New Olympus toughie with a weeny under the hood
The new Olympus toughie TG-5 is definitely an action-person camera, fit for adventurers everywhere. The press release is glowing and full of detail. There’s just one thing missing: The size of the sensor.
This isn’t surprising. If the sensor size isn’t mentioned in the first paragraph of a press release we can be sure it is a small one. So it proved.
The TG-5 is designed to “capture outstanding images in the most challenging conditions.” It combines a “high-speed f2.0 lens with advanced technologies, including a new high-performance backlit 12-megapixel CMOS imagine sensor”. Yes, but what about the size of that sensor?
Read on. The TG-5 boasts “a wide-angle 25mm to a telephoto 100mm (35mm equivalent) focal length.” A clue. Indeed, but note that “35mm equivalent” bit. Caveat emptor.
The TG-5 is full of virtue, solid and capable of remaining unscathed after an encounter with a Sherman tank. But what size is the sensor? By this time I was getting annoyed.
It wasn’t until I saw a full frontal image of the new paragon and got out the magnifying glass that I was able to determine that the lens has a focal-length range of 4.5mm to 18mm. Divide the “35mm equivalent” figures by this new information and it’s pretty clear we’re dealing with a crop factor of around 5.5. Even more searching around the small print of the specification and we discover that the sensor dimensions are 6.17 x 4.55mm. Even I can work out that the resulting area is 28.07mm. Dinky.
But the mystery deepens. Olympus say this is a 1/2.3in sensor. At first glance one might imagine this to be a 2/3in sensor, which is quite common in cameras of this size and pretension. Yet the area of a 2/3in sensor is 58.1mm, not 28.1mm. A closer look reveals that the sensor is just a tad smaller than the 30.7mm offered by a 1/2in sensor.
This wonderfully tough little camera with its pantheon of virtues has one of the smallest sensors you can find. Buy an iPhone 7 Plus and you get a 1/3in sensor with an area of 17.3mm, compared with the Tough’s 28.1mm. Surprise.
The problem with all this is that the specification of the TG-5 sounds so attractive. Unless you delve deep you could be left with the impression that the sensor is comparable in performance with micro four-thirds or, even, with the popular 1in sensor seen in cameras such as the RX100 and G7 X.
That's why the first question in my mind when I see a new camera is what size is the sensor.
Here is the Olympus press release. Impressed? You will be.
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 17, 2017 — Olympus builds on the outdoor shooting and tracking capabilities of the Tough product family with the new Tough TG-5, a compact digital camera designed to capture outstanding images in the most challenging conditions. The Tough TG-5 combines its high-speed f2.0 lens with advanced technologies, including a new high-performance backlit 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor, Olympus’ latest high-speed TruePic VIII Image Processor and a Field Sensor System that records movement and environmental data. With the Tough TG-5, users are able to tell immersive stories using brilliant videos, stills and data captured from their extreme adventures.
The new Olympus Tough® TG-5 touts the widely praised bright f2.0 lens found on previous premium Tough models. Boasting a wide-angle 25mm to a telephoto 100mm (35mm equivalent) focal length, this lens works in concert with the new high-speed backlit CMOS image sensor and the dual quad core TruePic VIII Image Processor to deliver the highest image quality of any Tough model to date.
The built-in Field Sensor System, consisting of a GPS sensor, manometer, compass and temperature sensor, records movement and environmental data independently or in conjunction with still images or videos. Data logs can be simultaneously displayed with images and videos using the Olympus® Image Track app, enhancing the experience of reliving and sharing outdoor adventures.
The Tough TG-5 excels in extreme conditions. In addition to being waterproof to 50 feet (15 meters), crushproof to 220 pounds of force (100 kilograms of force), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1 meters), freezeproof down to 14°F (-10°C) and dustproof, the camera now includes Anti-Fog Lens Cover Glass. This allows the Tough TG-5 to capture amazing action shots on the slopes, underwater and in other uniquely challenging environments where other cameras can’t perform.
New video functions include 4K Movie to capture Ultra HD video at four times the resolution of Full HD, allowing users to record beautiful scenery in amazing detail. Full HD 120fps High-Speed Movie lets users easily capture stunning slow-motion, and 4K Time Lapse automatically creates short videos of long periods of time.
Pricing and Availability
The Olympus Stylus Tough TG-5 will be available in red and black beginning in June 2017 with an estimated street price of $449.99 USD and $579.99 CAD. For a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website: getolympus.com/digitalcameras/tough/tg-5.html.
1) High-speed f2.0 lens, new high-performance BSI CMOS image sensor and the latest high-speed TruePic VIII Image Processor deliver high-quality images in all lighting conditions.
