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Olympus TG-830 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Olympus TG-830, a compact camera which is waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 2.1m, freezeproof to -10°C and crushproof to 100kg.

| Olympus TG-830 iHS in Compact Cameras
Olympus TG-830 Review: Olympus TG-830

The Olympus Tough TG-830 is a camera designed for those photographers who have an active lifestyle and shoot in extreme conditions. It is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof. It can be purchased in red, blue, black and silver for around £220.

Olympus TG-830 Review: Olympus TG-830

Olympus TG-830 Features

The Olympus TG-830 has a 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor and 5x optical zoom, which is a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm. Super-resolution extends the zoom to 10x. There is sensor shift image stabilisation to help reduce blur and keep your images as sharp as possible.

Being a tough camera, it is waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 2.1m, freezeproof to -10°C and crushproof to 100kg. It also has GPS to geotag your images and an electronic compass to point you in the right direction. The TG-830 will also display more than 700,000 geographic and natural points of interest to discover.

To make picture taking as easy as possible there is iAuto mode, which adjusts the camera settings automatically for the detected scene. There are a range of scene modes, panorama mode and magic filters which includes dramatic and miniature.

Videos can be recorded in full 1080p HD or you can record high-speed videos at 120fps and view them in super-slow motion. You can even shoot full resolution pictures while recording full 1080p HD videos.

Olympus TG-830 Review: Olympus TG-830

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)
  • Sensor shift image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460k dot HyperCrystal III LCD screen
  • Waterproof to 10m
  • Shockproof to 2.1m
  • Freezeproof to -10°C
  • Crushproof to 100kg
  • GPS electronic compass
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 125 - 6400
  • 3cm minimum focusing distance
  • 11.5 fps full resolution continuous shooting
  • Panorama mode
  • Available in red, black, blue and silver
Olympus TG-830 Review: Olympus TG-830

Olympus TG-830 Handling

The TG-830 has a solid metal body with a rubber grip on the front and a metal bar on the rear with helps you hold the camera as well as attached a hand strap. There are two openings, one for the battery and memory card and the other for cable connections. These are kept firmly in place with two locks on each, which will ensure no water is able to get in.

The TG-830 doesn't have any particularly unusual buttons, on top is the on / off switch, shutter release and video record button. On the rear you'll find two buttons to adjust the zoom, a mode dial, playback and menu buttons as well as a d-pad, which also give access to the flash and self-timer.

The menu system is easy to use, when shooting, the camera settings available are listed down the right hand side, you just need to use the d-pad to scroll through them.

There is no CIPA rating provided for the battery. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response   0.175 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.4 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.6 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   0.87 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   0.97 secs
Continuous Shooting - Sequential 1   2.5 fps
Continuous Shooting - Sequential 2   12.0 fps
Continuous Shooting - High-Speed 1   21.0 fps
Continuous Shooting - High-Speed 2   61.7 fps

Both the sequential modes record at full 16 megapixel resolution, whereas the high-speed modes are restricted to just 3 megapixels.

Olympus TG-830 Review: Olympus TG-830

Olympus TG-830 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Olympus TG-830 iHS Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images are well exposed and have good colour reproduction. Portraits are free of red-eye although skin tones aren't impressive. Even underwater, images are sharp with good colours.

Olympus TG-830 iHS Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is good in the centre of the images, although they are softer around the edges and corners, but this is fairly typical of cameras with internal lenses. Purple fringing is kept to a minimum in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 3cm, this allows for a decent macro shot to be taken.

Olympus TG-830 iHS ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and 200, with a very slight loss in image quality at ISO 400. There is a further loss in detail at ISO 800 which causes the images to become a little soft. At ISO 1600 noise becomes significant, but at ISO 3200, image quality really suffers, with quite a substantial amount of detail lost. Image quality is very poor at ISO 6400, the two highest ISO settings are best avoided where possible.

Olympus TG-830 iHS White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the fluorescent lights in our studio, the auto white balance (AWB) produces an image with a slight orange cast, with the incandescent preset performing much better. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB performs perfectly, the fluorescent preset takes a picture with a very slight magenta cast.

Olympus TG-830 Review: Panorama | 1/400 sec | f/11.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 320
Panorama | 1/400 sec | f/11.0 | 5.0 mm | ISO 320

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and a well stitched together, with an even exposure throughout.

Olympus TG-830 iHS Digital filters

Digital Filters - To help take creative photos, the TG-830 comes with a range of magic filters, with examples of each above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good, you can also use the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be found on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.

Value For Money

The Olympus TG-830 is available for £213.95. Recommended waterproof cameras include the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5, available for £353.99, the Nikon Coolpix AW100, available for £214.99 and the Canon Powershot D20, available for £255. For more waterproof cameras, have a look at the Top 10 Best Waterproof Cameras.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Olympus TG-830 Verdict

If you're in the market for a waterproof camera, the TG-830 offers good value for money, it is one of the cheaper "tough" cameras going. It has an impressive set of features such as 11.5 fps continuous shooting, full 1080p HD video recording and GPS. Image quality is good and as well as being waterproof, it is shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof - great if you often go out shooting in extreme weather conditions.

  Olympus TG-830 Review:
  The Olympus TG-830 has an impressive set of features and is good value for money.

Olympus TG-830 Pros

Good image quality
Built-in GPS
11.5 fps full resolution continuous shooting
Waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof
Camera auto stitches panoramas
Very good value for money

Olympus TG-830 Cons

Image quality is poor at the higher ISO settings
Images are soft in the corners
Skin tones in portraits aren't great


Olympus TG-830 iHS Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.9 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent28mm - 140mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)3968
Pixels (H)2976
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus3cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Spot
  • ESP Light Metering
ISO sensitivity125 - 6400
White balance
  • Auto
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting11.5fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPSNo Data
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsLI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery, F-2AC AC Adapter, CB-USB8 USB Cable, Hand Strap, World Wide Warranty Card, Instruction Manual, Olympus Viewer 3 Software CD-ROM

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Photographs taken using the Olympus TG-830 iHS

Endless viewHonfleur Inner BasinMirror lakeTwilight Zone

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