Olympus TG-4 vs Panasonic FZ330
The Olympus Tough TG-4 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 (labelled Panasonic FZ300 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2015 and July 2015. Both the TG-4 and the FZ330 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 12 MP.
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 Olympus Tough TG-4 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Olympus TG-4 and the Panasonic FZ330 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.
The TG-4 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the FZ330 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 Panasonic FZ330 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Olympus TG-4. Moreover, the FZ330 is substantially heavier (180 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, 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, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Olympus TG-4||112 mm||66 mm||31 mm||247 g||380||Y||Apr 2015||379|
|2.||Panasonic FZ330||132 mm||92 mm||117 mm||691 g||380||Y||Jul 2015||599|
|3.||Canon G3 X||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|4.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|5.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|6.||Fujifilm XP140||110 mm||71 mm||28 mm||207 g||240||Y||Feb 2019||229|
|7.||Fujifilm XP130||110 mm||71 mm||28 mm||207 g||240||n||Jan 2018||229|
|8.||Fujifilm XP120||110 mm||71 mm||28 mm||203 g||210||Y||Jan 2017||229|
|9.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|10.||Olympus TG-6||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||253 g||340||Y||May 2019||449|
|11.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|12.||Olympus E-M5 II||124 mm||85 mm||45 mm||469 g||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099|
|13.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic LX5||110 mm||65 mm||43 mm||271 g||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|16.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 TG-4 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 37 percent) than the FZ330, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.
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 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.
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 FZ330. 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 FZ330). Moreover, it should be noted that the FZ330 is a somewhat more recent model (by 3 months) than the TG-4, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ330 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
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 Panasonic FZ330 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 |
|3.||Canon G3 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|12.||Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the FZ330 provides a better video resolution than the TG-4. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Olympus is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ330 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k 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 Olympus TG-4 and Panasonic FZ330 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|3.||Canon G3 X||optional||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|12.||Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The FZ330 has a touchscreen, while the TG-4 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The FZ330 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the TG-4 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the FZ330 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Olympus TG-4 and the Panasonic FZ330 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 FZ330 have zoom lenses built in. The TG-4 has a 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 optic and the FZ330 offers a 25-600mm f/2.8-2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Olympus and Panasonic provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Panasonic has more tele-photo reach at the long end. The TG-4 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TG-4 and the FZ330 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.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|3.||Canon G3 X||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
It is notable that the FZ330 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The TG-4 does not feature such a mic input.
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.
The FZ330 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. 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 and Panasonic websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus TG-4 better than the Panasonic FZ330 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus Tough TG-4:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12MP) with a 15% higher linear resolution.
- 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 132x92mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 444g or 64 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (37 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2015).
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ330:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- 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 (12 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (3 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ330 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 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 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 Olympus TG-4 and the Panasonic FZ330 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Superzoom 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the TG-4 or the FZ330. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews 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.||Olympus TG-4||..||+||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2015||379|
|2.||Panasonic FZ330||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||599|
|3.||Canon G3 X||3.5/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|4.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|5.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|6.||Fujifilm XP140||..||+||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||229|
|7.||Fujifilm XP130||..||o||..||3.5/5||4/5||Jan 2018||229|
|8.||Fujifilm XP120||..||o||..||3.5/5||4/5||Jan 2017||229|
|9.||Nikon W300||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389|
|10.||Olympus TG-6||..||+ +||76/100||4/5||4/5||May 2019||449|
|11.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449|
|12.||Olympus E-M5 II||5/5||+ +||81/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099|
|13.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Panasonic LX5||4/5||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|16.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|17.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Olympus TG-4 vs Panasonic FZ330
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||Olympus TG-4||Panasonic FZ330|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9||25-600mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||April 2015||July 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 379||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus TG-4||Panasonic FZ330|
|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||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||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VII||Venus|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||38|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||19.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||97|
|Screen Specs||Olympus TG-4||Panasonic FZ330|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus TG-4||Panasonic FZ330|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based 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||Panasonic FZ330|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Olympus TG-4||Panasonic FZ330|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (15m)||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
112 x 66 x 31 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
132 x 92 x 117 mm
(5.2 x 3.6 x 4.6 in)
|Camera Weight||247 g (8.7 oz)||691 g (24.4 oz)|
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