Olympus’ Stylus Tough TG-4 is a rugged camera that will be released in May for a price of $499. In addition to providing the necessary tough features that will suit adventurous users and underwater shooters, the new camera has a more keen focus on image quality than previous rugged models.
A key feature of the Stylus Tough TG-4 is its ability to record in RAW mode, rather than only JPEG. This will allow for photographs, particularly those shot underwater, to be edited with more freedom in order to attain more accurate results.
The camera has a 25-100mm lens that includes an F/2.0 aperture at its wide angle (it closes to f/4.7 when zoomed), which allows for better light capture in dim conditions. The lens is fixed, but optional accessories can be attached to it to give a fisheye view or to extend the zoom to 170mm. A ring LED is also available.
A CMOS sensor of 16 megapixels captures the images, and optical image stabilisation is of the image-shift variety, with Olympus claiming it uses the same algorithms as its OM-D and PEN series of cameras.
Photos can be framed through a 3in LCD screen on the rear, and autofocus points can be selected using the directional pad, affording greater control when capturing off-centre subjects.
To aid underwater photography, Olympus has included a UW (underwater) mode that is directly accessible from the camera’s mode dial. It includes the ability to shoot high dynamic range while underwater.
Macro shooting has also been enhanced, with Olympus including a ‘variable macro system’ that includes the ability to shoot macro from 1cm away from a subject at the wide angle and 30cm away at the full zoom, and there is a Microscope Mode that can perform image stacking. Another microscope mode, called Microscope Control, allows the capturing of objects at up to a magnification of 44.4x.
Also included in this camera is a long exposure mode called Live Composite, which can combine multiple shots in order to make the night time shooting of the sky and stars more intuitive.
The Stylus Tough TG-4 also features Wi-Fi and GPS, and its ruggedness is characterised by waterproofing down to 15m, shock-proofing from a height of up to 2.1m, crush-proofing for up to 100kg of force, and freeze-proofing down to -10 degrees Celsius.