Olympus TG-4 as Second Body?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by sigamy, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. sigamy

    sigamy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Hello. I know it's hard for to make decisions for someone else, but I need some advice.

    Over the years I've become a bit of a camera collector. This is due to thinking that I need to have dedicated bodies for each type of shooting activity, combined with general GAS/love of gear.

    I started in M43 with video, as my hobby is making short films. I went from GH2 to GH3. The GH3 is my workhorse and "main" camera. I use it for kids sports, family stuff and video projects.

    I also love the rangefinder style M43 bodies. In my mind I will use this smaller body for street shooting, hiking, parties, etc. Times when I want something smaller than the GH3. I also love the retro look and coolness factor.

    Over the years have owned the E-P1, GX1, and GM5. I *really* want an EVF in this small body so that has led me to the GX7, which I think is the perfect blend of size and features.

    Then there are trips to the beach, water park, hiking and camping. Photography and video is my hobby so I'm the type that will take a camera on these trips. Phone isn't good enough and I don't want to risk damaging my phone. So, I have a Lumix TS25 Tough cam, again purchased 2nd hand in good condition.

    So, I have a GH3, GX7 and TS25 Tough camera.

    Recently, I've been wondering if I can consolidate from three bodies down to two. I don't do as much beach and camping as I'd like. Don't go on street photo walks as much as I thought I would...I hate having three camera bodies with typically only one being used at a given time.

    So, while I love the GX7, maybe I should put some money in my pocket by selling it and moving back to GX1. I don't need much from my 2nd body, and GX1 would serve my skills just fine (would miss the EVF). I've even thought of selling the GH3 and battery grip but not sure I can do that.

    Next option is to try the Olympus TG-4 as my second body. I could sell the GX7 and TS25, get the TG-4. I know that overall I'd lose quality from the GX7. I've seen some great shots with TG-4 and some noisy stuff. But I may actually get more pics as I could take the TG-4 everywhere...

    So I guess I'm asking:

    1. How many bodies do you have? How do you justify having more than one body?
    2. Has anyone moved to a recent model TOUGH camera as a 2nd body? If so, how is it doing for you?
    3. Anyone have comparisons to recent TOUGH cams vs. the older 16MP M43 cams (E-PL3, GX1)?
    4. What are the new and improved remedies for GAS?!

  2. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    I think it's nice to have a compact as second body if IQ is not top priority. Really convinient.

    I have E-M5, GM1, GX80 and XZ1, G7XII. Good to have different options when packing your camera bag, varies alot. I justify it because it's my hobby

    Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    The TG-4 is the only rugged camera I know of that can shoot RAW. For that reason alone I ordered one on the day it was announced. This is probably why you have seen noisy stuff, as OOC jpegs from compacts tend to be noice reduced to death. And if it is possible to choose the amount of noise reduction, the choices are usually something along the lines of "Reduced to death", "Poop smear" and "Abstract art". I tend to keep the TG-4 in the front pocket of my life jacket when kayaking and windsurfing.

    Here are a few shots I've taken with it. First a daytime one in good light.

    Here is one taken at ISO 1600 late in the evening. Only slight noise reduction applied, I generally prefer to keep some noise rather than lose detail.

    And a jellyfish, to show the underwater capabilities.
    • Like Like x 5
  4. Mountain

    Mountain Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2013
    I have GX-1, GX-8 and Pentax Optio

    I got the GX-8 for the weather proofing and improved DR over the GX-1 so that I could worry less about HDR. Because the GX-1 is so much smaller, I decided to keep it as a lightweight option, or when I want to carry two bodies with a long and a short lens.

    I keep the Pentax Optio clipped to my climbing harness nearly all the time for the reasons as you mentioned. It has similar stats to the older Tough line, but the Oly's looks to be higher quality. Because it was cheap I don't worry about damaging it, but surprisingly it has been literally scraped up hundreds of feet of rock and still functions (although it's not pretty). Those rugged cameras are really surprising, as I'm sure you've found. The images it takes are pretty poor, but there a lot of moments where I wouldn't have even considered getting my m4/3 out for fear of losing/damaging it. I still found myself carrying the GX-1 in the pack or a small bag, however, for the better quality. While I'm glad I have it, it won't replace the other cameras for me, but it's nice to get some shots from inhospitable places. I think any of the rugged cameras would be similar in this regard.

