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Olympus launches Stylus Tough TG-2 iHS tough underwater camera

By dpreview staff on Jan 8, 2013 at 03:00 GMT

Olympus has announced the Stylus Tough TG-2 iHS, the latest flagship of its Tough series of waterproof compact cameras. This update to the TG-1 model is now waterproof down to 15m (50 feet), has a 12MP CMOS sensor and a 4x optical zoom lens with a maximum aperture starting at F2.0. Further rounding out the specifications are a 3.0" OLED rear display, built-in GPS and elevation recording and 1920 x 1080 video output. The TG-2 iHS will be available in March in both red and black versions for US $379.99.

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Press Release:

Demand more than durability. The Olympus Stylus Tough® TG-2 now goes deeper and captures life closer than any stylus ever

Dive Underwater to 50 Feet and Capture Microscopic Macros to Reveal a Hidden World

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., January 7, 2013 – Olympus takes rugged durability and DSLR-image quality to new heights (and depths) with the new flagship Tough model: the STYLUS TOUGH TG-2 iHS. It expands on technologies that made its predecessor, the Olympus TOUGH TG-1 iHS, a standout among the Tough series of waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, crushproof and dustproof compact cameras: a high-speed, ultra-bright f2.0 lens with converter-lens system compatibility, iHS technology to shoot brilliant images and incredible 1080p Full HD Video in the most extreme conditions.

Olympus continues to push innovation further so underwater enthusiasts can now explore depths up to 50 feet* with the TG-2 iHS – 10 feet deeper than its predecessor! Of course, it also withstands the rigors of other extreme conditions with its advanced ruggedized body construction that is shockproof up to 6.6 feet*, freezeproof to 14°F*, crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds and dustproof.

This high-speed performer delivers brilliant images courtesy of its high-sensitivity, high-speed 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor combined with a blazing fast, DSLR-quality TruePic™ VI image processor. The iHS family of technologies unite for unmatched image quality in challenging shooting conditions with improved lighting, less noise and response times twice as fast as traditional point-and-shoot cameras.

The new Microscopic Macro function boosts zoom magnification from 4x to 14x** with no noticeable loss of image quality from one centimeter away for true macro results. When the doubly powerful Super Resolution zoom is used, aspects of the natural world usually invisible to the naked eye, such as veins on a leaf and the details of an insect’s eye, are revealed. High-speed autofocus, enhanced Intelligent Auto for spectacular scene and subject recognition, and 8x Super-resolution zoom (4x optical zoom) produce incredible images in any location. The STYLUS TOUGH TG-2 iHS lens adapter converter ring expands system capability by enabling the addition of a waterproof Fisheye Converter Lens or Teleconverter Lens for use on land or under water.

With five frames-per-second high-speed burst shooting or 60 frames-per-second at 3-megapixel resolution, Movie enthusiasts can shoot 1080p Full HD videos (1920x1080 pixels) while Multi-Motion Movie Image Stabilization compensates for movement during recording to create smoother videos.

A 1:2.0-4.9 wide-aperture high-speed lens enables the user to capture dramatic shots with low depth of field or reduced blur in low light. The Manual aperture priority mode allows the user to set the aperture to give pictures different expressions, or for professional-looking effects like background blur.

In low-light conditions, HDR Backlight Adjustment takes a collage of images at various exposure levels and blends them into one perfectly exposed photo. The camera’s LED Illuminator perfectly captures the mood of low-light indoor scenes, beautiful sunsets or late-night outdoor festivities without a bright flash. Shadow Adjustment Technology adjusts shadows within an image shot under backlit conditions so that a subject’s face can be revealed even under harsh lighting. Eleven Magic Filters add a range of spectacular effects to both stills and video.

The camera’s three-inch, high-resolution OLED display (610K dots) provides excellent visibility in bright situations, enabling composition of the perfect shot in direct sunlight. Mark a special spot on the map with the GPS and e-compass functions that display and record location and landmark information with every shot. The built-in manometer records elevation and water depth and even displays a warning when the user approaches a depth of 50 feet.

Users can easily share their images on a big-screen HDTV in high definition using an optional HDMI cable or on their social networks using the Olympus Image Share smartphone application (via optional Toshiba FlashAir™ SDHC card or optional Eye-Fi Card).

Two bundled lens rings, one in red and one in black, and a premium wrist strap customize the camera’s look. The Olympus® PT-053 underwater housing takes the STYLUS TOUGH TG-2 iHS down to depths of 135 feet (45m).

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

U.S. Availability

The Olympus STYLUS TOUGH TG-2 iHS will be available in March.

Estimated Street Price:

Olympus STYLUS TOUGH TG-2 iHS Digital Camera: $379.99 (Available in Black and Red)

For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: www.getolympus.com

Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS specifications

Body type
Body typeCompact
Sensor
Max resolution3968 x 2976
Other resolutions3968 x 2232, 3264 x 2448, 2560 x 1920, 2048 x 1536, 1920 x 1080, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels12 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors13 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
Image
ISOAuto, ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
White balance presets4
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatNo
File format
  • JPEG
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)25–100 mm
Optical zoom4×
Maximum apertureF2.0 - F4.9
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Normal focus range60 cm (23.62)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3
Screen dots610,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeOLED
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • iAUTO
  • Macro
  • SCN
  • Magic
  • Custom 1,2
Built-in flashYes
Continuous drive5 fps
Self-timerYes (2 and 12 sec, Pet Auto Shutter)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerStereo
Storage
Storage included22 MB
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Type D)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion LI90B rechargeable battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)230 g (0.51 lb / 8.11 oz)
Dimensions111 x 67 x 29 mm (4.37 x 2.64 x 1.14)
Other features
GPSBuiltIn

Additional images

77
I own it
34
I want it
1
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 127
ahughes
By ahughes (11 months ago)

I was so excited about this camera, primarily because of its "rugged and waterproof" capabilities. Having a little one who wants to chew and throw things around, that comes very handy. However when I try to take group pics - the images are horrible!! Everything is blurry and nothing is in focus. I'm sorry but that is just crap considering how much I spent on this. I would at least expect it to just take a focused picture and I use it even more, I have found that it is quite slow in terms of processing between shots. I sure miss my Canon ELF. Can someone please give me some tips on this camera for group shots? I am just at a loss....

0 upvotes
JALY2K
By JALY2K (Mar 26, 2013)

I'm going to purchase either the TG-1 or TG-2. Do you think the TG-2 is worth it or should I go with the tried and true TG-1? I have a fairly rugged vacation coming up next week and want a camera that can handle snorkeling, kayaking and hiking. Thanks.

0 upvotes
Tech Nurse
By Tech Nurse (Feb 28, 2013)

What storage medium does this camera support? Is it SD or is Olympus still using their own xD cards?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 14, 2013)

Regarding the Olympus TG1: As I suspected jpegs at ISO 400 have artifacts and some noise, and the same problem is worse at ISO 1600 and there was beginning to be pronounced blotching in shadows (probably means a Sony sensor, no surprise). At IS0 3200 these problems sure got worse; that's where I stopped.

For this kind small jpeg only camera the ISO 1600 performance was impressive, but I'd question the wisdom of printing at 300 dpi even at the lower ISO 400, at ISO 1600 printing at 600 dpi might work.

