10 things you need to know about the new Olympus Tough TG-5 compact camera

The Tough TG-5 joins a great line-up of rugged and action cameras from Olympus, including the Olympus TG-Tracker Action camera. And don’t forget, you can still buy the TG-4 too, if you’re on a tighter budget.

Here, we’ll have a look at some of the TG-5’s new features to show you exactly why the Olympus Tough TG-5 is the ideal choice for your next adventure camera.

1. Sensor and processor

The megapixel count for the TG-5 has actually lowered when compared with the Tough TG-4. The all-new sensor is now a 12 megapixel device, while the TG-4 had a 16 megapixel device. This reduction should mean that the camera is better able to produce higher quality images in low-light, with less noise and better detail. The processor inside the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5 is a TruePic VIII image processor – the same one as found in the flagship Olympus CSC, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II. This sensor and processor combination combines to produce better image quality with enhanced dynamic range and improved response time.

2. Lens

One of the great features of the Tough TG-4 camera was its lens, which Olympus has kept for TG-5. The 4x optical zoom lens gives you a 35mm equivalent of 25-100mm. That should be flexible enough for most everyday situations, giving you scope to capture both lovely wide landscape vistas, and to zoom in to get closer to the action. Not only that, but at the widest point of the lens, it has a maximum aperture of f/2.0 – that’s super handy when shooting in lower light conditions, such as underwater.

3. Rugged credentials

The TG-5 is a class-leading tough compact camera, and has been designed to survive whatever difficult conditions it is faced with. To that end, it is shockproof from a height of 2.1 metres, crushproof up to 100kg, freeze proof down to -10 degrees, dustproof and waterproof down to 15 metres without a casing. An optional waterproof casing can be bought, which boosts the waterproofing down to 45 metres. A new feature for the TG-5 is the introduction of dual-pane anti-fog glass covering the lens – this helps to prevent the fogging you might associate with extreme shifts in temperature, which can be a problem when using a camera in snowy conditions.

4. Improved handling

It can be difficult to change settings when you’re working in tricky conditions, so the TG-5 has been improved to make it easier to make those changes in a variety of different situations. For example, the new customisable mode dial is glove-friendly, while the new control wheel makes it easier to change settings such as exposure compensation.

5. For advanced users

Although there’s an excellent range of automatic options which allow everybody to pick up the camera and get some great images, there are also lots of enthusiast-friendly features, too. It’s possible to shoot in aperture priority mode, giving you a good level of control. Raw format shooting is also available, for those that like to work with their images in post-production. You can choose a specific focus point with AF area shift, giving you complete control over composition, too.

6. Body

The 6D Mark II features a compact and lightweight body for a full-frame DSLR. It’s also dust and moisture resistant, giving you confidence to use it when the weather takes a turn for the worse. An optional, custom-built, battery grip is also available to give you extra power and give you different handling options.

7. 4K video

One of the big improvements for this model over the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 is in its video capability. While the previous model could record Full HD video, the TG-5 can now record in the ultra-high resolution 4K video mode – making it ideal for capturing all of your precious adventure memories. Another exciting new feature is 120fps Full HD movie recording, meaning you can capture ultra-slow motion video for a fun and intriguing effect, which showcases your adventures in a special way.

8. Macro

The TG-5 has an advanced, four-mode Variable Macro system which features a range of shooting modes to help you get the best close-up shots possible. There’s Microscope mode, Microscope Control mode, Focus Bracketing and Focus Stacking mode – the latter of which you can take advantage of in camera, without the need for additional software: a feature which is unique in the tough compact camera segment of the market.

9. Exciting advanced features

Olympus has brought across lots of advanced features from other models in its line-up, including its range of high-end compact system cameras. One such example of this is a version of Pro Capture mode, something which has come from the OM-D line. This allows you to capture fleeting moments from action scenes by capturing a series of shots before and after you fire the shutter and choosing the best one afterwards – all in camera. There’s also Underwater HDR mode, which enhances areas of light and shadow when you’re shooting submerged. Live Composite mode is a great function which enables long exposure photography, such as star trails, fireworks and fireflies – watch as your long exposure builds up on the monitor and stop it when the image is perfected.

10. Wi-Fi connectivity

Inbuilt Wi-Fi brings with it a range of benefits which are great for adventurous types. You can use it to import field data to your images, such as pressure, temperature and GPS location. You can transfer images and video to your smartphone or tablet, ready for sharing quickly online with your friends and family back home. A free Olympus app is available, which gives you the opportunity to create videos with tracking data overlaid on top of it for a fun and ultra-shareable movie which shows off where you’ve been.


The TG-5 is great right out of the box, but you can enhance it even further with an excellent range of accessories which are available. There’s a Macro Light which is helpful when shooting close-ups in darker conditions, and a flash diffuser for softening light. There’s also a fisheye converter lens for creating unusual super wide angle shots, while a tele-converter lens means you can get even closer to the action. An underwater housing boosts the waterproofing to 45 metres, while a neoprene case or a silicon jacket provides extra protection. The sports holder is useful for attaching the TG-5 to your backpack or harness while on the go, while a hard case with attached carabiner clip is suitable when mountaineering. Finally, a floating hand strap helps to ensure you don’t lose the TG-5 when using it in and around water.

Quick tips for adventure photography

So, you’ve picked up a tough camera, and now you want to get some great shots? Here’s some quick tips to consider when planning your next adventure.

Research, research, research

When it comes to adventure photography, the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of nailing the shot. Take the time to research the area, using maps and guidebooks to find points of interest. If possible, do a scout of the area first to look out for potential shots – and crucially – any potential safety issues which will give you complete confidence when it comes to shooting.

Add scale

One thing which differentiates between standard landscape photography and adventure shots is a sense of scale. If you’re photographing a stunning snowy vista, include a snowboarder and the overarching sense of scale will immediately become more apparent, adding human interest to your shot.

Create a story

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to encapsulate your adventures in a single shot. That’s where cameras like the TG-5 help you to create an entire story. Use the different modes available to capture wide-angle shots, underwater memories, macro images, and 4K video. Combine it all together for a complete picture of your travels and adventures.

Use underwater modes

The TG-5 allows you to shoot up to 15 metres underwater without the need for additional housing. To truly take advantage of the camera’s great technology, shoot in the appropriate mode, including underwater HDR mode which will give your submerged shots a boost.

Where will you be heading on your next adventure? Share your best shots with us via our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, and let us know if you’ll be buying the new Olympus Tough TG-5.

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