The high-speed lens works in concert with the image sensor and processor for a powerful synergy resulting in improved high-quality images, even in low light or underwater.
a) High-performance BSI CMOS image sensor and the latest TruePic VIII Image Processor
The Tough TG-5 features a high-speed f2.0 lens, a newly developed high-sensitivity, high-speed backlit 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor and the latest TruePic VIII Image Processor used in the Olympus flagship OM-D E-M1® Mark II camera. The new technology produces better image quality at standard and higher sensitivity ranges. The processor is capable of more complex calculations to improve resolution in low-contrast areas, especially when shooting at low ISO sensitivity. A maximum ISO sensitivity of 12800 and RAW capture are also available, covering a wide range of shooting situations.
b) High-speed f2.0 lens with a 25–100mm focal length (35mm equivalent)
The bright f2.0 lens supports faster shutter speeds when shooting underwater or in other challenging conditions to capture fast-moving subjects with minimal blurring. Superb Olympus optical technology is incorporated into the lens, including DSA (Dual Super Aspherical), HD (High Dispersion) and HR (High Refractive Index) lenses to deliver high-quality images while reducing aberrations throughout the entire zoom range.
- Field Sensor System adds tracking data to images and videos for reliving the moment.
The Tough TG-5’s Field Sensor System consists of built-in sensors, including GPS, a compass, a temperature sensor and a manometer for altitude or depth. Tracking data may be recorded simultaneously with images and video or independently using the camera’s Data Log Mode. Tracking data may be viewed on the camera’s monitor or on a smart device. Users are able to press the INFO button to display current real-time data, even when the camera is turned off. Using the Olympus Image Track app to simultaneously display images, videos, and tracking information, lets users tell the story behind their shots.
a) Field Sensor System
• GPS: The built-in GPS utilizes GLONASS and QZSS satellite systems in order to precisely calculate latitude and longitude. The GPS Assist function significantly reduces the amount of time required for initial GPS signal acquisition.
• Manometer: Altitude and water depth are calculated based on atmospheric pressure and water pressure information.
• Temperature Sensor: This sensor measures both air and water temperature, and is shielded from the effects of heat generated inside the camera.
• Compass: The compass measures the direction in which the camera lens is pointed.
b) Olympus Image Track App
Pairing the camera and a smartphone with the TG-5’s built-in Wi-Fi® enables the simultaneous display of images, video, and tracking information, delivering a unique way to relive users’ experiences. A data overlay can be applied to images or video for posting adventures to social media. The resizing of images and videos is also available with the app.
Reliable Tough performance: waterproof to depths of 50 feet (15 meters), shockproof from 7 feet (2.1 meters), crushproof to 220 pounds of force (100 kilograms of force), freezeproof down to 14°F (-10°C), dustproof and Anti-Fog Lens Cover Glass.
Hermetically sealed construction provides waterproof performance for worry-free shooting underwater. This sealing also provides superb dustproof performance so that users can feel comfortable using the camera in dusty and dirty environments. The Tough TG-5’s shockproof performance is made possible via its floating construction that suspends key components inside the housing of the camera, enabling the camera to clear drop tests of up to 7 feet. The Tough TG-5’s robust construction also withstands loads of up to 220 pounds of force. Reliable operation is assured down to 14°F, making it possible to use the camera in cold environments where other digital devices may fail. In addition, the Tough TG-5 features Dual Pane Protective Cover Glass over the lens, preventing condensation caused by sudden changes in ambient temperature.
Video functions now include 4K Movie and Full HD 120fps High-Speed Movie.
The Tough TG-5’s 4K Movie makes it possible to shoot Ultra HD video at four times the resolution of Full HD video, ideal for recording beautiful scenery in amazing detail. Full HD 120fps High-Speed Movie is also included to capture split-second moments with playback in stunning slow motion.
1) Variable Macro System easily captures microscopic subjects.
The Tough TG-5 is equipped with four macro modes with a maximum shooting
magnification of 7x for capturing microscopic subjects difficult to see with the naked eye. Accessories such as the LG-1 LED Light Guide and the FD-1 Flash Diffuser expand shooting possibilities by enabling proper illumination of macro subjects.
a) Four Specialized Macro Modes
• Microscope Mode: This mode allows users to shoot subjects as close as 1cm from the end of the lens and use the optical zoom to enlarge and shoot subjects. This feature is perfect for shooting insects, the veins in a leaf, snowflake crystals and other details in nature that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
• Microscope Control Mode: This mode uses a combination of optical and digital zoom to magnify and capture microscopic subjects. Users are able to magnify a subject that is only 1mm in size up to a maximum of approximately 44.4mm when displayed on the rear LCD monitor. In addition to switching the magnification factor with the zoom lever, the arrow pad may be used to switch between 1x, 2x and 4x with the press of a single button as if changing the objective lens on a real microscope.
