Too niche

Started Sep 24, 2019 | User reviews
Keithpictures
Keithpictures Contributing Member • Posts: 817
Too niche
10

I love the sea. Some people consider mountains the most sublime, but for me it's the ocean. Every time I'm at the beach, my first inclination is to take pictures, to capture the vastness of powerful, mysterious water stretching out to the distance. Usually I'll take a couple rushed shots upon immediate arrival, overwhelmed with the scene. Then I'll walk to the shore, slow down and get a horizon shot. I'll bask in the sun, taking it all in visually, capture what I can, maybe record an Instagram story. I put down my stuff, worried a bit about sand. I pack minimally - just a little tote bag with a towel and wallet basically, and try to keep equipment simple. When it's time to swim, first I'll take whatever camera I have to the water's edge again, then wade in as far as I can go - up to my waist, usually - cautiously lowering the camera to the water, making pictures. Then I'll walk back out, hide the camera in my bag on the towel, and finally dive into the sea.

You can do all of this with any camera: a big DLSR, a smartphone, anything. But it's great to have a camera that doesn't need coddling, that I don't need to run back to put away on the beach blanket. It's great to be able to take pictures of the sea from within it, to simultaneously dive in, and shoot from under the water's surface. It's fun to capture the frolicking moments of my friends and other beach-goers, and of the waves crashing around them. And it's just so convenient to swim around with a camera tied to my wrist, or in my swimsuit pocket - a fully weather-sealed, tough, waterproof camera, like the Olympus TG-5, for instance.

Issos surf, 46mm f2.8 ISO 100.

I'm not a diver. I snorkel on occasion. I would never consider a serious housing for underwater images. I'm not even really interested in sea life, or things inside the ocean. I only care about the landscapes, the motion of water at the surface, human bodies moving, and the freedom to take pictures and video while swimming. I’m not so serious about the ocean, I’m just an enthusiast. Likewise with photography: I’m not trying to shoot a documentary or work for National Geographic. I just love the poetic possibilities evoked in the ocean. So what sort of camera do I need? The acclaimed Olympus TG series? Or would an iPhone do the trick?

Kontogialos, 25mm f2.8 ISO 100.

I purchased the TG-5 in July 2019 for €380, just after the release of the TG-6, figuring to forgo the minor improvements and save €100. I brought it on holiday to Greece and Albania with my girlfriend, and we had fun with it. But at this point, I'm questioning my decision - not for want of the newer model, but for a higher quality camera in general. I suppose I'm in the camp that just cannot believe that there isn't a proper “one-inch” sensor in any of the totally waterproof camera options - one that has some utility in my daily life, something I can carry around without worry, to knock around in my laptop bag, that can still create high quality images.

I know about the Sealife DC2000 (and I love the article written on DPRreview about it). It does indeed have a 1-inch sensor, and compact design with fixed 31mm prime lens. But I balked at its questionable handling characteristics. Plus, I kept reading about how perfectly niche the TG series is: ideal for people in my situation, and within budget. I was just taken with the idea of the TG series, with all the talk around it, all the love it gets. But frankly, I don't understand it. This sensor is way too small, barely bigger than my smartphone, and with none of the computational advances. I'm happy with some images from it, but many are cloudy, soft, with less than ideal color science. Even with post-processing on the DNG files, I’m left wondering if that’s all there is.

Sensor sizes, with their unhelpful names. The DC2000 has the same “1-inch” sensor as the Sony RX100 series, which is about five times larger than the sensor in the Olympus TG series.

As a lover of the Fuji X100 series, I'm wondering if I wouldn't be happier with the DC2000, even with its quirks. Maybe I don't need to zoom as much as I think. With a sensor four times larger (116mm2 vs 28mm2), I think I might prefer cropping over zooming. But why doesn’t Fuji make a rugged version of its X Trans sensor line-up? Or Canon, or Panasonic? All the offerings seem target to kids. On the other hand, there’s the Leica X-U, but that’s prohibitively expensive for such a niche product.

I think photography enthusiasts deserve a better "tough” option, or else we need to be able to take our enthusiast mirrorless cameras for saltwater dips. We need more thorough explanations of weather-sealing specifications, and we need them on way more products. I don't see why most cameras these days (especially with fixed lenses) cannot withstand a dunk into a lake, if not an ocean. IP67 should be commonplace, and the standards need to address saltwater - is salt equivalent to dust protection? I'd like manufacturers to be more clear about it.

