Olympus TG-3 Waterproof Compact Camera

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75%
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.”

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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 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
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

Video enthusiasts and those seeking manual exposure controls.

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Trying to decide between the TG3 and the AW120

TG3 is going to be released June 6th and I'm wondering if I should wait for that instead of getting the AW120. I shoot a lot of kayak videos, so the rugged aspect is more so if the camera gets wet.  Not so much the underwater ability...so this is mostly about above ground image/video quality for me. One important consideration is field of view.  I know a lot of cameras crop more then they should to hide quality issues on the edges and to make work image/video stabilization. Anyway to know which has the best REAL field of view? Trying to compare video quality, which is tricky as I can't find references for the TG3 (too new).  I Anyway to compare the two?

smithaa02 asked
2 months ago

ANSWERS

Doing some research that I'll share and hopefully others can chime in here. Again, for wide angle, you can't compare literal specs because cameras like to crop edges for quality reasons and many image stabilization programs are over-zealous when it comes to cropping. In this (video) comparison between the Aw110 and the TG-2, the TG-2 has a noticeable smaller field of view. I measured it out and by my estimate the TG-2 only had 93% of the width that the AW110 had, which is significant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uV2YTASkU90 Granted, the TG-2 had far superior white-balance, dynamic range and didn't overdarken the shadows which the AW110 is known to do (loook at the branches in the trees). A counter-counter point for the AW110 is that it handled motion much better than the TG-2. Despite this test there is reason to believe the AW series significantly crops pictures and especially videos and I really wish there was an option to disable some motion stabilization to get better wide ... Continue Reading

smithaa02 answered
2 months ago

My TG-1 has focusing issues during video - the AF mechanism often starts hunting rapidly, causing wobbly focus and a clicking sound, like a sewing machine. Others complained of the same problem, and of Olympus not willing to fix it. Don't know if it's an issue with TG-2/3. The cropping goes away if you disable movie stabilization. If movies are a high priority, you may want to look at the Panasonic models. Hope this helps! Continue Reading

BorisK1 answered
2 months ago

Very interesting comparison! The Nikon, Sony, and Panasonic video are best, I found. It is hard to rank one over the other. The worst were Olympus and Pentax. My friends with Olympus Toughs produce a lot of (what I would say are) badly exposed images. In still photos, I would say not. The AW120 is still very soft in the corners at wide angle. Thanks for all the links to videos! I wonder if my AW110 has hybrid stabilization? It produces surprisingly good video. Continue Reading

CAcreeks answered
2 months ago

QUESTION

When will the TG-3 be available??

I ordered the TG-3 in March and still have not received it.  It was ordered from Adorama and they state they don't know when it will be available.  This is for my son who is deployed with the Army and I would really like to get it shipped to him.  Any idea when this camera will be widely available?

Chick01 asked
29 days ago

ANSWERS

Coincidentally, I received a notice from Amazon this morning that my TG-3, that I also pre-ordered in March, is estimated to arrive July 16, 2014 - July 29, 2014. Originally they estimated June 23. I would assume that Adorama would be shipping in a similar time frame. But keep in mind the vendors are dependent on when the factory ships and how many  cameras each of them is going to receive. If you were not an early purchaser, it is possible you may have to wait for the next shipment. Keep checking with Adorama. I would think they would know very soon about your order. Continue Reading

srkane answered
29 days ago

In germany the first online shops claim that it is available. It seems that larger consumer electronic markets also got the first batches. Got mine from "Saturn Berlin, Alexanderplatz". Continue Reading

Shellblower answered
28 days ago

Just a datapoint, but when I ordered my TG-3 from Amazon on Sunday, June-22nd it said that the release date was June 23rd.  Today I got an email that it would be delivered July 17th to the 30th. Might want to try the official Olympus web site and see if they are shipping sooner. Continue Reading

Rollover answered
28 days ago

QUESTION

Best camera between 4 options

Hey guys, I would like your expert opinion. I was only checking the reviews, but I would like to hear from an expert that knows every number in the specs or have experience with these cameras. Basically, looking for a gps enabled waterproof camera. I found the following ones: - Canon PowerShot D30 - Olympus TG-3 - Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 - Nikon COOLPIX AW120 Which one is the best option based on specs/experience and why? Other suggestions (newer models, better, etc.) are welcome too, however I believe these above are the only ones that fit my criteria. Thank you!

igorjrr asked
10 days ago

ANSWERS

IIRC, DPReview has had an ongoing series on waterproof cameras. They update with newer cameras periodically. Continue Reading

l_d_allan answered
10 days ago

Thanks! I'll take a look but I appreciate with you and others could elect the best one over these 4 options. Continue Reading

igorjrr answered
10 days ago

Just to help others, link: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/2491269399/2014-waterproof-camera-roundup/14 Continue Reading

igorjrr answered
10 days ago
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