So access to the raw data would very likely improve the image quality and yield good results up thru about ISO 800. No surprise there given the ISO 6400 claims, subtract 3 stops for what's useable, if one has the raw data.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
KiBeZ
By KiBeZ (Jan 12, 2013)

Any news about the noise during video? I was waiting for the upgraded TG-1 only for that, or for another waterproof camera to have a F2 lens =)

0 upvotes
Alpine78
By Alpine78 (Jan 11, 2013)

Still another renamed digital zoom.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 11, 2013)

Wrong. This is not some digital zoom only camera.

Like most digital cameras with optical zooms it also has a digital zoom feature.

Read up on various tough waterproof cameras.

0 upvotes
Airless
By Airless (Jan 11, 2013)

As far as I can tell, the only changes to the TG-1 are aperture priority mode and waterproof to an additional 10 feet, am I missing something?

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 11, 2013)

There's also the "super-macro" - using digital zoom in macro mode.

0 upvotes
J. Qian
By J. Qian (Jan 10, 2013)

The specs list above missing the aperture priority mode in the Exposure Modes.

0 upvotes
pentaxfun
By pentaxfun (Jan 10, 2013)

The second I saw the news item for this camera on the front page, I instantly perked up and got all excited and clicked on it, hoping that maybe this one would finally break the trend, and actually be a RAW-capable underwater cam, for once.

So I clicked it open immediately and was quickly scanning through the paragraph, and seeing how it was having a high quality fast lens and various high quality features and whatnot, and I'm thinking like AWWWW YEAAAA baby, this is gonna be the one, there's no way they are gonna be idiotic with this one and STILL somehow not give this one RAW ability.

I feverishly, sweaty-palms-ishly scroll down to the specs, like a rabid animal, just waiting to erupt into celebration when I feel sure I am inevitably about to see those three beautiful white letters on black backgroun of "R" "A" and "W".

But no...

My eyes scan from left to right, and it hits me almost as if in slow motion:

"JPEG" only.

::instantly starts sobbing passionately::

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 10, 2013)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4hPii_RVHE

0 upvotes
Alberto Battelli
By Alberto Battelli (Jan 19, 2013)

Get a life

0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 10, 2013)

Why no one seem to talk about the new feature in TG-2
A mode which allow you to pick aperture
This is the biggest improvement over TG-1 in my opinion when camera may pick a small number aperture and run into diffraction

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 10, 2013)

TG-1 uses an ND filter, so closing the "aperture" down doesn't increase diffraction (or DOF).
Still, when the light is bright enough, the TG-1 often chooses to close down the aperture instead of switching to the faster exposure time, forcing me to raise the ISO unnecessarily.
Adding the "A" mode fixes that, so lots of cudos and brownie points to Olympus.
With the fast lens, I'd dearly love an 1/4000 shutter, too.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 9, 2013)

does anyone have experience with the tg-1? how is the jpeg rendering engine? i had an 725sw and never had issues with it's jpegs, and the ep-1 i have outputs fine jpegs. in fact, i've always been happy with the olympus jpeg look.

i'm not saying that raw wouldn't be nice, but i'd like to see some actual, "i was under water when i took this shot with my tg-1" pics.. which never seem to surface (heh) with the clamor for RAW

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

Can't say I've done more than play with a TG1 in a store, and sure Olympus has a good reputation for jpegs, because Olympus frequently chooses to retain a bigger file.

However raw would easily improve the pictures' white balance adjustment and exposure options. In other words, where a jpeg may not perfectly capture the image, raw would allow for a lot more adjustment than a limited jpeg of the same scene. As many here have pointed out: raw would be great for underwater.

And raw would be a free improvement, the sensor already sees that data, it just needs to be recorded. Olympus can tweak the firmware to do just that.

And it's not like anyone is requesting that this camera only shoot raw; like other raw cameras, the hypothetical raw capable TG2 could also be set to shoot in jpeg.

Particularly with an F2 lens Olympus is going to attract those more familiar with raw, but not having raw drives many buyers away from the whole line of camera.

1 upvote
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Jan 9, 2013)

I bought my son the TG-610 a couple years back. A buddy of mine has the TG-1. His son had it when we went out shooting together and I'll tell ya the images are pretty darn good IMO. Not DSLR quality but for the typse of camera I thought they were pretty good. ( edit) I brought up the 610 because it sucks in comparison lol

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 9, 2013)

@HowaboutRAW - i'm aware of the additional control afforded by shooting RAW, in post. With my 5d, i'm almost always adjusting WB before i press go, but that's not a function of RAW, that's a function of the sensor and the control interface. same w/ exposure.

to be clear, i'm all for RAW data, and i know that it shouldn't be terribly complicated to roll it into a firmware update. then again, it could also be that developing the control interface to include the additional functionality comes at a greater cost than we realize.

What i really want to know is, has the TG-2 jpeg engine changed? are the jepgs somehow unacceptable? does exposure compensation not compensate enough? not having RAW isn't going to hold me back from purchasing it as much as a series of poorly composed/shot images.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 9, 2013)

@J2Gphoto - awesome, if it's an improvement over their previous tough cameras, it should be fine.. i have an ep-1 and a 5dii, so if i were concerned with dslr quality i'd use the 5d.. the pen is my primary walk around camera, but it's been losing out to my cellphone, and i am considering the TG-2 bc it's smaller and tougher than my cellphone, and the images i've seen from it's lens sensor combo are considerably better than the tiny lens sensor combo in my cellphone =]

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

I've had the camera for about 1/2 a year, and I'm happy about the jpegs. The "magic" modes results are certainly not for pixel-peepers though.
Sorry, don't have any links right now.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

Houseqatz:

What on earth are you talking about? Shooting jpeg one picks the WB ahead of time, either manually or by setting AutoWB and that's the end result of the WB; further adjustment usually makes any problems worse.

Whereas shooting raw one can adjust the WB after the shot has been recorded.

Also: You do realize that ACR and Bibble etc have a pulldown menu when doing extraction that sets WB for when the raw is extracted to jpeg or tiff?

Then there's always temperature and tint which are very similar--and in ACR directly below that pulldown menu.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 10, 2013)

I'm well aware of the predetermined settings that occur when the jpeg is rendered, however jpeg rendering occurs after the sensor collects it's data. with a manual camera, like a dslr, you can set your WB before you press the shutter release button. what is unclear about this statement? "With my 5d, i'm almost always adjusting WB before i press go, but that's not a function of RAW, that's a function of the sensor and the control interface. same w/ exposure." bc JPEG rendering occurs after the raw data is collected. WB isn't applied durring JPEG rendering.

if you adjust your WB before you shoot, and are able to accurately gauge the temperature of the light you're shooting with, you can save considerable amounts of time in post, because you won't have to adjust WB after the fact.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 10, 2013)

@HowaboutRAW - however, i still don't think you are reading the question correctly. i'm less concerned with finite control, as i am with the output of the camera. have you used the TG-1 extensively enough to get the results you desire? have you used the TG-1 in a test environment?

no, you haven't.. as you stated above.. so all of your comments are anecdotal at best.. because you don't have any real world experience with the camera system.. you're just speculating.

i understand that you're attempting to champion RAW in a point n shoot, and that's.. your thing.. but you haven't been able to answer the question without plugging software, or complaining about a feature that is missing... it doesn't lend any credibility to your experience with the camera. and implies that you don't know ANYTHING about this camera.

please, until you have something to add, other than complaining about the lack of RAW, keep it to yourself. it doesn't help, olympus isn't listening to you.

thanks.. 0_o

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 10, 2013)

@BorisK1 - thank you, i don't expect a camera that size to render jpeg's that can keep up with a larger sensor camera. but it's good to hear that they don't make one cringe. also, i've never spent much time with the "magic settings" olympus puts into it's cameras, but i'll keep that in mind..

