Olympus TG-3 Makes a Splash

olympus tg-3

Perhaps somewhat overshadowed by the news of a point-and-shoot Pen, the Olympus TG-3 appears no less impressive, effectively announced as a replacement to the WG-2 and sporting some welcome improvements.

Olympus TG-3:  Competition-Proof Compact?

Tough cameras may induce wonder from some, but they rarely pique my interest.  I say rarely because the TG-3 has been announced and my interest has finally been piqued.

Here are some pictures of a pre-production model.

olympus tg-3 olympus tg-3 olympus tg-3Here are the full stats.

Model Stylus TOUGH TG-3
Waterproof Submersible down to 50ft/15m
Crushproof Withstands up to 220lbf/100kgf of pressure
Shockproof Resists drops up to 7ft/2.1m high
Freezeproof Puts up with freezing weather down to 14°F/-10°C
Dustproof Yes
Wi-Fi Connectivity The built-in Wireless LAN and free Olympus Image Share (OI.Share) app enable you to:1) Easily share files (JPEG/MOV) to iOS and Android mobile devices,2) Geotag photos with GPS location information from iOS and Android mobile devices,3) Remotely operate the zoom, activate the self-timer, adjust white balance and exposure (ISO, shutter speed, aperture), select the shooting and drive modes, select the AF area, and trip the shutter, all from an iOS and Android mobile device.

4) Apply custom signatures and Art Filters to photos taken and stamps to Photo Story photos.

GPS & Electronic Compass GPS: Quickly locates position within 10 seconds and is more accurate than ever.Location and landmark information can be viewed and geotagged to photos.Electronic Compass: Displays information such as 1) Latitude and longitude, 2) Atmospheric and water pressure, 3) Altitude and water depth, and 4) Date and time.
Zoom 4x Optical Zoom + 2x Super Resolution Zoom + 4x Digital Zoom
Focal Length 4.5 – 18.0mm (35mm equivalent: 25 – 100mm)
Aperture Range Wide:  f2.0, f2.8, f8.0Tele:  f4.9, f6.3, f18.0
Focus Range/Working Distance Wide/Tele: 3.9in/10cm to infinity;Super Macro Mode: 0.4in/1cm to infinity, focal length fixed to 25mm (equiv)
Image Sensor 16 Megapixel – BSI CMOS 1/2.3”
Image Stabilization Sensor-shift
Image Processor TruePic VII
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, AUTO, HIGH
White Balance Auto, One-touch, Cloudy, Sunny, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Underwater
Shutter Speed 1/2 – 1/2000 (Night Scene: Longest 4 sec)
Continuous Shooting 5fps / 100 images (16M); 15fps / 100 images (3M); 60fps / 100 images (3M)
Self-Timer 2 sec, 12 sec, Custom Self-Timer  (1-30 sec start timer, 1-10 pictures, 1-3 sec interval)
Interval Shooting 1 sec – 24 hrs interval, Max 99 frames, 1sec-24hrs start timer
AF Illuminator Built-in AF Illuminator
Flash Modes Auto, Red Eye Reduction, Fill-in, Off, LED
Focus Mode Face Detection AF, AF Tracking, AF Lock
Shooting Modes Mode Dial: Intelligent Auto (iAUTO), Program Auto (P), Aperture Priority (A), Microscope, Scene Modes (22), Art Filters (11), Photo Story, Custom (C)Microscope Modes: 1. Microscope, 2. Focus Stacking, 3. Focus Bracketing, 4. Microscope ControlScene Modes: 1. Portrait, 2. ePortrait, 3. Landscape, 4. Interval Shooting, 5. Hand-held Starlight,6. Night Scene, 7. Night + Portrait, 8. Sport, 9. Indoor, 10. Self Portrait, 11. Sunset, 12. Fireworks, 13. Cuisine, 14. Documents, 15. Beach & Snow, 16. Under Water Snapshot,

17. Under Water Wide1, 18. Under Water Wide2, 19. Under Water Macro, 20. Snow,

21. Panorama, 22. Backlight HDR

Art Filters: 1. Pop Art, 2. Soft Focus, 3. Pale & Light Color, 4. Grainy Film, 5. Pin Hole, 6. Diorama, 7. Dramatic Tone, 8. Fish Eye, 9. Sparkle, 10. Reflection, 11. Fragmented

Picture Modes: Vivid, Natural, Muted

Panorama Allows you to intuitively pan the camera across the scene; standard and full 360° views available.
Still Image Playback Edit Effects 1. Resize, 2. Crop, 3. Audio Clip (Record 4 sec audio to image file), 4. Red Eye Fix, 5. Shadow Adjustment, 7. Rotate Image, 8. e-Portrait (smoothes skin tone to view on HDTV)
Still Image File Format JPEG
Video Mode, Resolution and Recording Speeds 1080p, 720p, VGA, Time-Lapse Movie (720p),High-Speed 120fps (640×480), High-Speed 240fps (432×324)*When shooting 1080 60p/1080p/720p movies, use SDHC class6 (speed class)/SDXC class6 or higher for best results.
Time-Lapse Movie Images obtained with the Interval Shooting mode can be compiled automatically in the camera into a Time Lapse  Movie lasting up to 10 sec. Movie is recorded in 720p size at 10 fps.
Audio Recording Linear PCM
Video File Format MOV/H.264, AVI/Motion JPEG (High-Speed Movie, Time-Lapse Movie)
 Rear Monitor Size (Aspect Ratio) 3.0″ (3:2)
Rear Monitor Resolution and Type 460K Dots LCD
Removable Media Card SD, SDHC, SDXC, Internal Memory
Internal Memory 36MB
Outer Connectors Multi-terminal (USB Connector, DC Jack, Audio/Video Output), HDMI Type D
Auto-Connect USB USB 2.0 High-Speed (USB Mass Storage)
Language English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Croatian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Greek, Slovak, Turkish, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Korean, Simple Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Thai, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, Persian, Indonesian, Hebrew, Malay, Vietnamese, Japanese
Battery Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery (LI-92B)
Battery Life
(CIPA DC-002)
380 shots; 120 minutes continuous video shooting
Dimension 4.4″ W x 2.6″ H x 1.2″ D  (111.5mm W x 65.9mm H x  31.2mm D)
Weight 8.7oz (247g)
Box Contents TG-3 Digital CameraWaterproof InstructionsWrist StrapLI-92B Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery

USB Cable (CB-USB8)

AC Adapter (F-2AC)

Quick Start Guide

CD-ROM with Instruction Manual and Olympus Viewer 3 Software

Worldwide Warranty Card

 The biggest highlight here?  Built-in WiFi and interval shooting give users that ability to turn the Olympus TG-3 into an action camera with a remote, as well as send of pictures and video to social networks like Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.  Having used the free Olympus app, OI.Share, I can safely say that it feels fairly easy to use, and once you get used to setting up a connection with between the camera and your phone, it is pretty close to hassle-free.

For those who disdain the ever-increasing social aspect of digital photography can still fall in love with this camera, thanks in no small part to improved macro capabilities, including a claim from the manufacturer that the Olympus TG-3 can focus as close as 1 cm (!!!) – probably made possible with some crazy zoom feature in the camera menu, or the optional LG-1 LED ring light ($59.99).

olympus tg-3

At any rate, the TG-3 has been announced, and will retail for around $349.  While you might rejoice at that price, you’ll have to wait until June for the camera to become available.  It will be available in red and black.

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