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Olympus Tough TG-6 Review - Performance

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Olympus Tough TG-6 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Olympus Tough TG-6 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The camera gives good colour straight from the camera, although colour can be a little subdued on "Natural" settings, with the Vivid colour setting giving images a more saturated look. The flash performs well with almost no sign of red-eye, and skin tones were good. Exposure is reliable, and the camera records good levels of dynamic range on default settings. For additional dynamic range, the Backlight HDR mode does a good job to recover bright areas, which would normally be overexposed.

There are underwater modes of:

  • Underwater snapshot
  • Underwater wide
  • Underwater macro (standard macro/close-up)
  • Underwater microscope (super macro mode) - new
  • Underwater HDR

The underwater microscope mode makes it easy to get great underwater macros, and the camera does an excellent job of balancing the flash without over-exposing the image. 



Olympus Tough TG-6 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is good for a waterproof camera, although there is some chromatic aberration and purple fringing is visible in areas with high levels of contrast. Focus was reliable, and the camera's built-in image stabilisation helps keep shots steady and sharp when shooting in low-light at slower shutter speeds. Some vignetting was visible when shooting at the wide-angle end of the lens. Distortion is minimal, with barrel and pincushion distortion automatically corrected in camera.

Macro modes include:

  • Microscope (super macro mode)
  • Focus Stacking
  • Focus bracketing
  • Microscope control (you can use digital zoom if wanted)

The last option uses digital zoom. You can zoom into the subject, using the full 4x optical zoom, and still focus on subjects just 1cm away from the front of the camera. This gives excellent photos, but you'll also need to be aware that the area in focus can be quite narrow, and here focus stacking helps, producing a 12-megapixel image in-camera with more of the subject in focus.

Here's an example of how close the camera can focus on a subject, using the 4x optical zoom, and macro focus (microscope) selected:

Olympus Tough TG 6 How Big P6120024 Small Fly | 1/160 sec | f/2.7 | 6.8 mm | ISO 125
Olympus Tough TG-6 How Big - Small Fly | 1/160 sec | f/2.7 | 6.8 mm | ISO 125

Olympus Tough TG 6 Small Fly Macro P6120023 | 1/50 sec | f/4.9 | 18.0 mm | ISO 1600
Olympus Tough TG-6 Small Fly Macro | 1/50 sec | f/4.9 | 18.0 mm | ISO 1600



Olympus Tough TG-6 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is at its lowest when shooting at ISO100, with good levels of detail. Detail remains good as the ISO speed is increased to ISO200 and ISO400. There's a slight drop in detail at ISO800, as noise increases. Noise increases again at ISO1600, but colour remains good. ISO3200 may still provide useful results if you resize the image. Colour saturation drops off noticeably at ISO6400 and above, and it's at this setting that you probably want to avoid. Some purple fringing is visible around the white text and squares in the images at the lower ISO speeds, and a "hot spot" can be seen in the centre of the image in these shots.

Noise compared to the competition...

There is a slight, but mostly insignificant difference between the TG-6 and TG-5 in terms of noise, with a slight but minimal improvement to be found in the TG-6 images, however, colour saturation is slightly lower. The Nikon Coolpix W300, with a 16mp sensor, is another waterproof compact camera with relatively good noise performance, offering ISO speeds up to ISO6400, compared to the TG-6 offering ISO12800 as the highest ISO speed available.



Olympus Tough TG-6 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under normal conditions, you get a warm result under Tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a more neutral result. The camera's AWB (Auto White Balance) performs very well under mixed light, as well as under fluorescent light. The fluorescent presets give a magenta colour cast. Hidden away in the advanced options, you'll find AWB options to "Keep Warm Colour" On or Off, and when this is switched to off, you get excellent white balance results, which is great for product shots.



Olympus Tough TG-6 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are numerous scene modes, plus a number of Art Filters, which can be applied in most modes. Art Filters include Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone, Key Line, Watercolour, Vintage, Partial Colour, Bleach Bypass and Instant Film.

Almost all of these have additional options, for example, Dramatic Tone is labelled I and II, with the second one being black and white. When shooting in JPEG+raw, the camera will also save the original raw file, so that you have an original image to go back to if you don't like the effect (or if you've accidentally left an Art filter switched on). 

The panoramic mode remains the same as the previous model, and takes 3 shots and stitches them together, producing a fairly low-resolution image.

Live composite mode is another feature first found in Olympus OM-D cameras, and lets you see the image developing on the screen, and is particularly useful for light-painting or night photography.



Video - 4K (UHD) 3840x2160 video is recorded with a frame rate of 30fps, or 25fps, and a compression data rate of 102Mbps. Video compression options are Super Fine, Fine and Normal for FullHD video recording (excluding high-speed video). High-speed video available includes: 120fps at FullHD, 240fps at 720p, and 480fps at 640x360. Video quality is good, with image stabilisation helping keep video more stable, although lens noise can be an issue if you use zoom while recording. Additional videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.


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Photographs taken using the Olympus Tough TG-6

Acer FlowerGinkgo LeafRibesBuddingFirst LadybirdShaggy TulipFloating in SpaceBulbTrapped in AmberAlpine SnowCactusHoly WindowsAnglesBracket FungusLevel Crossing

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rhody 17 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
15 Jun 2019 2:42PM
This looks like a very interesting camera for me.
One suggestion please - The review is for the TG-6 but the "BUY NOW" click through option is for the superseded TG-5 model.

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mediaman 10 14 Scotland
19 Jun 2019 10:46PM
Strange how 2 sets of "pros and cons" fail to mention being able to shoot in raw as well as jpeg. I only found out by clicking onto a link.The ability to shoot raw is one of the top reasons for me to choose a compact for ordinary family stuff.
joshwa Plus
9 914 1 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2019 8:48AM
Hi Rhody,

This should be showing a link to the TG6 now.

Hi Mediaman,

Raw shooting is mentioned in the review in a number of places, as well as on the specifications page. You can view compact cameras that shoot RAW by selecting it as a File Type (on the left) in the equipment database:

rhody 17 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2019 10:47AM
Many thanks Joshwa. My comment was not a complaint. I only made the comment as it nearly caught me out. The TG-6 looks like a great camera to have for family days at the beach and given it's build quality, likely to survive anything the kids can throw at it.
5 Sep 2019 2:03AM
Thanks for the informative and thorough review. I am surprised however that 'Value' is only 3.5 stars. Owning a TG-5 and think it's easily 5 stars given all that the camera can do for US$400.

joshwa Plus
9 914 1 United Kingdom
5 Sep 2019 8:14AM
Hi 8632DOM, when reviewed the camera was 449, an increase in price over the TG-5.

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