Olympus Robust TG-5 assessment | TechRadar

The Important Assessment

That is TechRadar’s assessment abstract that provides you all the important thing info you want if you happen to’re on the lookout for fast shopping for recommendation in 30 seconds – our standard full, in-depth assessment follows.

The Olympus Robust TG-5 isn’t any DSLR-killer. As a substitute, it is a digicam geared toward out of doors varieties pissed off by the poor high quality of images and movies from motion cameras. Do not anticipate the best low-light images ever, however a quick 25-100mm lens with a most aperture f/2.0 (uncommon for a water-resistant compact) and 20fps burst capturing places it leagues forward of motion cameras if stills pictures is your most important concern and, crucially, forward of different ‘rugged’ cameras. 

What actually makes it stand out is the truth that Olympus has taken the bizarre step of truly dropping the pixel depend from 16MP on the TG-Four to 12MP right here. With the pixels not fairly as densely packed in on a comparatively small sensor, noise efficiency ought to be that bit higher. That is not forgetting the TG-5’s means to shoot uncooked recordsdata.

In comparison with capturing JPEGs (which the TG-5 additionally does), uncooked recordsdata are untouched by the digicam’s processing engine. This implies the file are unprocessed, however means you can also make these choices later (utilizing Photoshop or related) and in the end come away with a greater finish consequence with extra element and noise dealing with.  

Nonetheless, most individuals will purchase the TG-5 for it is powerful stuff, and rightly so. The TG-5 can go right down to depths of 15m underwater, whereas including an non-obligatory diving case and it might go right down to 45m. Nonetheless, do not mistake it for being merely an underwater digicam; being waterproof can also be helpful for hikers, bikers, kayakers, and skiers. 

Actually, any out of doors pursuit is sport for the TG-5, which is crushproof to 100kg and drop-proof from 2.1. It might probably even be utilized in temperatures as little as -10°C. The latter will vastly attraction to anybody happening journeys in winter, whether or not as to the mountains on a ski journey or to the polar areas. Certain, most DSLR cameras will work right down to these sorts of temperatures with none issues, however no cellphone or delicate journey digicam will. As a bonus, it is also bought built-in GPS, thermometer and compass, and a monitoring mode so you may affiliate a specific route with a set of images and movies, the latter in resolutions as excessive as 4K 30 fps. That’s pretty much as good as most devoted motion cameras. 

Regardless of its extremely powerful design, the TG-5 does have weaknesses. The TG-5’s interface takes some time to get to know effectively, and regardless that it has Wi-Fi, transferring photos from digicam to cellphone is unstable and fiddly. That’s partly as a result of there are a minimum of three apps from Olympus to cope with file switch, GPS information, and photograph enhancing. 

It is not excellent and it is not for everybody, however the TG-5 is the most effective ‘powerful’ digicam round. Nonetheless, at its excessive worth, it completely ought to be. 

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Who’s it for and may I purchase it?

The Robust TG-5 is generally for out of doors varieties. It is for those who have to journey gentle whereas climbing, climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, yachting or kayaking, however who really feel restricted by a cellphone’s bodily limitations and the fastened lens images of an motion digicam. When you want a digicam that you could whip out on the piste, beneath a waterfall or throughout a rainstorm, then the TG-5 is for you. 

Additional pushing its ‘travel light’ philosophy is the TG-5’s means to be recharged through micro USB. Meaning you may refuel it on-the-go from a conveyable smartphone battery, or perhaps a laptop computer.

Nonetheless, this intelligent compact presents a one thing greater than its waterproof, drop-proof, freeze-proof and crushproof design suggests. When you’re the type of one that at all times used take your DSLR on journeys, however now begrudgingly depend on your cellphone’s images, the TG-5 can also be geared toward you. We are saying that due to its functionality with uncooked recordsdata, which allow you to post-process to your coronary heart’s content material when you’re returned from a visit. That’s not one thing you are able to do reliably with a smartphone or most compact cameras and motion cameras, and it means just one factor; higher pictures.

