Previous news story    Next news story

Olympus announces TG-820 back-lit CMOS rugged camera

By dpreview staff on Feb 8, 2012 at 02:10 GMT

Olympus has updated its rugged offerings with the TG-820 iHS. It's based on a 12MP back-lit CMOS sensor, which allows it to keep up with the recent trend of Full HD-capable underwater cameras. The back-lit sensor has prompted the company to apply its 'iHS' branding, indicating 'Intelligent High-Sensitivity and High Speed' capabilities. 

Jump to:

Press Release:

NEW OLYMPUS TG-820 ihs IS TOUGHER ON the OUTSIDE AND SMARTER ON THE INSIDE for incredible image quality anywhere

Olympus TG-820

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 7, 2012 – The Olympus digital camera line-up for spring features a next-generation Olympus TOUGH compact that sets a new benchmark for Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Crushproof and Dustproof performance. Combining proven durability with superb image quality courtesy of the new iHS (Intelligent, High-Sensitivity and High-Speed) family of technologies, the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS has both brains and brawn. iHS harnesses the power of a new 12-megapixel BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) CMOS sensor and the TruePic VI image processor (originally developed for DSLR cameras) to dramatically improve low-light performance, speed up camera response time, enhance scene and subject recognition and double zoom magnification without losing image quality.

Whether you’re using it at a neighbor’s pool party or snorkeling near a tropical reef, out-and-about at your local park or hiking Yellowstone, the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS is the perfect travel companion for active families and adventurers looking for a camera that delivers outstanding image quality with a worry-free guarantee. Advanced iHS technology ensures that even people with an action-packed lifestyle can capture brilliant photos and 1080p Full HD Videos, no matter how fast their subject is moving or how poor the lighting is.

iHS powers a number of new Olympus features that take all the work out of capturing difficult shots. A blazing quick autofocus and HDR Backlight Adjustment takes a collage of separate photos and blends them into one perfectly exposed image regardless of difficult lighting. Multi-Motion Movie IS (Image Stabilization) records virtually blur-free videos even when you’re moving. The versatile lens on the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS pulls out wide or zooms in twice as close with its 10x Super-Resolution Zoom that digitally extends the range of the optical zoom with nearly no loss of image quality. Capture beautiful images and videos effortlessly; Enhanced iAuto enables the camera to automatically detect 34 different scenes (portrait, landscape, macro, etc.)

While the new imaging technology delivers optimal results with fast-moving subjects, night scenes and other tricky shots, the Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS is also Waterproof to 33 feet, Shockproof to 6.6 feet, Freezeproof to 14 °F and even Crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds*1. Focus on fun, without worrying about damaging your camera’s high-grade components like the OLYMPUS 5x Wide-Angle Zoom Lens (28 mm-140 mm*2). The 3.0-inch, 1,030,000-dot HyperCrystal III LCD offers super high-resolution with scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coatings for added protection and better visibility in bright and low light.

When you’re back from your adventures, the camera’s HDMI Control makes playback a breeze. Simply connect the camera to an HDTV with an optional HDMI cable and use your HDTV’s remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera’s menus from the comfort of your couch.

*1 Waterproof according to IEC standard publication 529 IPX8. Shockproof figures equivalent to MIL Standard (Olympus test conditions). Freezeproof according to Olympus test conditions.
*2 35 mm camera equivalent.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus Tough TG-820 iHS will be available in March and ships with a Wrist Strap, USB Cable, A/V Cable, USB-to-AC Adapter (F-2AC), Lithium-Ion Battery (LI-50B), Quick Start Guide, Instruction Manual on CD-ROM, a software CD-ROM featuring [ib] (Windows) and OLYMPUS Viewer 2 (Win/Mac), and a Warranty Card.
Estimated Street Price: $299.99 (Available in Silver, Black, and Blue)
For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website:

Olympus TG-820 specifications

MSRPEstimated Street Price: $299.99
Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution3968 x 2976
Other resolutions3968 x 2976, 3264 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorTruePic VI
ISOAuto, High Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatNo
File format
  • JPEG
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–140 mm
Optical zoom5×
Maximum apertureF3.9 - F5.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots1,030,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeHyperCrystal III TFT Color LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Intelligent Auto
  • Program Auto
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Night Scene
  • Night + Portrait
  • Sport
  • Indoor
  • Candle
  • Self Portrait
  • Sunset
  • Fireworks
  • Cuisine
  • Documents
  • Beach & Snow
  • Underwater Snapshot
  • Underwater Wide
  • Underwater Wide
  • Underwater Macro
  • Pet (Cat)
  • Pet (Dog)
  • Snow
  • 3D
  • Backlight HDR
Built-in flashYes
Flash range3.50 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in
Drive modes
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Self-timer
Continuous drive5 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec, pet auto shutter)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps)1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 180 (30fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included46.8 MB
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Type D)
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedYes (Waterproof, Shockproof, Freezeproof, Dustproof, Crushproof)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-ion rechargeable LI-50B battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)220
Weight (inc. batteries)206 g (0.45 lb / 7.27 oz)
Dimensions101 x 65 x 26 mm (3.98 x 2.56 x 1.02)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Additional images

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 8
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Feb 29, 2012)

And still they won't make it properly... :(
- no RAW.
- no O-ring-watertighting on SINGLE PORT for ALL access,
- ... and to remove the time-limit and thus that 529 IPX8 standard.
- not enough pressure resistance to make it useful for SCUBA divers.
- still no reed-switches (to get rid of all the holes thru the casing).
- no artificial horizon and no compass (divers would love it).
- no depth meter (not even the capillary one, which costs nothing)

- but you still have extra Pet modes for Cats and Dogs, but no Parrots...

Whosoever projects those "rugged" cameras seem to have been only chairborne adventurists all their lives, with so infinite lack of understanding for what the users NEED...

Please, Olympus... don't you know how to make properly watertight boxes? Looks as if twenty or more years ago manufacturers understood this better.

By EricoftheNorth (Mar 23, 2012)

The Olympus have had a single port on the side for three model years now. A single port with 2 locks, actually. So does the AW100, the xp150 and the new canon, I believe.

By HENNING GNLD (Apr 15, 2012)

Can you you ONLY complain or do you want it for free, wake up and design one yourself with YOUR money and budget....
This is a camera , not a compass or GPS unit to go 2000 meters under the sea, get used to what is available or cough up to the more expensive range of cameras and not in the toy world...

By ReallyMadRob (Apr 27, 2012)

Not sure where some of these complaints have been saved up from. The IPX8 rating is a choice - one not to spec dust resistance - the liquid rating is for immersion without a time limit. If you are more than an armchair adventurer you find the 10m rating is conservative - if you choose to take it deeper it won't turn into a pumpkin.
Reed switches need longer travel - not a great idea on something this small and you'd just complain anyway.
In fact on most counts the TG-810 would seem to suit you - has GPS and a compass.

There will be a dive housing for them if you want to go really deep and it'll run remote strobes too. Why not try it? Sounds like you could do with getting out ;-)

By HowaboutRAW (Feb 8, 2012)


The lens is two slow.

At least Olympus is not engaging in the stupid mega pixel race.

I'll bet a periscope lens-sensor setup with an F/2.4 lens could fit in a body about as think as the Canon G12.

I like not how most of the small toughened cameras can't be used with gloves on.

1 upvote
By GodSpeaks (Feb 8, 2012)

And, still NO RAW.

Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (Feb 8, 2012)

Fortunately so, in this case.

By Reto (Feb 9, 2012)

I wish there was a waterproof cam with RAW capability.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 8