    I feel like the best solution in that arena might be the Nikon-1AW. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy one to see if it could satisfy both image and durability needs for rough adventures. Nikon | Imaging Products | Nikon 1 AW1

    EDIT: Actually, the reviews for the Nikon look pretty poor, no free lunch I guess.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The AW1 definitely isn't as durable / waterproof as the tough cams, as you'd expect from a waterproof ILC. It's a real shame that they didn't make it a fixed lens cam with a faster zoom, especially since there are only 2 very basic lenses available for it. In fact, given that it has a 3.5-5.6 zoom lens, the TG-4's f2-4.9 lens, the TG-4 is barely behind the AW1 at the wide end, and has a wider and longer zoom range on top of it...

    I have a TG-850, which I like because of its ultrawide lens that starts at 21mm, and the reversible flip screen for selfies with my girlfriend, but the quality leaves a lot to be desired. In most circumstances I get the best results just leaving it in HDR mode. Having RAW on the TG-4 would make a big difference, especially in underwater shots, where you needed to be pretty lucky with the TG-850 to get decent results...
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Real Name:
    I have a TG-4, replacing a TG-850 I bought earlier. Both were reconditioned from Olympus and work very well. The TG-4 yields better results than the 850, I think due to the design of the lens system. Having RAW is nice, but I haven't done much with it yet. But, it's great as a camera for the pocket or taking out in adverse conditions or to the beach. Sure, my EM5 and EM1 are weather-resistant, but the TG-4 is resistant to just about everything to a greater extent. Pretty decent IQ. Not a true second body for the M43 system, but an option.

    Moku O' Loe Island, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (AKA Gilligan's Island, from the introduction to the show)

    Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii 24447589440_dd2b7b7155_k.

    Now this may remind you of the show.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    I acquired a TG-3 just as they announced the TG-4. I seriously thought of upgrading, but I have yet to see a very convincing example of a raw file that looked that much better (excepting serious WB issues) to justify the expense. I would have to agree with Walter than it is a great camera for adverse conditions, but I would not consider it for a second camera. The sensor is about the same size as what is used in smartphones, and there is only so much that you can do with it.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Veteran

    May 15, 2016
    One of my friends purchased a TG4 for a walk the family did in central Australia. They showed the pictures and short videos on their TV which is a very big one and all looked fine to me. I think they may have had the extra lens that gave a more telephoto view as well.

    For the money they are asking for these I think they they are very good value. They got theirs because of the sand in central Australia, it is known to kill camera's.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. laotzu

    laotzu New to Mu-43

    Jul 20, 2016
    Real Name:
    Gary Wong
    I have TG-4 for wet, sandy conditions where I wouldn't bring my nicer cameras or iPhone. Originally I had the TG-1 and upgraded. I'm impressed with the little tough guy and its picture quality except in low light conditions. Macro is especially amazing.

    I have a EM5 II for dry portrait and candid shots with a few lenses Leica 25mm f1.4, Oly 25 1.8 (for compactness), Panny 12-35mm 2.8 and Panny 35-100 2.8. While this body and the zooms are weather resistant I wouldn't want to put them to the test or submerge them like I have the TG-4.

    Lastly, and admittedly a little off-topic, I have a PhaseOne P20 medium format digital back on a Mamiya AFD body with 80mm and 45mm f2.8 lenses. I based this decision on a Zack Arias article, also on my own belief that the quality difference between m4/3 and FF was too slight to justify the price/weight difference. I bought this recently and still learning to use it, but its definitely a fun experience. The CaptureOne software included makes this a great buy.

    Previously I've owned GH3, GH4, EM10, GX1, D750, D600, D700, D70 (I guess I cycle thru cameras a lot, but I'm content with my current lineup).