Olympus TG-610 Review
Rugged and highly durable digital cameras are not really so common and when you do come across these cameras, you might find some features that you wouldn’t like or wouldn’t use. A greater variety of these types of digital cameras will encourage more people to be interested and it looks like Olympus is taking the right approach by offering an entire series of cameras called the Tough series.
There are currently 6 models in total and three of them have Stylus labels. This is interesting because Stylus Tough models attract and are durable as well. But if you are after functionality, you are better off getting one of the three TG models. The Olympus 228085 TG-610 Digital Camera rests in the middle and this Olympus TG-610 review will explain how the price and features are nicely balanced.
Olympus TG-610 Design
Although the Olympus TG-610 isn’t classified as a Stylus model, the overall look of the camera actually resembles the similarly priced Stylus Tough 6020. It also comes in four colors so if you are not fond of the standard black and silver designs, you can go for red or blue colors.
The camera weighs almost 7 ounces and the size is friendly for pocketing especially since it is pretty much flat on both sides. It isn’t one of those digital cameras where the lens protrudes outward so it is more reliable for underwater usage. In fact, waterproof characteristic is one of the biggest features of the Tough series.
At the same time, it is shockproof and freezeproof as well so it can survive 5-foot drops and the camera can still function properly under extreme cold temperatures going down to -10 degrees Celsius. Although the cheaper TG-310 is waterproof too, you can take underwater photos as deep as 16 feet as opposed to the TG-310’s 10 feet limitation.
Going for this midrange waterproof camera also gives you a 3.0-inch LCD display rather than a 2.7-inch display that the Stylus Tough models use. This is useful for previewing photos and the anti-glare technology built into the display makes it just as convenient to look see real-time previews while shooting under direct sunlight.
The Olympus TG-610 is equipped with the following specifications.
- 14-megapixel CCD sensor
- 5x wide-angle optical zoom
- 720p HD movie recording support
For the intended audience, 14 megapixels is more than enough to take some decent photos and actually print them on large media. The overall image quality is further enhanced by the TruePic III+ image processor. This particular image processor was actually used in some of the digital SLR models and that really shows because the color accuracy and sharpness are pretty decent.
Rugged cameras are made for outgoing people and when you are outdoors with friends, there is always that chance where you need to shoot sudden moments and high speed action. The dual image stabilization technologies make the Olympus TG-610 highly capable of snapping those moments. The 5x optical zoom also supports very wide viewing angles so shooting possibilities are more flexible.
As an underwater camera, the good photo quality is more noticeable. The trick to getting the best pictures is to set it to one of the four Underwater modes. Whether you take a dip in the swimming pool or do some sea exploring, the Olympus TG-610 is prepared and ready to impress with quality photos. Just follow the instructions before using and make sure the camera’s door is locked so the vital components are properly protected.
If you need to make adjustments to the mode such as activating flash, the tap control interface can be useful especially if you are wearing gloves underwater. Tapping the back, top, or sides of the camera will trigger a common operation. Once you are done with the camera, the lens cap automatically closes which is a convenient feature and not all waterproof cameras have it.
Olympus TG-610 3D Technology Rocks
It becomes even more of an exciting camera when you utilize the Olympus 3D technology. This enables the camera to take two pictures whenever a shot needs to be made. These two pictures are then merged to get that 3D effect. This feature can be used in any mode including the underwater mode which is nice since underwater photography is the main selling point. This feature alone should put this camera ahead of the other waterproof cameras. All you really need is a 3D TV or any other 3D screen to properly view these photos.
In addition to the 3D and underwater modes, the TG-610 comes with a variety of art filters. Olympus calls these filters Magic Filters so there is extra room for creativity. Beginner photographers can always take advantage of the Intelligent Auto mode that helps detect the type of scene so the best optimizations can be applied. The traditional Program Auto mode is still available in case that mode produces better results.
Some of the minor features are nice to use as well including the panorama mode. It pretty much functions like any other panorama mode that other cameras have but the one that the Olympus TG-610 has is extremely simple to use.
Video recording performance isn’t a major feature but what matters is the 720p resolution. With HDTVs being highly affordable these days, it is important that newly recorded videos take advantage of every pixel. Even on a 1080p display, 720p footage recorded by the Olympus TG-610 looks just fine and that includes underwater video.
When photos need to be shared, the use of an Eye-Fi card is recommended because the TG-610 can take advantage of the card by providing direct uploading to computers and other devices that have Wi-Fi. High capacity SDHC and SDXC memory cards can be used as well if more pictures and videos need to be taken.
Photos Taken with the Olympus TG
The TG-610 Verdict
The $300 price tag is reasonable since this Olympus TG-610 review highlights how this above-average compact underwater point-and-shoot camera outperforms the competition by throwing in shockproof and freezeproof properties for good measure. The 3D photo functionality may not be for everyone, but it will be more useful when 3D displays are become mainstream and affordable.
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