The Olympus TOUGH TG-6 is the newest incarnation of the corporate’s massively widespread rugged waterproof mannequin. It’s waterproof to a depth of 15 metres, freezeproof to -10C, can face up to a crushing power of 100Kg and a drop from 2.1m, and to cap all of it off is dustproof. The TG-6 retains the 25-100mm equal f2.0-4.9 zoom lens that’s been the mainstay of each TOUGH mannequin because the TG-1. This could actually come as no shock as producers of different waterproof compacts have but to compete with it by way of its shiny f2 aperture or its unsurpassed macro capturing capabilities.
The opposite headline improve is the display screen which is elevated in decision from the TG-5’s 460ok dots to 1040ok dots. The sensor stays the identical 12 Megapixel CMOS chip coupled with the TruePic VIII picture processor that was launched within the earlier TOUGH TG-5. This allows the TG-6 to ship the identical 4k films, 20fps and Professional Seize steady capturing, JPEG and RAW codecs, and focus stacking and bracketing options as its predecessor.
Olympus has revamped the underwater capturing capabilities of the TG-6 with three new underwater white stability modes designed for capturing in shallow, mid vary and deep water. You possibly can choose these in ‘regular’ capturing modes like program auto and Aperture precedence, however they’re additionally coupled with the 5 underwater capturing modes, so for instance when you choose underwater snapshot, the underwater shallow white stability preset is robotically chosen (although it may be overridden).
Though unchanged from the sooner TG-5, the brand new mannequin’s macro capturing options stay in a category of their very own. The TG-6 can shut focus to 1cm, permitting you to get shut in to small creatures on land and within the water. What actually makes it particular, although, is the microscope mode, which primarily means that you can use the total extent of the zoom while sustaining the identical 1cm shut focus distance. What’s new is that you would be able to now use microscope mode underwater.
One of many strengths of the TOUGH vary has at all times been the nice vary of equipment that may be connected to the bayonet coupling on the entrance of the lens. To the present underwater housing that extends diving depth to 45m, 1.7x and fisheye teleconverters, and macro flash diffuser, Olympus has added a brand new CSCH-127 silicone jacket which shield the digital camera casing and offers a extra strong grip. There’s additionally a brand new LB-T01 protecting lens barrier which will be opened and closed whereas sporting gloves and UC-92 exterior battery charger.
Different, arguably pretty minor, enhancements, embrace the addition of anti-reflective coating on either side of the sensor cowl glass, which ought to assist to cut back flare and ghosting, a extra refined focus stacking algorithm, new Bleach Bypass and On the spot Digital camera artwork filters, and a 1080p HD time-lapse mode so as to add to the present 4k and 720p choices. Olympus has additionally re-introduced the date stamp function and added a 2x digital teleconverter.
Lastly I ought to point out that, as earlier than, the TOUGH TG-6 is provided with a complete array of environmental sensors together with GPS, a manometer for altitude and depth measurement, an digital compass, and an exterior thermometer for measuring air and water temperature. It additionally has WiFi for distant capturing and photograph/video switch. Right here I’ve examined it alongside Fujifilm’s mid-range Finepix XP140 and Nikon’s fundamental however budget-priced COOLPIX W150, so learn on to find which of those will find yourself being the most effective rugged waterproof digital camera to take with you to the waves, caves, rocks, snow, or no matter your favorite out of doors exercise occurs to be.
The TOUGH TG-6 is little modified from its predecessor in dimensions, weight, and look. In actual fact, other than some modifications to the graphics and colouring it’s nearly an identical. The button on the 5 o’clock place on the lens bezel is the discharge for the quilt which you take away so as to add the teleconverters and different equipment.
No change on high both, with the shutter launch and, unusually for a water-resistant compact, zoom collar and on the other aspect of the GPS and WiFi aerial housing the swap to activate the observe log. The TG-6 has two double-latched sealed doorways, one on the aspect housing the USB information/charging and micro HDMI port and one on the bottom of the digital camera for the battery and card compartment.
Right here you’re trying on the foremost distinction between the TOUGH TG-6 and the mannequin it replaces. The TG5’s 460ok dot LCD monitor has been upgraded on the TG-6 to the next decision 1040ok dot panel. The distinction is noticeable, with extra element seen, however it’s nonetheless fairly troublesome to see in sunny circumstances, particularly if the digital camera is submerged and also you’re not. Having mentioned that, it’s lots simpler to see than the display screen on the Fujifilm Finepix XP140.
Right here’s the sphere of view with the TOUGH TG-6 at its most 25mm equal extensive angle setting. It’s wider than the Fujifilm Finepix XP140’s 28-140mm f3.9-4.9 lens and a complete lot brighter too. The identical goes for the Nikon COOLPIX W150 which is equal to 30-90mm on a 35mm digital camera.
The TOUGH TG6’s 4x zoom can lengthen to 100mm equal – which is lengthy sufficient to take head and shoulders portraits and to get you slightly nearer to the motion when you’re within the snow or on the water. If you zoom all the best way within the most aperture closes to f4.9; so when each fashions are totally zoomed within the TOUGH TG-6’s lens isn’t any brighter than the Finepix XP140’s – besides that the latter’s 140mm attain will get you slightly nearer to your topic.