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 10, 2013)

Housegatz,

I have vast experience with small raw capable cameras, and raw is all I've shot with them for now ten years. I own: a Canon G2, a Canon G6 and a Panasonic LX5.

In all cases raw vastly improves the colour qualities of these cameras. That you don't understand that is not my problem but yours. (Yes, I realize that all of these cameras have a sensor that is a bit bigger than the one in Olympus TG2.)

Frankly how dare you accuse me of "plugging" software, by making such a statement you've demonstrated that you don't know much about shooting raw with any camera.

I really don't care what serious raw extraction software would open these hypothetical TG2 raws (CaptureOne, Capture NX2, Adobe Camera Raw, AfterShot, or DXO) as long a one does not have to use Silkypix.

And for your information I've owned a jpeg only Pentax WP camera for years so know of what I speak with small disappointing WP cameras.

This is a simple improvement that would cost Olympus next to nothing.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 10, 2013)

10 years, good for you. you want a medal? i've shot digital for over a decade, i have a background in film. lets talk about reciprocity. or view cameras. have you ever altered the focal perspective? do you know what i'm talking about?

BUT back to the point, you don't know anything about this camera, and you're still plugging software.. how dare i accuse you of doing something you've done throughout this entire TG-2 preview?! LOL you're joking right? the question was about the jpeg output, yet you keep going on about RAW

RAW doesn't improve anything, it keeps options open. the color improvement comes from post processing, when your photo editor takes the raw data and renders it for preview. your RAW capable camera does the same thing, to display it after the shot. meaning... your preview is a jpeg 0_o but you knew that right.

keep going on about RAW, or maybe move on to pixel peeping, i don't care about those things, i care about content and composition.

1 upvote
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 10, 2013)

how do you know what it would cost olympus to implement? do you develop firmware or interfaces for olympus? was your RAW implementation denied for flaws? were you passed over for promotion?

you're speculating about EVERYTHING olympus would have to do to add raw functionality.. which show's how little you know about the hardware and software development cycle.

seriously, you're an idiot.. you don't know what raw data represents, or the physical process of light being converted into 1's and 0's. how you drew the correlation between me accusing you of name dropping software and not understanding raw is beyond me.

you may have vast experience with the cameras you own, but that doesn't translate to other cameras as much as you'd like to believe. you said it yourself "Can't say I've done more than play with a TG1 in a store..." that means you haven't used it in real life.. get over yourself. and read some white papers on how imaging sensors generate data.. if you can comprehend them

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 10, 2013)

Housegatz:

It is not speculation to say that it costs next to nothing to record raw data.

My experience with other small cameras that shoot raw most certainly translates.

You have indicated that you've shot digital for ten years. In that time you don't appear to have learnt much about digital photography.

Calling me names doesn't make your claims any more valid.

Caring about content and composition is fine, but you skipped colour and exposure, two things having the raw data can really help with. This is further demonstration on your part that you don't know much about digital photography.

In film terms: raw is like having the negative, the extraction software would be the enlarger or film scanner, and having a jpeg would be like having a 5" X 7" washed out print as your starting point.

This bears repeating from above: "In all cases raw vastly improves the colour qualities of these cameras. That you don't understand that is not my problem but yours."

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 10, 2013)

Housgatz:

You don't seem to realize this either: there's been a firmware hack floating around for years that allows shooting raw with small jpeg only Canon P&Ss and Canon doesn't try to stop it.

Olympus is free to encourage the same thing if they don't want to take responsibility for improving the colour and noise issues with shooting only jpeg.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 10, 2013)

.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 11, 2013)

you are absolutely an idiot. the question wasn't about RAW, it was about the camera's JPEG engine.

i realize that your small brain is wrapped around RAW, because you think it makes you sound like you know what you're doing, because you want to be an authority on something in your small world. but you can't even answer the original question. which lends absolutely ZERO credibility to your competency with reading comprehension.

raw doesn't improve the color or exposure, raw is data, it isn't view-able till you render it. this is the critical flaw in your reasoning. you have to process raw data so you can see it. raw keeps options open, and allows for potential, but does not ensure quality. raw, won't make you a better photographer either.

mentioning firmware hacks for another camera, classic deflection. you can't even stay on topic.

also, if you don't have proof of your claims, it's speculation. if you can't handle that, then you are more of a moron than i previously believed.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 11, 2013)

Housquatz:

Quote: "raw doesn't improve the color or exposure", this is absolutely incorrect and proves that you don't know much about digital cameras.

Of course raw doesn't not guarantee the best colour, no noise and perfect exposure, but having the raw data vastly increases the chances of those things happening.

A firmware hack for other jpeg only cameras is not a distraction, it just means that you don't like me calling attention to what others have done to improve the colour possibilities with these Canons.

The jpegs I've seen from the TG1 seem pretty, I need to get some more. That doesn't mean that they're equal to what could be done with raw data from the same sensor.

Calling me names and making silly inaccurate claims about what raw can/cannot do does not strengthen your case you make yourself sound particularly uninformed.

By the way I have used cameras that shoot to tiff and tiffs sure help with exposure+colour etc. The idea that you don't see raw data is misleading.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 11, 2013)

Houseqatz:

Furthermore insisting that I only comment on the jpeg limited output of this camera would only serve your idea that jpegs are all that this camera needs.

So why would I expend an effort on the jpegs of the TG1 or now TG2 when I need to do colour correction--just like many other people. And having raw data makes colour work much easier.

No, having raw doesn't really help to much with composition.

Enjoy your limited photos.

I still want raw for this camera, and many who know about raw agree with me.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 13, 2013)

Having access to the raw sensor data allows correction of exposure and white balance after the fact, and lets you change NR, sharpness, contrast etc. in a non-destructive manner. You can't do that with a JPEG as your starting point.
There would certainly be no need for raw if you always got exposure and WB right at the moment of capture, if the JPEG engine always gave you the best possible balance between NR and sharpness, and if you never did any post-processing or retouch work.
But giving the user access to the raw data is not a complicated process. The camera already saves that data temporarily in order to demosaic it and then render a JPEG. So there really is no great work or cost involved for the manufacturer in giving us a raw file to work with.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 13, 2013)

Oh, and Houseqatz, calling someone an idiot or a moron just because he doesn't agree with you, or because you think that he doesn't understand what you're saying, doesn't reflect very well on you, Im afraid. It was completely uncalled for. Would you have used those words in a real life discussion?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 13, 2013)

Houseqatz:

I'd add that it's most certainly possible to "see" raw data in a program like Adobe Camera Raw, one then manipulates various variables to change things like white balance, luminance, exposure etc. That image you see as a visual representation of the raw data is then extracted to tiff of jpeg. And in the case of jpegs much of the data is tossed out to make the file.

If you mean that one cannot see the 1s and 0s comprising the raw file, well that's true of pretty much any data file on a computer, Excel doc, MSWord doc, PDF, WAV file, etc.

Now where you do only see a jpeg representation of the raw data is the display on the back of the camera. In other words a camera like the Panasonic LX5 shooting in raw only plays back jpegs on the screen. But that's not the same as doing extraction on a computer in a program like Adobe Camera Raw.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 15, 2013)

@ Revernant.. here's the first part of the original question, and the most important part. please read it.

