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Nikon B500 vs Olympus TG-4

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Olympus Tough TG-4 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and April 2015. Both the B500 and the TG-4 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500 versus Olympus TG-4
Nikon B500 Olympus TG-4
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 100-6,400
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
not weather sealedWaterproof body (15m)
600 shots per battery charge380 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 112 x 66 x 31 mm, 247 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Olympus Tough TG-4? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon B500 and the Olympus TG-4 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Both cameras are available in two different colors (black, red).

Size Nikon B500 vs Olympus TG-4
Compare B500 versus TG-4 top
Comparison B500 or TG-4 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus TG-4 is notably smaller (17 percent) than the Nikon B500. Moreover, the TG-4 is substantially lighter (54 percent) than the B500. It is noteworthy in this context that the TG-4 is splash and dust-proof, while the B500 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the TG-4 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

The power pack in the TG-4 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Olympus TG-4 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.2 in 8.7 oz 380 Y Apr 2015 379i
 
Fujifilm XP140 4.3 in 2.8 in 1.1 in 7.3 oz 240 Y Feb 2019 229 i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Olympus TG-6 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.9 oz 340 Y May 2019 449 i
 
Olympus TG-5 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.8 oz 340 Y May 2017 449i
 
Panasonic FZ80 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The B500 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 21 percent) than the TG-4, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon B500 and Olympus TG-4 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the B500 and the TG-4 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the B500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 9 months) than the TG-4, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Tough TG-4 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

B500 versus TG-4 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Olympus TG-4 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Fujifilm XP140 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/15p........
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Olympus TG-6 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Olympus TG-5 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p........
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the B500 provides a higher frame rate than the TG-4. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The B500 and the TG-4 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon B500, the Olympus TG-4, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Olympus TG-4none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm XP140none n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Olympus TG-6none n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y
 
Olympus TG-5none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

The Olympus TG-4 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the B500 and the TG-4 have zoom lenses built in. The B500 has a 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 optic and the TG-4 offers a 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Olympus. The TG-4 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the B500 and the TG-4 write their files to SDXC cards. The TG-4 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the B500 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix B500 and Olympus Tough TG-4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Olympus TG-4-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm XP140-monomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Olympus TG-6-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus TG-5-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the TG-4 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the B500 and the TG-4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The TG-4 was replaced by the Olympus TG-5, while the B500 was followed by the Nikon B600. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon B500 and the Olympus TG-4? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 380) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (21 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 9 months after the TG-4).

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus Tough TG-4:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/3).
  • More compact: Is smaller (112x66mm vs 114x78mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 294g or 54 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 15m).
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2015).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the B500 emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B500 13:10 TG-4

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Olympus TG-4 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the B500 and the TG-4 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Olympus TG-4+79/1004/54/54/5 Apr 2015 379i
 
Fujifilm XP140+..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2019 229 i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Olympus TG-6+ +76/1004/5..4/5 May 2019 449 i
 
Olympus TG-5+ +..4/5o4/5 May 2017 449i
 
Panasonic FZ80+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus TG-4:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Olympus TG-4

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon B500 Olympus TG-4
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
    Launch Date January 2016 April 2015
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 379
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 Olympus TG-4
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 Olympus TG-4
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Olympus TG-4
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B500 Olympus TG-4
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Nikon B500 Olympus TG-4
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWaterproof body (15m)
    Battery Type 4xAA LI-92B
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge380 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    112 x 66 x 31 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 247 g (8.7 oz)

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