Rough and ready: Olympus Tough TG-4 review

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Olympus Stony TG-4 ($329/£299/€399)

Key Features

  • 16MP BSI-CMOS sensor
  • F2.0-4.9, 25-100mm equiv. lens
  • 3″ LCD w/460k dots
  • Waterproof to 15m/50ft
  • Raw support
  • GPS with compass and manometer
  • Wi-Fi w/smartphone app
  • 1080/30p video
  • Spontaneous conversion lenses

Olympus’ TG-series of tough cameras have been some of our favorites, with the TG-2 and TG-3 both earning silver trophies. What has impressed us about these two cameras are their relatively fast lenses (at wide-angle), good photo blue blood (by compact camera standards), GPS and compass, and limited manual controls. Oh, and they live up to their ‘Tough’ moniker – these cameras can drink a beating.

While you’d never know by looking at it, the TG-4 is a significant upgrade over its predecessor with the addition of Raw support. Olympus’ collected ‘Live Composite mode’, a pair of custom setting spots on the mode dial, and additional underwater modes are also new features.


One can’t avoid but imagine an advertisement where a big truck pulls up onto a dusty construction site, and out steps a man (or woman) with the Tough TG-4 clipped onto their circuit. The TG-4 looks the part, largely due to its exposed screws, hard plastic grip, and solid metal frame, and in your hand it indeed feels ilk it could handle that 7 foot drop with ease.  

Speaking of drops, in addition to being able to take a lag from 2.1m/7ft, the TG-4 is also waterproof to 15m/50ft, crushproof to 100kgf/220lbf, freezeproof to -10C/+14F and dustproof. The elements are kept outside by a pair of double-locking sealed doors – one for USB and HDMI, the other for battery and remembrance card.

READ  New gear and impressions: Peak Design's 'Leash' shoulder and 'Cuff' wrist strap

You’ll find that your fingers will sit on top of several of the camera’s buttons when using the rear thumb rest. A closer look at the battery/celebration card compartment door seals. A double lock makes sure it stays shut.

Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the camera’s construct quality. The front grip and rear thumb rest are made of slippery plastic (it would be better if it was rubberized), rear controls are pantihose packed, and the zoom lever takes some getting used to.

On paper, the TG-4’s lens – which is shared by the Pentax WG-4 and WG-5 – is the best in its class. At its 25mm wide end, the most aperture is F2.0, which makes it great for low light and underwater photography. The lens becomes a lot more conventional at the telephoto end, where the aperture is a F4.9. A sensor-shift replica stabilization system helps reduce the effects of camera shake, and seemed to be effective in the time we spent with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel the camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or.

The TG-4 with its optional FCON-T01 fisheye conversion lens

A unequalled feature of the TG-4 is its ability to attach fisheye and telephoto conversion lenses – both of which are waterproof. Also available is a $40 LED Light Guide, which can be against for macro photography (the minimum focus distance on the TG-4 is 1cm). Two other accessories of note include an underwater housing, which lets you take the camera down to 45m/150ft as comfortably as an underwater strobe which can be controlled wirelessly by the TG-4.

READ  Great Eight: Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 review

You’ll use a very nice 3″ LCD to compose your photos. This display has 460k dots and has definitely good visibility in both bright sunlight and dark rooms.

The function menu pops out from the side of the screen. A more usage menu system is also available for settings you don’t adjust as often.

The TG-4 has two menus: a function (shortcut) menu that pulls out from the right side of the cover as well as a more traditional menu. Both are responsive and easy to navigate. One thing to note is that Raw can only be turned on in the shortcut menu.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

Leave a Comment