Olympus TG-4 vs Ricoh GR II
The Olympus Tough TG-4 and the Ricoh GR II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2015 and June 2015. Both the TG-4 and the GR II are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on a 1/2.3-inch (TG-4) and an APS-C (GR II) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Ricoh provides 16.1 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 Ricoh GR II? 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 physical size and weight of the Olympus TG-4 and the Ricoh GR II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The TG-4 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the GR II 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 and the Ricoh GR II are of equal size. However, the GR II is slightly heavier (2 percent) than the TG-4. It is worth mentioning in this context that the TG-4 is splash and dust resistant, while the GR II 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 TG-4 gets 380 shots out of its LI-92B battery, while the GR II can take 320 images on a single charge of its DB65 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Olympus TG-4||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.2 in||8.7 oz||380||Y||Apr 2015||379|
|Ricoh GR II||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|Canon SX700||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon G7 X||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Fujifilm XP140||4.3 in||2.8 in||1.1 in||7.3 oz||240||Y||Feb 2019||229|
|Fujifilm XP130||4.3 in||2.8 in||1.1 in||7.3 oz||240||n||Jan 2018||229|
|Fujifilm XP120||4.3 in||2.8 in||1.1 in||7.2 oz||210||Y||Jan 2017||229|
|Fujifilm X70||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.7 in||12.0 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||799|
|Nikon W300||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.1 in||8.1 oz||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|Olympus TG-6||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||8.9 oz||340||Y||May 2019||449|
|Olympus TG-5||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||8.8 oz||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|Olympus E-M5 II||4.9 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||16.5 oz||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099|
|Panasonic GM5||3.9 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||7.4 oz||220||n||Sep 2014||749|
|Ricoh GR||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|Sony HX80||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|Sony HX90V||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|Sony RX100 III||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.2 oz||320||n||May 2014||799|
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 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 markedly lower price (by 46 percent) than the GR II, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus TG-4 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Ricoh GR II an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the GR II is 1221 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the TG-4 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the GR II offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16.1MP, the GR II offers a higher resolution than the TG-4 (15.9MP), but the GR II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.79μm versus 1.33μm for the TG-4) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that 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 GR II has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Olympus Tough TG-4 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Ricoh GR II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73|
|Panasonic GM5||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.1||11.7||721||66|
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/30p).
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The TG-4 and the GR II 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. That said, the GR II can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the GV-1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus TG-4, the Ricoh GR II, and comparable cameras.
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
|Olympus E-M5 II||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
The Olympus TG-4 and the Ricoh GR II 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.
The TG-4 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the GR II comes with a built-in prime. The TG-4 has a 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9 optic and the GR II offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Olympus provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Ricoh. The TG-4 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the TG-4 and the GR II 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 Ricoh GR II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Olympus E-M5 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the GR II has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The TG-4 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
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 GR II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Ricoh. 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 Ricoh websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus TG-4 and the Ricoh GR II? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.0 vs f/2.8).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (380 versus 320) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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 (46 percent cheaper at launch).
Reasons to prefer the Ricoh GR II:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1230k vs 460k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (10 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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 Olympus TG-4 and the Ricoh GR II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the TG-4 or the GR II. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|Olympus TG-4||+||79/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Apr 2015||379|
|Ricoh GR II||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|Canon SX700||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Fujifilm XP140||+||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Feb 2019||229|
|Fujifilm XP130||o||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Jan 2018||229|
|Fujifilm XP120||o||..||3.5/5||..||4/5||Jan 2017||229|
|Fujifilm X70||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799|
|Nikon W300||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||May 2017||389|
|Olympus TG-6||+ +||76/100||4/5||..||4/5||May 2019||449|
|Olympus TG-5||+ +||..||4/5||o||4/5||May 2017||449|
|Olympus E-M5 II||+ +||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099|
|Panasonic GM5||+||77/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||749|
|Ricoh GR||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|Sony HX90V||+ +||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|Sony RX100 III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799|
|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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 60D vs Ricoh GR II
- Fujifilm X100F vs Ricoh GR II
- Fujifilm XP140 vs Olympus TG-4
- Fujifilm XQ1 vs Ricoh GR II
- Leica V-LUX 5 vs Olympus TG-4
- Nikon D2X vs Olympus TG-4
- Nikon D3300 vs Ricoh GR II
- Nikon D70s vs Olympus TG-4
- Nikon D80 vs Olympus TG-4
- Nikon P1000 vs Ricoh GR II
- Olympus TG-4 vs Sony RX100 VI
- Ricoh GR II vs Sony HX400V
Specifications: Olympus TG-4 vs Ricoh GR II
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||Ricoh GR II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9||28mm f/2.8|
|Launch Date||April 2015||June 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 379||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus TG-4||Ricoh GR II|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||369.72 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||16.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4928 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||4.79 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||4.35 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VII||GR Engine V|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||80|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1078|
|Screen Specs||Olympus TG-4||Ricoh GR II|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||1230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus TG-4||Ricoh GR II|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||no handshake reduction|
|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||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus TG-4||Ricoh GR II|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||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||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Olympus TG-4||Ricoh GR II|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (15m)||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||380 shots per charge||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
112 x 66 x 31 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.2 in)
117 x 63 x 35 mm
(4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||247 g (8.7 oz)||251 g (8.9 oz)|
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