Olympus TG-3 Review
Olympus TG-3 Review - Image Quality
Colour and White Balance
With the TG-3, colour reproduction in standard mode is under-saturated, making even bright colours look pale and washed out.
It does have a vivid mode, but this goes too far in the other direction, looking a touch garish and unreal. However the worst part is the automatic white balance, which is unreliable, producing visible colour casts in all but ideal conditions, and further damaging the colour reproduction.
Most of the shots we took during testing were outdoors in fairly bright conditions, usually ideal conditions for photography and typical of the situations for which the TG-3 was designed.
However the exposure metering was also unreliable, frequently over-exposing shots by around half a stop, and the dynamic range is also poor, resulting in blown-out highlights in many shots.
The combination of a decent quality lens and a 16MP sensor does at least record a good level of detail, although in this respect it's really no better than any other comparable compact. It's also very easy to lose detail due to finger marks and other dirt on the glass lens cover, so make sure you check this before shooting.
Image noise is always a problem with small, overcrowded compact camera sensors, but it's how the camera's processor copes with it that counts.
The TG-3's noise control is generally effective, and the 6400 ISO maximum sensitivity setting is certainly usable, but it is a bit heavy handed, blurring out detail and smearing colour gradients at anything over 800 ISO.
The TG-3's lens is pretty good for a waterproof compact. It does produce some corner blurring at wide angle, but the centre portion is nice and sharp, and the 25mm wide-angle setting is largely free from optical distortion.
The f/2.0 maximum aperture is of course only available at the shortest focal length, but on the whole it acquits itself well.