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Olympus TG-4 Comparison Review

The Olympus Tough TG-4 is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in April 2015 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.

camera

Is the Olympus TG-4 a good camera? The TG-4 has a Camera Elo of 1688. This rating puts the TG-4 below average of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the TG-4 ranks among the top 50 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Olympus TG-4
Fixed lens compact camera
25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video
ISO 100-6400
No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Waterproof body (15m)
380 shots per battery charge
112 x 66 x 31 mm, 247 g


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Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Olympus TG-4 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Olympus TG-4 vs credit card front
TG-4 versus credit card top view
TG-4 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus TG-4 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus TG-4 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.2 in 8.7 oz 380 Y Apr 2015 379- i Olympus TG-4
 
Fujifilm XP140« » 4.3 in 2.8 in 1.1 in 7.3 oz 240 Y Feb 2019 229 i i Fujifilm XP140
 
Fujifilm XP130« » 4.3 in 2.8 in 1.1 in 7.3 oz 240 n Jan 2018 229- i Fujifilm XP130
 
Fujifilm XP120« » 4.3 in 2.8 in 1.1 in 7.2 oz 210 Y Jan 2017 229- i Fujifilm XP120
 
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Olympus TG-6« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.9 oz 340 Y May 2019 449 i i Olympus TG-6
 
Olympus TG-5« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 8.8 oz 340 Y May 2017 449- i Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Sony HX99« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Sony HX80« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i i Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 i i Sony HX90V
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus TG-4 was launched in the US market at a price of $379. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Olympus TG-4:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Olympus TG-4 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus TG-4 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Olympus TG-4 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Olympus TG-4 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Olympus TG-4
 
Fujifilm XP140« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/15p----Fujifilm XP140
 
Fujifilm XP130« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Fujifilm XP130
 
Fujifilm XP120« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Fujifilm XP120
 
Nikon W300« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p----Nikon W300
 
Olympus TG-6« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----Olympus TG-6
 
Olympus TG-5« » 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p----Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Sony HX99« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX99
 
Sony HX80« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p----Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p----Sony HX90V

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The TG-4 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the TG-4 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Olympus TG-4 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Olympus TG-4- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y Olympus TG-4
 
Fujifilm XP140« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm XP140
 
Fujifilm XP130« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm XP130
 
Fujifilm XP120« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Fujifilm XP120
 
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
 
Olympus TG-6« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y Olympus TG-6
 
Olympus TG-5« »- n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0 Y Y Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Sony HX99« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
 
Sony HX80« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX90V

One convenient feature of the TG-4 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

 

Connection 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 Olympus Tough TG-4 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Olympus TG-4-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus TG-4
 
Fujifilm XP140« »-monomono--micro2.0Y-YFujifilm XP140
 
Fujifilm XP130« »-monomono--micro2.0Y-YFujifilm XP130
 
Fujifilm XP120« »-monomono--micro2.0Y--Fujifilm XP120
 
Nikon W300« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
 
Olympus TG-6« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus TG-6
 
Olympus TG-5« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Sony HX99« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX99
 
Sony HX80« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX90V

It is notable that the TG-4 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

 

The TG-4 has a zoom lens built in (4.5-18.0mm f/2.0-4.9), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 25 to 100mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the TG-4. 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Olympus TG-4+79/1004/54/54/5 Apr 2015 379- i Olympus TG-4
 
Fujifilm XP140« »+-3.5/5-4/5 Feb 2019 229 i i Fujifilm XP140
 
Fujifilm XP130« »o-3.5/5-4/5 Jan 2018 229- i Fujifilm XP130
 
Fujifilm XP120« »o-3.5/5-4/5 Jan 2017 229- i Fujifilm XP120
 
Nikon W300« »+-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Olympus TG-6« »+ +-4/5-4/5 May 2019 449 i i Olympus TG-6
 
Olympus TG-5« »+ +-4/5o4/5 May 2017 449- i Olympus TG-5
 
Olympus E-M5 II« »+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099 i i Olympus E-M5 II
 
Sony HX99« »--4/5-4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Sony HX80« »----- Mar 2016 349 i i Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« »+ +-4/5-4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i i Sony HX90V
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Olympus TG-4 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the TG-4.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the TG-4?

The camera has a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Olympus equipped the TG-4 with the TruePic VII image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the TG-4?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Olympus Tough TG-4 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Does the Olympus TG-4 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Does the Olympus TG-4 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the TG-4 use?

The camera gets its power from the LI-92B, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Does the Olympus Tough TG-4 support geotagging?

The TG-4 has a built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) module and can embed location information in the EXIF data of the captured image.

Camera to camera comparisons

If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Olympus TG-4
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
    Launch Date April 2015
    Launch Price USD 379
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VII
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Geotagging GPS built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWaterproof body (15m)
    Battery Type LI-92B power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 112 x 66 x 31 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
    Camera Weight 247 g (8.7 oz)

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