Olympus Tough TG-5

Olympus Tough TG-5

12MP BSI-CMOS sensor | 25-100mm equiv. F2-4.9 lens | 4K video capture

What we like:

  • Very good photo and video quality
  • Great GPS and environmental tracking
  • Raw support
  • Optional conversion lenses

What we don't:

  • Lots of noise reduction in JPEGs
  • Limited aperture choices, no shutter priority mode
  • Rear screen scratches easily
The Olympus Tough TG-5 is a rugged camera with a relatively fast lens, Raw support, advanced tracking functionality and excellent battery life. Its rugged credentials are also top-notch. While not a huge leap over its predecessor, Olympus's TG cameras remain among our favorite rugged cameras.
The TG-5's body is indeed tough. Its button layout is a bit tight, and the sole control dial too small, but overall it's easy to hold. The camera is waterproof to 15m/50ft, shockproof to 2.1m/7ft, crushproof to 100kgf /220lbf and freezeproof to -10°C /+14°F. It has two doors that protect the battery, memory card, and USB / HDMI jacks, and each one has dual locks. The TG-5 measures location, temperature, altitude / depth and can track this data over time. The rear display is limited to 460k dots, which is a bit low, and the coating tends to scratch easily.
Olympus has been making some of our favorite rugged cameras in recent years and that trend continues with the TG-5
The TG-5 sports a 25-point contrast-detect AF system that's responsive and accurate, even underwater. While it has an AF tracking mode, it doesn't work while shooting continuously. The TG-5 can shoot at full resolution at up to 20 fps. The camera can focus as close as 1cm/0.4in in its 'microscope' mode. Battery life is rated at an impressive (for this class) 340 shots per charge, and the battery can be charged in-camera over USB.
Image quality is very good for a camera with a small sensor. Colors are vivid and the camera's white balance system worked well underwater. Noise reduction in JPEGs is fairly aggressive, but having Raw support lets you fine-tune that and things like white balance and contrast, two parameters which are especially relevant to underwater photography.
The TG-5 can capture high quality 4K UHD video at 30p or 25p with a bit rate of 102Mbps. 4K quality is very good, though the AF system will 'hunt' if set to continuous. Dropping down to 1080p gives you a 60 fps option, as well as a high speed 120 fps mode. Video capture controls are extremely minimal: only audio levels are adjustable.
Olympus has been making some of our favorite rugged cameras in recent years and that trend continues with the TG-5. I's feature set is excellent, image and video quality are solid, and Raw support is a huge bonus. We're not fans of the limited aperture choices in manual mode, lack of a shutter priority mode and limited video controls, but overall the TG-5 is an excellent choice.

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