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Olympus TG-5 Comparison Review

The Olympus Tough TG-5 is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in May 2017 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 12 megapixel.

camera

Is the Olympus TG-5 a good camera? The TG-5 has a Camera Elo of 2076. This rating puts the TG-5 among the top 50 percent of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the TG-5 ranks among the top 30 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Olympus TG-5
Fixed lens compact camera
25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
4K/30p Video
ISO 100 - 12 800
no viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
20 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Waterproof body (15m)
340 shots per battery charge
113 x 66 x 32 mm, 250 g

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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Olympus TG-5 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Olympus TG-5 vs credit card front
TG-5 versus credit card top view
TG-5 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus TG-5 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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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-5 113 mm 66 mm 32 mm 250 g 340 Y May 2017 449ebay.com
2.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm XP130 110 mm 71 mm 28 mm 207 g 240 Y Jan 2018 229ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon W300 112 mm 66 mm 29 mm 231 g 280 Y May 2017 389 amazon.com
6.
 
Olympus TG-6 113 mm 66 mm 32 mm 253 g 340 Y May 2019 449 amazon.com
7.
 
Olympus TG-4 112 mm 66 mm 31 mm 247 g 380 Y Apr 2015 379ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-PM1 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 265 g 330 n Jun 2011 499ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus XZ-1 111 mm 65 mm 42 mm 275 g 320 n Jan 2011 499ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic TS7 117 mm 76 mm 37 mm 319 g 300 Y May 2018 449 amazon.com
11.
 
Sony HX99 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 242 g 370 n Aug 2018 449 amazon.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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-5 was launched in the US market at a price of $449. 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.

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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

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. 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.

The Olympus TG-5 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-5 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Olympus TG-5 sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of alternatives.

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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-5 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p20.511.993450
2.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.612.1105051
3.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
4.
 
Fujifilm XP130 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p20.612.1100051
5.
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p20.512.093850
6.
 
Olympus TG-6 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30004K/30p20.712.2112752
7.
 
Olympus TG-4 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p20.211.673747
8.
 
Olympus E-PM1 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i21.010.349952
9.
 
Olympus XZ-1 1/1.7 10.1 3664 2752720/30p18.810.411734
10.
 
Panasonic TS7 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p20.612.1102851
11.
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p20.612.1105851
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 TG-5 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the TG-5 can use is 4K/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus TG-5 and comparable 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-5none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Canon SX740none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
4.
 
Fujifilm XP130none n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Nikon W300none n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Olympus TG-6none n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/2000s 20.0/s Y Y
7.
 
Olympus TG-4none n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
8.
 
Olympus E-PM1optional n3.0 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5/s n Y
9.
 
Olympus XZ-1optional n3.0 / 614 fixed n 1/2000s 2.0/s Y Y
10.
 
Panasonic TS71170 n3.0 / 1040 fixed n 1/1300s 10.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Sony HX99638 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One convenient feature of the TG-5 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-5 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-5-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Canon SX740-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
3.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Fujifilm XP130-mono / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Nikon W300-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Olympus TG-6-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Olympus TG-4-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
8.
 
Olympus E-PM1Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus XZ-1Ymono / ---mini2.0---
10.
 
Panasonic TS7-stereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
11.
 
Sony HX99-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY

It is notable that the TG-5 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The TG-5 has a zoom lens built in (4.5-18mm 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.

Further information on the features and operation of the TG-5 can be found in the free online Olympus TG-5 Manual or on the Olympus support site.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the TG-5 handle or perform in practice. 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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus TG-5..+ +4.5/5..4/54/5 May 2017 449ebay.com
2.
 
Canon SX740..+3.5/5..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm XP130..o....3.5/54/5 Jan 2018 229ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon W300..+....4/54/5 May 2017 389 amazon.com
6.
 
Olympus TG-6..+ +4.5/576/1004/54/5 May 2019 449 amazon.com
7.
 
Olympus TG-4..+..79/1004/54/5 Apr 2015 379ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-PM1..86/100..71/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 499ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus XZ-14/5....74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2011 499ebay.com
10.
 
Panasonic TS7..+......3.5/5 May 2018 449 amazon.com
11.
 
Sony HX99........4/54.5/5 Aug 2018 449 amazon.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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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Olympus TG-5 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the TG-5.

What technology is the imaging sensor in the TG-5 based on?

The camera is build around a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

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-5 with the TruePic VIII image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the TG-5?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800.

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

No, the Olympus Tough TG-5 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.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Olympus TG-5?

The TG-5 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Olympus TG-5 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-5 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-5 use?

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

Does the Olympus Tough TG-5 support geotagging?

The TG-5 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 with another camera, 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.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Olympus TG-5
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
    Launch Date May 2017
    Launch Price USD 449
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 000 x 3 000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.53 μm
    Pixel Density 42.74 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12 800 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VIII
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen
    Touch Input No touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000s
    Continuous Shooting 20 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-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)340 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 113 x 66 x 32 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 250 g (8.8 oz)

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