Camera Review: Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS Digital Camera

By all accounts, except one, the Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS a great little camera that can take the normal (and abnormal) bumps and bruises in stride that a camera will get when used in normal situations, let alone extreme ones. Images/videos are stored on either 22MB built-in memory or Secure Digital (SD) cards up to 128 GB capacity. Image/video write speeds are lightning fast thanks to its dual processor. There's only one real drawback to this camera, so keep reading to find out if it could be the right model for you. Key Specs For The Olympus Stylus TG-2 his RRP: $379.99 Year of release: 2013 Display size (inches): 3 Image resolution (MP): 12 Zoom: Optical: 4x Video Capture? 1080p HD Available Colors: Black, Red Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS: The Pros Price: While a price of just under $400 is rather high, it is probably well worth paying due to the ruggedness factor, awesome macro feature and great image quality. Other point and shoot cameras have built-in ruggedness for less money, they lack the rest of the features that make this camera so great. Image Quality: With its 12mp CMOS processor and TruePic VI Image processor, its 3,968 x 2,976 pixel images at maximum resolution are finely detailed and displayed in true color, even when photographing in low light. This is also one of few cameras that can record video while simultaneously capturing still images. Rugged: As described by Olympus, this camera is “life-proof”. Along with being waterproof down to 50 feet, it is also: • Shockproof - With two protective frames supporting internal components such as shutter, aperture, lens and autofocus, the TG-2 can take a 7-foot drop without sustaining any internal damage. • Crushproof - It withstands up to 220 pounds of weight directly applied to the outside of the camera housing without any damage. • Freezeproof - It has been tested down to 14 degrees F. Even at that temperature, the TG-2 lens remains clear of condensation and the autofocus functions normally. • Dustproof - With its housing sealed, no dust or destructive dirt can get in can. Macro: Many point and shoot cameras are not good at recording images when shot close-up, but the TG-2 is different from the rest. When set to Microscopic Mode, it can shoot flowers, insects, or anything small for that matter, with stunning clarity from a distance as close as 1cm - yes you read that right, 1 cm or 0.39 inch. If you shoot close-ups, now there is a “WOW” factor for you! Aperture Priority Mode: Sporting an aperture-priority exposure mode, with an f-stop as fast as f/2.0 at the 25mm wide angle setting or f/4.9 at the 100mm telephoto setting, image quality is unsurpassed. When coupled with the teleconverter lens (sold separately), the telephoto focal length is extended out to 170mm while still at 4X optical zoom. GPS: Not only does this point and shoot have a GPS function, but with its e-compass and manometer functions, it can record the route you took while photographing, along with location, elevation and water depth; it even warns you when approaching it maximum rated depth of 50 feet. Shutter Responsiveness: Unlike most point and shoot cameras, the shutter lag - the time it takes once you press the shutter button until the shutter actually trips - is not only unnoticeable, it is instantaneous. OLED LCD Screen: At 610,000 pixels, it is one of the higher resolution screens of point and shoot cameras. Manufactured with several layers of protective coatings, scratching and condensation are adequately held at bay. The anti-glare technology used in this back screen make composing, shooting and playback much easier, even while in full sunlight. Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS: The Cons Video Noise: This is the only drawback with this camera, however, it was also the major complaint with the TG-1 model; it did not get any better in the TG-2. There is still inherent noise that seem to come from the lens motor zooming in and out along with the noise associated with the autofocus function. However, the user should not be zooming in or out when recording video anyway. And of course, if you do not record video, then it will be a non-issue. Is The Olympus Stylus TG-2 iHS Worth Buying? While more expensive than many other rugged point and shoot cameras, this one is worth every penny due to it numerous useful features. Other point and shoot cameras boast several features, but many are rarely used (if at all) by most users. Besides those listed above, other useful TG-2 features include: • dual image stabilization (thus eliminating camera shake). • high speed continuous shooting (at 5 frames per second - great for action sequence shooting) • iAuto (which automatically detects the subject, lighting and scene, and then decides which settings would be best to use). • 21 Scene Modes (including four underwater modes). Due to its ruggedness and versatility, the TG-2 is a great little camera for general travel and especially well-suited for winter or water sports. And with its optional teleconverter and fisheye lenses, its versatility expands even further.


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