Smartphone in the sea, 100mm f2.8 ISO 100.

Now that summer is over, I'm wondering when the next time will be that I care about the TG-5. It's definitely not my main camera - I shoot MFT or APS-C regularly, and I've gotten used to a certain level of quality. For daily journaling, the iPhone XS or Pixel 3 are just as good, if not actually better, and definitely more convenient. I’ve lent the Olympus to my girlfriend to shoot with, but she still prefers her iPhone 7, merely for its handling and convenience. Even if the TG-5 offers nominally better quality over a smartphone (debatable), it cannot match its feature set.

Those features include a microscope mode. I personally don't really care about macro photography. It's a nice lark, but nothing I'd miss. I don't have kids, so the rugged drop-proofing of the camera is nice, but again not the biggest deal to me. Of all the features, the zoom range of 25-100 is the most important. Such range is very nice to have, and I do miss it on my phone, and prime lens cameras, which can often feel limiting. But every year, and with every software update, this seems to be less and less important. When it truly is important, I'll reach for an ILC with a proper sensor in it.

Little bug, 65mm f2.8 ISO 100.

I read over and over again: why doesn't Olympus put a larger sensor in one of these? I'll reiterate it again: WHY NOT?? Ok, it might make the camera larger. That's totally fine with me, so long as it can still fit into a pocket. The zoom range would be sacrificed. Go ahead! (Though obviously the Sony RX100 series can do plenty with a 1" sensor and zoom range, and it's tiny. How much bigger would total weatherproofing make it??) Make a TG model with a 1" sensor, limit our zoom range to 24-35, or 28-50, lose the macro mode. I'd love that camera.

I guess I'll hold onto the TG-5 for my next beach vacation, in four months or so. I suppose I do make it to the beach often enough to justify it. Or maybe I’ll put it on eBay and try out a Sealife DC2000. But I’ve also started watching smartphone tests in ocean water, wondering just how strong our phones are now in the elements. Yes, we could lose them, and yes, they're more delicate. But seriously: I find the TG-5 more of a hassle, crippled too much by its paltry 1/2.3" sensor, when my ILC and smartphone together cover almost all other use cases. Perhaps €400 is better spent on the iPhone 11 Pro.

There remains just that one moment for which the TG-5 exists for me: that first run into the sea, swimming freely, framing the beach from 50 meters out in the ocean, taking in the seascape at all angles, and not worrying about the tool I use to capture it. Is it enough to justify ownership? To have another gadget, for this niche purpose? I’ll keep asking myself this.

Swim, 25mm f2.8 ISO 100.

 Keithpictures's gear list:Keithpictures's gear list
Fujifilm X100V Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 GoPro Hero8 Black Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Olympus Tough TG-5
12 megapixels • 3 screen • 25 – 100 mm (4×)
Announced: May 17, 2017
Keithpictures's score
2.0
Average community score
3.6
bad for good for
Kids / pets
good
Action / sports
mediocre
Landscapes / scenery
good
Portraits
mediocre
Low light (without flash)
bad
Flash photography (social)
mediocre
Studio / still life
weak
= community average
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Leica X-U (Typ 113) Olympus TG-5 SeaLife DC2000 Sony RX100
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smithaa02 Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Too niche
1

I appreciate the review. Despite being critical, it is well thought out and written.

Keithpictures wrote: I read over and over again: why doesn't Olympus put a larger sensor in one of these? I'll reiterate it again: WHY NOT?? Ok, it might make the camera larger. That's totally fine with me, so long as it can still fit into a pocket. The zoom range would be sacrificed. Go ahead! (Though obviously the Sony RX100 series can do plenty with a 1" sensor and zoom range, and it's tiny. How much bigger would total weatherproofing make it??) Make a TG model with a 1" sensor, limit our zoom range to 24-35, or 28-50, lose the macro mode. I'd love that camera. ...I guess I'll hold onto the TG-5 for my next beach vacation, in four months or so. I suppose I do make it to the beach often enough to justify it. Or maybe I’ll put it on eBay and try out a Sealife DC2000.

For landscape shooting, zoom isn't that important. But for almost everything else it is...wildlife, portrait, sports, macro, etc... A key element to many photos is "filling the frame" and excluding non-important edge elements. Zoom allows us to do that. It also provided "background compression" which makes subjects more dramatic and provides for more background detail. For some users, they would be fine with a fixed lens waterproof...but personally I would love to see actually more zoom.

