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Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Black
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|Model Name||Tough TG-6|
|Type of product||Ultracompact|
About this item
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- Waterproof (50 feet /15 meter), dust proof, shockproof (7 feet / 2.1 meter), crush proof (100 kgf), freeze proof (14 degree Fahrenheit / -10 degree Celsius ), anti-fog
- High resolution F2.0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back illuminated CMOS image sensor
- Variable macro system comprised of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the lens
- 5 underwater shooting modes including underwater microscope, 3 underwater white balance modes. Image file format: JPEG, raw
- 4K movie and full HD 120 fps high speed movies can be recorded. Max. recording time: 20 seconds
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You live for the outdoors. Hiking steep mountain trails. Backpacking through a desert Canyon. Skiing in the wilderness. The tough tg-6 is ready for adventure. It’s built to endure all the extreme environments you love exploring. You can drop it. Step on it. Go deep underwater or out into a freezing blizzard. It just keeps on shooting awesome stills and video. Packed with pro features, you’ll nail difficult shots — even in low light. Shoot intricately detailed macro photos and unique shots underwater with vivid color. The lightweight, compact tough tg-6. Engineered to survive the world’s toughest places. Operating temperature: -10 - +40℃ (when in operation) / -20 - +60℃ (when stored).
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top reviews from the United States
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Takes good high quality images for a 12 MP compact. Pictures are bright and performance in lowlight is very good. Macro is exceptional and underwater photos are very strong (easily the best among other compact UW cameras). Dynamic range is very good and shadows are often properly exposed (unlike most other UW cameras that consistently underexpose shadows). Despite this camera having only 12 MP, it frequently provides cleaner and more detailed images than its 16 and 20 MP competitors. The custom settings are awesome...everything from the ability to shoot raw, the ability to set and stick 1 second shake reduction timers, to the custom saturation/gradation/contrast/sharpness/nr settings, and much more. White balance tends to be good especially in indoor/macro/uw settings. Reds perform well with this camera. Scenes modes (like beach mode) tend to work well.
Video stabilization is a bit below average but decent and low light videos are brighter than the competition. This cameras is a low floor, high ceiling camera...you will need to learn how to use it to gets best benefits. At times the produced jpgs are too saturated or undersaturated. I find a good work around is program mode > i-enhance (low) with NR (low) which works well in most cases. If you edit raw, you don't have to worry about that. Blues and greens are a bit weak in distant landscape shots.
A wrist strap is included...good for divers, but for paddlers, skiers, and hikers a neck strap would have been preferred. 4x zoom is a bit below average compared to other UW compacts...but zoom quality isn't bad and you can always purchased a telephoto addon to double the range. There is no 4k 60p (just 4k 30p or 1080 60p), but few competitors for this class of camera off this. The battery door and tripod mount are located next to each other...so if you need to switch batteries, you'll also need to remove your quick release mount which is a bit annoying.
TG-5 vs TG-6:
On paper, the TG-6 hasn't improved much, but there are subtle but important improvements. New internal filters have been added to reduce chromatic aberration and the purple orb issues. White balance appears slightly improved in the TG-6 and images are much less like to be overexposed (an issues with the TG-5). The LCD on the TG-6 is much approved which is very handy when doing things like exposure compensation. Minimum shutter speed controls, super-macro video, and the ability to use microscope focus in aperture priority are significant changes as well.
All TG cameras (and many non-Olympus cameras) occasionally show a small purple orb in the middle of the image. This is likely light reflecting off of the sensor onto an internal lens element. No reviewer brings it up, but it does exist. Honestly I wouldn't panic if you see this. I've shot 1000's of TG-6 outdoor images and maybe only 1-2 show this. It is more apt to show indoors and in macro situations. But...it only appears in select contexts. Usually if you have max zoom, have a dark subject at the very center, are using a high iso, and there is a strong off-axis light source (or flat surface nearby like a wall that reflects a lot of light). The new LCD screen makes it easy to see the orb and react accordingly...use the flash (the flash cures this in my experience), zoom out, or recompose the camera so the very center isn't on something very dark. While many TG-5 users complained of this, I believe this has been significantly reduced in the TG-6, but it will occasionally happen...it's normal!
The FD-1 is highly recommended for macro and acts as a lens hood to protect the lens. Screen protectors are recommended too (a two pack for $7 is available if you search Amazon "screen protectors olympus tough". An external charger and backup batteries are recommend. Li92 are better quality...but Li90 are a significantly better value. Search Amazon "bm Batteries and Charger for Olympus Tough" for a nice charger/battery pack combo.
The default settings make very low quality photos, but once you figure out how to set them to the highest quality, the photos are quite good. The manual that you have to download is not very clear about the different options.
It would be better if it came with an extra battery and external charger, as well as a case.
I'm very pleased with the Microscopic functions. The automatically stacking microscopic functions appear to me to be better than a dedicated macro lens on a DSL. Sometimes you get extra antennae or legs, but I'm amazed at how easy it makes taking good photos of very small objects, even tiny insects that aren't still.
