Olympus TG-6 vs Sony A77
The Olympus Tough TG-6 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2019 and August 2011. The TG-6 is a fixed lens compact, while the A77 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (TG-6) and an APS-C (A77) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 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-6 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77? 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-6 and the Sony A77 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-6 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the A77 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 Sony A77 is considerably larger (99 percent) than the Olympus TG-6. 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-6 is water-proof up to 15m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the TG-6 has a lens built in, whereas the A77 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the TG-6 gets 340 shots out of its LI-92B battery, while the A77 can take 470 images on a single charge of its NP-FM500H power pack. The power pack in the TG-6 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|1.||Olympus TG-6||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||253 g||340||Y||May 2019||449|
|2.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm XF10||113 mm||64 mm||41 mm||279 g||330||n||Jul 2018||499|
|5.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|6.||Olympus TG-4||112 mm||66 mm||31 mm||247 g||380||Y||Apr 2015||379|
|7.||Olympus E-PM1||110 mm||64 mm||34 mm||265 g||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|8.||Olympus XZ-1||111 mm||65 mm||42 mm||275 g||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|9.||Panasonic FT7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|10.||Panasonic GH5||139 mm||98 mm||87 mm||725 g||410||Y||Jan 2017||1,999|
|11.||Ricoh WG-6||118 mm||66 mm||33 mm||246 g||340||Y||Feb 2019||399|
|12.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|13.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Sony A9||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499|
|15.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|16.||Sony A77 II||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||647 g||480||Y||May 2014||1,199|
|17.||Sony A99||147 mm||111 mm||78 mm||812 g||500||Y||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Notes: 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-6 was launched at a lower price than the A77, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 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-6 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony A77 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A77 is 1211 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-6 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A77 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the A77 offers a higher resolution than the TG-6 (12MP), but the A77 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.53μm for the TG-6) due to its larger sensor. However, the TG-6 is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 8 months) than the A77, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A77 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A77 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 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-6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|7.||Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|10.||Panasonic GH5||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/60p||23.9||13.0||807||77|
|14.||Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|15.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|16.||Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.7||1442||77|
|17.||Sony A99||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||14.0||1555||89|
|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. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the TG-6 provides a higher video resolution than the A77. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A77 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the TG-6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus TG-6 and Sony A77 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Olympus TG-6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0 / 921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX740||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm XF10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|5.||Olympus TG-5||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Olympus TG-4||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Olympus E-PM1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||Y|
|8.||Olympus XZ-1||optional||n||3.0 / 614||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Panasonic FT7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Panasonic GH5||3680||n||3.2 / 1620||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
|11.||Ricoh WG-6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.0||Y||n|
|12.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A9||3686||n||3.0 / 1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||20.0||n||Y|
|15.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|16.||Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A99||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||6.0||n||Y|
One feature that is present on the A77, but is missing on the TG-6 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.The A77 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-6 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Olympus TG-6 has 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-6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A77 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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-6 and Sony Alpha SLT-A77 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Olympus TG-6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony A77||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX740||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm XF10||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Olympus TG-5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Olympus TG-4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Olympus E-PM1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Olympus XZ-1||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic FT7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GH5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|11.||Ricoh WG-6||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||3.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A9||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A77 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A99||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the TG-6 offers wifi support, while the A77 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A77 (unlike the TG-6) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
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 A77 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A77 was succeeded by the Sony A77 II. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus TG-6 and the Sony A77? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Olympus Tough TG-6:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 921k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 12 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the A77 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x66mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A77).
- 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 file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 8 months of technical progress since the A77 launch.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
- 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.
- 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.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 340) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2011).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A77 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 12 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Olympus TG-6 and the Sony A77 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the TG-6 or the A77 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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 (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.
|1.||Olympus TG-6||..||+ +||4.5/5||76/100||4/5||4/5||May 2019||449|
|2.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||..||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||3.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Fujifilm XF10||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499|
|5.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449|
|6.||Olympus TG-4||..||+||..||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2015||379|
|7.||Olympus E-PM1||..||86/100||..||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|8.||Olympus XZ-1||4/5||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|9.||Panasonic FT7||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|10.||Panasonic GH5||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2017||1,999|
|11.||Ricoh WG-6||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2019||399|
|12.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|13.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|14.||Sony A9||5/5||+ +||4.8/5||89/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499|
|15.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|16.||Sony A77 II||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||1,199|
|17.||Sony A99||5/5||..||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 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.
- Canon G1 X Mark II vs Sony A77
- Canon SX520 vs Olympus TG-6
- Canon SX710 vs Sony A77
- Fujifilm X-Pro3 vs Olympus TG-6
- Fujifilm X-T10 vs Sony A77
- Leica Q2 vs Olympus TG-6
- Nikon D600 vs Olympus TG-6
- Nikon D610 vs Sony A77
- Nikon P900 vs Olympus TG-6
- Olympus E-30 vs Olympus TG-6
- Olympus E-P3 vs Sony A77
- Panasonic LX7 vs Sony A77
Specifications: Olympus TG-6 vs Sony A77
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-6||Sony A77|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||25-100mm f/2.0-4.9||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2019||August 2011|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 1,399|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus TG-6||Sony A77|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.53 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||42.74 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 16,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VIII||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||801|
|Screen Specs||Olympus TG-6||Sony A77|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fully flexible screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus TG-6||Sony A77|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||20 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus TG-6||Sony A77|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|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||no Wifi|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Olympus TG-6||Sony A77|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (15m)||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||470 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
113 x 66 x 32 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
143 x 104 x 81 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||253 g (8.9 oz)||732 g (25.8 oz)|
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