Best waterproof cameras of 2019
Published Jun 5, 2019 | dpreview staff
Olympus Tough TG-6
12MP, 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor | 25-100mm equiv. F2.0-4.9 lens | Waterproof to 15m/50ft
What we like:
- Good image quality for its class
- Raw support
- 4K video capture
- Wide range of accessories
What we don't:
- Screen scratches easily
- Noise reduction reduces JPEG image quality
- Menus can be confusing
- Lacks Bluetooth
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is an ultra-rugged camera with a 12MP, 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor, 25-100mm equivalent lens, sensor-shift image stabilization and a host of additional sensors for tracking things like location and temperature. The camera is waterproof to 15m (50ft), shockproof from 2.1m (7ft), as well as freezeproof, crushproof and dustproof.
The pocketable TG-6 fits well in the hand, though buttons are small and easy to press accidentally, and the control dial is hard to turn. The camera's metal body is solid, and the dual locks on its two doors give added confidence that water will stay on the outside. The LCD is bright and easy to see outdoors, but it scratches very easily, making a screen protector a wise purchase. Olympus offers many accessories for the TG-6, including conversion lenses and macro lights.
The TG-6 is another winning waterproof camera from Olympus
The TG-6's contrast-detect AF system is responsive and accurate. A subject tracking feature is offered and does a good job of sticking to the chosen subject. The TG-6 is all about macro shooting, with a 1cm (0.4") minimum distance that works above and below the water. You can shoot bursts at up 20 fps, and the TG-6's battery life of 340 shots per charge is above average.
Image quality is pretty standard for a camera with a small, 1/2.3" sensor. Colors are pleasant and photos are sharp, though noise reduction is on the strong side, reducing detail. As with its predecessor, the TG-6 can shoot Raw, so you can reduce noise to your liking. Don't expect miracles at high ISOs, as the TG-6's sensor is about the same as a smartphone's. The TG-6 has several white balance options for reducing the blue color cast when shooting underwater.
We expect video quality to be the same as on the TG-5, which is to say, good. 4K/30p video can be captured, and 1080 at up to 60 fps, both at a bit rate of 102Mbps. A high speed mode can shoot Full HD at 120 fps, and even faster at lower resolutions. Video controls are minimal and, as you'd expect, there are no mic or headphone sockets.
As with its predecessors, Olympus's Tough TG-6 is one of the best waterproof camera on the market, though if you can find one, we'd save some money and get the TG-5, since the 'guts' of the camera are essentially the same. If you need additional underwater and macro options, or want access to a few extra accessories, then the TG-6 is the camera you want.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Support DPReview. Shop with
View Comments (226)