"does anyone have experience with the tg-1? how is the jpeg rendering engine? i had an 725sw and never had issues with it's jpegs, and the ep-1 i have outputs fine jpegs. in fact, i've always been happy with the olympus jpeg look."

i called him an idiot, because he can't answer the original question, but goes on about RAW. it's not my fault that Howaboutraw doesn't understand the question. the question isn't about raw, or the ease of the implementation of raw, it's about the jpeg engine.

It's not a matter of opinion at this point, they are unqualified to speculate about about the JPEG engine, that comes down to experience with the camera. which HowaboutRAW said very clearly that they have NO real experience with it the camera.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 15, 2013)

@Revernant do you get the question? do you understand that the question isn't about RAW? or are you getting hung up on RAW as well?

do you know anything about the JPEG engine that olympus has employed in the tg-2? do you have any experience with the tg-1? not a few minutes in a store, but actual experience with the camera?

because from my original question, i got responses from two people who have used the tg-1. and i trust their experience. if the only time one has spent with the device is in a store, i don't lend much credibility to that sort of review.

"By HowaboutRAW (1 week ago)
Can't say I've done more than play with a TG1 in a store..."

^^ to me that statement means they don't know anything about it that i don't already know.

maybe i should have been more clear and asked

"does anyone have any REAL WORLD experience with the tg-1?"

is that clear enough? do you have an answer? or are you trying to make a point?

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 15, 2013)

@HowaboutRAW.. you still don't get it. i'm only interested in what the camera CAN actually do, not what the sensor might be able to accomplish. this is the part you fail to comprehend.

again, i am ONLY interested in it's existing capabilities.. not speculation.

i have no concern for a firmware bootstrap for a different camera, if i did, i would have asked about canon p&s cameras and the success of the firmware bootstrap.

and, I'm glad you want raw, i probably want raw too for this camera.. but that wasn't the question. you answered it to the best of your experience, but then went on about software, and the benefits of raw. yet you failed to meet the requirements of the question.

i know you want to be an authority on something, but you can't be an authority if you ignore the question and talk about whatever you want to talk about.. which is why i think you're an idiot.

good luck fixing all of your poorly composed images, i hope some day RAW makes a photographer out of you

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 15, 2013)

Houseqatz:

Now I have jpegs from the TG1, and at ISO 400 there are starting to be big artifacts and some noise.

At ISO 1600 there is noise, artifacts, and blotchyness in the shadows.

So it would really help if Olympus allowed the TG1 and very likely the TF2 to record the raw data that the sensor already sees. This is not news to anyone familiar with raw.

And I'd guess that with raw data the TG1 would produce usable tiffs at ISO 800.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 15, 2013)

my 725sw was unusable beyond iso800, so, i kinda expected the artifacts and noise behavior, but i'm surprised that large artifacts are present at iso400.

one thing i didn't like about the folding lens mechanism in the 725sw was the way it zoomed. it felt like it zoomed in steps, and that was with the digital zoom disabled. did you notice that behavior, or is the zoom smoother?

have you had an opportunity to use the adapter or the lens adapters? i've seen the demo images, and a few collections, but most of them are what i would classify as press and pray.

have you noticed any bloom when using the adapter lenses?
other than softening the images, the thing i'm concerned with is light bouncing off of the leading edge of the camera lens, and reflecting back into the adapter lenses. i feel like that image would be quickly discarded if it did happen.

i'm glad you decide to talk about the camera. thank you =]

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 16, 2013)

Houseqatz:

Well I didn't have jpegs that I'd shot until yesterday.

Asking for raw is talking about a problem in the this series of cameras. And raw is generally an omission for all of these small tough cameras.

No, I have not used an adapter on the TG1.

I noticed no stepped zooming and that isn't a problem with a tough Pentax I've owned for years.

I would not buy this camera unless I knew I was always going to be using it at ISO 200 in bright daylight.

(ISO 200 is about the limit of my 2007ish 7MP Pentax waterproof camera, so except for the F2 lens and higher resolution there's been no great improvement in this gear since then, I guess the Olympus also has better video, but there are small waterproof dedicated HD video cameras.)

Now about your snottiness: You have no idea what raw is and you have no idea if I can compose an image or not.

Raw vastly improves digiphotos files, and you clearly have never really worked with negatives despite you claims.

You needs stop lying.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 16, 2013)

@Houseqatz
I understand the original question, and realize that I didn't reply to that, but I replied to the subsequent discussion about the merits of raw vs. JPEG, and the supposed difficulties of implementing the former. That certainly was off topic, but the thread had already taken that direction anyway, and I guess I lost sight of the real topic in this already long thread. Sorry if I offended you by getting involved without addressing your question.
And my answer to that is: no, apart from having studied images taken with TG-1 (and handled it briefly), I have no personal experience with it. And I don't know if the TG-1 and TG-2 JPEG engines differ in any significant way from one another.

About the idiot remark, I just don't see how that kind of language is helpful in what's supposed to be a rational discussion, even if one feels like one is talking to a brick wall. Veering off topic doesn't necessarily make one an idiot, but is perhaps a result of sloppy reading of the OP.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 16, 2013)

Revenant:

I was just pointing out that jpegs are no where near indicative of the image quality of any particular camera, and yes I'd include the Fuji XPro1 which does very good in-camera jpegs, the Nikon D3s does good jpegs too.

But since the TG1's jpegs aren't really usable much above ISO 400, and problematic there, then Olympus should offer raw for these TG cameras.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 16, 2013)

Howaboutraw. neither the tg-1, and tg-2 saves a raw file. talking about a feature that the camera doesn't have is fruitless when determining the functionality of a device. i ask about how it functions, you talk about things that it doesn't do. that's fine, but talk to an audience that is more inclined to maintain that dialogue.

about raw.. i know exactly what raw data is and how it is contained. you are hung up on this notion that RAW will make you a better photographer, it can't. it's data. if you can't get good results shooting an auto camera, you can't get good results, plain and simple. raw is just a delivery system, but you think it's the salvation of your images. that's unfortunate.

i believe that you have handled the tg-1 in a store, but beyond that, nothing you have said gives me the impression that you know how to use this camera.

but keep going on about raw, it's what you seem to enjoy.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 16, 2013)

Revenant, they failed to comprehend the question, and went on about something that has no bearing on the output of the camera. it's something that the camera doesn't do. fine. but think of it this way..

i want to know if anyone else has run into noise issues while shooting the night sky at iso50. it's chilly out, so i only get about 30 min of battery life per battery. but then someone goes on about how IR will really improve the color in night photography

but my canon won't shoot ir, and i'm not interested in ir photography at the moment.. but they go on.. and don't answer the question.

i begin to question the credibility, and ability of the respondent, because it is clear to me that they didn't read the question clearly.

at which point, nothing gets accomplished because my disagreement is inferred as a lack of understanding, where as their statements clearly indicate a deficiency with reading comprehension.

i'm still trying to find answers about these cameras (tg-1 & tg-2)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 17, 2013)

Houseqatz:

Quoting you: "if you can't get good results shooting an auto camera, you can't get good results, plain and simple."

This statement means that you really don't know anything about digital photography, or photography.

You may have as well have written: "if you can't get good results getting your film prints done at a one hour place, you can't get good results, plain and simple."

