The Olympus Tough TG-1 could be viewed as the culmination of Olympus's many years in Tough camera development. The model is not only lifeproof, but also features an advanced imaging specification to match. The question is, is this the best Tough camera ever produced?
Performance, Image Quality and Verdict
Olympus Tough TG-1 – Performance
As mentioned previously, the Olympus TG-1 features a host of technologies aimed at improving performance and, on the whole, these tools perform well. A tough camera is no doubt going to be used in situations where fast and accurate focusing is important, and the Olympus TG-1 is no different. The model’s Advanced iAuto and AF tracking system both operate well and, more often than not, offer accurate results.
One disappointing element of the camera’s performance is that it doesn’t offer full manual control over shooting settings. The way that Olympus copes with the lack of manual control – or, probably more accurately, counters it – is by offering a wide variety of automated shooting modes along with the now-common selection of creative shooting settings. The good news is that, on the whole, these perform well and are easy to access thanks to a simple menu system. It is, however, unfortunate that a camera as advanced as the TG-1 is lacking in manual capture.
The difficult lighting conditions often present when shooting outdoors can present issues when viewing the LCD screen on a digital camera, and while the TG-1’s OLED variety isn’t perfect, the combination of a high resolution and anti-reflective coating mean that it generally copes well.
The TG-1 offers a continuous shooting speed of 5fps at full resolution. Olympus claims that this rate can be maintained for 25 frames, although we found that it was in fact capable of shooting for much longer. For those wanting a faster rate, a speed of 60fps is attainable at a reduced resolution of 3MP.
Olympus Tough TG-1 review – Image Quality
The news regarding image quality with the TG-1 isn’t entirely negative, although there are a few issues that are worthy of being reported. To start off with, the model’s metering system isn’t entirely reliable and has a tendency to underexpose. This isn’t entirely bad news, however, as this does serve to maintain highlight detail.
The model’s f/2 lens performs well in a variety of conditions, with fringing and edge detail well maintained. One issue worth reporting is the depiction of fine detail, with processing causing this to be smuged at times, although not always.
Olympus Tough TG-1 review – Verdict
Olympus’s tough camera heritage has clearly paid off with the TG-1. The camera is clearly the result of many a generation of tweaks and enhancements. The body feel solid and assuring in build, yet features enough clever design elements to still handle well in difficult conditions. Image quality issues are the only real criticisms of the TG-1, but on the whole it’s one of the best tough cameras on the market.