Olympus Robust TG-5 worth

  • Present worth: £419.99 / $379 / AU$599

Essentially the most superior ‘tough’ compact for journey

  • Shoots uncooked photos
  • 4K 30fps video
  • Versatile 25-100mm zoom lens 
Olympus Robust TG-5 specs

Sensor: half.3-inch, 12MP

Lens: 25-100mm, f/2-4.9 

Display: 3.0-inch, 460Ok dots 

Viewfinder: No 

Steady capturing: 20fps

Films: 4K/30fps

Battery life: 340 pictures

Person stage: Newbie/intermediate

It is powerful, ‘ultra-rugged’ even. It is also fairly darn good at taking images. When you’re an outside photographer who’s been on the lookout for a troublesome compact with some guide controls and a capability to shoot in uncooked, it is best to not get too excited by the TG-5. It does all these issues, and most of them rather well, however let’s get this in context; the TG-5 is a compact digicam with a small sensor that is principally about taking snaps in good gentle. Do not anticipate DSLR high quality, however somewhat a complicated efficiency for a pocket-sized digicam. Sure, it shoots in uncooked, which is a giant benefit for anybody taking images in low-light. That every one has apparent makes use of for out of doors pictures. 

The lens itself is quick; its 25-100mm lens’ optical zoom is clearly restricted to 4x by needing to remain beneath a glass enclosure to guard towards water. Nonetheless, in use it presents a fairly wide-angle and optical zoom, whereas there are a number of ‘microscopic’ macro close-up modes together with focus bracketing and focus stacking modes, and a ton of ‘scene’ presets and filters.

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This is shot at the wide end of the zoom range...

That is shot on the extensive finish of the zoom vary…

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...and this is the shot at the extended zoom range

…and that is the shot on the prolonged zoom vary

Uniquely for a compact ‘tough’ digicam of such mid-range stature, there are additionally plenty of equipment for the TG-5. The PT-058 underwater case and UFL3 underwater flash means it might develop into a diving digicam at 45 metres. For the reason that native case is just adequate for 15m, that might lengthen its attraction. You may also purchase a fundamental silicon jacket to cease it getting scratched, a case that attaches to a belt-loop utilizing a carabiner, and each fisheye and tele converters. Nonetheless, maybe essentially the most intriguing accent is the CSCH-123 Sport Holder, a holster that holds the TG-5 whereas additionally permitting it to be hooked up by a spiral security wire. That is very best for rock climbers – and what number of cameras are you able to say that about? 

Complete design, however the UI takes some attending to know

  • Waterproof to 15m & drop-proof from 2.1m
  • Freezeproof to -10°C & crushproof to 100kg
  • Person interface just isn’t intuitive

The TG-5 is all about its powerful credentials. Being waterproof to 15m makes it good for snorkelling and shallow dives, whereas being crushproof to 100kg means you may take it snowboarding and preserve it in your salopettes with out having to fret if you happen to fall on it while you white-out. Having skilled the dreaded ‘frozen phone’ at 0°C whereas on the mountainside, skiers and hikers will most simply admire the TG-5’s means to work right down to -10°C. In the meantime, being drop-proof from 2.1m will certainly swimsuit all customers. 

Except for its armour, the TG-5’s bodily design and button association is sweet. Weighing 250g and measuring 113 x 66 x 32 mm, there’s much more to the TG-5 than most compact cameras, with loads of dials and buttons. The GPS module sits within the centre on the prime of the digicam, subsequent to a lever that places it into log mode, which is able to monitor your actions (and sap the TG-5’s battery). You’ll be able to import this area sensor information – which incorporates temperature and altitude – as maps and graphs on the Olympus Picture Observe (OI.Observe) app. It really works effectively, however it could be a lot better if it was built-in into the principle Olympus Picture Share (OI.Share) app that the TG-5 makes use of to switch recordsdata to a cellphone.

On the right-hand aspect of the lens is an ergonomic grip, whereas above is a dial between the shutter button and the zoom lever. It may be used to scroll by way of choices on the onscreen consumer interface, which takes just a little attending to know. It depends somewhat an excessive amount of on the ‘OK’ button on the again of the digicam, and regardless of being (maybe too) easy, simply did not really feel intuitive. There additionally appears to be some ways to get the identical setting, which provides a layer of confusion, no less than for the primary few days.

Nonetheless, that dial on the highest of the TG-5 is primarily there to modify between some semi-manual settings for aperture and shutter pace, however it majors on its ‘scene’ setting. Inside that there is a division of individuals, movement, indoors, nightscapes and surroundings, with numerous combos akin to portrait and panorama, fireworks, HDR, stay composite and handheld starlight mode. Nonetheless, there are some fairly superior options, akin to face-detection auto-focus, manually chosen auto-focus factors, and guide focus, which is all uncommon on a point-and-shoot. 