You have no idea what you're talking about, or possibly you do and you're lying because you can't stand it when someone tells you that you are wrong.

You've made a preposterous claim in print and now you'd be best to acknowledge your failure and deal with it by learning about shooting manual, you can also learn about shooting raw at the same time, frankly your claim belies any knowledge of raw except the spelling of the word.

I'll start you off, particularly with small cameras, jpegs often suck. Raw can often readily fix that. Learn about it.

0 upvotes
Kawika Nui
By Kawika Nui (Jan 30, 2013)

Experience with tg-1: I had it and sent it back to Amazon. See Amazon 3-star review "It is what it is." Basic problems: erratic AF, noisy and/or grainy images, arbitrary sharpening, severe internal fogging (nothing like the Canon D10), generally very disappointing IQ. Also does not attain 25-frame burst depth at full res, more like 16-18. I have been tempted by the hoo-ha surrounding the tg-2, but it sounds like the same technology with the addition of aperture control. I might buy one IF there are large numbers of 5-star rave reviews from people who care about IQ.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 9, 2013)

It's yet another attractive set of features inside the casing useless to divers. This pushing of water/pressure resistance in 10' depth increments is plain silly. All it needs to be able to withstand 6 Atm are a few (but important) conceptual changes, which would cost maybe $1.- more in the production...
So, until there is an amphibious camera that can survive a depth of at least 50 meters, I'll pass... :(

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

Okay, but it's not exactly meant for more than shallow (like a few feet below the surface) snorkeling.

It's really just a camera to take on the canoe or day sailing boat.

Raw would cost next to nothing, less than what you describe, and raw would vastly improve the colour, exposure and noise control options.

0 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (Jan 9, 2013)

it's not for more than shallow snorkeling?! do you think the water seal claims are pure marketing? I had a 725sw, and took it well past 10" below surface on many occasions, took it cliff diving (by that i mean what people normally associate with cliff diving and i dropped it down a cliff and had to go diving after it) and never had any issues. i'd be VERY disappointed if the TG-2 camera couldn't exceed that level of durability.

1 upvote
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

Yeah, 50 feet is a bit more than what I'd call "shallow" :)

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 10, 2013)

But these tough compacts aren't specialized, dedicated underwater cameras. The underwater capability is only one aspect; they're also made to withstand dust, rain and snow, low temperatures and rough treatment. They're great for urban exploring in dusty old buildings, mountain climbing, cayaking etc. My point being that one shouldn't expect a tough compact to excel as a serious diver's camera.

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 10, 2013)

BorisK1:

What Revenant says directly above.

Or this isn't a real dive camera is what I should have said.

This Olympus should still have raw, from shallow snorkeling, to rafting, to playing in the surf, to shooting on the street in the rain raw would be big help.

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 10, 2013)

Revenant, HowaboutRAW: I agree 100%. The TG-2, or any tough cam, are not designed for real diving. Real diving means coping with seriously low light levels, very high pressures, controlling an external flash system (though the TGs have some provisions for that). Also, a scuba diver (normally) can handle a larger box.
The toughcams target the situations where a camera is, frankly, a secondary consideration. My favorite example - when I'm in a kayak in the middle of a whitewater stream, holding on to a rock with one hand, and using another hand to pull out the camera from the PFD pocket and snap a couple of shots of my buddies running the same drop I just ran.
HowaboutRAW: I used to say that RAW was of no use with toughcams, but I have since changed my mind. At the very list, it would be useful for somebody whose entire workflow is organized around RAW.
The inclusion of "A" mode means Olympus is starting to orient towards photo enthusiasts. I think RAW will come, maybe in TG-3.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 10, 2013)

Borski1,

I really don't think that Olympus has to do much to allow this or the TG1 to record raw, a small firmware change would do.

Olympus doesn't even have to do extraction software.

There's been a raw firmware hack for small Canon jpeg only cameras for years and Canon hasn't stopped it. I don't own a jpeg only Canon, else I'd have tried it.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 11, 2013)

I guess everyone knows that all underwater devices are tested to 150% of their admissive depth / pressure range, and it is quite common that many models will exceed even that - but there is no guarantee they will. All my Nikonoses have been exposed to double their depth rating with no ill consequences, but I wouldn't dare assume that all the units would sustain that. In a sense, I was lucky instead of covered by any guarantee.
In the same breath, it's not so difficult to produce a model that one could take through all the usual diving depths, the "usual" meaning -40 meters (5Atm) for atmospheric air SCUBA, and much deeper for Tri-Mix or Nitrox dives. Curiously, no-one seems to offer any cameras (and accessories, especially wirelessly triggered flashlights / video lights) to those millions of users which have once been delighted by Nikonos series.
And sure, RAW would be normal... it's not that it needs additional costs...
Manufacturers should pay attention to end users... (2013 Wish)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 11, 2013)

OldArrow:

Don't think these are built to Nikonos standards.

I would like a dedicated APSC sensored camera that could be used for Scuba, something like the Nikonos with a digital back and of course raw.

Perhaps even something as small as the Canon EOS M, system but waterproof.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 13, 2013)

Hehe, of course they aren't. That's my beef in a nutshell.
You wouldn't believe how many times I've suggested this to various manufacturers. Their answers were equal in one respect, though: non-existent.
It was like they're saying: OK, you have a point, but we don't want to do it the way you need it, we want it advancing by eyedropper measures, and sell every single trick inside another new box of different color. :)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 13, 2013)

OldArrow:

The F2 lens on the TG1 was a big step. Still in a box of a different colour. And raw could be another big step in that same box.

Now if they'd only increase the box size to that of the Canon G15, then maybe they could do a somewhat bigger sensor inside an internal folded focusing system--still not an APSC system though.

They're missing a market for an interchangeable lens APSC system. A few non-zoom lenses and a sealed body would do. It's not like the Nikonos system had zoom lenses. And underwater one doesn't need big telephoto lenses. Say a 12MP CMOS APSC sensor so the user can easily shoot at ISO 6400 without noise and colour degradation. But that's a dive camera, instead they want you to put your $1500 APSC dslr kit in a fancy $1500 Lexan box if you want to use an APSC sensored camera underwater, but I'm not telling you anything you don't know.

0 upvotes
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 16, 2013)

You're right about bigger sensor etc. Otherwise as you probably know, Nikonos had a range of four lenses: 28mm (not meant to be used underwater), a 35mm and 80mm (to be used above and underwater), and a 15mm Fisheye (for underwater use only).
The 80 and 35mm lens housings can accomodate a variable-range zooms for above water optical conditions, 80mm as a (usual) portrait lens UW.
The 15mm UW lens could remain the same. It was a jewel among optics, anyway.
In, say, Nikonos V casing there is enough place for every kind of sensor, even if it was reconstructed flatter than the original, and there would be ample place for a huge, video-sized battery. The rear surface (ex-hatch) could accomodate the largest of monitors.
The external flash contact can be replaced with IC diode to sync the flash wirelessly. Replacing the optical viewfinder with internal monitor would be welcome.
The most important point, such a reconstruction could be seen as an instant hit, and it would sell, period.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 19, 2013)

OldArrow:

The Nikonos "80 and 35mm lens housings", huh.

On the Nikonos the interchangeable lenses were themselves waterproof.