There are other issues with a larger sensor. They will be more expensive, have worse DOF, have inferior focus, worse frame rates and can cook when shooting high frame rate video.  For us macro shooters, a one inch sensor for the TG series would spell big problems.

Users of the DC2000 have observed a 2-3 second delay between images which can be up to 4-5 seconds when shooting raw. From the sample images I've seen of the DC2000, the dynamic range and brightness haven't seem that great.

There aren't too many direct comparisons...but here are some sample images.

DC2000

TG-6 (a close relative to the TG-5)

DC2000

TG-5 (over-exposed & user error...but in good light, some landscapes seem better with the DC2000)

Keithpictures wrote: I'm happy with some images from it, but many are cloudy, soft, with less than ideal color science. Even with post-processing on the DNG files, I’m left wondering if that’s all there is.

It's been my observation that TG-5 images seem a bit softer and over-exposed compared to TG-6 images.  Still....sharp results should be obtainable.  By chance can you share the camera settings you use?  The post processing techniques you use?

RetCapt Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Too niche
2

I have a TG-4, along with several other small sensor cameras, some tough, some are what is termed 'travel compacts'.     I started digital photography with a small sensor camera.    From the outset I have always processed the photographs I intend to print via PSE.     For me, a photograph is not finished until it has been processed in PSE.    It is at that point that I assess the quality of the image.   I have found that if I do my part properly with the camera  (which includes working within the design limitations of the camera) and in post-processing, I can make extremely high quality prints up to 11X14".    I have read a number of threads where other posters have achieved these same results.    But I also recall one post in which the respondent made the declaration that small sensors are no good for anything over 4X6".     So there is an individual YMMV factor, which arguably could be related to skill level.

I was almost a year into digital photography before I got a camera with a larger sensor, so small sensors are where I initially started to learn the craft.    It did not take long using the method above for me to realize that I was getting print results far beyond that which I achieved with 35mm film.    I left film completely due to my experience with small sensors.

For the type of photography I do, and the types of photographs I want to take, I need maximum depth of field.   I do not have any interest in bokeh.    My impression of small sensors in high quality cameras is one of amazement, given the sensor size and consequent camera size.    Subjectively I think small sensors/cameras often punch above their weight.     OTOH there are circumstances that dictate I use a larger sensor system, so it becomes a matter of different horses for different courses.   I do find that images from larger sensors generally necessitate less post processing.

None of this is to say I would not be interested in a larger sensor tough camera because I most certainly would be.    But that would require a considerable investment in engineering and I doubt that the economies of scale are there to yield the level of profit such an investment would require.

So unless or until this happens I am very satisfied with my TG-4 and other small sensor cameras.

Keithpictures
OP Keithpictures Contributing Member • Posts: 817
Re: Too niche

smithaa02 wrote:

I appreciate the review. Despite being critical, it is well thought out and written.

Hi, thanks for your thoughtful response/rebuttal.

For landscape shooting, zoom isn't that important. But for almost everything else it is...wildlife, portrait, sports, macro, etc... A key element to many photos is "filling the frame" and excluding non-important edge elements. Zoom allows us to do that. It also provided "background compression" which makes subjects more dramatic and provides for more background detail.

I take your points about the zoom. You're right that the zoom range offers a lot of possibilities, even beyond obvious FoV flexibility. With my style of shooting, I'm more willing to sacrifice zoom, but even I really appreciate the range. It's my second favorite thing about the camera, after its "tough" designation. That's where my love sort of ends, though.

There are other issues with a larger sensor. They will be more expensive, have worse DOF, have inferior focus, worse frame rates and can cook when shooting high frame rate video. For us macro shooters, a one inch sensor for the TG series would spell big problems.

It's not clear to me why a larger sensor would invite all the problems you listed. I'll trust that macro photography is easier with the smaller sensor - it must be, given how the TG really excels in this area. And alas, here is where I have to admit that this camera simply isn't designed for my needs. Since I don't really shoot macro/detail work, this integral feature is lost on me.

Users of the DC2000 have observed a 2-3 second delay between images which can be up to 4-5 seconds when shooting raw. From the sample images I've seen of the DC2000, the dynamic range and brightness haven't seem that great.

Yes, I've heard similar about the DC2000 shooting delay, which scares me off. But I do wonder if I could actually stomach it... maybe. It might actually slow me down, which suits my style. The IQ issues are less forgivable. The pictures you show offer an interesting comparison.. I suppose I'd have to say they're inconclusive. But the point seems clear: the DC2000 IQ advantage definitely isn't obvious.

