Olympus TG-3 Waterproof Compact Camera

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75% Silver Award
The TG-3 has a lot to offer. We think spending the extra money over some of its rivals is worth it, given its nice lens, usable LCD and great battery life.”

Read more of the review

Key Features

  • 16 MP 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor with sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 25–100 mm equivalent F2.0 - F4.9 lens
  • 5 FPS at 12M, up to 60 FPS at 3MP
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 1080 30p HD video (.MOV/H.264)
  • 3" fixed LCD with 460,000 dots
  • Shockproof to 7ft/2.1m
  • Waterproof to 50ft/15m
  • Freezeproof to 14°F/-10°C
  • Crushproof 220 lbf./100 kgf.
  • Built-in LED light
  • Built-in GPS, elevation recording, and electronic compass
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory

Product Description

The Olympus TG-series of waterproof cameras remains a popular choice for enthusiasts looking for a rugged compact camera. The TG-3 retains lens specifications of the TG-2 with a bright 25-100mm F2.0-4.9 lens, but improves on its predecessor with the addition of built-in Wi-Fi that syncs with Android and iOS devices. The Wi-Fi connectivity allows data transfer, social media connectivity, and full camera control. The TG-3 also features a microscope mode that can capture images as close as 10mm away from the subject and magnify up to 6.9x and up to 13.8x with Super Resolution Zoom.

A lineup of optional system accessories are available for the TG-3, including waterproof fisheye and tele converter lenses, an LED right light, an underwater protector, float straps and multipurpose camera cases are sold separately.

Specs

Body type
Body type Compact
Sensor
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h 3:2
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
Processor TruePic VII
Image
ISO Auto, 100-6400
White balance presets 5
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format No
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 25–100 mm
Optical zoom 4×
Maximum aperture F2.0 - F4.9
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (4x)
Normal focus range 10 cm (3.94)
Macro focus range 1 cm (0.39)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 460,000
Touch screen No
Screen type TFT-LCD
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 4 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority No
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
External flash No
Flash modes Auto, redeye reduction, fill-in, off, LED
Continuous drive 5.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 sec, custom)
WB Bracketing No
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage
Storage types SD, SDHC, SDXC, Internal Memory
Storage included 36MB
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro HDMI)
Microphone port No
Headphone port No
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with remote control
Remote control Yes (via smartphone)
Physical
Environmentally sealed Yes (waterproof to 15m, shockproof to 2.1m, crushproof to 100kgf, freezeproof to -10C)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description LI-92B lithium-ion battery & USB power adapter
Battery Life (CIPA) 330
Weight (inc. batteries) 247 g (0.54 lb / 8.71 oz)
Dimensions 112 x 66 x 31 mm (4.41 x 2.6 x 1.22)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS BuiltIn
GPS notes with GLONASS, e-compass, landmarks

Reviews

DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Optics
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
Silver Award
Silver Award
75 %
Overall Score

The Olympus TG-3 is a very solid and capable rugged camera that offers a fast lens (at wide-angle), an excellent LCD, fast performance, and top notch battery life. Image quality isn't great when viewed at 100% - and exposure needs to be watched underwater - but most people will be happy with the results.

Good For

Skiers, climbers, and divers looking for a responsive and very rugged camera that can shoot for a full day (and more)

Not So Good For

User Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
  • SA FOX MULDER, Oct 23, 2014 GMT:
    The waterproof pocket sized shockproof camera to beat!- 2014

    After first trying out the GoPro Hero 3 BE and Nikon AW120 I took the leap and purchased the Olympic Tough TG-3. Best camera purchase I have been in the last five years! It is very well made from the front to back. The menu is user friendly and it is very durable. The microscope mode on this camera combined with waterproof, shockproof, and freeze proof features along with LED ring, wide, and telephoto lens plus wifi app makes this camera an outdoorsmen's must have. I use this for hiking, ...

    Continue Reading

  • tennis steve, Oct 24, 2014 GMT:
    TG-3 Italy trip

    I decided to get a bridge camera between my iPhone and Cannon Rebel EOS and after a lot of research, decided on the TG-3.  Took it on a two week trip to Italy and loved this camera.  It is stylish, well made and has great photo features.  Well worth the price and is now my go to camera.  Get it, you'll be glad you did

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

TG-3 renumbers images after format

I'm a new Olympus TG-3 user (got the camera today) and apparently, it resets the image number when the card is formatted. I shot 15 images, downloaded them, then reformatted the card. I shot an additional 10 images, and when I downloaded them, there was a conflict with same image numbers. Anyone know anything about this? Thanks in advance...

