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Reviews for Olympus TG3 camera


Rated: 9/10 Based On: 1 Reviews

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08-23-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     First off, do your own research to make sure you are getting a camera that you will use, a great camera that doesn't get used is just a waste of money. FYI, I am an old kayak paddler who loves traveling to new areas and exploring those new areas with a camera and have always carried an inexpensive camera for obvious reasons, I don't want to destroy my expensive DSLR camera and gear. I have an iPhone5 but it doesn't provide the quality photos I want from a camera and I always dread it will get wet or worse so I usually keep it in my drybag. This new Olympus TG3 is not inexpensive but it blows other compact cameras out of the water (sorry for the pun). When I did my comparison shopping I narrowed it down to 3 cameras, GoPro, Nikon AW120 and the Olympus TG3. The GoPro would be a good choice if I was still a 20 something and wanted all those close action shots but those days are long gone and what steered me away from it was very poor quality landscape/distance pictures. There was a big distortion that I found similar to a fisheye effect. I like taking landscape pictures and that eliminates the GoPro for me. The Nikon AW120 took some decent pics and the size was similar to what I have used before and I really didn't find any negative issues with the little bit of time I used it, but the lens wasn't as good as the TG3. at the time I write this it retails for about $290. Now for the TG3, retails for $349 but I bought mine for $319 (amazon and Best Buy both have it at this price) so why is this my choice? To start with it is water proof to 50ft according to Olympus. I took mine to 35' in Monterey Bay, CA with no issues for 3 dives and even on an overcast weekend I was able to get some good shots and a few GREAT ones with the micro mode and a light (more on that in a second). I have a mesh bag that I clip inside my kayak to hold things and that's where this camera is kept on kayak trips. I already have dings and scratches on the camera housing but it still functions perfectly, its only cosmetic and that's where the Tough part comes in, I have already dropped this camera twice and it just bounced. The first time was when I loaded the kayak and my bag wasn't clipped in, the whole bag dropped about 4' into the truck bed and the second time was when my wife dropped it from about 5' while doing a little climbing and it bounced and rolled about 20' down the slope, that's how it got its main dings but still no issues. With my prior cameras both drops would have broken the camera, I know because I have broken 3 cameras over the years in a similar manner. OK so I believe its tough but its a camera and if it doesn't take good pictures its just a worthless hunk of junk right? This TG3 takes some great pics in all sorts of environments. You can set everything to auto (my wife only shoots in auto) and get some good pics or you have the ability to choose from about 6 different scene modes but what I really love is being able to set the aperture, ISO and almost everything else you want to manually set on a camera!

The biggest feature is something that gets overlooked on compact cameras, the Lens, and this has a good one. F2.0 which means the camera captures more light in darker settings and that also helps when underwater, inside dark rooms and taking multiple shots at once, rapid fire style from 5fps to 60fps!!! (fps = frames per second) The fps depends on the size of the files you are capturing. I got some amazing pics of my wife getting ice water dumped on her for the ALS challenge which I took at 5 pictures a second at 16M with great high quality which I blew up to 24"x36" with great results!

The Micro setting is remarkable! As I mentioned above I used that setting to take some great pics at about 30' of all sorts of marine life which was really cool and most turned out great. You can literally set the camera 1/4" from your subject and take a picture with great detail, just mind the light, I used an underwater light for most of the shots I took to get more detail.

I could go on and on about this camera (and I am) but for a camera guy I don't think there is anything even close to this camera unless you take a DSLR made for underwater conditions which is thousands of dollars more and you can't drop those!

Now for the part my wife loves, you can control almost everything on this camera from your smart phone and then import the pictures to your phone! Yes you use your phone to snap pictures, program your settings and all off of a WiFi connection in the camera! Even I think this is supper cool and I have used it more than once to get in the picture without having to run into the shot within the 8-12 seconds timer counting down! Just use the phone to remotely take the picture while you stay put, and you can even see the image the camera sees on your phone before you take the picture, too cool!

There is sooooo much more to this camera that I haven't even touched on so go check out the Olympus site and do your own research to find out all the rest of the stuff this camera can do including taking video!

OK ready for the negatives I have found? The dials, levers, buttons and catches (battery compartment) are all small and can not be operated by big hands with gloves. There isn't a fix for it but just be aware that the buttons are all small. The telephoto is only 4x so it's not able to zoom in close on anything because the lens is fixed in the body case but some of that is solved by moving closer to your subject or cropping your shot later which only helps to a point before you start losing quality.

I am a moderate to good photographer and have been taking pictures for over 35 years with all types of cameras so I do think I know a good picture when I see it. I have taken some great pics with cheap cameras so its not only the camera but the photographers ability that counts, but it you have some skills or are willing to learn this is a fantastic all around tough camera. I am very happy with my Olympus TG3

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