It's been my observation that TG-5 images seem a bit softer and over-exposed compared to TG-6 images. Still....sharp results should be obtainable. By chance can you share the camera settings you use? The post processing techniques you use?

Well, I shot probably 75% RAW 25% JPG. Mostly shot in Program mode, mostly at ISO 100. I might have fiddled with Aperture priority a bit, and auto a bit. I mislabeled my captions - the f-stop fluctuated drastically, as did shutter speed. For post processing in Lightroom, I corrected geometry, sharpened and de-noised details, used the dehaze slider more than usual (in the positive direction), and added contrast. I also adjusted color a lot, sometimes adding blue, sometimes yellow. Generally the originals were too green for me.

I am happy to have almost 200 keepers (over five days and thousands of shots) - definitely worthwhile to capture images I otherwise would've been without. But I can't help but wonder if there's a better way for me, personally.

 Keithpictures's gear list:Keithpictures's gear list
Fujifilm X100V Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 GoPro Hero8 Black Apple iPhone 11 Pro
smithaa02 Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Too niche
5

Keithpictures wrote:

There are other issues with a larger sensor. They will be more expensive, have worse DOF, have inferior focus, worse frame rates and can cook when shooting high frame rate video. For us macro shooters, a one inch sensor for the TG series would spell big problems.

It's not clear to me why a larger sensor would invite all the problems you listed.

I'm not why...but bigger sensors tend to mean more expensive cameras. Maybe it has to do with the optics. The DC2000 is one of the most expensive UW cameras at $700, while the TG-5/6 runs at $450.

DOF is an issue because to fill the frame you have to zoom in or get closer...this increases the angle at which light hits the sensors which hurts DOF. In theory you could crop a big sensor to get the benefits of a little sensor...but in practice this doesn't work well and you are wasting resources (sensor size/optics) if you crop.

Most of the speed/heat issues that occur with big sensors actually tend to correlate more with MP count. Bigger sensors usually mean more pixels. The TG-5/6 run at 12 MP and the DC2000 at 20 MP. Those extra MP's are very taxing when the camera needs to do complicated post-processing durint burst and/or video.

Macro and focus mostly suffer with big sensors because of the smaller DOF. But because it is easier for small sensors to zoom and use ring flashes, that helps with macro too.

Users of the DC2000 have observed a 2-3 second delay between images which can be up to 4-5 seconds when shooting raw. From the sample images I've seen of the DC2000, the dynamic range and brightness haven't seem that great.

Yes, I've heard similar about the DC2000 shooting delay, which scares me off. But I do wonder if I could actually stomach it... maybe. It might actually slow me down, which suits my style. The IQ issues are less forgivable. The pictures you show offer an interesting comparison.. I suppose I'd have to say they're inconclusive. But the point seems clear: the DC2000 IQ advantage definitely isn't obvious.

I suspect the Sony RX100 cameras are light years better than the DC2000. You might consider an underwater housing or even a cheaper waterproof wrap.

It's been my observation that TG-5 images seem a bit softer and over-exposed compared to TG-6 images. Still....sharp results should be obtainable. By chance can you share the camera settings you use? The post processing techniques you use?

Well, I shot probably 75% RAW 25% JPG. Mostly shot in Program mode, mostly at ISO 100. I might have fiddled with Aperture priority a bit, and auto a bit. I mislabeled my captions - the f-stop fluctuated drastically, as did shutter speed. For post processing in Lightroom, I corrected geometry, sharpened and de-noised details, used the dehaze slider more than usual (in the positive direction), and added contrast. I also adjusted color a lot, sometimes adding blue, sometimes yellow. Generally the originals were too green for me.

I am happy to have almost 200 keepers (over five days and thousands of shots) - definitely worthwhile to capture images I otherwise would've been without. But I can't help but wonder if there's a better way for me, personally.

I won't completely defend the TG-5 here...I'll agree it has some shortcomings. But there might be some easy ways to improve your images.

ND Filter: In several cases you accidentally selected the "max aperture" which actually uses an internal ND Filter. This will block light which can noise/motion blue (and indirectly noise reduction). I'm a bit horrified that Olympus put their ND filter on as an AP option...and max aperture a that.  This should have been designed differently.

Noise Reduction: I can't tell from your images what you set it at, but for my TG-6 outdoor shoots, Noise Filter > Standard is too smudged...while Noise > Filter Off is too grainy. I do like Noise Filter > Low though. PP denoising for some is of course a better option.