With the lens set to its most 25mm extensive angle and the aperture extensive open at f2, the TOUGH TG6’s lens can produce some properly blurred backgrounds offering you’re shut sufficient to the topic. Even whenever you’re zoomed in slightly and the aperture closes, the shallow depth of area stays fairly good.
Now you can use the TG6’s microscope mode in, in addition to out of the water. Right here I’m really fairly near the anemone and solely zoomed in a fraction however, as you possibly can see it’s reproduced a lot bigger than life dimension.
Even in underwater snapshot mode you may get pretty near small sea creatures. The white stability is robotically set to shallow depth and, as you possibly can see it does a wonderful job of reproducing the hotter colors on this anemone’s tentacles. For getting in any nearer than this you’re higher off utilizing the underwater macro or microscope mode.
One of many points typically encountered with macro pictures is that the depth of area turns into very shallow whenever you’re very near the topic. This shot of a starfish in microscope mode illustrates the issue fairly nicely. The arms nearer to the digital camera are in focus, however the far aspect is barely blurred.
Right here’s the identical shot utilizing stacked focus. The entire of the starfish is now sharp, however sadly there are another issues. The principle one for me is that the composition appears to be like barely totally different and I feel that is presumably a consequence of me having moved the digital camera barely throughout capturing. Olympus recommends that you just use a tripod for focus stacking and clearly the topic must be stationary too. I’ve bought good outcomes hand-held out of the water, however for now at the least, I feel focus stacking underwater may be pushing your luck. That mentioned, it’s nice to now be capable to use microscope mode for small water-based creatures and you may see extra examples in my pattern photographs.
The TOUGH TG-6 has three AF space modes. In auto it selects from a 5×5 AF grid within the central space of the display screen, you possibly can choose considered one of these manually and there’s additionally an AF monitoring mode. For photographs like this I discovered deciding on the central AF space produced fairly profitable outcomes with a good proportion of keepers. In these sorts of circumstances the TG-6’s AF was constantly extra dependable than the Fujifilm Finepix XP140.
The TOUGH TG-6 inherits the quick steady capturing modes of its predecessor with a 20fps velocity plus the 10fps Professional Seize function. All the continual capturing choices repair deal with the primary body. Professional Seize buffers the primary 5 frames whenever you half press the shutter which offers you with half a second of motion previous to the decisive second whenever you totally depress the shutter launch. As earlier than you possibly can shoot RAW within the sequential and Professional Seize modes. Above is a 15-frame section from the center of a 50-frame sequence I shot in Professional Seize mode.
The TOUGH TG-5 already had a fairly complete set of 14 Artwork Filter results. The complete checklist is Pop Artwork, Smooth Focus, Pale & Gentle Color, Gentle tone, Grainy Movie, Pin gap, Diorama (miniature), Cross Course of, Mild Sepia, Dramatic Tone, Keyline, Watercolour, Classic, and Partial Color. To that you would be able to now add Bleach bypass and On the spot Image, proven above.
The TOUGH TG-6 options built-in Wifi which you need to use to hook up with a smartphone for image sharing, GPS tagging and distant management. Utilizing your telephone you possibly can remotely change the publicity mode between iAUTO, Program auto, Aperture precedence, Microscope, and Scene mode with out touching the digital camera’s mode dial. When you choose film mode the digital camera switches to 1080 / 30p mode with high-quality compression, no matter its authentic film settings, so there’s no distant 4K recording. The TG6 additionally lacks a Bluetooth connection for background downloading of photos when you shoot, one thing which each the Fujifilm Finepix XP140 and Nikon COOLPIX W150 provide.
For this out of doors panning video clip and the others under I set the TOUGH TG-6 to its 108060p video mode with the stabilisation enabled.There’s a couple of issues to notice about this clip, the primary is that the inbuilt mic is sort of prone to wind noise. It wasn’t noticeably windy, however the mic has picked it up and in trying to suppress it has muted the ambient noise. The identical factor occurs throughout zooming – in attempting to filter the zoom motor noise the fairground experience music can be reduce out. Secondly, throughout the zoom the autofocus wanders a bit and takes a second or two to type itself out. The Lumix TOUGH TG-6 also can after all shoot 4k UHD video and you may see a TOUGH TG-6 4K video pattern on Vimeo.
The standard of this indoor panning shot appears to be like good with no noticeable noise. The stabilisation works nicely and the white stability is spot on, however the TOUGH TG-6 has overexposed slightly, dropping a number of the inside atmosphere.You possibly can see a TOUGH TG-6 4K video pattern on Vimeo.
Right here’s a film shot in underwater macro mode, which robotically units the white stability to the TOUGH TG-6’s shallow water settings. I feel the colors look very robust on this clip and near the scene as I seen it from the floor. If the framing doesn’t look nice, that’s as a result of it’s virtually unimaginable to see the display screen whenever you’re above the floor filming with the digital camera under it, however that’s an issue all waterproof compacts undergo from.
Lastly, right here’s a 1080p clip shot within the TOUGH TG-6’s 120fps sluggish movement mode, which performs again at 30fps and one quarter velocity.
Examine costs on the Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at Amazon, B&H, Adorama or WEX. Alternatively get your self a replica of my In Digital camera ebook or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!