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Olympus TG-5 Settings for Underwater Photography and Video
By Joseph Tepper, November 2, 2018 @ 06:00 AM (EST)


The Olympus Tough TG-5 has become a popular entry-level camera for underwater photographers because if its combination of durability, ease-of-use, and above-average image quality. With the extensive manual control on offer, you’ll need to consider various settings, depending on what you’re planning to shoot, before you jump in. Check out this handy jump start guide for getting great images fast.

 

Snorkeling Photography Settings for the Olympus TG-5

In its most basic form—even without a housing, wet lens, or additional lighting—the TG-5 is a solid water sports camera. Its innate waterproof rating to 50 feet means it can handle most shallow, natural light conditions either snorkeling or in the pool.
 

File Type: RAW or RAW & JPEG
Mode: Auto or Underwater
Exposure Compensation: –2 stops
ISO: 100
White Balance: Auto or Underwater
Focus: Autofocus
Flash: Off

 

Macro Underwater Photography Settings for the Olympus TG-5

The TG-5 really earned its stripes in the underwater imaging world after rave reviews about the camera’s Microscope mode. This effectively allows shooters to take 1:1 and super macro images without the addition of a wet lens. For best results, in terms of detail and color, we recommend using at least one strobe. However, it’s also possible to take macro images using a continuous video light and shoot at a high frame rate with focus bracketing.
 

With Strobe

File Type: RAW or RAW & JPEG
Mode: Microscope or P
Exposure Compensation: –2 stops
ISO: 100
White Balance: Auto
Focus: Autofocus
Flash: Fill or Minimum


With Continuous Light

File Type: RAW or RAW & JPEG
Mode: Microscope or P
Exposure Compensation: –2 stops
ISO: 200–400
(avoid higher ISOs, which will produce intrusive digital noise)
White Balance: Auto
Focus: Autofocus
Flash: Off
Frame Rate: Single to High (Focus Bracketing)


 

 

Wide-Angle Underwater Photography Settings for the Olympus TG-5

The addition of RAW to the Tough lineup several iterations ago was a game changer. These super malleable files—in terms of white balance, dynamic range, and color—are musts for any serious wide-angle underwater photography. And while the camera lacks complete manual exposure control, using Aperture Priority along with exposure compensation gives the user creative control.
 

File Type: RAW or RAW & JPEG
Mode: A
Exposure Compensation: –1 to –2 stops
Zoom: None (additional wide-angle wet lens required)
Aperture: f/8
ISO: 100–200
(avoid higher ISOs, which will produce intrusive digital noise)
White Balance: Shade
Focus: Autofocus
Flash: 1/64th or TTL
Frame Rate: Single


 

 

Underwater Video Settings for the Olympus TG-5

The TG-5 might not be a go-to model for serious underwater videographers, but with decent manual white balance abilities, 4K video, and advanced shooting features, it is more than capable of producing good-quality wide-angle and macro footage. Of note, it’s worth skipping the movie mode altogether, as it doesn’t allow for custom white balance—a must for colorful underwater video.
 

Wide-Angle Video

Mode: A
Exposure Compensation: –2/3 stop
Aperture: f/8
ISO: Auto
Video Resolution: 1080 FHD 60p
Bit Rate: Super Fine
White Balance: Manual
Focus: Autofocus


Macro Video

Mode: Microscope
Exposure Compensation: –2/3 stop
Aperture: f/8
ISO: Auto
Video Resolution: 1080 FHD 60p
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Bit Rate: Super Fine
White Balance: Auto
Focus: Autofocus


 

 


 

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-5 camera (red)
Olympus Tough TG-5 camera (black)

 

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Roger Carlson
Nov 4, 2018 11:33 AM
Roger Carlson wrote:
Thanks, this is a great article, and the tables are really helpful. But it would be even more helpful to add 2nd column to the tables with a short note on *why* each setting is the right choice. I'm surprised that -2EV is so often a good choice. You have one comment on avoiding high ISO, more of that would be great to help people understand the camera and photography in general in different conditions.
edouard mollard
Nov 12, 2018 1:01 PM
edouard mollard wrote:
the last picture is crazy, we have so manny strange creature in the ocean, this world is so amazing,
tyr gungnir
Nov 12, 2018 1:13 PM
tyr gungnir wrote:
this pictures !
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