Nikon P900 vs Olympus TG-4
The Nikon Coolpix P900 and the Olympus Tough TG-4 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2015 and April 2015. Both the P900 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix P900 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon P900 and the Olympus TG-4. 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.
The TG-4 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the P900 is only available in black.
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 considerably smaller (49 percent) than the Nikon P900. Moreover, the TG-4 is substantially lighter (73 percent) than the P900. It is noteworthy in this context that the TG-4 is splash and dust-proof, while the P900 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.
Concerning battery life, the P900 gets 360 shots out of its EN-EL23 battery, while the TG-4 can take 380 images on a single charge of its LI-92B power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|2.||Olympus TG-4||112 mm||66 mm||31 mm||247 g||380||Y||Apr 2015||379|
|3.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Fujifilm XP140||110 mm||71 mm||28 mm||207 g||240||Y||Feb 2019||229|
|5.||Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|6.||Nikon P950||140 mm||110 mm||150 mm||1005 g||290||n||Jan 2020||799|
|7.||Nikon P1000||146 mm||119 mm||181 mm||1415 g||250||n||Jul 2018||999|
|8.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|9.||Nikon B700||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499|
|10.||Nikon B500||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299|
|11.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|12.||Olympus TG-6||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||253 g||340||Y||May 2019||449|
|13.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|14.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|16.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The TG-4 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 37 percent) than the P900, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and 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.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.
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 P900 and the TG-4 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the P900 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Nikon Coolpix P900 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Tough TG-4 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
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.
| DXO |
|15.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the P900 provides a higher frame rate than the TG-4. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the P900 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TG-4 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon P900 and Olympus TG-4 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|15.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
The Nikon P900 and the Olympus TG-4 both have 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 P900 and the TG-4 have zoom lenses built in. The P900 has a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 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 P900 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 P900 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 P900 and Olympus Tough TG-4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|15.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that both cameras feature internal geolocalization sensors and can record GPS coordinates in their EXIF data.
Both the P900 and the TG-4 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The P900 was replaced by the Nikon P950, while the TG-4 was followed by the Olympus TG-5. 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.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon P900 and the Olympus TG-4? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix P900:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 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.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus Tough TG-4:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- More compact: Is smaller (112x66mm vs 140x103mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 652g or 73 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- 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).
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (37 percent cheaper at launch).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P900 emerges as the winner of the contest (11 : 8 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon P900 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the P900 and the TG-4 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Nikon P900||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|2.||Olympus TG-4||..||+||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2015||379|
|3.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|4.||Fujifilm XP140||..||+||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||229|
|5.||Kodak AZ901||..||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|6.||Nikon P950||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2020||799|
|7.||Nikon P1000||..||+||73/100||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2018||999|
|8.||Nikon W300||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389|
|9.||Nikon B700||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2016||499|
|10.||Nikon B500||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2016||299|
|11.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|12.||Olympus TG-6||..||+ +||76/100||4/5||4/5||May 2019||449|
|13.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449|
|14.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|16.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Nikon P900 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 Model||Nikon P900||Olympus TG-4|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9|
|Launch Date||March 2015||April 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 379|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon P900||Olympus TG-4|
|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|
|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||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||EXPEED C2||TruePic VII|
|Screen Specs||Nikon P900||Olympus TG-4|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||921k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon P900||Olympus TG-4|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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 P900||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|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon P900||Olympus TG-4|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Waterproof body (15m)|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
140 x 103 x 137 mm
(5.5 x 4.1 x 5.4 in)
112 x 66 x 31 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
|Camera Weight||899 g (31.7 oz)||247 g (8.7 oz)|
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