badbob001: I have the TG-3 and my biggest complaint is that the aggressive noise reduction blurs out small details. So instead of trying to fix that or add an option to make NR user-controllable, with the TG-4, they now they just hand us the raw data and expect us to fix it manually. Seriously, they could have easily given TG-3 users much of the same features with a firmware update.
It would had been nice if they added wireless charging so we can near-never need to open the doors and potentially introduce a seal-issue every time.
Yes, wireless charging would've been extremely useful. In addition to possible seal failure, whenever you open the camera door, you let in the outside air.
If it's warm and moist (as it will be in many locations near water), it will cause condensation inside the camera as soon as the camera cools down.
Pentax had wireless charging in one of their waterproof models, but then dropped it.
Nuno Souto: Makers of these cameras need to be aware that 15m depth is NOTHING. They need to be at least capable of 30m like the Nikon AW130, to be of ANY use for scuba divers. Until that happens, they remain a toy capable of a lot more but requiring a very expensive case on top!
"for any detail or macro shot after 10 metres you NEED flash" - how much light do you expect from the tiny built-in flash? On land, it's barely useful for catchlight in the eyes and as shadow fill. I've never been able to get much use of it as a primary light source. Underwater it should do even worse, no?
"It's more expensive than the camera!" - well, at $300 it's slightly *less* than the camera, but you have a point - underwater housings aren't cheap.
On the plus side, that housing allows the TG to drive an external flash (which, again, isn't cheap either).
Just be glad you didn't get into astrophotography - very easy to go through a retirement fund, or so I've heard :)
Have you considered a Sony RX100 in a Meikon housing? The combo will set you back by about $1000, but you get a much better camera for your money.
EoinCuinn: I have the TG-2. While RAW is a bonus, there's not much else different between this and the TG-4This camera is the kids camera. My 2,4 and 6 year old all use it, to various degrees of success. Anyone wanting to hand something with a decent price tag to their kids to (hopefully) not destroy, so far mine has survived, so I reckon the TG-4 would be the same.What I am disappointed about, is the lack of a Shutter priority. My kids are actually really keen on point our camera at things and taking photos, and if I could program our TG-2, or subsequently the TG-4, to a higher shutter speed, I would get far more usable photos from their camera work.If I had my time again, I think I would get a similarly priced P&S with better shutter programming, and take the risk on it getting broken. That being said, I can take out TG out in the rain when they are jumping in puddles!
Mine survived the kids just fine - The cracked screen is all my fault. I was photographing something on the ground, and it slipped out of my hand. Didn't fall more than a foot or so, but the screen landed on a sharp pebble. It still works, but no longer waterproof.
I think, part of the blame goes to the rough spot on the screen that got rubbed out by the fabric of my PFD. My TG-4 is going to have a screen protector.
tocar: I have the TG-1 and upgraded to the TG-3. I love the wifi and GPS feature of the TG-3. I wished Olympus added touchscreen controls and more zooming capabilities. $50 more for RAW option might be worth it for someone else but not for me.
Instead of a touchscreen, the TG series have the "bump" controls, when you can change settings by tapping on the camera body.
It's not nearly as nice as a good touchscreen would've been, but it works, even when the camera is wet and you're wearing gloves.
Quoting you from above:
"with whining about how the RAW files are sh*t". That's saying so something about what you think the raws from this camera will be.
Actually, even though he said "RAW", what he really meant was poorly converted jpegs.
You've got plenty o RAW experience, so you tell me, what's going to look better -an out of camera jpeg or a jpeg generated by something like dcraw, set to all defaults, with all corrections disabled, and without any kind of camera profile?
If you look at the Olympus Compact forum, the very first time somebody tried something like that, they immediately complain about "funny colors".
There's another trick I found to control shutter speed.
Once, I was trying to get a shot of the full moon, but whatever I did, the camera flatly refused to go past 1/4 of a second or so, severely overexposing the moon face.
Then I had an idea to enable the flash - and voila, 1/100s and a well exposed moon. Must've looked funny to onlookers though :)
Mike FL: It is nice to add two modes C1 and C2, but I think Sport mode (and M mode ) are more useful.
Or, just add PASM + Sport mode.
You can program the custom buttons to activate screen modes. On my TG-1, I set the "C2" to start "underwater snapshot 2".
cgarrard: This is the camera I've been waiting for to delve into surf/surfing photography. I never wanted some big thing to carry around in the waves...
And the more I think about it, the more appropriate it would be for me to have for a lot of other uses too- including a good cam for my 4yr old to start practicing photography with.
I may pre-order this.
Next time I hope they go with a 12mp model instead of 16. To get image quality performance more inline with the stylus 1 would be nice. I still see lots of opportunity in the camera market for much more advancement in this class of camera.
Ah, I see. Well, it was merely a warning that the TG is a hefty chunk of metal. I certainly do not intend to give you parenting advice.
"Um thanks for the unsolicited parenting tips. I'm pretty sure that I- being her father- know what my 4yr old can handle."