Camera Shake: Several of your images are a tad soft. Even in good light I find it easy to accidentally introduce a little trigger shake to the image. I find custom timer > 1 second is an effective way to get crisper images. Portable tripods or gorillapods can significantly help with image quality as well.

Geometry: I'm not sure you always want to adjust this as it can soften the spots in the photos where the warping adjustments are made. This can be a big deal for just 12 MP images. I know the TG-6 uses this sparingly and it seems like the camera won't do internal geometry corrections if it doesn't need to.

EV: It sounds like with you use dehaze a lot (which I love too) but that is likely a sign that you are over-exposing. The TG-5 is known to over-expose in outdoor scenes and you might want to play with dark EV values. I know this is somewhat correctable in PP, but I think it helps to get the photo close to right to start with.

Color: It's curious that your shots error on the green side. The TG-6 seems to error on the red side. At any rate, you might play with the WB to see if getting this right in camera helps with the later PP edits. The presets work well on the TG-6 (I use sunny a lot), and of course there are custom kelvin and OTWB options.

Image Stabilization: I can't tell from your images if this is off or not...but turning it on is definitely a good thing that can make images more crisp. Still IS > On .

The TG-6 IMO tends to have slightly crisper, darker images than the TG-5 and perhaps even less noise. I'm not a UW shooter myself, but I do like to shoot a lot of outdoor scenes from a kayak. At times I wish the TG-6 had more than 12 MP, but generally speaking I've been happy with the default color/contrast/sharpness with little to no PP. The following is a Flickr Gallery of outdoor shots (no macros):

https://www.flickr.com/gp/162931725@N08/Qtnwdi

My "setting recipe" tend to be:

  • Mode: Program
  • Picture Mode: I-enhance > low
  • Noise Reduction: low
  • White balance: Auto for overcast or close-ups...sunny for open scenes with sunshine
  • Drive Mode: Custom Delay > 1s
  • Keep Warm Colors On: off
  • Still IS: On
  • Face Priority: Off
  • Jpg Quality: Max
  • EV: About 50% of the time -0.3
Daniel Branco New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Too niche
1

I really like the first pic, "don't forget to look back" is always a good tip.

They all look a bit over exposed, but that fits the first pic very well.

I was on the same boat as you, comparing the output from the tg6 to my aps-c dslrs, a bit sad until yesterday, when I printed an A4 pic from my 2001 4Mpix Canon G2, and  it looks great, I'm sure the TG6 will do better, I just need to know it as I well as I knew the g2.

So I've learned not to peak until you need to peak, the tg looks good on screen, but not as a good as I'm used to at 100%.

I bought the tg because I hate the mobile photo experience, I like buttons and dials  and the tg is good for it's size/ambition it's now my always with me camera for cycling and every day life. I take much more pics and in the end much better pictures than with my mobile.

My dream is a tough ricoh GRIII, same price and size, but tough, I said dream.

Best,

 Daniel Branco's gear list:Daniel Branco's gear list
Olympus TG-6 Pentax K-30 Pentax KP Pentax smc DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 +12 more
Enders Shadow
Enders Shadow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,245
Re: Too niche

smithaa02 wrote:

ND Filter: In several cases you accidentally selected the "max aperture" which actually uses an internal ND Filter. This will block light which can noise/motion blue (and indirectly noise reduction). I'm a bit horrified that Olympus put their ND filter on as an AP option...and max aperture a that. This should have been designed differently.

For any given ISO value, it doesn't matter if the ND filter is used or not used. It won't change the noise characteristics, at least until reaching long exposures times.

Designed differently? Almost every small sensor camera uses a ND filter, but it's usually not mentioned in the specs. If you don't understand why, do a little research on diffraction.

Noise Reduction: I can't tell from your images what you set it at, but for my TG-6 outdoor shoots, Noise Filter > Standard is too smudged...while Noise > Filter Off is too grainy. I do like Noise Filter > Low though. PP denoising for some is of course a better option.

Based on the EXIF, the OP may have shot in RAW. Even if they weren't, they were adjusted in LR to their preference. These don't have the appearance of SOOC JPEGs.

-- hide signature --

Phil

 Enders Shadow's gear list:Enders Shadow's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Olympus Tough TG-3 Fujifilm X30 Canon EOS 5D Mark III +21 more
smithaa02 Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Too niche
2

Enders Shadow wrote:

Designed differently? Almost every small sensor camera uses a ND filter, but it's usually not mentioned in the specs. If you don't understand why, do a little research on diffraction.

