The Olympus TG-4 is the most durable waterproof camera currently available. This camera can be submerged to depths of 50 feet (15 meters). It can survive being dropped from 7 feet (2.1 meters), or being crushed by a 220 pound weight (100 kg). The camera is also freeze-proof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 C). But what sets this camera apart from other tough cameras is the quality of the pictures it takes, and its quick response time.
The Olympus TG-4 camera can withstand extreme conditions. But beyond its durability, many people will appreciate the camera’s ability to autofocus very quickly — which is important for catching action.
The TG-4 also performs well in low light, and it features a super macro or “microscope” mode that allows the camera to focus on objects only 1 centimeter away from its lens (good for taking pictures of tiny insects or plants for example).
Here’s a couple of test photos I took in “microscope mode”:
Here’s an underwater macro photo taken with the TG-4:
One quibble about this camera is that it takes only average quality videos. DPReview (a comprehensive camera reviewe site) said:
In a sea of mostly unremarkable rugged cameras, the Olympus Tough TG-4 sits at the top of food chain. It’s incredibly well built, responsive, full-featured and, with a little work, produces excellent quality images for a small-sensored camera. The only real negatives are its limited control over aperture and not-so-great video quality.
When reviewing this camera Imaging Resource said:
…[T]he TG-4 really does offer features not found in other waterproof and tough cameras. Based on previous shootouts and my experience with the TG-4, this camera should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a waterproof and tough compact camera. The TG-4 gave me good photos for a waterproof camera, was generally easy to use and offered up enough unique features that genuinely held my interest.
The Olympus TG-4 16 MP Waterproof Digital Camera is available at Amazon for about $350.