There was a fancy AF Nikonos (maybe the V system to which you refer), that used different lenses--perhaps that had zoom lenses, but as best as I know the most common Nikonos did not have a zoom lens. And neither used a housing as best I know. The basic Nikonos could easily fit a battery, card, display screen and APSC sensor. Probably not a good idea to go full frame with the available lenses, and no great need for AF as far as I'm concerned.

Some company can do an underwater AF APSC sensored system if it likes, but it doesn't have to be put in a Nikonos box.

0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 9, 2013)

I think the most important feature is now A mode is available. Only P mode is available in TG-1

0 upvotes
dwl017
By dwl017 (Jan 9, 2013)

Why? just about every camera that has come out this week is pure junk with small 1/2.3" sensors

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

It won't be pure junk upto about ISO200.

Raw could fix many of the limitations of this camera.

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jan 9, 2013)

Yeah ISO 200 is so useful for marine photography. Flagship by name only. Still using a trailing edge tiny 1/2.3" sensor and jpg only like all the other makers. I was talking to Australia's leading underwater photographer last year and he was just gob-smacked no one has come out with a high quality underwater camera with larger sensor and RAW. Whoever does it will own this segment.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

thx1138:

Right and raw would make it usable probably above ISO400 and maybe even at 800.

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Jan 9, 2013)

and once again, a rugged/underwater camera that does NOT offer raw.

1 upvote
SayCheesePlease
By SayCheesePlease (Jan 9, 2013)

Great camera.

I debate which would be better?

1) this TG2
2) high end compact with underwater housing (S100, RX100 etc.)

Always the balance between convenience and image quality...

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Jan 9, 2013)

It depends on what you want to use it for, but I would go with option 2).

A high end compact is a better camera, obviously. Also, I always had more confidence in a dedicated underwater housing to keep a camera dry than in this kind of camera itself.
I've tried both options.

Drawbacks to underwater housing include higher cost, larger size, and weight.

I would think of this not so much as a diving camera, but as a seriously cool and tough beach camera that you can shoot with underwater. Others may disagree, but that's my take.

2 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

I'd say, if you can get away with using a high-end compact with housing, you should - you 'll get more control, better image quality, and the camera will have a wider "comfort envelope".
However, sometimes a rugged cam is the only option. For example, when I'm kayaking, a TG-1 barely fits into a pocket of my safety jacket. Anything larger just won't work.

0 upvotes
rondhamalam
By rondhamalam (Jan 8, 2013)

LoL... MIL standard...

Most important is What section of Mil Standard.
Is that the section for protecting cushion softness?

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jan 8, 2013)

This looks like a great camera that simply just needs RAW support. You can't possibly hope to get white balance correct in camera under water.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 11, 2013)

It (at least TG-1, but I am sure TG-2 does too) has Underwater WB balance. And WB can be adjusted in JPEG too. With bigger pixels RAW usually stores more color information than 8 bit of JPEG, but I doubt the tiny pixels in this sensors collect more information which is not noise or blur from the lens unable to resolve all 12 mpix.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 11, 2013)

peevee1:

Raw does NOT use bigger pixels.

No, it is much more possible to adjust WB after the fact starting with the raw information than starting with the already limited information in a jpeg.

Big deal raws take more card space. Well card size hasn't been a problem in years--like since about 2006.

You raise an interesting point, yes, the camera could probably be improved by using a sensor with fewer MPs, say around 8. It would likely be better at higher ISOs, which of course you have to use even 5 feet underwater.

0 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Jan 8, 2013)

This looks all good, but it would be great if sensor could have been the the same as the one found in XZ-2 (which of course would require many changes and the price would be more than double).

So - what about 'pro' tough camera - something like armored XZ-2?

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

XZ-2 has a protruding, collapsable lens. Can't have it in a waterpoof camera.

2 upvotes
MarkInSF
By MarkInSF (Jan 10, 2013)

Yes, those calling for larger sensors miss that point. These rugged cameras use folded internal optical paths. That is, a series of very tiny lenses and prisms that allow the zoom and focus mechanisms to be enclosed in the case. If you enlarge the sensor, you have to enlarge all of that proportionally. It could be done, but the result would not be compact and would probably have limited zoom range.

I think there is enough market for one such model specifically for divers. Weight is a non-issue if it's for underwater only, and it could still be smaller than a camera in an underwater housing. Put a bright flash in it, too, or a small video light, for closeups. Battery would need to be bigger, but you wouldn't need it to last all day. Raw, of course, and good 'macro' ability. Real macro might be asking too much.

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 10, 2013)

MarkInSF: Yup, a larger sensor in the same-size body would mean a slower lens with less zoom.
A model specifically for divers would sell in small quantities, so it would be expensive - probably more expensive than, say, a M4/3 camera in a waterproof case.

0 upvotes
richard cohen
By richard cohen (Jan 8, 2013)

it is good to see some serious entries in the underwater camera market, small though it may be. i hope the camera does underwater white balance well...

1 upvote
John Koch
By John Koch (Jan 8, 2013)

People who clamor for RAW or A-mode are a sedentary crowd, some of them in apparent need of cerebral regeneration and mobility assistance.

Any action camera is for situations that defy careful shot set-up or manual contrivances. When scaling a peak or diving to a reef, what one really needs is physical resilience, wide angle and aperture, image stabilization, quick response, and reasonable battery life. Narrow DOF can be difficult to manage while shooting fast action, or if fingers are cold and numb, so better to let the camera manage focus, apterture, and shutter.

The strengths of the TG-1&2 are this: f/2.0 aperture, good depth tolerance, good stabilization, reasonable IQ.

1 upvote
John Koch
By John Koch (Jan 8, 2013)

The #1 problem with this class of camera is tendency to malfunction after multiple submersions and / or crummy low light performance. If the TG-2 survives these test better than its competitors, that is the real measure of success. I'll wager, though, that no LED or LCD viewing screen is usable under full sun, and viewfinders are no help when wearing a face mask or paragliding, so a reliable wide-angle mode remains critical.

Two years ago, DPR did a group review of rugged or tough cameras. An update, based on 2012-2013 models, would be helpful.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Jan 8, 2013)

#John Koch, RAW can be very useful in a tough camera precisely because in tough situations, especially underwater, the last thing one cares for is to adjust the camera correctly. Then post processing is needed afterwards in the home comfort. I've never had any functional problems with my FT3 after many submersions the previous summer. It was the pics I was getting from its JPEG engine I had problem with.

0 upvotes
John Koch
By John Koch (Jan 8, 2013)

Over 20% of the Amazon buyer reviews of the DMC-FT3 are only one star or two, often because of some failure in the water sealing.

Don't blame JPEG format for bad UW pics. Underwater, quibbles over the relative efficiency of JPEG, versus one's own tricks with RAW, are dwarfed by the challenges of white balance, dearth of red wavelengths, algae, silt, and the brief period of optimum sun angle. Other acute things are how long one can hold breath, bear ingestion of salt water that floods the snorkel, keep the face mask clear, or stretch the life of air tanks. Due to higher bouyancy of seawater, it's work to reach depths without weights, but a bad idea to snorkel encumbered with lead.

Seriously, RAW might be important for portraits or fashion shots, but uses too much battery juice, buffer, and disc space for someone who is depending a lot on luck and needs to shot as much video or stills as possible with a single battery on the day's single dive.

