Olympus has unveiled the latest addition to its Tough series of rugged compacts—the TG-6. Its predecessor (and its ancestors) is one of the most versatile waterproof compact cameras around, and rather than attempting to change a tried-and-true formula, with the TG-6, Olympus has seemingly put all its effort into improving the functionality and usability of the camera while keeping the core specs the same. Interestingly, Olympus has apparently noticed its loyal following of underwater photographers and videographers, and many of these improvements are related to shooting underwater—especially, you guessed it, for macro.
In terms of hardware, there isn’t a great deal to report: The only significant upgrade is to the LCD, which is a more standard 1.04m dots versus the TG-5’s paltry 460k dots. Otherwise, it’s the same sensor (12MP BSI CMOS), f/2 wide-angle lens, 20fps continuous shooting, and out-of-the-box waterproofing to 50ft (15m). Plus, there’s the same lack of full manual control.
The Tough series highlight, Microscope Mode, allows you to focus on subjects as close as 1cm (0.4") from the front of the lens, and it’s now possible to magnify the subject by up to 44x during composition. Most importantly, however, unlike on the TG-5, Microscope Mode can now be accessed in Program Auto and Aperture Priority modes, which means underwater shooters can dial in much smaller apertures for greater depth of field—and darker backgrounds. Ultra close focusing is also now possible when shooting 4K video—another improvement over the TG-5. Olympus has also provided new white balance presets for shallow, midrange and deep water shooting.
Available in red or black, the TG-6 ships in late June priced at $449. As with previous models in the series, the TG-6 launches alongside a dedicated underwater housing (PT-059, $300), but because the TG-6 is externally the same as the TG-5, current underwater housings are compatible with either model. On Backscatter, you can preorder the TG-6 and the PT-059 underwater case now. Backscatter has already dived with a pre-release versions of the TG-6 and have written up a comprehensive review.
When purchasing underwater photography equipment like the products mentioned in this article, please support DPG by supporting our retail partner—Backscatter.com.
OLYMPUS TOUGH TG-6® RUGGED COMPACT DIGITAL CAMERA
Perfect for Outdoor Shooting with Tough Performance, Macro Functions and a Newly Developed Circular Fisheye Converter
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., May 22, 2019 – Olympus expands rugged and underwater shooting capabilities with the new Olympus Tough TG-6, a compact digital camera with reliable Tough performance for shooting anytime and anywhere. It features a blazing fast, wide-angle f/2.01 lens, back-lit high-speed CMOS sensor and powerful TruePicTM VIII image processor, providing the ability to capture stills and video with brilliant color and stunning detail. The Tough TG-6 is waterproof to a depth of 50 feet (15m)2, dustproof3, shockproof to 7 feet (2.4m)4, crushproof to 100 kgf5, freezeproof to 14°F (-10°C)6, and features a dual-pane protective glass construction for superb anti-fogging performance. Its Variable Macro System goes beyond the limits of the eye with ultra-close-up shooting up to 1cm from the front of the lens7. Full- featured underwater shooting modes and a new fisheye converter lens that supports circular fisheye photography are available for the Tough TG-6, along with a full lineup of other accessories for expanded shooting possibilities, making this truly the strongest field camera available.
Tough Performance for Shooting Anytime
Sealing throughout the entire camera body and double-lock construction on the camera battery cover are designed to provide waterproof performance to a depth of 50 feet for underwater shooting and excellent dustproof capabilities for use in dirty and dusty locations. Its floating construction protects the inside of the camera, clearing drop tests up to seven feet, and the reinforced body withstands loads up to 100 kgf. The Tough TG-6 is also freezeproof down to 14°F, and the nitrogen-filled, hermetically sealed dual-pane protective glass construction prevents condensation and fogging for reliable shooting even in locations with severe temperature fluctuations.
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is equipped with a high resolution, high-speed f/2.0 zoom lens and a high- speed back-lit CMOS image sensor, offering excellent high-sensitivity performance and allowing you to capture bright, richly detailed images in low-light settings, ideal for shooting fast moving subjects. Anti- reflective (AR) coating incorporated in the image sensor’s sealing glass minimizes ghosting and flares. The TruePicTM VIII image processor, found in the award-winning Olympus OM-D E-M1X® professional model, is featured on this model, reducing noise levels and improving resolution in low contrast areas. RAW data can be recorded and then edited in post-production using the Olympus Workspace image editing software.
