Olympus TG-3 Waterproof Compact Camera

Already own this?

This item is in your gearlist!

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

  • 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

  • Ladi, Nov 20, 2014 GMT:
    Easy to miss a shot because of accidental "mode" change.

    Pros: Good metal construction, removable front protection glass, good battery live. Cons: Wheel for mode selection is under thumb. It is too easy to move selector to another option and to miss a shot or even to press accidentally "record" button". It was probably designed for someone with really small thumbs (ladies, kids, etc. ). In most cases it is moved to "macro" mode - that is close to the iAuto. I missed several "quick" shots because of that. I am going to return it back. Olympus TOUGH ...

    Continue Reading

  • Wendell Wagner, Dec 2, 2014 GMT:
    Good, Rugged Little Camera

    I grabbed this to augment my Olypmus e-620 which has been a workhorse for me over the years, but with grandchildren and looking for a more convenient "snapshot" solution I wanted to get something readily pocket-able with a decent feature set, and reliable automatic settings. This has taken shots from the beach in Saco Bay, Maine, to shots in the pouring rain in Bakewell, Derbyshire, England. While not the level of IQ of my DSLR, this camera has performed perfectly for what I wanted. It's ...

    Continue Reading

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

TG3 Battery Door Warning

I don't use my TG-3 very often; bought it to mostly use in and around the water on vacations. But, once and a while when I do use it, I get a warning message to check the battery door and make sure nothing foreign is stuck in it. I've done that five or six times and found nothing. It seems that if I use the camera several times within a day or two, I don't get the message, but if it's a couple of weeks, I do. Anyone else seen this?

bs1946 asked
3 days ago

ANSWERS

I have a Tough 6000, a TG-1, and TG-3, never used any of them in water, and I sometimes get that warning after I've had the charging door open to charge the camera. I don't know what it means. Continue Reading

Mittskitts answered
3 days ago

Me too, but only after than I open something (battery or usb) Continue Reading

Jacque1 answered
3 days ago

I think some one once said it is a kind of automated reminder when you switch it on, just to ensure you make sure the covers are locked in event you are going to use it in water. Continue Reading

Shutterbugza answered
3 days ago

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
1 month 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
1 month ago

Thanks guys. My Olympus E-5 does not renumber the images when the card is reformatted. So, it must be stored somewhere in the camera's memory. I was hoping that there was a similar function with the TG-3, but I guess not... Continue Reading

Jim Fowler answered
1 month ago

I think my Kodaks were like that. They would go to 9999 and then roll over back to 0001, but would assign a new prefix of 100_ or 101_. Continue Reading

Mittskitts 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

As one who has wrestled at length with the rugged/waterproof issues, let me offer some alternative ideas. The AW1 is certainly the premier underwater camera at the moment; all of the other rugged compacts have lesser optics and smaller sensors and less manual control (although the manual control on the AW1 from what I've seen isn't all that, either). The thing that keeps me from forking over $600, which seems to be the street price, is the sure and certain knowledge that it will leak, sooner rather than later. I have yet to have an "underwater" camera that didn't, although I have hopes for my new TG830, which has the best sealing and locking mechanism I've seen yet, and my ancient S-31, which is intended for children and is a truly crappy camera, seems to be surviving thus far as well. I have ruined many, and not due to carelessness on my part. Sooner or later, they leak. I would love an AW1, at a price of maybe $200, but only as a bad-weather, do-everything, for which unfortunately ... Continue Reading

Sam in Hawaii answered
2 months 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
2 months ago
  • Please enable JavaScript. GearShop is designed to work with JavaScript enabled. You may not be able to use our site properly if it's disabled in your browser's settings.