Olympus TG4 – Camera Review

What some of you may not know is that even though this time around with photography, everything I have shot is with Nikon gear, I used to in a whole other lifetime shoot with Olympus. When I was in school I saved up for a second hand Olympus film camera OM-1. It was a good serviceable camera and I shot B&W. One day I might see if I can hunt out some of those images…but it was so long ago, I basically stopped as I really could not afford the processing and as a teenager I found other interests (namely boys! lol). Since then I had point and shoot, which I used for holiday photos and of the kids as babies. All pretty crap photos really, then digital hit and I started taking a few more……….mostly still crap, but at a higher resolution (my fault and not the cameras mostly)!But they were all Olympus cameras, I still even have two Olympus digital cameras at work. So when I decided to seriously get into photography a few years ago, I wanted to go Nikon (for various reasons I won’t go into here)……….so, was I switching to the dark side or away from it πŸ™‚

I went looking for an underwater camera, for a few concept shoots and other things as well, and yes Nikon have a great underwater camera and it was cheaper and yes I almost bought it, til I read that the Olympus TG4 supports RAW. In photography this is a game changer. Sure this is not a fancy DSLR it is still a Point and Shoot in many respects, can’t really shoot in Manual mode for example but I can shoot in RAW with a F/2.0 underwater up to 15m. Boy do I wish I had this when we went to Port Douglas and went snorkeling, well at least we can use it in Bali.

Olympus TG4Β 

Review by Digital Photography ReviewReview by Digital Photography Review

You can also change lenses and add a telephoto or FisheyeΒ as well as LED and Light diffuser rings and they are not that expensive.


  • Small and fairly light (when compared to my hulking Nikon D7100 and lens) but apparently a bit heavier than the Nikon counter part
  • Shoots 16 megapixel images
  • F/2.0 – F/8.0 aperture, great for low light underwater shots
  • Menu is similar set up to other Olympus stuff so easy to navigate and figure it all out.
  • Came with a cool floating device to attached to the camera……if you drop the camera it floats and not drops to the bottom…….great idea in the ocean, but helpful in a pool as well, I would think.
  • Can shoot in Aperture Priority Mode


  • Buttons are very close together and can be difficult to operate with cold wet fingers
  • Aperture only goes down to F/8, also images are quite grainy, even at ISO100
  • Should have used that rubberised surface texture stuff, as some of the surface areas is smooth and slippery underwater.

So here are a few images from my first underwater shoot, learnt a lot…..the black fabrice really needs to be weighted down, tulle is difficult to work with wet, jersey seems to be easier fabric, sinking is harder than you think, clear water is not as clear as you think, bright light is not your friend, blues and green are really picked up in the water. A walk in pool is much easier than aboveground.

Underwater World #1
Underwater World #2
Original pic for Underwater World #1
Original Pic for Underwater World #2

Because of a miscommunication and some bad weather on my part I still have yet to do an underwater shot with some models who know what they are doing a bit more, this was just playing around with my daughters in a friend’s backyard pool. You can see the ladder in the background of the last shot, due to this my knees and hips it is such a long hike from the top step to the edge of the pool and I struggle getting in and out, so I laid on the side of the pool deck and shot from there……..or I set up the shot and got my other daughter take the photo……..kind of like a fancy remote hehehehe.

None of us had any idea what we were really doing, but it was fun.

~ Julz