Camera enthusiasts come in all shapes, sizes and personalities. It would stand to reason that cameras would do the same. Today we examine the Olympus TG-4 and put it against a specialized series of compact cameras in a field often referred to as ‘action cameras.’ These devices are not just built to offer excellent imaging options, but as well take a beating in all degrees of shooting scenario; underwater, in freezing temperatures and against a litany of abuse scenarios these cameras are designed to be durable under duress and to still provide a quality picture when all is said and done.

Where it really shines in its waterproofing where it’s so much more than a camera that you can shoot with in the rain; you can literally swim with this camera and shoot underwater photos with it. Meanwhile, with internal RAW shooting capability, photographers can command a wide range of photo detail so that in post-production you can command color and style in ways jpeg only cameras would not hold up to.


Comparison Table

What Is Olympus TG-4?

Olympus TG-4

Image via Amazon

Olympus has been in the compact camera game now for years, and through it, all has provided a line of durable cameras that are reliable and still strong for their shooting capabilities. The Olympus TG-4, although having been replaced by the  TG-5, manages strong and agile camera capabilities and options all the while still proudly boasting the Olympus standard of durability and strength.

Product Specs  

Olympus TG-4

Image via Amazon

For starters, the Olympus TG-4 boasts a 16MP - 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS Sensor, which comparatively offers nearly the top in resolution standard among its competitors. Meanwhile, its mid-size 25-100 mm lens really shines with a F2.0 aperture at its widest setting. It can shoot HD, which in a world where almost everything provides 4k means it has some catching up to do in that department, but in image generation, this camera offers quality features like built-in wireless and built-in GPS. 

Where it really shines in its waterproofing where it’s so much more than a camera that you can shoot with in the rain; you can literally swim with this camera and shoot underwater photos with it. Meanwhile, with internal RAW shooting capability, photographers can command a wide range of photo detail so that in post-production you can command color and style in ways jpeg only cameras would not hold up to.

Pricing  

Olympus TG-4

Image via Amazon

Olympus has built their cameras around accessibility, and the Olympus TG-4 stands out as one that offers more accessibility in terms of affordability. You can be shooting with this camera faster and more affordably than other competitors. Amazon.com seems to be the best place to buy, but other retailers like B & H also offer great rates as well as packages for other useful accessories.

How It Compares

The action camera market is brimming and finding a camera that lasts means committing to a camera for years to come. We’ve taken the Olympus TG-4 and pitted it against a few other contenders to see how they compare on factors of price, photo quality and durability. Those cameras are:

Olympus TG-4 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black)
  • 4X wide-angle optical zoom with fast f2.0 high speed lens
  • Waterproof to depths of 50 feet, Freeze proof to 14 degrees F, Shockproof to 7 feet, Crushproof to 220 lb.
  • RAW capture, Live Composite, Underwater modes with Underwater HDR
  • Wi-Fi / GPS / e. Compass
  • 1080P HD video
  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

Amazon offers a 3-4 year warranty option for purchaser through their site.

PROS  

  • RAW image processing
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor
  • Extremely durable design
  • Fast Lens at Wide: f2.00

CONS

  • Only HD video (Not 4k)
  • Manual focus is deceptive and otherwise camera can be difficult to navigate
  • No Built-in Viewfinder
GoPro HERO6 Black — Waterproof Digital Action Camera for Travel with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos
  • HERO6 Black automatically sends your footage to your phone where the app turns it into a QuikStory an awesome edited video
  • With 4K60 and 1080p240 video,HERO6 Black delivers 2x the performance compared to HERO5 BlackWith an all new GP1 chip optimized for GoPro capture, HERO6 Black delivers vastly improved image quality
  • With our most advanced video stabilization yet, HERO6 Black captures super smooth footage, whether it’s handheld or mounted to your gear HERO6 Black is waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing
  • Now featuring touch zoom and an updated UI, the 2 inch display makes it easy to frame shots, change settings and play back footage
  • Featuring 5GHz Wi Fi, you can copy photos and videos over to your phone 3x faster than with HERO5 Black. Note low or high temperature conditions may temporarily shorten the battery life or cause the camera to temporarily stop working properly

GoPro is the ubiquitous camera of the sports and action field. Largely the signature design for action cameras of any kind, GoPro stands out for shooting quality HD and 4k footage inside a small and convenient camera body. Meanwhile a wide range of accessories and support material make it an incredibly user friendly apparatus that is easy to start with and easy to become addicted to. It is not typically rated for its photographic abilities and so when compared to cameras like the Olympus TG-4 which is conversely not rated for video standards very often, the two can come off as a largely dissimilar match. For what they lack in those departments though, they both can collectively compete in durability, portability and versatility.

