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Olympus TG-4 vs TG-6

The Olympus Tough TG-4 and the Olympus Tough TG-6 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2015 and May 2019. Both the TG-4 and the TG-6 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The TG-4 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the TG-6 provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Olympus TG-4
versus
Olympus TG-6
Olympus TG-4   Olympus TG-6
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
15.9 MP – 1/2.3" sensor 12 MP – 1/2.3" sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-12,800
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD – 460k dots 3.0" LCD – 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 20 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationIn-body stabilization
Waterproof body (15m)Waterproof body (15m)
380 shots per battery charge340 shots per battery charge
112 x 66 x 31 mm, 247 g 113 x 66 x 32 mm, 253 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus Tough TG-4 and the Olympus Tough TG-6? 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 Olympus TG-4 and the Olympus TG-6 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

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

Size Olympus TG-4 vs Olympus TG-6
Compare TG-4 versus TG-6 top
Comparison TG-4 or TG-6 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 and the Olympus TG-6 are of equal size. However, the TG-6 is slightly heavier (2 percent) than the TG-4. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments. More than that, both cameras are water-proof and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus TG-4 112 mm 66 mm 31 mm 247 g 380 Y Apr 2015 379ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus TG-6 113 mm 66 mm 32 mm 253 g 340 Y May 2019 449 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon SX700 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 250 n Feb 2014 349ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm XP140 110 mm 71 mm 28 mm 207 g 240 Y Feb 2019 229 amazon.com
5.
 
Fujifilm XP130 110 mm 71 mm 28 mm 207 g 240 n Jan 2018 229ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm XP120 110 mm 71 mm 28 mm 203 g 210 Y Jan 2017 229ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon W300 112 mm 66 mm 29 mm 231 g 280 Y May 2017 389 amazon.com
8.
 
Olympus TG-5 113 mm 66 mm 32 mm 250 g 340 Y May 2017 449ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-M5 II 124 mm 85 mm 45 mm 469 g 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus XZ-1 111 mm 65 mm 42 mm 275 g 320 n Jan 2011 499ebay.com
11.
 
Ricoh WG-6 118 mm 66 mm 33 mm 246 g 340 Y Feb 2019 399 amazon.com
12.
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349ebay.com
13.
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The TG-4 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 16 percent) than the TG-6, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.

Technology-wise, the TG-6 uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VIII) than the TG-4 (TruePic VII), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Olympus TG-4 and Olympus TG-6 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the TG-4 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12 MP of the TG-6. This megapixels advantage translates into a 15 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the TG-4 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 1.53μm for the TG-6). Moreover, it should be noted that the TG-6 is much more recent (by 4 years and 1 month) than the TG-4, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Olympus TG-4 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the TG-4 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus TG-6 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Olympus Tough TG-4 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Tough TG-6 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

TG-4 versus TG-6 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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
1.
 
Olympus TG-4 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.673747
2.
 
Olympus TG-6 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p20.712.2112752
3.
 
Canon SX700 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.111.462945
4.
 
Fujifilm XP140 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/15p20.712.2110252
5.
 
Fujifilm XP130 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.612.1100051
6.
 
Fujifilm XP120 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.511.990049
7.
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p20.512.093850
8.
 
Olympus TG-5 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p20.511.993450
9.
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
10.
 
Olympus XZ-1 1/1.7 10.1 3664 2752720/30p18.810.411734
11.
 
Ricoh WG-6 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.712.2110452
12.
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.411.882248
13.
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p20.211.673847
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the TG-6 provides a better video resolution than the TG-4. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the TG-4 is limited to 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The TG-4 and the TG-6 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Olympus TG-4 and Olympus TG-6 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus TG-4none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Olympus TG-6none n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX700none n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/3200s 8.5/s Y Y
4.
 
Fujifilm XP140none n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Fujifilm XP130none n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Fujifilm XP120none n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Nikon W300none n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Olympus TG-5none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
10.
 
Olympus XZ-1optional n3.0 / 614 fixed n 1/2000s 2.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Ricoh WG-6none n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 1.0/s Y n
12.
 
Sony HX80638 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
13.
 
Sony HX90V638 n3.0 / 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The Olympus TG-4 and the Olympus TG-6 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 TG-4 and the TG-6 have zoom lenses built in. Both optics have identical focal length range and aperture specifications (4.5-18mm f/2.0-4.9). Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TG-4 and the TG-6 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 Olympus Tough TG-4 and Olympus Tough TG-6 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus TG-4-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Olympus TG-6-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Canon SX700-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
4.
 
Fujifilm XP140-mono / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Fujifilm XP130-mono / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Fujifilm XP120-mono / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Nikon W300-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
8.
 
Olympus TG-5-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
9.
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
10.
 
Olympus XZ-1Ymono / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Ricoh WG-6-mono / mono--micro3.0---
12.
 
Sony HX80-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Sony HX90V-stereo / mono--micro2.0YY-

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that both cameras feature internal geolocalization sensors and can record GPS coordinates in their EXIF data.

The TG-6 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the TG-4 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the TG-4 was succeeded 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 Olympus website.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus TG-4 better than the Olympus TG-6 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Advantages of the Olympus Tough TG-4:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 340) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (16 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2015).


Reasons to prefer the Olympus Tough TG-6:

  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic VIII vs TruePic VII).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 1 month of technical progress since the TG-4 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the TG-6 comes out slightly ahead of the TG-4 (5 : 4 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.

TG-4 04:05 TG-6

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus TG-4 and the Olympus TG-6 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera listing 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 TG-4 and the TG-6 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus TG-4..+..79/1004/54/5 Apr 2015 379ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus TG-6..+ +4.5/576/1004/54/5 May 2019 449 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon SX700..+ +....4/54/5 Feb 2014 349ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm XP140..+....3.5/54/5 Feb 2019 229 amazon.com
5.
 
Fujifilm XP130..o....3.5/54/5 Jan 2018 229ebay.com
6.
 
Fujifilm XP120..o....3.5/54/5 Jan 2017 229ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon W300..+....4/54/5 May 2017 389 amazon.com
8.
 
Olympus TG-5..+ +....4/54/5 May 2017 449ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-M5 II5/5+ +4.5/581/1005/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus XZ-14/5....74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 499ebay.com
11.
 
Ricoh WG-6........3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2019 399 amazon.com
12.
 
Sony HX80............ Mar 2016 349ebay.com
13.
 
Sony HX90V4/5+ +....4/54.5/5 Apr 2015 429ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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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: Olympus TG-4 vs Olympus TG-6

    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 Olympus TG-4 Olympus TG-6
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
    Launch Date April 2015 May 2019
    Launch Price USD 379 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Olympus TG-4 Olympus TG-6
    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 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VII TruePic VIII
    Screen Specs Olympus TG-4 Olympus TG-6
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Olympus TG-4 Olympus TG-6
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/2000s 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 20 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationIn-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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Olympus TG-4 Olympus TG-6
    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
    Geotagging GPS built-in GPS built-in
    Body Specs Olympus TG-4 Olympus TG-6
    Environmental SealingWaterproof body (15m)Waterproof body (15m)
    Battery Type LI-92B LI-92B
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge340 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 112 x 66 x 31 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
    113 x 66 x 32 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 247 g (8.7 oz) 253 g (8.9 oz)
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    Check TG-6 price at
    amazon.com

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