Along the top of the camera we have the internal 5x optical zoom lens on the right and the flash/LED lamp on the left. The 5x optical zoom lens stays completely contained within the camera body, keeping it waterproof and safe from damage all the time. With a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm, the zoom is great for everyday use, allowing excellent wide landscapes and group portraits at the wide end. The telephoto end will get you a bit closer to a distant object and is great for singling out an individual in a group. Sensor-shift image stabilization helps to keep the camera lens steady while the camera is handheld, keeping your images sharp, even in low-light.
Capturing your images is a 12-Megapixel Backside Illuminated, High Sensitivity CMOS imaging sensor and the TruePic VI processor, which make up the iHS system. This helps to provide better low-light image quality and faster shooting performance. The processor works to reduce noise, enhance colors and keep the images as sharp as possible. It also assists in the iAuto shooting mode by determining the correct scene mode and shooting settings.
Although incredibly small, the built-in flash unit has a range of approx. 11.5ft. at ISO 1600. This range will decrease quickly as the ISO goes down. It will also decrease when the camera is submerged in water, since light does not travel as far. For macro shooting and faster auto focus, Olympus has included an LED light that will stay on for video recording and comes on to help the camera focus. It can also be used as a flashlight when the camera is turned off.
The top of the camera has been kept very simple so that operation is possible in any shooting conditions. From left to right you have the power button, large shutter release and the zoom lever. The controls have been designed for use underwater or in the cold when you will likely be wearing gloves.
Framing and viewing your images is accomplished on the 3.0-inch, 460,000 dot LCD screen. This high-res screen was designed to bring out the best color and provide the largest viewing angle possible to assist in your shooting. It also makes it a pleasure to view your still images and movies. With 5 levels of brightness, you should have no problems being able to see the screen in any lighting conditions.
The back has also been kept very simple. The buttons are small but well separated so it is always easy to hit the one you want. On top is the dedicated video recording button. The next two are the playback and menu buttons, followed by the LED button, which when the camera is off will show you the date and time with a quick press or turn on the LED light when held down. At the bottom is the joystick, which takes the place of the 4-way controller. Pressing it up in shooting mode changes the amount of information that is shown on the LCD screen. Pressing down in playback mode deletes an image. Pressing on the middle opens the quick menu and makes selections.
On the right side of the camera you will find the input/output ports hidden under a waterproof door. On top is the high speed USB port, which is used to transfer images from the camera as well as to charge it. On the bottom is the HDMI output that allows you to connect to any HDTV with an optional HDMI cable to view your images and videos.
The TG-630 uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards to store its images and movies. It is also capable of using Eye-Fi cards to give the camera wireless capabilities. For HD videos and high-speed image capture, we recommend using at least a class 10 memory card. The camera is shown here with the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 8GB SDHC memory card that was used to test the camera. Around the door is a rubber gasket that completes the waterproofing process. This can be found on both the battery/SD card and I/O doors.
Powering the TG-630 is a 3.7V, 925mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. On a full charge, this battery is capable of providing up to 270 images or 80 minutes of continuous video recording. This is a decent battery life, but an extreme camera in extreme conditions is a terrible place for it to run out. Keeping a spare charged and on hand is an excellent idea, and easy to accomplish with the included quick charger.