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Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Review

We review the new Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Action Camera, a waterproof action camera with 4K video, GPS, Wi-Fi, and numerous sensors.


|  Olympus Tough TG-Tracker in Action Cameras
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Olympus Tough TG Tracker Black (1)

The Olympus Tough TG-Tracker features an ultra-wide-angle f/2.0 lens with a 204 degree view, letting you capture your surroundings with 4K video, and 5-axis image stabilisation. The camera is waterproof to 30m with the underwater lens cover, and has a number of sensors built-in to track your activities. With built-in Wi-Fi you can use Olympus' apps: OI.Share and OI.Track.

Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Features

Olympus Tough TG Tracker Black (2)

The Olympus Tough TG-Tracker is the first action camera from Olympus, and rather than just being "another" action camera with an emphasis on video recording, the Olympus Tough TG-Tracker is waterproof to 30m (with underwater lens cover attached), dustproof, crushproof, shockproof, and freezeproof. In addition, there are a number of sensors to give additional information on any activies you do with the camera, with GPS and compass built-in, and all the meters too, including an accellerometer, nanometer, and thermometer.

With Wi-Fi, you can connect the camera to a compatable Android or iOS device, and use the following apps:

OI.Share

As with other Olympus cameras with Wi-Fi it's easy to setup a connection to the camera from your smartphone or tablet by quickly scanning the QR code on the camera's screen. You can use Olympus' Image Share app to remotely shoot, transfer photos, edit images, and add geotag data to images (if for some reason you didn't want to use the camera's built-in GPS). 

OI.Track

This app is designed to tracks and display any activities you've been taking part in such as climbing, diving, trial running, camping, hang gliding, or even just driving. You can download the track logs from the TG-Tracker, as well as any images taken whilst the camera was tracking. You can also download and update the GPS Assist Data (A-GPS) on the camera from your smartphone. The logging feature of the camera will show you not only your GPS location, but also the distance travelled on a map, the vertical distance travelled, temperatures, pressure, and maximum speed. 

Olympus Tough TG Tracker Black (3)

The ultra-wide-angle lens is bright, with an f/2.0 aperture, and (auto) shutter speeds range from 1/2s to 1/24,000s. 5-axis image stabilisation uses digital / electronic image stabilisation, and results in a slightly cropped view instead of showing the full 204 degree view. The camera uses a 7.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, and produces 4K video as well as 8.2 megapixel photos, in a 16:9 aspect ratio. 

Modes available include:

  • Video
  • Photo
  • Timelapse
  • Setup
  • Playback

ISO and shutter speed is controlled automatically by the camera, and the aperture is fixed at f/2.0. You can adjust exposure compensation, and white balance, selecting from a few different presets, although most people will probably leave this on auto. When shooting still images there are options for continuous shooting, and a self-timer.

When recording 4K video, the frame rate is fixed at 30fps, additional frame rates become available when recording FullHD video (60/30fps), 720p and VGA (240/120/60/30fps). You can select from wide field of view, narrow as well as flipped. You must select narrow when the underwater lens cover is attached, otherwise the camera will record black frames on the left and right of the image. 

Included in the box with the camera is the "Steady Grip" and adapter that attaches to the camera's tripod socket. The grip angle can be adjusted and there is a tripod socket on the bottom. You can remove the grip or handle part of the attachment, and then the camera can be used with "GoPro" compatible mounts. At the front, is a small selfie mirror so that if you're using the camera for vlogging then you can make sure your have the camera pointed at your face. 

Olympus Tough TG Tracker Black (7)
 

Key Features

  • 7.2megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 13.9mm (equivalent) 204degrees f/2.0 lens (fixed focus)
  • Digital 5-axis image stabilisation
  • 1.5inch screen (115K dots)
  • Waterproof 30m / Shockproof 2.1m / Freezeproof -10 / Crushproof 100kg / Dustproof
  • GPS, Electronic compass, accelerometer, thermometer, manometer
  • 4K UHD Video (30fps), FullHD (60/30fps), 720 at 240fps, stereo sound
  • Underwater detector, Level guage
  • LED headlight (max 60lumen)
  • Wi-Fi built-in
  • MicroSD/SDHX/SDXC card slot (UHS-I recommended for 4K)
  • Timelapse, Loop recording feature
  • Steady Grip / Handgrip and adapter 
  • Available in black/red or green and black

Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Handling

Olympus Tough TG Tracker Black (4)
 

The Olympus TG-Tracker feels well-built with a solid construction, as you would expect for a camera designed with withstand being dropped from 2.1 metres, and survive being crushed by weights up to 100kg. The on/off/log switch on one-side of the camera is a nice touch, rather than just an on/off button. The 1.5inch screen flips out from the camera, but unfortunately doesn't rotate or tilt, so to view the screen properly the camera needs to be held quite close to eye-height, as viewing angles aren't the best. 

On top are 5 buttons including the shutter release / video record button. The four MENU / OK < and > buttons also double as Back, Mode, Wi-Fi and Info buttons. Pressing the Info button will go through the different information screens, showing a compass, with the time and GPS co-ordinates, an electronic level with sea-level height and atmospheric pressure, and vertical distance and total time. Holding the Info button down will switch the front headlight on. 

The menus are reasonably easy to use, with large clear icons and clear text, although it can take a little while to get used to changing settings on the camera. You access Wi-Fi connectivity by pressing and holding the Wi-Fi button, and setting up the connection works quickly and easily using the QR code displayed on the camera's screen. 

