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3 Year Camera Accident Protection Planfrom Asurion, LLC
- No deductibles or added costs. Parts, labor and shipping included.
- Drops, spills and cracked screens covered from day one.
- Other breakdowns covered after the manufacturer's warranty expires.
- Includes 24/7 tech support. File a claim online or by phone 24/7.
- If we can't repair it, we'll replace it or reimburse the purchase price with an Amazon e-gift card.
Olympus TG-4 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Red)
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- 4X wide-angle optical zoom with fast f2.0 high speed lens
- Waterproof to depths of 50 feet, freeze proof to 14 degrees f, shockproof to 7 feet, crushproof to 220 lb.
- Raw capture, live composite, underwater modes with underwater hdr
- Wi-Fi / GPS / e. compass
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4X wide-angle optical zoom with fast f2.0 High speed lens waterproof to depths of 50 feet, freeze proof to 14 degrees f, shockproof to 7 feet, crushproof to 220 lb. Raw capture, live composite, underwater modes with underwater hdr Wi-Fi / GPS / E. Compass 1080p HD video.
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Great photo quality while shooting underwater:
This camera takes great underwater photos with good image quality. The focusing is fast and accurate. The camera is very light at less than a pound, so very easy to lug around on trips. I took all of these photos in RAW and processed them in Lightroom.
Quirks on using RAW shooting:
- Getting the RAW setting enabled was more difficult than it should be. Usually this is accessed by the settings menu on other cameras. For the TG-4, you have to go to the main shooting screen and select it from the options on the live screen. Also, Olympus doesn't have a RAW-only option, instead you have to choose RAW+JPEG, which I find to be pretty unnecessary and the JPEGs just take up more space on my memory card.
- Also, I will mention that RAW capture is not available in all shooting modes. You cannot use RAW for underwater HDR, microscope mode, and portrait mode. Luckily for me, none of those modes are commonly used by me, but I would still have appreciated knowing this prior to purchasing the product. Especially since Olympus advertises the TG-4 as a RAW shooting camera.
- Note: If you're going to process RAW images, you'll need Lightroom 6. Older versions of Lightroom don't have the ability to process TG-4 RAW images.
Amazing microscope mode:
- I didn't get this camera for its microscope mode, but this feature was definitely a very pleasant surprise and one of the highlights of the TG-4. First of all, it can focus when the camera is EXTREMELY close (just 1 cm!!!) away from your object. This is a very unique capability. If you take a look at Wikipedia on Macro photography lenses, they provide a table of macro lenses and their closest focusing distances. The shortest focusing distance on that table is about 5 inches. Compare that to the TG-4, which can be as close as 1 cm.
- The magnification up to 44.5x is breathtaking, as the world looks completely different at that magnification. This is such a cool feature, and another reason to use this camera instead of my DSLR. I took a photo of a pair of shorts, and zoomed in all the way (see photo attached to this review). You can see the fibers of the material. Wow. This will definitely be a useful tool for me in the future.
Negatives about the camera:
- Poor photo quality in dim lighting. The camera sensor is really noisy when the lighting isn't optimal. This is the case even if I use nighttime shooting modes, so I was pretty disappointed. Most of my darker images were very grainy and no amount of post-processing was able to salvage them.
- Disappointing aperture control with f/2.0 lens. One of the main reasons that I bought this camera was to be able to control my aperture size and have it as large as f/2.0. However, the camera only lets you choose 3 aperture sizes depending on your current zoom. I didn't end up taking advantage of the aperture setting as much as I would have preferred.
- Battery life is short. You need to completely recharge the battery after just a few hours of usage, even when it's not shooting all the time.
- The camera's battery slot was a bit damp after an underwater shoot in the ocean. Now, after each underwater shoot, I make sure to rinse the camera in fresh water, then open all of the slots and let them dry out.
- Just because it's shockproof, crushproof, and rugged doesn't mean that it won't scratch. I was riding on my bike, had my camera sitting in a bike basket and it got scratched up. So be careful and maybe get a pouch for it.
- Lack of a manual setting. I know, it's a point-and-shoot camera, but I would still prefer to be able to control the exposure time, ISO, and aperture.
- The USB cable is not a standard mini or micro USB cable, and is instead a non-standard one. Sigh.
- The camera does not come with a full user manual in hardcopy form. Instead, Olympus provides a 121-page PDF document of the manual.
So far I have seen some good, some bad, and some ugly about the camera.
* Image quality is excellent, although perhaps a bit too saturated for "normal" mode.
* Focus is fast and accurate.
* Shutter lag is minimal. Not as fast as my DSLR, but still tolerable.
* The "microscope" mode is breathtakingly awesome. I shot a picture of a dish towel and the fibers of the cloth are easily visible. Also I shot one of my phone, and was able to make out not just the pixels but easily see that the pixels are little vertical stripes of red, green and blue.
* The water seals are great, although the latching mechanism is a bit fiddly.
* The size and weight of the camera are just right.
* The colors are bit over the top. They need to tone down the saturation a little.
* Low-light performance is not great. There are some setup options you have to configure to get it to focus at all (ie turn on the AF illuminator) and even then it's very voisy and has soft focus. Enabling the flash fixes all that, of course, but sometimes you don't want to use a flash.
* Enabling RAW mode is a bit weird. In most cameras there's a setup menu where you choose compression, image size, and RAW/JPEG but on this camera the compression setting is in the setup and the image size and RAW option are accessed from the main shooting screen.
* Manuals are only on the CD -- no printed manual past the one-page quick-start guide
* Some of the setup options require a bit of knowledge (e.g. your current altitude for the manometer) or a bit of trouble (GPS setup wants a PC)
It's possible to insert the battery backwards. No damage to the camera, but it won't turn on or charge. This is the first camera I have seen in nearly 15 years where it's possible to insert the battery incorrectly.
Non-standard USB connectors for interface and charging. Seriously, Olympus? Only USB mini or micro should ever appear on a modern device.
If not for the battery and USB cable issues, I would give the camera 5 stars...but those two are annoying enough that I have to downgrade it a little.