  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

You can buy warranties with Amazon but GoPro also offers quality coverage for most reasonable scenarios.

PROS

  • Extremely compact
  • 4k shooting capability
  • Extensive range of resources

CONS

  • No internal screen
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to use if you’re not tech savvy
Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera with 3-Inch LCD, Red
  • New 12 MegaPixel Hi Speed Image Sensor for improved low light performance and noise reduction
  • Underwater: compensation: -2 EV to +2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps); Bright F2.0 high speed Lens; Video Recording format : MOV(MPEG 4AVC/H.264)
  • Dual Quad Core TruePic VIII Image Processor 3.0 inches 460k Dot LCD Monitor; Focus Range Normal: 3.94 inches (10 centimeter) to Infinity Macro: 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) to Infinity
  • Field sensor system with GPS, Manometer, Compass, and temperature sensors
  • Waterproof to 50 feet, F, Dust proof, Crush proof to 220 lbf, Shockproof from 7 feet, Freeze proof to 14 degrees, Anti Fog lens, Dust proof:IP6X

The bigger brother of the Olympus TG-4, the TG-5 has made some notable updates including 4k shooting, 20.0 fps continuous shooting (over the TG-4’s 5 fps) and an expanded ISO range. With a hefty price tag and a smaller sensor, there are still qualities that encourage users to look to the Olympus TG-4 over the TG-5. The Olympus TG-5 by design is mostly a similar weight and feel though and has made little sacrifices in exchange for more quality in your compact camera. For that, we will break these down below:

  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

Amazon.com provides quality 3 and 4-year warranties for this model.

PROS

  • 4k video shooting
  • Can reach ISO 12800
  • 20.0 fps continuous shooting

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Smaller 12MP sensor 
  • Shorter battery life
Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera with TFT LCD, 3", Yellow (26525)
  • Waterproof, freeze proof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities;Autofocus (AF) : Contrast-detect AF
  • Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, Time-lapse videos, Super lapse videos and music montages
  • 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with telephoto power and Hybrid VR image stabilization; Charging Time:2 hours 20 minutes (when using Charging AC Adapter EH-73P and when no charge remains)(Approx.)
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge and more.Lens Construction:12 elements in 10 groups

The Nikon Coolpix W300 is Nikon’s direct answer to the compact waterproof camera market, and without a doubt, it’s a solid answer. It's a neck-to-neck race with the Olympus TG-4 and with only a few key differences, it will be down to the particularities of the photographer to decide which of the two works best for their needs.
 

  • Ease of Use
  • Performance
  • Design Quality
  • Warranty

Largely the same as the Olympus TG-4, the only real differences are that this camera is just a little smaller than its competitor. Again the viewfinder stands out here as a bonus for shooters during daylight conditions. Meanwhile, with a screen resolution that can reach 921k dots, you are much more likely to clearly understand the photo you are taking well before you get into any degree of post work.

PROS

  • Slightly thinner than the Olympus TG-4 
  • 4k video shooting capability
  • 24-120 mm focal range rather than 25-100 mm

CONS

  • No RAW image capability
  • No Manual focus option
  • Aperture can only hit F 2.8 rather than F 2.0

Conclusion

Olympus TG-4

Image via Amazon

The Olympus TG-4 is no disappointment. It offer a cross-section between pro-grade photography housed inside a nearly indestructible body. The resulting package is a go anywhere camera that won’t always shoot the best shots for every given situation, but that will be ready with solutions for every situation that comes its way. For videography and hyper-specific, artful photography, this camera lacks the specificity and control to manage with lens specificity and deliberate focus can achieve. But for underwater shooting, autofocus control and exciting add-ons like wifi capability and GPS services, this camera is a great way to explore the outdoors and document the entire experience along the way. 

Featured Image: Image via Amazon