TG4 user review/opinion
I bought the TG4 over 18 months ago without giving it too much thought. I wanted a small resilient camera to take on my multipitch climbing, deepwater soloing and SUP adventures. So: shockproof and waterproof were essential.
I had no idea what to expect IQ-wise, and frankly had little hope.
For background, in terms of good cameras I have owned an EOS 1D3, a D700 and currently rely on the OMD1. I now use my photographs 99% of the time online. I've done exhibitions, publications and photobooks.
The short version is I like the TG4 a lot. Shock- and waterproofing have proven faultless so far, even if the plastic protection around the lens broke as my bodyboard bag was thrown unceremoniously in the hold of a plane. I worried it might affect the camera's waterproofing, it has not.
IQ is decent with good lighting (although blown highlights are common), but deteriorates quite badly with zooming.
The macro setting is brilliant, and IQ there is pretty good, so much so I'm using some pix for a book.
The fill-in flash is useable and welcome.
The speedy fps come in handy, even if hit rate is a wee bit hit and miss.
Pleased with the underwater filters. Having said that mixed air-water pix pose a real problem to WB.
No complaint re. battery life. Naturally longer would not hurt anyone.
What could be improved imo (maybe addressed in the TG5?):
- IQ when zooming (and in general)
- Low-light IQ is particular can be improved a fair bit
- OMD1-type touchscreen AF would be great, as focusing with the TG4 is left to the camera
- The strap, utter tosh. Make it adjustable and why not longer (for hanging around the neck for instance)
- Ergonomy is fine, although use with gloves is pretty tricky (nit-picking)
I'm not difficult, and my opinion of the TG4 is clearly influenced by the fact I had no expectations, which is always better for good surprises. And throughout the last 18 months the TG4 has proven a very reliable, flexible and decent companion. Yes IQ could do with improvement in several areas, but compromises must be made to get small, light, shockproof and waterproof all in one camera, and for me the TG4 always stays on the right side of compromising.
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