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Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman
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Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/10/2013 13:01:34 MDT Print View

Hey folks
I just received the Olympus TG-2 in the mail this week, and splurged on the two lenses as well (teleconverter and fisheye). I posted my review on Amazon here:

Short summary? It's as good as most affordable point and shoot cameras, but not on the same level as the cream of the crop (like Panasonic LX7 and Sony RX100) or mirrorless camera systems. Yet it's way more expensive than equivalent quality cameras... all that cash is going into making it waterproof, dustproof, and tough. I would plan on keeping this directly attached to my backpack strap at all times, even in torrential downpours and crossing rivers and dusty trails, to catch the shots that I never would have considered otherwise (or those that are too quick to ready a well-protected sensitive camera). The option of expansion lenses is expensive, but opens up some extra creative expression not available to any cameras of comparable quality.

I don't have details about battery life yet. The TG-2 has an aperture priority mode, and better macro features compared to the TG-1.

Here are some weights for the gram-conscious: (in ounces)
TG-2 camera+battery: 8 1/2
teleconverter: 3 1/2
fisheye 5 1/4
cable (proprietary, not standard usb): 1 5/8
Li-90B battery: 7/8

Note: If you use a StickPic, the fisheye weight is precarious; the ring has a tendency to slip. But it's still doable.

Also worthy of consideration once it comes out: Pentax WG-3, which will have a 16MP sensor, but other differences.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/10/2013 16:41:49 MDT Print View

Hi Matt, I have been using the TG-1 since last July. I also have both converter lenses, a CP filter, and the 40m underwater case.

I agree the main advantage of this type of cameras is the increased opportunities for creativity and perspective and for our hiking purposes, the GPS/manometer functions. I would caution that while the camera is certainly "tough" the rear LCD monitor is still susceptible to scratching and abrasion, particularly if you let it swing free from a packstrap. Best to store it in some type of neoprene sock.

As for the Aperture Priority mode, I think you will find it of limited use since the lens zooms and its focal length governs the maximum aperture size in most scenarios. And since the sensor is small, there really is not much affect on out of focus bokeh in portraits. Actually, I suspect Aperture mode functions just like the Low Light mode setting from the TG-1 which also has the super macro-mode, but buried in the soft menu.

In my experience, battery life is actually quite good (maybe best in class?) if you don't shoot a lot of video and keep the GPS tracking turned off. Still, having an extra battery is a wise investment.

Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Re: Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/10/2013 20:33:58 MDT Print View

On the aperture mode, perhaps you're right. I did read some professional reviews that were excited to see the aperture mode included, since they had seen the TG-1 processor decide to lower the f-stop in certain situations, when they didn't think that was necessary. But I took a shot in aperture-priority this morning, and yes, there was so much light that the ISO could not be lowered enough to compensate; the photo was washed out. Maybe not super helpful in most outdoor scenarios.

Considering that you have the CP filter; does that cause any vignetting on the lens? I was thinking about getting one...

Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Re: Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/10/2013 20:35:38 MDT Print View

Also, what is your carrying case solution? I've been browsing Amazon for some sort of light belt / pack-strap case that would accommodate storing the camera with or without attached lenses. Same thing with unused lenses?

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/10/2013 22:37:12 MDT Print View

Matt, I just use a neoprene sock-like slip-on case I bought at our local equivalent of the USA Dollar Store. I use a thin neck strap instead of the OEM red wrist strap and just tuck the camera under my left pack strap to keep it from swinging loose. When I want to take a pic I slip the camera from beneath the strap and out of the sock. I suppose the dedicated Olympus semi-hard case w/biner will work well, but is quite expensive IMO.

The converter lenses and mini gorillapod are kept in my waist belt pockets with no special protection other than the lens caps.

The cheap CP filter I bought from Adorama does not cause any vignetting but in practice it is quite difficult to properly tune without the benefit of an optical viewfinder. As a result it has not seem much use since last Summer.

Edited by rmjapan on 03/10/2013 22:41:56 MDT.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/12/2013 05:37:01 MDT Print View

I just bought and returned the TG-2 with insurance money I received after destroying a Sony TX10 in the ocean.

It was a nice camera, but after using the sleek sony tx10 for a couple of years, I found the olympus too bulky and heavy. I knew I'd contemplate leaving it behind on some fast and light trips.

I'm considering the new Sony TX30 instead. Waterproof to 33 feet, and only 5/8" thick and 140g.

Probably gives up some low light performance to the fast TG-2 lense, but a trade off I'm very comfortable with. Little bit cheaper too

Edited by 7sport on 03/12/2013 05:38:42 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/12/2013 22:45:40 MDT Print View

Missing tripod socket would be deal killer for me out of the gate. Actually quite a few more gotchas that would make this Sony pretty much useless for my needs. And a useless camera is just dead weight no matter how small or tiny.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Olympus TG-2: expensive solution for the outdoorsman on 03/13/2013 03:48:25 MDT Print View

"That's because Rabs bivvies are made to be used the way bivvies are supposed to be used: high altitude mountaineering."

funny that I actually chose the tiny camera for the exact same reason. A camera left behind because it didn't fit in my pocket is equally useless. Our needs are just very different.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Carry camera on 04/10/2013 06:07:48 MDT Print View

This company has several options for carrying, including a chest harness (camera vest) and one that attaches to your pack strap (Strapshot).

You insert by holding the lens horizontal, it then locks in as the lens goes to the carry position pointing down. It is then released quickly with a twist back to lens-horizontal. there is also a long safety cord attached if you want extra precaution from a drop.

Here is another popular site for camera carry. (Look under "straps" and also "holsters")

Edited by rambler on 04/10/2013 06:14:42 MDT.

Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Carry camera on 04/10/2013 07:55:55 MDT Print View

For my preferences, these solutions seem a bit heavy/bulky for the smallish TG-2. Plus the thinktankphoto straps use dual-connections where the TG-2 only has a strap mount point on the right side.

I have the following products which are relatively minimalist
Op/Tech Digital D Soft Pouch (small)
-- just a little large / misproportioned, but it fits the camera with either lens still attached and isn't very heavy.
-- I had the retention strap moved from the left side to the right side to match the camera (ease of insertion)
Op/Tech 3401002 Compact Sling
-- pairs with the Digital D pouch
Op/Tech Fold-over Pouch 253
-- stores the teleconverter lens
Op/Tech Fold-over Pouch 301
-- stores the fisheye lens

I would like a pack-strap mount version of the Digital D pouch, but haven't figured a good solution yet.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
My TG 1 on 04/27/2013 16:38:45 MDT Print View

I like my TG 1's featurea but not its weight. I carry it in a light nylon zippered case attatchec to my pack's padded shoulder strap.

That aside it has everything I need and some features don't - yet, at least.

Its low lightability is great and the photos in normal conditions are very good.

As Father Guido Sarducci from SNL said, "Notta too bad, notta too bad."