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Showing posts with label BEST CAMERA REVIEW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BEST CAMERA REVIEW. Show all posts

8/17/2014

BEST WATERPROOF DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 REVIEWS


OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 REVIEWS

Adventure in style with the latest Olympus Stylus Tough waterproof compact

Olympus was one of the first manufacturers to introduce waterproof compact cameras aimed at the consumer who wanted to take their camera off limits. While action cams, such as GoPros, have stolen some of the limelight away from tough compacts, there remains a demand for a take anywhere stills camera. Here we;re looking at the latest flagship model in Olympus's Tough line up - the Stylus TG-3.

US >> Where To Buy OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 <<

OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 Features

Most of the current waterproof, shockproof and freeze proof adventure cameras are, once you strip away the O-ring seals and armour plating, fairly basic compact cameras at heart, and have a strictly limited set of features. With the TG-3, Olympus has attempted to bulk this trend, and has quipped it with some features designed to appeal to the more ambitious or amateur photographer.

The TG-3 has a 4x optical zoom lens equivalent to 25-100mm. Like all waterproof compacts the lens is non protruding, while its relatively fast maximum aperture of f/2 make its good candidate for shooting in low light, it has an Aperture Priority mode to take advantage of this, although like many such options on compacts it only offers a choice of three settings: minimum, maximum or medium. Olympus claims exceptional low light capability as well, but in fact low light focusing is no better than average, and the maximum sensitivity of ISO 6400 is only a little better than most rivals.

One unusual feature is the lens bezel, which can be removed with a twist to reveal a bayonet mount for attaching various accessories, including a 6.8x tele-converter, a fish-eye converter and a macro ring flash adaptor.

The TG-3's tough credentials are fairly impressive. It is submersible to a depth of 15m and can withstand fails of 2.1m (7ft). IT can also withstand crushing pressures of 100kg and temperatures down to -10c. although most other adventure cameras boast similar capabilities.

The TG-3 does have some interesting close up features.including a 1cm macro "microscope" function, focus staking and focus bracketing. While these are useful, they're nothing new.

Other features include the now obligatory Wi-fi connectivity, built in GPS for location tagging, and 1080p video recording with stereo audio, instant start and optical zoom.

OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 Design

Thankfully most manufacturers are moving away from making their adventure cameras look like sci-fi military hardware, in favour of a more conventional appearance, and the design of the TG-3 reflects this. It has a textured rubber grip on the right of the body and a small thumb grip area on the back, making it nice and comfortable to hold, but the control design leaves something to be desired. The on/off button, shutter button and zoom lever on the top plate are partly recessed, which helps to protect them from damage, but also makes them harder to operate when wearing gloves. Olympus's menu interface has improved markedly during the past few years as well, mostly by taking cues from other camera manufacturers, and the addition of a quick menu for commonly used settings is especially useful.

Needless to say the build quality is excellent. The two hatches have sturdy hinges, locking latches and O-ring seals, and the plastic body feels extremely tough and durable, suggesting it'll survive a battering. Meanwhile the supplied wrist strap and its steel mounting point feel like they're strong enough to tow a Land Rover.

OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 Image quality

The combination of a decent quality lens and a 16MP sensor records a high level of detail. Image noise is also controlled well and although detail is lost a little above ISO 800, the TG-3's maximum ISO setting is certainly usable. The TG-3's lens is rather impressive for a waterproof compact. It does produce some corner blurring at wide-angle, but the centre portion is nice and sharp, and the 25mm wide-angle setting is largely free from optical distortion.

Colour reproduction in standard mode is very under saturated, making even bright colours look pale and washed out. It does have a vivid mode, but this does too far in the other direction. The automatic white balance did struggle at times, resulting in some unwanted colour casts, while the exposure metering tended to overexpose shots by about half a stop. It wasn't uncommon to experience highlights to be blown out in high contrast areas as illustrated in the image below.

OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 Performance

The TG-3's overall performance is very good. It can start up and take a picture in well under two seconds, which is fast by current compact standards, and in single shot mode it has a shot to shot time of approximately 0.8 seconds. Focusing is fast and accurate too in bright lighting conditions. As noted previously its low light focusing could be better, but at least it fails quickly rather than hunting around. It does have a bright white LED next to the flash which can be used as a focusing aid. But bizarrely this doesn't operate in video mode.

The TG-3 has three continuous shooting modes - a full resolution 5fps mode and two high speed modes shooting at 15fps or 60fps, but at a reduced 3MP resolution.

Battery performance is also very good on the TG-3. It's powered by a sizeable 1350mAh battery and Olympus makes no specific claims for its duration, but during testing we shot over 200 frames and it was still showing a full three bars on the battery meter.

OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 Value For Money

The adventure camera market is a lot more competitive than it used to be. Most of the main manufacturers have at least one waterproof compact in their line up and despite its pedigree the TG-3 faces stiff competition. Its one of the most expensive adventure cameras, and in terms of survivability it's not even the best. The nikon AW120 can dive to 80m and fall from 2m. Canon's Powershot D30 can go even deeper, down to 25cm. Other competitors include the Panasonic Ft-5, capable of 13m depth and the Ricoh WG-4 has an LED macro lighting system and can dive to 14m. While the option to attach add on lenses does set the TG-3 apart from its rivals and it's enjoyable to use, the rather high price is likely to drive consumers to look at its rivals first.

OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 Verdict

The TG-3 tries to do things a little differently, and does have some very good qualities, its performance is excellent, it has a good range of features and the menu system is superb. The fast lens and Aperture Priority modes are welcome additions, however overall it's more expensive than most of its rivals, it doesn't perform as well in waterproof depth, and the option of add on lenses is just no that tempting.


OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 Pros And Cons


Pros
- Performance
- Creative features
- Build quality
- Menu interface
- Continuous shooting at up to 5fps
- Fast start up time
- Battery life

Cons
- Price
- Expensive add on lenses
- Some controls can be fiddly to use when wearing gloves

US >> Where To Buy OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3 <<




Olympus was one of the first manufacturers to introduce waterproof compact cameras aimed at the consumer who wanted to take their camera off limits. While action cams, such as GoPros, have stolen some of the limelight away from tough compacts, there remains a demand for a take anywhere stills camera. Here we;re looking at the latest flagship model in Olympus's Tough line up - the Stylus TG-3. OLYMPUS STYLUS TOUGH TG-3
4.0 / 5