Olympus TG-1 iHS Review

Review posted 09/07/2012

Quick Take
  • iAuto shooting mode is accurate and easy in all situations
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • f/2.0 lens allows for shooting in lower light situations
  • "Tough" features: Waterproof, Dustproof, Shockproof and Freezeproof protect the camera as well or better than any other "lifeproof" camera
  • Great image quality
  • Dual image stabilization keeps images sharp
  • 3.0-inch LCD screen is easy to see in all conditions
  • Amazing and class leading shooting performance
  • Excellent Battery Life
  • Stereo Microphone
  • HDMI output
  • Competitively priced
  • Purple Fringing/Chromatic Aberrations seen in most images
  • Barrel Distortion at the Wide end of the zoom
  • GPS can be a little off from actual location
  • Adapter cover comes off the front of the camera easily
  • High levels of noise, even at the mid ISO settings
Bottom Line
The Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS is the new leading "lifeproof" camera on the market (as of 9/2012). It's upgraded image processor, sensor, lens and abilities perform as well if not better than you will find anywhere else. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
Olympus' Tough series of lifeproof cameras has a new flagship for 2012, the TG-1 iHS. Not only is it the world's first lifeproof camera to incorporate an ultra-bright, high-speed f2.0 lens (as of April 23, 2012), but you're also going to get a 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor powered by Olympus' proprietary TruePic VI image processor. All of this means a super fast camera capable of taking incredibly detailed and life-like photographs. Speaking of fast, the TG-1 includes Olympus' FAST AF system technology, ripped right out of their more expensive PEN series cameras. No matter the extreme action, you'll always get razor-sharp shots.

The CMOS / TruePic VI combination also means you get to shoot full high definition 1080p video as well in as two different high-speed burst modes for stills: 1) 10 frames-per-second at full 12-megapxiel resolution, or 2) 60 frames-per-second at 3-megapixels.

The TG-1 has a built-in 4x optical zoom (as well as a 10x "Super-resolution Zoom" -- but we don't normally push using digital zoom features); but here's something fun for the Tough series: an optional converter ring adapter will allow you to attach a waterproof Fisheye Converter Lens for wide panoramas, or a Teleconverter Lens that extends optical zoom to 6.8x. Another nice feature is the various iAuto Modes, where the camera automatically choses the best option from 30 presets. Or you can choose one yourself individually. The camera even has 4 modes specifically designed to enhance underwater photography and video recordings.

A must-have for all adventurers is GPS. You know, just in case you want to get lost, or perhaps you want to recall where exactly on the globe your memories were captured digitally. The TG-1 also has a built-in Manometer, which will not only records elevation and depth information in your photo's metadata, but also warn you if you're approaching the 40-foot underwater depth threshold; a first for any lifeproof camera we've sen, and some that could come in real handy for divers.

All of these features and more for a camera that's waterproof down to 40 feet, shockproof up to a 6.6 foot fall, freezeproof down to 14F, and crushproof up to a weight of 220pounds. But, if those stats aren't tough enough, consider adding the optional underwater housing, which extends the depth rating down to 135 feet!

Olympus TG-1 iHS Features include:
  • Waterproof down to 40 feet
  • Shockproof to 6.6 feet
  • Freezeproof down to 14 degrees F
  • Crushrpoof to a weight of 220 pounds
  • 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
  • f2.0 lens
  • 3.0-inch OLED display (610k)
  • TruePic VI image processor
  • 4x Optical Zoom
  • 10x Super-resolution Zoom
  • FAST AF (Auto Focus)
  • Built-in Flash and LED Illuminator
  • Super Sport Mode with shutter speeds up to 1/2000
  • Also takes 5 shots in one high-speed burst
  • Capable of 10 frames-per-second high-speed burst shooting at 12MP
  • 60 frames-per-second high-speed burst shooting at 3MP
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • Multi-Motion IS (Image Stabilization)
  • iAuto Mode includes 30 different scenes like
    • Night
    • Sport
    • Beach and Snow
    • Backlight HDR
  • 4 Underwater Scene Modes
    • Underwater Snapshot
    • Underwater Wide 1
    • Underwater Wide 2
    • Underwater Macro
  • GPS with
    • e.compass functionality
    • Built-in Manometer (to mark your place on maps)
  • A longer lasting, brand new LI-90 battery
  • Optional Fisheye Converter Lens
  • Optional Teleconverter Lens
  • Optional Underwater Housing (capable of diving to 135 feet (45m)
The Olympus TG-1 iHS is available now with an MSRP of $369.99 USD. The camera comes in any color you want as long as that's silver. See our buy box for the most current online pricing, and don't forget to check out the optional accessories like the conversion lenses.

What's in the box?:
  • TG-1 Body
  • Camera Strap
  • Li-Ion Battery
  • CD-ROM
  • AV Cable
  • USB Cable
  • Manual
  • USB-AC Adapter

Additional Product Views:

TG1 No Ring.jpg
Conversion Ring Side.jpg
Fisheye Face Up.jpg
Fisheye Left.jpg
Tele Face Up.jpg
Tele Left.jpg

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.