Picture high quality

  • Focus stacking for macro photos
  • Shoots uncooked recordsdata
  • Loads of element rendered

Essentially the most spectacular facet of the TG-5 is that’s shoots within the uncooked format. It would sound like a characteristic you don’t want, however in observe the choice to to course of an ORF file (an Olympus Uncooked Picture file that shops unprocessed picture information) is extremely helpful. 

It’s principally about low-light. Though the TG-5’s f/2.Zero lens makes it higher than most compact cameras in low gentle, the compression used to create a JPEG leaves the consequence stained with noise at about ISO800. Nonetheless, put the .ORF file into post-processing software program, akin to Photoshop, and also you’re immediately working with a ‘proper’ file containing loads extra info and element. Sure, you may take away blemishes extra simply, however you can too tweak many extra parameters of the photograph with out introducing artefacts.

Simply keep in mind that even with the TG-5 set to file in super-fine JPEG and RAW, the compressed JPEG that flashes-up as a preview on the LCD display doesn’t bear a lot resemblance to what you’ve simply captured. In that method, utilizing the TG-5 is extra like utilizing a DSLR than a compact digicam.

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The TG-5 excels with bright images taken outdoors

The TG-5 excels with vibrant photos taken open air

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Low-light JPEG images lack any kind of sparkle...

Low-light JPEG photos lack any type of sparkle…

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...but the raw file at least gives you a fighting chance

…however the uncooked file no less than provides you a preventing likelihood

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Macro mode impresses, though focus stacking doesn't add much

Macro mode impresses, although focus stacking would not add a lot

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The vivid preset tends to overcook colors

The vivid preset tends to overcook colours

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The autofocus works well, here producing a pleasing bokeh effect

The autofocus works effectively, right here producing a satisfying bokeh impact

Nonetheless, there’s extra to the TG-5 than that functionality with uncooked recordsdata. Like every digicam, and particularly a small compact, it does its finest work when used open air in vibrant circumstances. That’s the place the TG-5 will do most of its work because it’s largely designed for hikes, biking, kayaking, ski journeys and days out on the seashore. In such circumstances, colours are properly saturated when utilizing the automated modes, with a transparent blue sky significantly effectively dealt with. The varied HDR modes are additionally value checking-out. 

Not like most compact ‘tough’ digicam, the TG-5 can file in 4K video, however there’s a catch. When you depress the file button, the TG-5 begins recording in Full HD 1080p decision. Provided that you really flip the dial on the highest of the digicam to video mode are you able to then select 4K mode, which presents 30fps (although Full HD 1080p tops-out at 60fps). That’s pointlessly complicated, however the ensuing 4K video is no less than sharp, {smooth} and well-saturated.

As with most compact cameras, the TG-5 presents macro zoom modes for tremendous close-ups. Nonetheless, the TG-5 does have two intriguing sub-modes; focus stacking and focus bracketing. The previous takes eight images with various focus earlier than producing a single picture, which will increase the depth of area, whereas the latter means that you can take guide management of that course of, permitting as much as 30 separate photos. In observe, we weren’t a lot impressed with both mode’s depth of area outcomes, however the macro photos had been super-sharp. 

Not satisfied? Strive these…

If the Robust TG-5 isn’t for you, this is three wonderful selections so that you can take into account as a substitute:

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Panasonic Lumix TS7 / FT7

There’s tons to love concerning the Lumix TS7 / FT7, together with 4K video and a built-in digital viewfinder. That is doubtlessly let down by a sensor that crams too many pixels onto a comparatively small space. There’s additionally no uncooked possibility.

Learn our in-depth Panasonic Lumix TS7/FT7 hands-on assessment

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Fujifilm FinePix XP130

At simply 207g it’s a lot smaller than the TG-5, however there’s so much much less high quality on supply. Not solely does it not shoot in uncooked or produce 4K video, however photos are tender and the battery life is brief. When you’re on a finances although and need a waterproof digicam, that is the one to go for.

Learn our in-depth Fujifilm FinePix XP130 assessment

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GoPro Hero5 Black

If you wish to movie your exploits as effectively, you then may need to take into account an motion digicam just like the sensible GoPro Hero5 Black. Taking pictures buttery-smooth 4K video, it might additionally shoot 12MP uncooked recordsdata as effectively. 

Learn our in-depth GoPro Hero5 Black assessment

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