPS data before my trip, and I worry about losing that cable, so I always know where it is.

If it was a standard cable, it internally cached orbital data that it learned from the GPS without an external app, and I didn't have a start-up issue a few times. This would be a 5 star camera as far as function. I need to shoot more with it, to evaluate the imaging qualities.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2013
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
As far as pictures goes, I can't complain. Nice camera, waterproof, etc. A lot of fun. Takes good pictures, nice underwater, has some fun features.

For the video though, the camera clicks. If you hold it up to your ear you can audibly hear it. The camera picks it up, so unless you are putting music or something over the video, it is unwatchable. I called Olympus, and there is nothing they can or are willing to do. They were familiar with it, so I'm not the first to call, but nothing they would do.

I have uploaded an example of this.

So, great camera for pictures, but just not for video.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2014
Color Name: Black
I researched extensively before making this purchase. The results of my research were essentially a dead heat between this model and the Lumix TF-5. I bought the Lumix. Because of its remarkably poor image quality, especially in low light, the Lumix was returned within a week and I bought the TG-2.

This is an outstanding camera -- for what it is. And what is seems to be something that many reviewers don't understand.

These cameras are essentially ruggedized point-and-shoots. Comparing their image quality to what you get from a full-frame DSLR or a crop-factor DSLR or even a "bridge camera" is ridiculous. For what it is, this camera's IQ is excellent. And the macro mode is superlative.

These cameras are not high-end camcorders. Nor is their video as good as what you'll get from a crop-factor DSLR. For what it is, this camera's video output is excellent.

I'd like to address two of the more common criticisms of this model in more detail:

(1) Poor audio. My model does not produce the constant noise that some users report. But it does pick up handling noise and lens motor noise. (A tip: If you are constantly zooming in and out, your video is going to look amateurish in the extreme. If you want to get closer to something, use your feet.) Anyone who expects great -- or even good -- audio from a ruggedized point-and-shoot is living in a fool's paradise. It ain't gonna happen.

If ambient sound is important, you need to record it on an external device, something like a Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder, just like you would if you were shooting video on a DSLR costing a few thousand dollars. When I need ambient sound, I mount the camera and the Zoom on an old, lightweight flash bracket. Works like a charm, and using the flash bracket helps to stabilize the camera.

(2) The Olympus CLA-T01 Conversion Lens Adapter for Olympus TG-1 & TG-2 (Red) attaches loosely and falls off easily. I hate to be the bearer of some pretty obvious news, but you're not putting it on correctly. Align the white dots on the camera and the ring. Twist the ring clockwise very firmly until the dot on the ring clicks solidly into place at 9 o'clock. It will not fall off; in fact, significant torque will be required to remove it.

If you need a ruggedized camera, I highly recommend the TG-2.
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