Variable Macro System
Conquer macro photography and creatively capture intricate detail using any of the four shooting modes, opening a new world of macro shooting. This close-up shooting performance allows high-quality image capture of the microscopic world that the human eye cannot see. A closest focusing distance of 1cm is possible for close-up shots even in Program and Aperture modes for more flexible photography.
The Flash Diffuser FD-1 (sold separately) uses the in-camera flash to illuminate the subject, offering a significant increase in the amount of light. This increase in light allows for usage of lower ISO settings and faster shutter speeds, as well as an increased working distance. The FD-1 can also be utilized under water.
With Microscope Mode, users can capture high-quality, detailed images of tiny subjects that are difficult to see with the naked eye, such as the antennae and feet of insects, the veins of a leaf on a tree, snowflakes, etc. A maximum shooting magnification of 7x8 is possible when the optical zoom is set to the telephoto end and the subject is 1 cm away from the front of the lens, delivering magnified shots similar to using a microscope.
Microscope Control Mode
Switch display magnification ratios with the press of a single button similar to switching microscope objective lenses for observing and photographing subjects at 1x, 2x, and 4x. When the subject is 1 cm from the front of the lens while using this mode, the image on the rear LCD monitor can zoom in up to 44.4x.
Focus Stacking Mode9
Focus stacking mode captures multiple shots while automatically shifting the focus from the foreground to the background. Only the areas in focus are extracted and merged, resulting in a full pixel photo with a deep depth of focus. This is particularly effective for macro shooting when shots have a shallow depth of field and a narrow range of focus. Between 3 and 10 shots can be set on the Tough TG-6 so users can fine tune settings for different subjects and precision in their finished image.
Focus Bracketing Mode
With a single shot, this function captures up to 30 images while shifting the focus from the foreground to the background. Three levels of focal shift and number of shots can be selected to perfectly match the subject and shooting conditions. This feature is convenient for instantly setting the focal position when shooting flower petals or the wings of insects, etc.
The LED Light Guide, LG-1 (sold separately) uses the LED on the front of the camera to evenly illuminate the subject while the image is being taken. The LG-1 also assists with composing the image, acting as a constant light source to illuminate the subject.
Dive Deep Into Underwater Photography
To expand the possibilities of underwater shooting ever further, the Tough TG-6 is equipped with five underwater shooting modes optimized for various situations, allowing the user to capture sharp, colorful underwater photos at all depths. The popular Underwater White Balance mode now offers three options, providing appropriate color adjustment for deep water shooting. The new Fisheye Converter FCON-T02 (sold separately), for circular fisheye photography is now available, offering a versatile lineup of accessories to further expand shooting creativity.
Five Underwater Modes
Underwater Wide: Optimized for shooting in dim underwater conditions and capable of shooting in deeper water.
Underwater Snapshot: Records subjects using the natural lighting in pools and other shallow water for natural-looking photos.
Underwater Macro: Perfect for close-up shots of small subjects such as little fish.
Underwater Microscope: Captures even smaller subjects up to 1 cm from the front of the lens.
Underwater HDR: Dramatically recreates the scene without losing details in dark areas.
Three Underwater White Balance Modes10
Underwater Shallow: Recommended for use in water depths up to approximately 10 feet deep to improve the red tones that tend to occur in shallow water.
Underwater Mid-Range: Optimally tunes the color for general use in water from 10-50 feet deep.
Underwater Deep: For use with the new Underwater Case PT-059 (sold separately) in water deeper than 50 feet, particularly for improving the blue tones in photos.
Fisheye Converter, FCON-T02
The new Fisheye Converter FCON-T02 (sold separately) delivers both circular fisheye photography and diagonal fisheye photography via zooming control. It can function even underwater for zoomed-in shots. The Converter Adapter CLA-T01 (sold separately) is required to attach this lens. FCON-T02 is only compatible with the Tough TG-6.
Advanced Video Functions
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is equipped with Ultra HD 4K Movie, ideal for recording beautiful scenery in amazing detail. Full HD 120fps High-Speed Movie is also included to capture high quality split-second moments with playback in stunning slow motion.
Field Sensor System
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is equipped with a Field Sensor System, using tracking information obtained from various sensors in the camera to record data, including the GPS11, manometer, temperature sensor, and compass. Data can then be synced to photos and video and viewed in the free Olympus Image Track (OI.Track) smartphone app. Simply press the INFO button, even when the camera is off, to display data.
