$450 Rugged Camera: Five Upgrades And One Surprise

Shockproof, waterproof, crushproof, freezeproof: the list goes on for Olympus’s TG-5 camera. Not to mention it shoots great photos and 4K video for $450.

olympus tough camera

Rough on your gear? Tough is the tagline for the Olympus TG line of cameras and the newest iteration, the TG-5, improves upon the TG-4. This camera is darned difficult to break.

Our editors have used Olympus Tough cameras for years. The light, rugged point-and-shoots take remarkably good photos, weigh almost nothing, and fit easily in the pocket of a ski jacket. They are an upgrade on your phone and tough as nails.

The TG-5 is brand new for spring 2017. This is how it improves on the TG-4.

olympus tough tg 5

1. 4K Video

Shoot 4K video with the TG-5. While the previous model shot at 1080p, the TG-5 rivals new phones, GoPros, and other dedicated camera systems.

2. Higher Frames Per Second

The TG-5 shoots 20 fps, compared to the TG-4’s 5 fps. That speed comes in handy for quick action photos, where the best image happens during a burst of high-speed frames.

3. Better Low Light Performance

Crank up the ISO to shoot in low light. While it still won’t compete with DSLRs, the TG-5 gives twice the ISO of the TG-4. The TG-5 extends up to ISO 12,800.

4. Anti-Fog Lens

Steamy conditions fogging your lens? The new Olympus comes with anti-fog dual pane glass.

5. More Data

Keep track of your location and environmental details with the built-in GPS, compass, temperature sensor, and a manometer for altitude. Know at what depth or height you’re shooting and learn more details behind your photos.

olympus tough tg 5

Surprise: Lower Megapixels

The TG-4 boasts an impressive 16 MP, while the TG-5 has 12 MP. That said, more Megapixels doesn’t necessarily translate to higher-quality images. Unless you are blowing up photos into billboards, 12 MP is enough, and it equates to 4,000 x 3,000 pixels. That’s great for Instagram, Facebook, and most prints.

Olympus TG-5: Durable Point And Shoot

In a market as saturated as cameras, the Olympus shines not in groundbreaking image quality, but durability. Phone screens crack, DSLRs require bulky and expensive waterproof housing, and action cameras lack versatility. Whether you drop, submerge, or even freeze this camera, don’t worry about breaking the TG-5.

And while some pros might scoff, this little shooter will produce exceptional images in talented hands. It shoots RAW files, allows for a lot of manual control, and can mount to an add-on teleconverter lens.

Those brutal on gear and in the market for a powerful but small point-and-shoot should consider the Tough TG-5.

olympus tough tg 5

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Midwest born, Nate Mitka started with Gearjunkie after a short stint as “intern”. An advocate of all outdoor activities he’s developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.

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