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Jan 8, 2013)

Well, I know a thing or two about diving and snorkeling, among other recreational hobbies. The tricky UW situations that you mention are precisely those that make me wish for RAW at least when underwater. A battery life of about 200 pics is more than enough for me for a day's single dive. I don't care much about video.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 8, 2013)

KonstantinosK:

You are of course correct about how useful raw could be for shooting pictures while snorkeling. But reread John Koch's first post in this thread; he's confused shooting raw with shooting full manual or aperture priority.

@John Koch:

You've mistaken shooting raw which is most certainly possible in "action" situations with shooting full manual, aperture priority or shutter priority. Shooting raw is not the same as shooting with manual control of the aperture or shutter settings.

Please borrow a camera that shoots raw, use it in raw, set at "P", "A" or even "M" if you like, and then extract the raw files to tiffs in good raw extraction program like Adobe Camera Raw, DXO, or Bibble. And see how much better they look than in-camera jpegs. Yes there will be a learning curve to the extraction software and the raw shooting camera.

(NB what you called "A-mode" could easily be automatic, jpeg only.)

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (Jan 9, 2013)

Sorry John, but you appear to have zero knowledge of the usefullness of raw, especially in situitations of difficult lighting.

These rugged/underweter cameras that do NOT offer raw are intentionally crippled by the manufacturers. The question is, why?

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

GodSpeaks,

Reread the first John Koch post, he's confused shooting raw with shooting in manual--doesn't speak highly of his knowledge.

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

HowaboutRAW:
I think John Koch refers to the fact that many compact cameras take longer (sometimes much longer) to write RAW files, and often are unresponsive while writing. This gets even more pronounced in burst shooting. Also, jpegs require much less storage space. A jpeg shooter can use a single memory card for an entire trip, backing it up but not reformatting.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

BorisK1:

Memory card capacity simply isn't problem like back 2002.

No, I think John Koch simply doesn't know what raw is, hence his comment about "A mode", that's aperture priority, and also his comment about raw shooters generally simply sitting around means that Mr Koch is not aware that a camera like the D4 is very fast at shooting raw. Everything suggests that Koch thinks raw is manual selection of shutter speed and aperture hence the use of the word "sedentary".

No one shooting real sports action is going to use this Olympus. My LX5 shoots fast enough for a rafting trip or for snorkeling but it is not waterproof.

And there's nothing stopping someone from setting this hypothetical raw enabled Olympus TG2 to shoot jpeg if that's what someone must do.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Kawika Nui
By Kawika Nui (Jan 30, 2013)

Gotta say, I'm with HowaboutRAW on this one. CCD sensors were terribly slow with RAW, but not CMOS. Pany FZ150 shoots RAW at 5.5fps for 12-15 frames, and write time isn't bad. Same tiny sensor size. No reason Oly couldn't have included that. (Of course if memory serves, Oly was among the first to decide that viewfinders weren't really desirable, either.) Want memory capacity? Use a higher-capacity card. Who could doubt that RAW retains far more potential? JPEG throws away vast amounts of color data which can't be retrieved.

As for the bizarre nonsense about sedentary RAW shooters, try paddling out on a 10-12-ft day and taking shots while ducking under waves, dodging surfers, and catching a few waves yourself from time to time.

0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 8, 2013)

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/PENTAXQ/PENTAXQA.HTM
Pentax Q review indicate
" the Pentax Q uses a smaller sensor with more pixels than the Canon G12 and Nikon P7100, for example, diffraction limiting sets in at above f/2.8"
now with A mode can keep aperture below F2.8

0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 8, 2013)

There is an A mode on mode dial
To be able to control aperture is very important
not sure if there is A mode in TG-1
anyway no RAW is disappointing

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

The A mode is added in TG-2.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 8, 2013)

So the only changed spec is 15m/50ft vs 12m/40ft before? And the better colors.
Why would they update anything when there are absolutely no formidable competition for the TG-1?

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 8, 2013)

also this is new
The new Microscopic Macro function boosts zoom magnification from 4x to 14x** with no noticeable loss of image quality from one centimeter away for true macro results. When the doubly powerful Super Resolution zoom is used, aspects of the natural world usually invisible to the naked eye, such as veins on a leaf and the details of an insect's eye, are revealed.

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

Jeffan:
Most likely, this "Microscopic macro" simply crops the center of the image and enlarges it, using software interpolation. It's similar to "digital zoom".

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jan 8, 2013)

Yes, there's definitely room in the market for a raw-shooting enthusiast tough compact. The faster lens indicated that Olympus was going for a more demanding crowd with the TG-1, which made the lack of raw (and the use of a 1/2.3" sensor) quite puzzling. Same story with the TG-2, unfortunately.

2 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 8, 2013)

The small sensor means that an internal zoom can fit in a small box, and it's much easier to water seal a closed box than have a zoom that pops out and also keeps the water out. (Going with a body the size to a Canon G serious may allow for an internal zoom and a somewhat bigger sensor.)

But yes, I agree that Olympus engineered the camera for an F2 lens with the idea of attracting more serious users than say Panasonic with the F3.5 lenses in those tough cameras.

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 9, 2013)

> "The faster lens indicated that Olympus was going for a more demanding crowd with the TG-1"
The faster lens is beneficial for all users - the camera becomes useful in lower light.
My theory on why Olympus omitted RAW in it, is that their market research showed that not enough of the target audience cares about this feature.
On the other hand, the addition of "A" mode shows that this may change in the future - the "A" mode is only useful to photo enthusiasts. If this holds, RAW support will get there eventually - if not in TG-3, than certainly in TG-4 :)

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 9, 2013)

BorisK1:

Olympus is driving away buyers by not offering raw, in other words the choice skews that target audience. By your logic Olympus would not offer real manual control or raw on the XZ1 or 2.

0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 10, 2013)

> "Olympus is driving away buyers by not offering raw"
No doubt. On the other hand, adding a feature like RAW is not without costs - you have to modify the software, re-run all the tests, and cope with the technical support (a biggie). Also, if the RAW don't look clean or don't play well with third-party converters, it can generates bad publicity. A single bad review can cost a lot of sales.
Possibly, they ran the numbers and it looked like the potential losses would not offset the additional sales.
AFAIK, so far there are no RAW toughcams on the market, so there's no competitive pressure.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 11, 2013)

BorisK1:

I'm not won over by your argument, in particular the single bad review idea. One which would read: "raw doesn't work on this camera", that would only drive away raw shooters who won't buy this camera anyway having already been driven away. Self-fulfilling sales killer in other words.

The sensor sees the raw data, the jpeg engine throws it out. Just record it and let third party developers do the best extraction software.

I point again to the years old firmware hack for Canon jpeg only PS cameras, no one is reporting disaster and Canon isn't trying to stop it.

There's "technical" support for these cameras, huh? Maybe a firmware update once in a great while. These are not prodslrs.

Olympus is offering F2 on this camera that's newish and still only an Olympus feature on tough cameras. So that's pressure on the Panasonic F3.5 cameras, perhaps Panasonic will include a raw feature in their next firmware update. That would be pressure on Olympus.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BorisK1
By BorisK1 (Jan 11, 2013)

HowaboutRAW:
> "I'm not won over by your argument, in particular the single bad review idea".
This is simply my guess what Olympus planners and analists may have beeen thinking when they decided to omit RAW. If you think I'm wrong, what's your theory as to why they didn't include it?

By "technical support" I mean answering the phone calls and emails of customers who have problems with the camera. It's neither cheap nor easy. You have to train a whole cadre of people who do this day in, day out. Adding RAW into the mix means additional training of the tech support staff.