Jim Fowler asked
7 hours ago

ANSWERS

Olympus cameras go back to image number 1 when you format the card. The prefix varies with the date: PMonthDate, as follows: P101 for Jan 1, P201 for Feb 1, P831 for Aug 31, and so on, and using A, B, and C for the double digit months (PA for Oct., PB for November, and PC for December). If you format the card, take pictures, then reformat it and take more pictures on the same day you will have different images with the same image number. (For example, if you formatted a card today and took pictures, today's images will be PA240001, PA240002, PA240003, etc. If you do it again today and take more pictures, they will start out at PA240001 all over again, and you will get conflicts.) If you format the card tomorrow, they will be PA250001, etc. and there will be no conflict. Is it necessary to reformat the card more than once a day? If not, just wait and you won't have conflicts. I think my Mac puts a suffix like -1 on the duplicates when they are imported to the same folder, such as ... Continue Reading

Mittskitts answered
6 hours ago

QUESTION

What is the best Aspect Ratio to use for the TG3

What is the best Aspect Ratio to use for the TG3, 3.2 or 4.3 ?

dctokyo asked
1 month ago

ANSWERS

I don't think there's a "best". It's what you want the picture to look like. You can always crop in post processing. I usually take the maximum size 4:3 picture and use a large SD card (and accept filling up hard drive space faster) but it gives more options for enlargements and cropping. Personally, I think my favorite non-4:3 aspect is the 1:1, but I rarely use it. Continue Reading

Mittskitts answered
1 month ago

I have the XZ-2 and found that the 4:3 aspect ration actually captures more area.  The resulting image can be cropped after the fact down to 3:2 if I desire.  Conversely, setting the camera to 3:2 and taking a photo just seems to auto crop in camera some off the top and some off the bottom. Maybe the native aspect of the sensor is 4:3? Continue Reading

ChiJeff5 answered
1 month ago

IMO, the best aspect ratio is the one that fills the LCD completely so you can make full use of the LCD. I'm not sure about TG3's RAW capability. With my XZ-1, I shoot in 3:2 and if necessary, I will recover the 4:3 image from RAW. Continue Reading

joe6pack answered
1 month ago

QUESTION

Nikon 1 AW1 vs Olympus Tough tg-3

Hey all! I'm an Aussie about to embark on the trip of a lifetime - heading to Canada for a year, and then who knows where after that?  Possiblities include a road trip through USA, a good 6 months travelling through Eastern Europe, a good 6 months travelling through Central America or all of the above! I currently have a nikon D610, with 50mm f1.8, 16-35mm f4, and a 70-200mm f2.8.  About to purchase a sb-700 speedlite, and already have a lightweight tripod.  I feel pretty comfortable with these lenses, and although the whole kit is heavy I am a fit, young chappy who is happy enough to carry this gear around.  (mini side question - I assume that gear will be OK in the snow assuming I am careful with it??) I also have an olympus e-pm1 with underwater housing and a strobe.  I'll be selling this, as it's far too bulky to take all that kit with me, but I want to replace it with a camera that will be mainly for underwater use (snorkelling and shallow dives, once I get deep enough to ...

Schpeet asked
11 days ago

ANSWERS

IMHO - AW1 hands down. The AW1 is, a the moment, arguably the best all weather camera on the market. Snorkeling? AF speed means you'll get the shot. Built in flash should you need it & the 11-27.5 lens is very good. I often reach for the AW1 out of a group of D7100, V3, & V1 simply because it can handle it all. Pool, beach, rain, bumps & bruises = it's good to go. Example - I was in Portland Maine last week - it was raining & all the other tourists were trying to take pictures & keep the camera under cover...........not me, just left it hanging on the sling = no worries. Continue Reading

Bailey151 answered
10 days ago

I have both.  The AW1 is far superior to the TG-3 in terms of focus speed and accuracy, dynamic range, low contrast detail. However, my AW1 has leaked twice.  Both times water entered through the front of the 11-27.5 lens.  Both times after fewer than half a dozen snorkel or dive outings.  First time I thought it might have been due to my less than fanatic attention to post-dive rinse procedures.  Second time I was fanatic about post-dive care, and the thing still leaked.  Nikon has cheerfully replaced the lens twice now (the original body has never gotten any water damage inside, and seems to be watertight), but I'm kind of apprehensive about diving with the AW1 anymore. The TG-3 (and the TG-1 that it replaced) has been bulletproof over many snorkel and dive outings, so, despite its poorer photographic performance has become my go-to underwater camera.  I reserve the AW1 for special occasions and have purchased flood insurance for it.  Frustrating. Continue Reading

peterak answered
10 days ago

And to counter Peter's experience mine has lived in the pool & the ocean with no issues???? (knock on wood). Not to minimize his issues, if it leaks you're screwed & two bad lenses doesn't bode well. Continue Reading

Bailey151 answered
10 days ago
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