It’s quite a simple premise: If you are passionate about digital photography, then leaving your camera at home is not an option. In fact, you might be a member of the group that expects to take a camera wherever you go: riding the surf, scaling a vertical or skiing the slopes. That’s why many of the major manufacturers make cameras specifically for you adventurous types; and the Olympus Tough TG-1 digital camera is one of the best of the lot.
What immediately places the Olympus TG-1 digital camera in a category by itself is its f/2.0 lens. No other tough/adventure camera has such a wide aperture. Suddenly, more photos (and very acceptable photos) can be captured in low-light situations or when the action is fast, since the lens captures more light and you can select higher shutter speeds and lower ISO settings. With the TG-1’s f/2.0 lens, you’re now able to shoot underwater, under the dark canopy of the forest, spelunking in a cave or during heavily overcast days and still take pictures and video everyone will want to see again and again.
Another major step forward for the Olympus TG-1 is its versatile lens conversion system. The camera comes with a 4x optical zoom lens that has a focal length range of 25–100mm in 35mm format. Once you attach the lens converter adapter, the TG-1 will accept a fisheye converter lens and a tele converter lens. The dynamic wide-angle view of the fisheye lens and the fast f/2.0 aperture will open a whole new world of underwater photography. The tele converter lens transforms the 4x optical zoom to almost 7x, so you can fill the frame with distant action and excitement.
The Olympus TG-1 has earned its “Tough” name, as it has been designed to protect itself in 5 ways; many of its competitors only offer 4 protective features and many of those don’t have the maximum specifications of this camera.
Olympus knows how to waterproof a camera, having not just manufactured many other adventure cameras, but also has a long-standing reputation for making some of the best underwater housing equipment. The Olympus TG-1 is built with an innovative sealing system and double-lock construction, so it’s waterproof to 40 feet (12m).
Olympus has carefully designed the TG-1 with a double chassis, which encloses the lens and operational parts of the camera in a rugged, durable structure. The TG-1 will literally bounce back from a drop of as much as 6.6 feet (2m) and continue to function flawlessly.
The Olympus Tough TG-1 is not just designed for cold-weather use, but the company’s engineers specifically addressed the typical challenges of photographing in a frozen environment: condensation on the lens and a non-functioning auto zoom. This means the TG-1 will operate when the temperature is as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10°C) and you’ll capture more in-your-face images of all the action.
The same sealing system that keeps water and moisture from penetrating the TG-1 also stops dust and dirt from reaching the internal workings of the camera.
The fifth layer of tough protection for the Olympus TG-1 is one not often found on competitive cameras. The TG-1 will withstand the crushing force of as much as 220 foot-pounds (100kgf) of pressure. The double chassis system that cushions the TG-1 when dropped is further reinforced with a durable layer of polycarbonate resin. This super-strong combination doesn’t just save the camera from being crushed, but also saves the screen from cracking, which often happens when a standard compact camera and even many adventure cameras are packed in a suitcase or carried in a back pocket.
The Olympus TG-1’s 3-inch, 610,000-dot OLED display is larger than many competitors’ LCD screens and is manufactured to provide you with a clear, sharp image in full sunlight.
What good is all that fun and action unless you record it as a movie? The TG-1 gives you 1080p Full-HD at 60 fps, stereo sound recording and an HDMI port to connect directly with an HDTV.
Another excellent feature of the TG-1 is the Super Sport Mode, which operates with shutter speeds as fast as 1/2000 and an autofocus system with a fifth gear. Quickly select this mode and the camera will take a high-speed grouping of 5 images, so whatever rad action is occurring, you’ll have a photo of it.
The Olympus TG-1 also includes all the necessary adventure tools: a GPS, e.compass and manometer.
Released May 7, 2012, the Olympus Tough TG-1 has another interesting use that many have overlooked: creating a passion for digital photography among children. What better camera to put in the hands of a group of children to photograph a birthday party, day-camp experience or a day at the beach from their point of view.
The Olympus Tough TG-1 Digital Camera is scheduled to be released June 15, 2012. Prior to that date, it can pre-ordered from B&H Photo Video for $399.00 at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Olympus+TG-1&N=0&InitialSearch=yes.
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Photo © 2011 Olympus America Inc.