Most people use AP to control DOF and not light.  It is very confusing to have three f-stops for aperture priority and the third setting is not really an fstop but an fstop equivalent in light.  Not only do users not get the increased DOF they were after but they get an extra layer between the sensor and their subject which does hurt image quality.

Olympus could easily communicate this better.  The third fstop could be disabled by default, or it could be labeled as a ND filter as such on the menu.

Your average user won't know this.  I've searched the manual and don't see a reference.  Only those very familiar with cameras and/or that study the exif data will realize what is going on.

Enders Shadow
Enders Shadow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,245
Re: Too niche

smithaa02 wrote:

Most people use AP to control DOF and not light. It is very confusing to have three f-stops for aperture priority and the third setting is not really an fstop but an fstop equivalent in light. Not only do users not get the increased DOF they were after but they get an extra layer between the sensor and their subject which does hurt image quality.

Internal ND filters do not measurably effect IQ. It's ideally located and avoids the most of reflection issues of front mounted filters. I've done tests with and without the internal ND filter and can't detect any change in resolution. Of all the factors that can impact IQ, this is low on the list. Considering the lackluster sharpness of the lens, I'd consider it a non factor.

Olympus could easily communicate this better. The third fstop could be disabled by default, or it could be labeled as a ND filter as such on the menu.

It's common for small sensor cameras to use a ND filter, but few mention it in their specs. It's necessary to handle typical bright sunlit scenes. So far I've only noticed Nikon indicating the use of a ND filter. From the W300 specs:

Aperture: Electronically-controlled preset aperture (-1 AV) and ND filter (–2 AV) selections

Your average user won't know this. I've searched the manual and don't see a reference. Only those very familiar with cameras and/or that study the exif data will realize what is going on.

Those that have taken the time to study photography will learn how diffraction limits resolution. For a 1/2.3" sensor, diffraction limiting sets in at about f/5.6. There are various methods to determine when diffraction starts to impact IQ. Those who are critical about image sharpness tend to agree the image degrades noticeably when pushing aperture past the accepted limits.

Those with basic knowledge of photographic principles will likely figure out how small apertures are achieved. Some small sensor cameras limit the smallest selectable aperture, others use a ND filter and a few allow shooting well past the diffraction limit. In the case of folded optics designs, a ND filter is mandatory.

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Phil

 Enders Shadow's gear list:Enders Shadow's gear list
Canon PowerShot G12 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Olympus Tough TG-3 Fujifilm X30 Canon EOS 5D Mark III +21 more
smithaa02 Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Too niche

Enders Shadow wrote:

Those that have taken the time to study photography will learn how diffraction limits resolution. For a 1/2.3" sensor, diffraction limiting sets in at about f/5.6. There are various methods to determine when diffraction starts to impact IQ. Those who are critical about image sharpness tend to agree the image degrades noticeably when pushing aperture past the accepted limits.

Those with basic knowledge of photographic principles will likely figure out how small apertures are achieved. Some small sensor cameras limit the smallest selectable aperture, others use a ND filter and a few allow shooting well past the diffraction limit. In the case of folded optics designs, a ND filter is mandatory.

I still think Olympus does not communicate this well.

I just did some tests on my TG-6 with aperture priority.  I toggled between between F 2.8 and F 8.0.  The latter if of course the fake "aperture" and refers to the ND filter.  For a random indoor shot, the ISO went from 640 > 1250.  Ouch.  Exposure time went from 1/30th of a second to 1/8th of a second.  Ouch.

ND filters block light...that is really all they do.  A TG owner looking to reduce their DOF will be none the wiser that they are introducing significant noise and/or SS delays to their pictures.   More noise usually means more NR which usually means smudged images.  Slower SS usually means more motion blur which obviously will create softer images as well.

I think this is a common mistake that even BackScatter made.  They made a big deal about using the smaller aperture value in AP mode and they didn't realize how much noise/motion blur it would add to their images.

Keithpictures
OP Keithpictures Contributing Member • Posts: 817
Re: Too niche

Daniel Branco wrote:

I really like the first pic, "don't forget to look back" is always a good tip.

They all look a bit over exposed, but that fits the first pic very well.

