I got my hands on the Olympus TG-2 Stylus Tough series digital compact camera. This is Olympus’s flagship tough waterproof camera, so this baby is definitely going to see some action in this messy family, and with any luck won’t see me having to get sand cleaned out of lens threads.
Waterproof to 15 metres, 2.1m shock proof (didn’t test that out though) and 100kg crush proof (also not testing that out, unless the Husband sits on it). Also freeze proof to -10 which doesn’t help those enduring a polar vortex right now, but still good to know I can take it skiing. But most importantly for me is its dust proof. Keeping dust out of my larger DSLR set up really gets to be a pain in the arse when you are down on the ground trying to get ‘that shot’.
You can pretty much charge and go with the Tough, beginners can just leave it on auto and the iHS technology on the inside will figure out the settings for you. If you put the camera on auto and just stand in one spot and move the camera around, and up and down, you will see the settings change from portrait to macro to whatever you need for the shot. It does this very quickly using tech from its big DSLR brothers, and its low light shots will surprise you with their clarity. It focuses in a heartbeat, with a 4x wide angle lens and an effective 12 megapixels.
We took it out for its first run, on a miserable day over the coast. I can imagine that if the sun was out these shots would’ve been even better. It also has a built in GPS, giro and compass which I’m yet to use to its full capability, but from first impressions it looks to be a useful traveling tool. I forgot to mention it has a macro, an advanced super macro to be precise. This has to be the best macro I’ve ever come across in a compact, especially a waterproof one.
There is software onboard for special effects, pop art (great to bring out colour in a hazy looking landscape), pin hole, fish eye (this effect looks very good, almost like you have the actual lens for it), soft focus, punk (which is a weird one that just makes everything hot pink), water colour, reflection (you can get very arty farty with this one, people will think you rock at photography after seeing this shot), miniature and dramatic.
It doesn’t have a secondary viewfinder or a shoe for a secondary flash, but it’s a waterproof camera so you can appreciate why not. Actually I’ve rarely needed the flash because the bright lens copes with low light so well. Battery life has proven itself to be good so far, specs say it’ll do 350 shots before a charge. The only little annoyance for me is the pictures are only saved in one format being jpeg, I’d like a RAW option. I’m still looking into the FlashAir card option that apparently makes it so I can bluetooth pictures to my smartphone, which sounds awesome if I can get it.
I’m excited by the possibilities this little camera brings. This weekend we will take it camping which is always very muddy times with our lot, I look forward to the results. Oh and it can charge via the usb socket in my car, very handy. I will update this post with more photos of the effects as I take them, which will probably be this weekend when I dare take this crowd camping. I know there is no way I have explored everything this camera is capable of yet.