Olympus unveiled the Stylus Tough TG-2 iHS as its new flagship waterproof point-and-shoot camera. Priced at $379, the TG-2 appears to be the best mainstream waterproof camera for the new year.
The Olympus TG-2 is nearly identical to the TG-1, save for improved depth rating and a new super-macro mode that offers 14:1 magnification. The TG-1 was released about six months ago, which apparently wasn’t enough time for Olympus to make room for a larger sensor or more serious improvements.The TG-2 is rated to withstand depths of up to 50 feet, which is 10ft deeper than its predecessor. That limit will satisfy just about everyone heading to the beach, but it’s just shy of the 60 feet limit that many Scuba divers adhere to.
The Tough TG-2 is rugged enough to withstand drops from more than six feet and temperatures as low as 14°F. Olympus says it is crushproof to a weight of 220 punds.
The camera can be outfitted with a number of accessories, including the Olympus PT-053 underwater housing, which improves protection all the way down to 135 feet. A teleconverter and fish-eye lens can be mounted on the TG-2.
The TG-2 relies on the same optics and 12MP sensor as the TG-1, which are good for a waterproof camera, but mediocre for a camera in the $379 price range. The image quality is markedly better than what’s found in more affordable waterproof cameras.
Premium cameras such as the Canon PowerShot S110 and Sony Cyber-shot RX 100 produce much crisper images than the Olympus Tough series. Land lovers will be better off buying a high-quality point-and-shoot camera or a compact interchangeable lens system.
The Tough TG-2 is Eye-Fi card compatible, which means photos and videos can be shared via Wi-Fi.