It seems to get the focus and exposure right on almost every photo, and is very fast. It is very worthwhile reading the manual, because there are many "hi-tech" functions that are very useful and can save you lots of time.
The lack of a larger zoom is frustrating, but not as bad as I expected. Battery life is excellent, and the GPS works well, even if a little slow to hook up at first. I would have given it 4-5 stars if the lens cover was not such an issue, and for $450 there should be a case and extra battery with a charger.
I just put the Olympus T-6 through 3 times in the ocean, 3 times in the pool, and in the actual sand while building a sandcastle IN ONE DAY...I'm so so so impressed. It's true, the lack of a manual is pretty dumb but the quick-start guide gave you what you need. I would not have been able to figure out how to even open the battery compartment without that guide though so take your time! Lastly, I had read another review that lamented the lack of a wall charger,which I assumed meant one of the cartridge case ones that plug in the wall. This camera comes with a usb cord that plugs into the wall. It's perfectly fine! It was a TERRIFIC buy for me and I am so so so so excited to keep using it.
Based on Consumer Reports, I hope for a longer life than all my past choices over the years (Canon D10, a Sony model, and the Nikon AW130). The Nikon died much faster than I hoped (saltwater breach on vacation). But they all seem to last 2-4 years with relatively tough living (salt, water and sand exposure.)
Right out of the gate, things I like.
Even only at 12MP, takes great photos. Never the intent to be as good or better than the DSLR or even iPhone.
Better low light sensitivity than the Nikon.
Ability to hard code two favorite modes - much better than having to reset on every on and off.
I love the kid activity mode to take a continuous set of photos.
Very easy to use and setup modes. The Nikon would occasionally get stuck in weird modes. The physical wheel makes it more clear what is going on.
I like the physical switch to enable and disable GPS. Always a hassle to do so with the Nikon.
Time will tell on how tough it is, but we will see!
Top reviews from other countries
I was able to get some nice bokeh, though I wouldn't want to use this for portraits. Maybe with the teleconverter it would become a passable portrait camera, I don't know. I used it for landscapes, lots of landscapes, and it worked pretty well for that. I see some color bleeding and some vignette, but I wouldn't call those problematic. The lens is the equivalent of a standard zoom, so no bird-watching with this thing, and I doubt the teleconverter can do a whole lot to change that. I had a chance to play with the fisheye adapter for about an hour and it gave me just a slightly wider angle overall, but nothing I would call a must-have. This camera is amazing for macro photography, though: my few attempts at it all turned out stunning.
Hardware is pretty sturdy, though the screen at the back scratches easily. GET A PROTECTOR! I am not particularly worried about the lack of an EVF as I wear glasses, though I seem to be alone to not consider this a problem. The screen is somewhat hard to see in bright sunlight, but I am able to manage. The camera survived salt water, sand, being tossed unprotected in my luggage, even being in my PFD while I kayak and perform stunts. I am quite pleased! It's the right tool for the job and it worked pretty well! The camera is small, the controls are sometimes hard to operate with gloves, but I don't see how a compact camera can possibly solve that issue: I guess Olympus can add a touchscreen, but touchscreens don't work well when water is involved.
Now for the software. Argh the software!
The Olympus RAW format is ORF and is mostly unsupported by anything. There is a plugin for Photoshop (not sure if Lightroom supports it, but I hear no), and that's about it. I got a once-in-a-lifetime offer to get the Adobe software for regular price, and that's the extent of the support I got from Olympus. What if I don't want to use Adobe stuff? There is no indication anywhere in the documentation how exactly I am supposed to integrate Olympus RAW with any photo processing workflow, including Adobe's which they promote so aggressively. Eventually I stumbled upon something called Olympus Workspace, which appears to do something close to what Lightroom does, but I ultimately settled on a third-party tool called Luminar. Luminar worked pretty well.
I wish I had more choices! It's a shame a camera so well regarded and so respected (the TG-5 is practically the gold standard for camera for water sports) doesn't do more to be supported by photo-processing software out there.
The battery life is on par with my DSLR! I can get several hundred pictures on a single battery charge! I also love the in-camera modes for panorama, HDR and focus-stacking. Neither of them are perfect, of course: the panorama mode is trying to stitch shots by tracking landmarks in your frame, but when it cannot find one right at the edge of the frame (e.g. it encounters the empty horizon), it gets hopelessly lost. Similarly, focus-stacking would sometimes fail for reasons I have not investigated yet.
I hope this is helping someone.
At best the software is average, in certain photo modes your creative control is severely restricted, with the flash being the biggest offender because in certain modes (beach/sand, action, macro etc) you cannot use it as a fill flash. I understand that this is a point and shoot camera, but surely there's some room for creativity by someone that knows the difference between aperture and f stop.
I was hoping to see an improvement in the camera software that wasn't there.
Reviewed in Canada on March 17, 2020