An unofficial hack really is zero-cost to the company: They don't test it, don't plan for it, and don't provide tech support, and could void the warranty because of it.

But if it's an official feature, the company is obligated to test and support it, or face lawsuits for false advertisement and breach of contract.

The pressure - yup, you got it: Last year's FT-4 got manual mode, and now boom, TG-2 gets "A".

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 12, 2013)

BorisK1:

My theory, admittedly not yet supported by say information from the Olympus sales rep whom I spoke to yesterday, is that there's a jpeg only P&S department at Olympus, Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Panasonic, Pentax etc which does the development for these cameras, and these P&S departments don't really spend a lot of time thinking about the Canon Gs, Panasonic LXs, or the Olympus XZs, etc.

They've got it in there head that if the camera doesn't really have any manual controls, then raw should not be an option, because no one would know how to use it. The fact that these cameras are sealed against water and dust doesn't really factor into their idea of whom would buy this. In other words, these P&S departments do not think that say the owner of a Panasonic LX5 would seek out one of these cameras, because that someone already owns the raw capable Panasonic LX5, Canon S95 etc.

I've maybe called/emailed Canon customer service once about in the 11 years I've had my Canon G2.

0 upvotes
BrianK
By BrianK (Jan 8, 2013)

Agree on the complaint about lack of raw. Without it, I'll keep looking and waiting.

2 upvotes
chile7236
By chile7236 (Jan 8, 2013)

yup, the one thing i was looking for (as with everyone else, it seems) is not part of this "upgrade"...RAW.

1 upvote
Nudibranco
By Nudibranco (Jan 8, 2013)

nice camera with the CAVEAT of no RAW... I do not understand what is the problem on not supporting it...

0 upvotes
Gehyra
By Gehyra (Jan 8, 2013)

I would buy one if it shot RAW without hesitation. But it doesn't shoot RAW, I'll stick with the waterproof camera I have. Perhaps they'll deliver a firmware update..

0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 8, 2013)

Any difference I can find with TG-1 is 50 ft waterproof compare with 40ft
and that's it?
They call this TG-2?
Oh my!

0 upvotes
schaki
By schaki (Jan 8, 2013)

Many users in Olympus talk complained about no aperture-mode and sometimes too short Dof. That is fixed with the TG-2. However it is just ND-filter I can't tell for sure. Seems not like much of an upgrade. Hopefully the Nr is even lower so that more details gets preserved. Maybe it might be worth to skip this model and await the TG-3.
I had hoped that Fujifilm and Panasonic perhaps would respond to the fast zoom-lens which the TG-2. But so far they've not done so. Maybe it is not too late just yet. Pansonic released two waterproof cameras last year with different zoom-lenses.
Pentax which chose the Olympus XZ-2 zoom for their MX-1 might use the same zoom in the TG-1 and TG-2 for their waterproof camera this year. Problem is just that image quality for waterproof Pentaxes has been like trash since the Optio W90 with too much NR. The Optio W60 was decent and the W80 not bad either, not quite as good image quality as for the W60 though according to the grouptest here in 2009 .

0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 8, 2013)

This is basically the same as TG-1

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Jan 8, 2013)

I too wish for an underwater camera with RAW. I found out that most underwater pics require heavy post processing and this could be done much better with RAW. Anyway, I can't see anyone offering a better proposition than this so I'm going for the TG-2 next summer.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Jan 8, 2013)

Why not get a camera that shoots raw and an underwater housing? XZ-1 + housing for example? I don't trust this class of camera as much as I do dedicated housing, although I did shoot a cheap Oly 3000 tough camera for a long time with no problems.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 8, 2013)

bobbarber:

Well because for example the case for the Panasonic LX5 cost the same as the camera (once the camera had been on sale for 6 months) and that case adds a lot of bulk to a small camera--so much bulk that the LX5 is no longer a pocket camera. This is all really obvious.

Now for the annoyed bit: I'm sick and tired of hearing that raw is not important for this kind of camera. No, what you mean is that you think that many who own this camera wouldn't use raw, well duh if there is no raw people who'd shoot raw aren't going to buy this camera--that's a self fulfilling preconceived conclusion on your part.

Raw is a simple software fix that can still be added to this very camera. I encourage Olympus to do so, after all they put an F2 lens in this camera.

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (Jan 8, 2013)

It's a 1/2.3 sensor with ISO speeds up to 6400 - the RAW files might be entirely unrecognizable. I'd like a better UW camera, but I'll wait for a better sensor first. JMHO

0 upvotes
KonstantinosK
By KonstantinosK (Jan 8, 2013)

@bobbarber, HowaboutRAW's answer covers me completely. Having to fiddle with an underwater housing while on the beach and some snorkeling or small silly dives come to your mind, it's not the greatest proposition. Like I said, RAW would have been nice but since it's not on offer I'll take what there is. And now that I think of it, the TG-2 doesn't look to me much of an upgrade so I'll choose the TG-1 now that it's price will inevitably fall.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 8, 2013)

JordanAT:

No I wouldn't expect this sensor to produce usable raw files at ISO 6400, but perhaps ISO 800 and certainly ISO 400.

Then raw isn't only important for high ISO work; it really helps with colour and exposure adjustment at any ISO, therefore Olympus should make the firmware available to make raw a feature of this camera.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Jefftan
By Jefftan (Jan 8, 2013)

Anyone know how this one is different from teh TS-1?

0 upvotes
undergrounddigga
By undergrounddigga (Jan 8, 2013)

I just don't understand why wouldn't Olympus or any other company release now a bigger sensor underwater camera. Especially considering the low light conditions under the water. I understand these days you can buy underwater casing for pretty much everything, but imagine a Sony rx100 or other 1" sensor camera that is also waterproof! I have bought one of the first Oly Tough cameras, and I had mad fun with it. But, I will only buy another one, if it will have a bigger sensor. I understand it may have to have a fix lens, and that's OK.
(Maybe that camera exists, I don't know of it?! Sorry if that's the case, pLease ignore my comment to this topic than).

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 8, 2013)

"I just don't understand why wouldn't Olympus or any other company release now a bigger sensor underwater camera. "

Because all the lens has to fit inside the camera, unlike with the collapsible lenses in most other cameras.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Jan 8, 2013)

Yep, I hoped this one would have raw since the last one didn't. Looking for an underwater camera with raw support, Olympus could have lead the way here. Otherwise seems well spec'd too. Darn.

1 upvote
Burnie
By Burnie (Jan 8, 2013)

This cam is one feature from being the perfect ''always on you'' camera. RAW!!!

5 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 8, 2013)

Do you think the tiny high-res sensor is able to capture more information in each pixel than is presentable by Fine JPEG?

0 upvotes
Burnie
By Burnie (Jan 9, 2013)

Do I think that a tiny sensor can give me more info if its not compressed? Is that the question you are asking?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 11, 2013)

There is such thing as lossless compression. If the information was not captured to begin with, there is nothing to lose. And SuperFine JPEG does not compress much, except lossless LZW.
Downsampling of 2 color channels does not lose info on Bayer sensors for obvious reason. Pixels are too small to collect more than 8 bit of info each, so nothing to lose there too.
But the most important point, the lens will not resolve 3456 lines on this cam, no way, even for MTF10. Luma channel resolution will all be preserved, but for no reason - just for blur and noise.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Total comments: 127