Thanks man. Yeah, it's strange about the exposure because I do recall using the ex comp dial to underexpose. 🤷🏻‍♂️

My dream is a tough ricoh GRIII, same price and size, but tough, I said dream.

I agree that a tough GR III would be amazing! Why is it so far-fetched?? Surely it's technically possible. Would it really be so cost-prohibitive to the company? Wouldn't lots of GR fans welcome extreme protection??

 Keithpictures's gear list:Keithpictures's gear list
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Enders Shadow
Enders Shadow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,245
Re: Too niche

smithaa02 wrote:

I still think Olympus does not communicate this well.

I just did some tests on my TG-6 with aperture priority. I toggled between between F 2.8 and F 8.0. The latter if of course the fake "aperture" and refers to the ND filter. For a random indoor shot, the ISO went from 640 > 1250. Ouch. Exposure time went from 1/30th of a second to 1/8th of a second. Ouch.

And how would that change if the iris could stop down to f/8? Other than your f/8 shot would suffer decreased sharpness due to diffraction, the exposure would be the identical. Ouch!

ND filters block light...that is really all they do. A TG owner looking to reduce their DOF will be none the wiser that they are introducing significant noise and/or SS delays to their pictures.

Why wouldn't they be aware? You chose to use a smaller aperture and the remaining exposure parameters have to compensate. Shutter speed must become longer and/or ISO must increase. Do you actually believe people don't understand this? You can manually set a fixed ISO value. Unless SS moves into long exposure territory, there will be no change in noise level.

More noise usually means more NR which usually means smudged images. Slower SS usually means more motion blur which obviously will create softer images as well.

Again, noise is dependent on ISO and the photographer can control that. If you stop aperture down, you should expect SS to decrease. If you need to freeze some sort of fast action, logic dictates shutter speed should take precedent over increased DOF. This is were user skill helps determine the proper exposure parameters for any given scene. And for small sensor cameras, you have limited control over DOF.

I think this is a common mistake that even BackScatter made. They made a big deal about using the smaller aperture value in AP mode and they didn't realize how much noise/motion blur it would add to their images.

Two years ago I stopped at the Backscatter store in Monterey. They definitely have some great photographers. I don't know why they continue making this mistake. The TG series is clearly not their primary interest.

They often use multiple high power strobes and mostly avoid high ISO low shutter speed problems. But a few of their examples would have benefited from dropping the ND filter. Maybe someone will eventually drop a clue on their staff.

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Phil

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smithaa02 Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Too niche

Enders Shadow wrote:

smithaa02 wrote:

I still think Olympus does not communicate this well.

I just did some tests on my TG-6 with aperture priority. I toggled between between F 2.8 and F 8.0. The latter if of course the fake "aperture" and refers to the ND filter. For a random indoor shot, the ISO went from 640 > 1250. Ouch. Exposure time went from 1/30th of a second to 1/8th of a second. Ouch.

And how would that change if the iris could stop down to f/8? Other than your f/8 shot would suffer decreased sharpness due to diffraction, the exposure would be the identical. Ouch!

ND filters block light...that is really all they do. A TG owner looking to reduce their DOF will be none the wiser that they are introducing significant noise and/or SS delays to their pictures.

Why wouldn't they be aware? You chose to use a smaller aperture and the remaining exposure parameters have to compensate. Shutter speed must become longer and/or ISO must increase. Do you actually believe people don't understand this? You can manually set a fixed ISO value. Unless SS moves into long exposure territory, there will be no change in noise level.

I'm not arguing that smaller apertures will let in the same amount of light.  Heck I'm not even arguing that Olympus has to ditch their ND filter (maybe it is useful for some long exposures).   I'm just saying they should be more honest about this...both in their manual and in their AP menu.

Most users that select AP do so for DOF...not to change the amount of incoming light.  Most users looking for the deep DOF will use the biggest fstop, not realizing that it could double the iso and quadrupedal the SS while not affecting DOF.   Your casual user will also equate fuzzy images as being a sign of poor camera quality, and not realize it was the setting they chose.

Daniel Branco New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Too niche
3

I'm not arguing that smaller apertures will let in the same amount of light. Heck I'm not even arguing that Olympus has to ditch their ND filter (maybe it is useful for some long exposures). I'm just saying they should be more honest about this...both in their manual and in their AP menu.

Most users that select AP do so for DOF...not to change the amount of incoming light. Most users looking for the deep DOF will use the biggest fstop, not realizing that it could double the iso and quadrupedal the SS while not affecting DOF. Your casual user will also equate fuzzy images as being a sign of poor camera quality, and not realize it was the setting they chose.