Olympus Tough TG Tracker Black (5)
 

Battery life - The Olympus TG-Tracker features a slightly larger than normal battery, and has a 1350mAh rating, which is good for a camera this small, which Olympus say lets the camera record video for 90 minutes. Maximum video length limits videos to 29 minutes or 4GB. Charging is through a provided MicroUSB cable, and it's good to see this standard cable being used, rather than Olympus' proprietry cable. In comparison, the Ricoh WG-M2 features a 1000mAh battery, and the battery lasts for 80 minutes.

Olympus Tough TG Tracker Black (6)

 

Olympus Tough TG-Tracker 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-Tracker Sample Photos

Camera Performance - The fixed focus, fixed aperture lens, means that the camera can take photos of subject between 20cm and infinity. Some vignetting is visible in the far corners, and with such an ultra-wide-angle lens you need to make sure your fingers are nowhere near the lens, in order to avoid your hand being in the shot. Lens flare is fairly well controlled, although you need to be aware of where the sun is in the frame, and there is some purple fringing more visible towards the corners of the frame when there are areas of high contrast. You need to ensure the lens is clean from fingerprints and smudges as the protruding nature of the lens makes it easy to get marks on it. You also need to be aware of the fish-eye effect the lens gives, as this is not your usual camera lens, but can be used creatively for some fun photos.

The camera does not let you manually change the ISO speeds. There aren't any built-in filters or effects available, nor are there any auto-HDR or auto-panoramic shooting modes. Which is a shame, as the ultra-wide-angle lens would benefit from an HDR shooting mode, as quite often the sun will end up in the frame, and the camera will be unable to expose correctly for the entire frame. 

 

Video - The camera records 4K (UHD) video with stereo sound at a bitrate of around 80Mbps. If you switch on the 5-axis electronic image stabilisation, the video is cropped slightly. There are a limited number of frame rate options available, with only 30fps available when recording 4K video, 30/60fps available when recording FullHD video, and 240/120/60 and 30fps available when recording 720p or VGA video. People interested in recording for film (or other markets) will most likely have liked to see 50, 25, 24fps also available.

Results are good, and the lens copes well with bright lights, such as the sun in the frame, with minimal lens flare visible. Care needs to be taken with the ultra-wide-angle lens to ensure you don't have your finger in the frame, and using the provided grip is a good idea. With a relatively bright f/2.0 lens, the camera performs quite well under low-light. You can view additional Olympus TG-Tracker videos on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.


4K Timelapse created with a shot every second:

Value For Money

The Olympus Tough TG-Tracker is available for £279 including the Steady Grip, and considering the wide variety of sensors built-in, including GPS, Wi-Fi, and more, this is very good value for money. Alternatives include the Ricoh WG-M2 (£269, 4K, waterproof to 20m), the GoPro Hero 4 Black (£370, 4K, waterproof to 40m with provided case), and the Sony FDR-X1000V (£319, 4K, waterproof to 10m with provided case).

Have a look at more action cameras in our 10 Best Action Cameras, or alternatively have a look at the Top 10 Best Waterproof Cameras. You'll also need to buy a MicroSD 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 Tough TG-Tracker Verdict

The Olympus Tough TG-Tracker offers all the normal features you'd expect from a waterproof action camera, with an ultra-wide-angle 204 degree lens, with a bright f/2.0 aperture. The camera records 4K video, with stereo sound, and electronic image stabilisation helps keep video steady. You also get built in Wi-Fi connectivity, and a number of sensors give you a large variety of useful statistics and figures so you can record exactly how fast and exciting your action is. The camera's Wi-Fi connection is easy to set-up, with two good Olympus image apps, which makes this a great action camera, particularly when you consider the value for money offered.

Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Pros

  • Waterproof and tough action camera
  • Numerous tracking sensors built-in
  • Steadygrip included
  • OI. Share and OI. Track apps
  • 4K video, stereo mics
  • High speed video
  • Ultra-wide-angle f/2.0 lens

Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Cons

  • Underwater lens cover restricts view 
  • Underwater lens cover needed for underwater use
  • A twisting screen would be really useful
  • Some purple fringing towards corners

Features4/5
Handling4/5
Performance3/5
Value4/5
Overall Verdict

 

Olympus Tough TG-Tracker Specifications

ManufacturerOlympus
Lens
Max Aperturef/2
35mm equivalent13.9mm
Optical Zoom0x
Image Sensor
Pixels7.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data
Pixels (H)No Data
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor1.5in
Screen resolution115K
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus20cm
Focusing modes
  • Fixed
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2sec
Shutter speeds longest1/24000sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
Metering
    ISO sensitivityNo Data
    White balance
    • Auto
    • Outdoors/Daylight
    • Cloudy
    • Underwater
    Exposure Comp+/-2
    Shooting Options
    Continuous shootingNo Data
    Video
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 4K
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    • 1280x720 HD 720p
    • 640x480 VGA
    Video FPS30fps (4K), 60fps FullHD, 240fps 720p
    Stereo SoundYes
    Optical Zoom with VideoNo
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationYes
    Interface
    HDMIYes
    USBUSB 2
    Wi-FiYes
    Storage
    Card Type
    • Micro SD
    • Micro SDHC
    File Type
    • JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeLI‑92B Lithium‑Ion Battery
    Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo Data
    Dimensions
    Weight180g
    Width35mm
    Height56.5mm
    Depth93.2mm

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