The Olympus TG-2, ready to lounge poolside

Lucky taken with the Olympus TG-2 - Austin, Texas

Lucky taken with the Olympus TG-2 – Austin, Texas

Lucky is proud to present the Olympus TG-2, the third and last of my recent new cameras. It is a chunky point and shoot and it has the worst image quality of all my recent cameras. Why did I get it? Well it has some unique features.

You know that I’ve been on an equipment kick lately first buying the Canon 6D, then the Canon G15 and now the TG-2. I’ve also got rid of a few cameras so my total camera count remains steady. While these may seem like random purchases, I actually have put some thought behind them. At least that is what I tell my self to justify all these acquisitions.

A Longhorn at McDonald's - Austin, Texas

A Longhorn at McDonald’s – Austin, Texas

Green Leaf Macro - Austin, Texas

Green Leaf Macro – Austin, Texas

The Olympus TG-2 is designed survive a 7 foot drop, temperatures of 14 degrees and the pressure of 50 feet of water. Yes, it is one of those Tough cameras. I’m not much of an extreme sports kind of guy so this camera is going to have it easy, lounging around by the pool or the ocean. But it fills an important niche, to capture the candid moments of summer, without worry.

It’s a surprisingly quick camera, JPEG only and I’m taking on a trip to Cancun, Mexico in a couple of days. I have the Sony TX5, my first waterproof camera from about 3 years ago but this one improves on it in several ways. First, it has a f2.0 lens at its widest 25mm focal length. A true 1080P high def video and the most amazing macro capability of all of my cameras. Its 12 MP sensor is the newest generation and even for its tiny size, it does acceptable shots up to ISO 400 and I’ve even pushed it to ISO 800 in a pinch.

Up in Smoke, Poolside Grilling - Austin, Texas

Up in Smoke, Poolside Grilling – Austin, Texas

Recording the Plunge - Austin, Texas

Recording the Plunge – Austin, Texas

The old TX5 goes to my younger son, who has bugged me for a camera. This little Sony with its strong build will be perfect for a young boy. Here you see him jumping into a pool, with the TX5 to document his plunge. Black and whites come out really crisp and the lower dynamic range and large depth of field really gives a sharp look to these photos. At 100%, even at the base ISO 100, there is noise reduction smoothing going on. It’s definitely not going to win any image quality competitions but I think it will be a fun camera.

I’ve only use the TG-2 a couple of times so I’ll do a more extensive writeup when I get back from my vacation. So far, it’s worked well at a pool side party and a boating trip. I really don’t expect to use the camera too often. The Canon G15, certainty destroys it in image quality, so it won’t be my daily carry around camera. But as you can imagine, it should be the perfect ticket for the beach. After all, just a few misplace grains of sand and the G15’s power zoom becomes history not to mention the constant threat of water.

Dry Dock, Hula Hut Restaurant - Austin, Texas

Dry Dock, Hula Hut Restaurant – Austin, Texas

We ID Under 30, Hula Hut Restaurant - Austin, Texas

We ID Under 30, Hula Hut Restaurant – Austin, Texas


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11 thoughts on “The Olympus TG-2, ready to lounge poolside

  1. I want something waterproof so I can safely use it on a boat or in the rain. I’ll be watching to see how the pictures come out and read what you think of it.

  2. Thanks for the review. I am always puzzled by the cameras minimum temperature specs. You mentioned 14F, certainly much better than the official 32F of my canon rebel. But, in real life (at least in most northern states, like in Michigan where I live), 14F is not even a very extreme temperature. I have always taken all my cameras in that kind of temperature (including a week of winter camping/snowshoeing in yellowstone national park, with an entry level P&S in 2005), and I never noticed any problem. It is only recently that I noticed the very modest minimum temp specs. Which leads me to think that minimum temp specs is probably not tested in labs at all.

    1. Laurant, these are good points and I don’t know the answer. Living here in Texas, I worry more about maximum temperatures. I know in cold weather, battery performance goes way down but I don’t know what other adverse affects it causes.

  3. Another winner. With this and the G15 you could conquer the world — at least the screen display portion of it, which seems to be the majority.

    Don’t know how they’ll print, but for web use neither camera suggests any image deficiency.

    1. Thanks Michael. Printing is a whole another area. One that I plan to tackle soon.

      Your right, for web sizes and low ISO it should be fine. But when compared against equivalent shots with better cameras, there is a harshness to the images that I attribute to the small sensor, I’m guessing.

  4. Looks like you are getting some very nice photos from this Olympus TG-2 camera! The colors really look great. That “Up in Smoke” photo is the most captivating B&W photo that I’ve seen in quite a while. (That’s not the camera – that’s the photographer!)

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