Why the temper tantrum? That was a safety tip, based on experience. I own both a TG-1 and a TS-1, and watched my kids handle them over the years.
Rod McD: This camera is an incremental evolution from its predecessor. To that extent it's fine, but once again, how about producing a slightly larger model with a bigger sensor? Everywhere you look people are extolling the virtues of very small cameras with 1" and MFT sensors (RX100, LX100). Just do it.
There seems to be an assumption that the people who do active photography in harsh environments won't benefit from the improved IQ that a larger sensor brings. And before anyone says 'buy a DSLR and UW housing' don't waste your breath. They're heavy and costly, there's no way on earth you can stuff them inside a PFD, or do all the things you need to do when you're surfing, kayaking, sailing, climbing, etc while you're hanging on to one. We need the middle ground of a tough camera with a bigger sensor.
"So many people would buy it in a heartbeat"The problem is that not enough people are buying *any* fixed lens cameras these days. Oh sure, the numbers are better than in the film days, but nothing like the gold rush four years ago.
I doubt that simply waterproofing a large sensor compact would be enough to turn things around.
Still, there are a number of promising technologies on the horizon. This is an expected slowdown, as the industry switches from the fevered pitch of "digital revolution" into a steady state.
With my TG-1, if I want shutter speed fast enough to capture normal human movement, I set ISO to "auto high". It works most of the time, unless the light is too low.
The "rugged" cameras aren't designed for scuba divers. They are primarily for swimmers, climbers, kayakers, skiers, beach goers, etc.
In general, divers use large-sensor gear, to handle the lower light levels.
For the divers who are dead-set on getting the smallest size possible, Olympus makes an underwater housing for the TG series that is rated to 45m.
In order to fit a large sensor and a fast zoom into the dimensions of a rugged camera, something drastic has to happen.
A completely new technology, like flat optics or miniaturized camera array. Our a drastically new design of a zoom lens, perhaps with dynamically changing geometries of lens elements. Perhaps with reflective elements working in concert with refractive to form a folded light path.
Unfortunately, right now there's very little money to be made in the fixed-lens camera field, so R&D dollars are tight.
These are hard times for the camera manufacturers. The sales of fixed-lens cameras basically crashed over the last two-three years. The "rugged", superzoom, and large-sensor compacts are barely turning a profit, everything else is just gone.If you look at other brands rugged cameras, you'll see the same everywhere. Minor updates. Panasonic added a couple new body colors. Nikon modified a grip. Fuji added Wi-Fi. Nobody is sticking their neck out.
Adding RAW is probably the extent of what the remains of Olympus "tough" R&D budget could've handled.
Simon Zeev: For diving a camera that can go to depths of 30~40m is needed. I don't understand why don't they make such a camera reinforced to take more pressure.
Price, most likely. And the difficulty of proofing all the parts against the additional pressure.
FWIW, they sell a housing for the TG series (PT-056) that can take it down to 45m, gives it neutral buoyancy, and accepts a flash and add-on lenses.
This one might be a bit heavy for a 4 year old. Something like a Panny TS series might be easier to handle.
A safety tip: If you're planning to give the camera to a child, don't attach the wrist strap. To them, it virtually screams "Twirl me around!"
Oh, and about image quality: In general, provided all other things are equal, resizing a 16MP file down to 12MP in postprocessing actually gets better results (noise, DR, and resolution) than you'd get shooting 12MP natively.
jennajenna: But does it still have the notorious condensation problem where the lens fogs up when you take it from the beach and into the water? I had the tg2 and tg3 ~ both suffered from the fogged up problem when going from warm to cold. Terrible since you could not take pictures until hours later when the camera dried up. PLEASE do a test it for this? That's how a lot of folks will use it. At the beach and then snorkel.
That's not a camera problem, it's user error. If you let warm most air into a sealed enclosure and then cool it below the dew point, you get condensation. Nothing Olympus can do to "fix" this.
If shooting in humid environment, make sure the air inside the camera stays dry. For example, leave the camera for an hour with its door open and facing an A/C outlet.
HowaboutRAW: It's much the same as the TG3. But with raw.
Bigger sensors would mean bigger sealed boxes.
Got your wish, didn't you?:)
newe: People keep saying:
"Bigger sensors would mean bigger sealed boxes."
that does not mean anything. How much bigger. The size of the TG-4 is listed as:
112 x 66 x 31 mm (4.41 x 2.6 x 1.22″)
So how much bigger would a larger sensor make it exactly? So much bigger that people could not lift it?
All large-sensor (1" and above) cameras nowadays have a lens that protrudes about 60mm forward. So the thickness of the body would go from 31mm to (roughly) 90mm.
Mike FL: It would be nice to have PASM, TG-5 may be.
OR PS without AM are fine too, but "Aperture Priority"? No kidding?! get real!!!!
OR, get an real Aperture.
The TG series have a combination of 1-stop iris aperture and a 3-stop ND filter.
The sensor size makes traditional iris pretty much useless, unless you do a lot of f:40 photography. The multiplier is 5.64, so your "f:8 and be there" becomes f:45 - this is pinhole territory.