• Focus Stacking Mode: Depth of field typically becomes shallow in macro shooting. Focus Stacking Mode automatically captures eight different shots while shifting the focus from the foreground to the background. Then, the focused areas are extracted and merged so that a full resolution image with large depth of field is created.
• Focus Bracketing Mode: This function captures up to 30 images while shifting the focus from the foreground to the background. Users can select the amount of focus shift and number of shots in three levels. Focus Bracketing Mode is convenient for focusing on low-contrast subjects such as flower petals that consist of a single color.
- Superb controls allow for smooth shooting even in rugged environments.
The Tough TG-5’s grip’s shape and thickness have been improved to provide for a more secure hold, and the camera’s controls may be easily operated even while wearing gloves. A new control dial helps users easily adjust shooting settings such as exposure compensation. An Accessory Lock has been added to the front of the camera to secure Tough system accessories, including Tough converter lenses and the LG-1 LED Light Guide. Movie Modes are now readily accessible via the primary Mode Dial, and a variety of shooting settings may be registered to the two Custom Modes for instant use. Together, these features make the Tough TG-5 easy to use in any environment.
• Four Underwater Modes allow users to easily capture beautiful underwater photos.
• Grid Display assists users with composition.
• Focus Peaking and MF Assist aids in manual focusing.
• Zero-lag Pro Capture Mode enables users to capture precise moments, even if they happen prior to fully depressing the shutter.
• Nighttime Live Composite Mode is ideal for shooting fireworks and star trails.
• HDR shooting delivers a rich range of tonal expressions by merging multiple images.
• The Olympus Image Share aApp allows for remote shooting and wireless sharing via a connected smart device.
• 14 unique Art Filters enable enhanced creativity.
There is an extensive lineup of system accessories available for the Tough TG-5 for expanded photographic applications.
1 Waterproof Converter Lenses (Sold separately)
With Tough converter lenses, users can enjoy different angles of view while maintaining the brightness of the camera lens. Attach the FCON-T01 Fisheye Converter lens to enjoy shooting with fisheye effects with an ultra-wide 130° angle field of view. Attach the TCON-T01 Teleconverter lens to shoot at a telephoto 170mm focal length (35mm equivalent). Both lenses are waterproof and may be attached and removed underwater. The CLA-T01 Adapter is required to use these lenses. Users may also attach the bundled LC-40.5 lens cap and the PRF-D40.5 PRO Protection Filter (sold separately) to the CLA-T01.
2 Macro Lighting Accessories (Sold separately)
The LG-1 LED Light Guide uses the camera’s built-in LED light to evenly illuminate subject up to the closest focusing distance of 1cm for superb macro shooting. The FD-1 Flash Diffuser evenly diffuses the light of the camera’s built-in flash. This helps reduce subject blur and camera shake that tends to occur during macro shooting in low-light situations, and enables the use of lower ISO sensitivity. It also makes it possible to darken the background all subjects to better stand out in photos. Both lighting accessories enable users to easily obtain creative macro shots that rival those of an interchangeable lens camera.
3 Underwater Housing (New, sold separately)
The PT-058 Underwater Housing is waterproof down to 147 feet (45 meters), and features black coating on the front of the body to prevent unwanted reflections. This housing enables use of the Control Dial for exposure compensation while underwater. There is a wide range of accessories available, including the UFL-3 External Flash for dual-unit underwater flash photography. The external PTWC-01 Underwater Wide Converter Lens and PTMC-01 Underwater Macro Converter Lens may also be used with this underwater case.
1 Silicone Jacket, CSCH-126 (New, sold separately)
This customized silicone jacket protects the surface of the camera body from scratches and improves grip performance so that users can hold the camera more securely. The LG-1 LED Light Guide and FD-1 Flash Diffuser may be used with the silicone jacket attached to the camera.
2 Mesh Camera Case, CSCH-121 (Sold separately)
This case is made of silicone rubber and features a mesh design that makes it easy for water to drain to keep the camera dry. Because this case contains no metal parts (including the carabineer), users don’t have to worry about rust.
3 Sport Holder, CSCH-123 (Sold separately)
This holder secures your camera to a backpack or belt horizontally or vertically and can
be easily removed with a single hand. This accessory makes it possible to capture POV video and includes a carabineer and spiral cord to prevent the camera from falling.