I agree, I think it would be better when you turn the dial in A mode, you would go from "f2.8" to "f2.8 ND" instead of "f2.8" "f8", because you didn't get any extra DOF.

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PentaxNick Senior Member • Posts: 1,742
Re: Too niche

Keithpictures wrote:

Daniel Branco wrote:

I really like the first pic, "don't forget to look back" is always a good tip.

They all look a bit over exposed, but that fits the first pic very well.

Thanks man. Yeah, it's strange about the exposure because I do recall using the ex comp dial to underexpose. 🤷🏻‍♂️

My dream is a tough ricoh GRIII, same price and size, but tough, I said dream.

I agree that a tough GR III would be amazing! Why is it so far-fetched?? Surely it's technically possible. Would it really be so cost-prohibitive to the company? Wouldn't lots of GR fans welcome extreme protection??

A tough, or at least weather sealed GRIII would be great, but wouldn’t be usable underwater due to the extending lens. If the extension was fixed it wouldn’t be pocketable.

Any camera with a lens that extends, either at startup or for zooming or focusing cannot be used underwater. The space taken by the collapsed lens needs to be filled with something, normally air, but underwater that isn’t available. I suppose a camera could have a motor strong enough to create a vacuum but the seals would have to be strong enough too, so not practical in a consumer device.

If the sensor size was increased a folded lens would also increase in size as the focal length would increase, and the camera would quickly become much larger. So a 1inch sensor TG would probably be too large.

The current TG is probably the best compromise possible.

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Nick

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Keithpictures
OP Keithpictures Contributing Member • Posts: 817
Re: Too niche

PentaxNick wrote:

Keithpictures wrote:

Daniel Branco wrote:

My dream is a tough ricoh GRIII, same price and size, but tough, I said dream.

I agree that a tough GR III would be amazing! Why is it so far-fetched?? Surely it's technically possible. Would it really be so cost-prohibitive to the company? Wouldn't lots of GR fans welcome extreme protection??

A tough, or at least weather sealed GRIII would be great, but wouldn’t be usable underwater due to the extending lens. If the extension was fixed it wouldn’t be pocketable.

Any camera with a lens that extends, either at startup or for zooming or focusing cannot be used underwater. The space taken by the collapsed lens needs to be filled with something, normally air, but underwater that isn’t available. I suppose a camera could have a motor strong enough to create a vacuum but the seals would have to be strong enough too, so not practical in a consumer device.

If the sensor size was increased a folded lens would also increase in size as the focal length would increase, and the camera would quickly become much larger. So a 1inch sensor TG would probably be too large.

The current TG is probably the best compromise possible.

The GR3 is very small. I'm not familiar enough with it, so I'm just thinking out loud: how much portability would really be sacrificed if the lens didn't retract? What if it stayed extended, and was then weather-sealed?

I'm more of a Fuji X100F fan myself, so extreme compactness isn't necessary for me. The X100F lens also technically extends while focusing, but not as dramatically as the GR3. Somewhere between these cameras, it seems entirely conceivable to throw some coating on, seal the openings and make a tough version. Well, obviously it's possible because the DC2000 exists. Isn't that one pocketable?

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KayakMark34 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Too niche
1

I Know this an old thread, but I just picked up a TG-6. I just followed your settings advice (especially for custom setting 1), and it was a GREAT help. The Photos are now awesome for a small sensor camera! Thanks!

BMWBig6 Forum Member • Posts: 84
Re: Too niche

KayakMark34 wrote:

I Know this an old thread, but I just picked up a TG-6. I just followed your settings advice (especially for custom setting 1), and it was a GREAT help. The Photos are now awesome for a small sensor camera! Thanks!

Are you talking about setting the custom delay to 1 second?  (Did you do back to back comparisons to validate the change?)  Or are you taking about another setting on the camera?

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KayakMark34 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Too niche
1

Yes, I set it on custom setting 1 especially for zooming and/or low light. PLUS, The Low Noise reduction makes a HUGE difference also, IMO.

smithaa02 Regular Member • Posts: 214
Re: Too niche
1

KayakMark34 wrote:

I Know this an old thread, but I just picked up a TG-6. I just followed your settings advice (especially for custom setting 1), and it was a GREAT help. The Photos are now awesome for a small sensor camera! Thanks!

If you get a chance, you might post these online and share these with the community.

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