Pro Capture Mode
Never miss a shot! Pro Capture Mode shoots sequentially at 10 frames-per-second (fps) for 0.5 seconds before the shutter button is pressed fully, making it perfect for capturing shots where timing may be difficult, such as an insect in flight or a drop of liquid splashing.
High Definition LCD monitor
The new rear LCD monitor now features a 1.04 million-pixel high-definition resolution for improved visibility. The brightness and color saturation are optimally tuned for use outdoors.
It is now possible to embed the date and time of capture into still images for convenience and reference later. Users can turn this feature on and off to best fit their needs.
Lens Barrier, LB-T01
The new lens barrier LB-T0112 protects the lens surface from scratches and dirt. The barrier opens and closes easily for smooth operation, even while wearing gloves.
Silicone Jacket, CSCH-127
This accessory protects the surface of the camera body from scratches. It also provides a solid grip on the camera when shooting during winter sports and water sports. LED Light Guide LG-1 and Flash Diffuser FD-1 can function with the silicone jacket attached to the camera.
Underwater Case, PT-05913
Designed exclusively for the Tough TG-6, this case can function down to a depth of 148 feet. The camera control dial is operable even when the camera is stored in the case for easy exposure compensation control underwater. Two external flash units for underwater photography (UFL-3) are compatible for multi- unit flash photography in a compact system.
Lithium Ion Battery Charger, UC-92
This new, compact battery charger can fully charge the Lithium Ion Battery LI-92B using a USB port in approximately 2 hours.
Pricing and Availability
The Olympus Tough TG-6 will be available in red and black beginning in late June 2019, with suggested retail prices of $449.99 USD and $579.99 CAD.
PT-059 Underwater Housing: $299.99 USD; $329.99 CAD Lens Barrier LB-T01: $49.99 USD; $59.99 CAD
Flash Diffuser FD-1: $51.99 USD; $64.99 CAD
LED Light Guide LG-1: $40.99 USD; $40.99 CAD
Circular Fisheye Converter FCON-T02 & Adapter CLA-T01 Tough Pack Kit: $224.99 USD; $292.99 CAD Fisheye Converter FCON-T01 & Adapter CLA-T01 Tough Pack Kit: $139.98 USD; $139.98 CAD Teleconverter TCON-T01 & Adapter CLA-T01 Tough Pack Kit: $129.98 USD; $129.98 CAD
CLA-T01 Adapter: $19.99 USD; $19.99 CAD
Lens Cap LC-40.5 (fits on CLA-T01 Adapter): $7.49 USD; $9.99 CAD Lens Filter PRF-D40.5 PRO: $51.99 USD; $51.99 CAD
- At the wide-angle end of 25mm (35mm equivalent)
- Waterproof performance is JIS/IEC protection class 8 (IPX8) equivalent. All measurements are according to Olympus testing conditions, and do not guarantee protection from damage or malfunction under all conditions
- Dustproof performance is JIS/IEC protection class 6 (IP6X) equivalent. All measurements are according to Olympus testing conditions, and do not guarantee protection from damage or malfunction under all conditions.
- Compliant with MIL-STD810F. This model cleared drop tests under Olympus in-house testing conditions; however, Olympus does not guarantee protection from damage or malfunction under all conditions. Olympus in-house shockproof testing conditions: Drop height: 2.1 m, Drop surface: Plywood (lauan laminate), Drop orientation: 26 directions for each surface, each side, and each corner. Drop test was performed once for each direction.
- Kilogram force (kgf) is the unit for measuring force exerted on an object. All measurements are according to Olympus testing conditions, and do not guarantee protection from damage or malfunction under all conditions.
- The number of recordable still images is reduced at low temperatures.
- Super Macro setting required
- 35mm equivalent.
- Use of a tripod is recommended. Processing may take longer than usual.
- White balance can also be changed manually.
- GPS: Global Positioning System. To use GPS Assist data, information must be updated via the internet. A PC or smartphone with an internet connection is required. GPS Assist Data must be updated every 2 weeks. Depending on the country/region of use, different laws and regulations may be applicable regarding the use of the GPS function. Be sure to follow local laws and regulations.
- Cannot be used together with Silicone Jacket CSCH-127.
- The Field Sensor System will not operate properly when the camera is stored in the underwater case. Make sure to set the Log Lever to the off position when using the case. Use together with silica gel for best results.
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