Olympus TG5 Underwater Review

Olympus TG5 Underwater Review

Lots Of Upgrades For The Olympus TG5 But Do They Work?

Local Dive Thailand had a bit of a break from Phuket diving and took the new Olympus TG5 for a trip to Komodo. Plenty of upgrades and new features to be tried out. Should have brought the manual really…

Olympus TG5 Macro To Start

A gentle macro dive to start the trip. The macro capabilities of the TG series has always been great for a compact and still remains the same. If you’re not a smartarse and read the manual you’ll find out that the flash in the TG5 can now be adjusted manually. Full power is extremely bright. The first nudi I took a photo of ignited… after a brief play with settings available from the easily accessible menu it was business as usual.

Unsinged Squat Lobster TG5 Macro Mode

Unsinged Squat Lobster TG5 Macro Mode

Settings: Macro mode- 1/200s; f/6.3; ISO 200:Internal Flash 1/1.6

Microscope Mode Still Great

The microscope mode that sets this camera apart from all other compacts still remains its best feature. The autofocus speed is quick and accurate, able to focus as close as 1cm to the lense, there’s simply no subject too small for this camera. You really don’t need any additional macro lenses.

With this in mind I set off to get a photo of a minute ladybug, I failed miserably. As quick as the focus speed is for a compact the challenge of getting a shot of a minute animal sat on a soft coral that is furiously waving in the current and has an annoying habit of hopping away at the right moment was a bit too much for the camera and my patience.

Minute Candy Crab TG5 Microscope Mode

Minute Candy Crab TG5 Microscope Mode

Settings: Microscope mode- 1/500s; f/3.2; ISO 100:Video light

Wide Angle

Well widish angle, after a series of failed attempts to purchase the UWL- 04 before the trip I had to make do with a not too great Meikon dome port lense. The improved sensor and a sensible megapixel count should in theory improve the picture quality.

So after a brief scroll through the menu to adjust some settings I was good to go, or so I thought. As well as reading the manual and taking practice shots on land it’s also advisable not to take your first dives with your new camera in the ripping currents around Komodo. After analyzing the shot and making adjustments you can be in another time zone from your subject. Fortunately (in this case) there isn’t that much that you can adjust on this simple camera and the wide angle results do indeed seem to be much sharper than previous models.

Aperture priority mode as with previous models produce the best results. However we actually found that you can get some nice shots with the programme auto mode. On previous models the manual white balance was a waste of time after about 15m and the annoying NG Retry message drove me insane, at least the message has changed and it does at least try. There is a significant improvement getting a white balance at depth but it’s still not perfect.

TG5 Ambient Light Wide Angle Example

TG5 Ambient Light Wide Angle Example

Settings: Aperture priority- 1/200s; f/2.8; ISO 100: Ambient light

4K Video and 120fps In Full HD

A huge leap forward from previous models. The Olympus TG-5 can now shoot video in 4K and full HD at 120fps allowing for some very nice slow motion effects. The improved in camera stabilisation combined with slow motion makes a very smooth video.

For both of the above you have to access the new movie mode. Meaning you can’t get any of the above in macro or microscope mode but you can still go straight to Full HD with a press of a button from any mode.

Olympus TG5 Upgrades

The new top dial gives another quick adjustment option. You can only change its default designation (exposure in most modes) to manual focus. This allows you to quickly change settings without having to go through the menu excessively if you get caught by surprise.

When using manual focus you can take advantage of the focus peaking. Another feature borrowed from the high end Olympus camera’s. The area in focus will be highlighted in red or green (your choice) which makes it much easier to see if you have indeed got the subject in focus – godsend for old eyes like mine.

The new 12MP CMOS imaging sensor promises improved low light and performance and from what we’ve seen so far the images are sharper with great colour. The image processor is exactly the same as the much higher spec Olympus OM-D E-M1 II and allows a shooting speed of 20fps.

You can find details of all the specifications and upgrades here.

In A Nutshell

The Olympus TG5 is a great little compact for beginners and definitely the most advanced of the TG range. Experienced photographers can keep it in their BCD pocket and whip it out to get a macro shot if they’re using a wide angle set up on their obscenely expensive DSLR.

It would have been nice if there was a full manual mode. Considering all the new features that have been packed it to this tough camera, it’s still a great buy and let’s not forget it’s almost bullet proof.

By Justin Hartrey

I've been enjoying the incredible marine life in our oceans for over 25 years. 13 years ago I became a PADI professional, hoping to introduce as many people as possible to the incredible beauty of the seas.

Having been fortunate enough to dive all over south east and especially Thailand, I enjoy sharing my experience and passion on this blog.

Posted in Equipment We Like on .

Popular Services

phuket diving faq's

Phuket Diving FAQ’s

We've condensed all the Phuket diving FAQ's onto one page so you can get your answers fast. Scuba Diving in Phuket may be a little different from where you've dived before or it may be your very first time. Our staff are always happy to help you answer any questions you have via email or telephone but we've still compiled a list of frequently asked questions for your convenience. If your question isn't answered below then please do contact [...]

Find Out More
giant-manta-at-phukets-south-tip

Racha Noi South Tip

Quite honestly we wish we could get to Racha Noi South Tip every trip but the converging currents from either side of Racha Noi make it a challenging dive even on weak tides. Only once or twice a month the current is low enough for us to get there but it's a real treat when we can. Even the guides are queuing up for this trip! The dive site consists of a series of huge granite boulders that have been washed smooth by the strong currents. C [...]

Find Out More

Daily Schedules

M/V Kepsub Schedule

Jobs @ Local Dive Thailand

Local Dive Thailand is one of Phuket's fatest growing & most vibrant scuba diving operations, we are always looking for quality staff to join us, so feel free to have a look at our jobs listing page.

Job Listings

Contact LDT

Local Guides, Local Knowledge, Local Experiences

Don't trust your diving to amateurs or freshly minted dive guides, dive with local experienced experts from Local Dive Thailand. Our Scuba Diving Phuket Tours will take you to see the rarest of the rare critters, you will be amazed by the macro life our guides can find, in the secret places only they know. To put it in perspective, if you were going to climb Mount Everest you would certainly hire a local sherpa to lead the way & keep you safe. Diving is similar because there is absolutely no substitute for local experience & local knowledge, Local Dive Thailand's guides are Phuket's Sherpa's of the Andaman Sea!

Learn More About Us

Scuba Diving Phuket, Phi Phi & Thailand

When talking about Scuba Diving in Phuket, you should believe the hype, many seasons we have had Whale Sharks grace us on our regular and easy to reach dive sites and on a good day you can add Sea Horses, Sea Moths, Snake Eels, Frog Fish & Octopus to what you can see on any given dive and so much more. If we are heading to Phi Phi Island for the day, you can possibly see Hawksbill Sea Turtles and Black Tip Reef Sharks, also don't forget the King Cruiser, 84 meters of beautiful wreck and the most amazing reef nursery for fish and nudibranch. Local Dive Thailand day trip tours to these locations are not to be missed when you are scuba diving Phuket, get in touch with us and book an 'awesome' day of diving.

Book Your Day Trip

Related News From Local Dive Thailand

See why we are Thailand's leading scuba diving Phuket tour provider, stay up to date & watch out for news & special liveaboard offers!

a hawksbill turtle in phuket Rare & Peculiar Critters

Sea Turtles In Phuket

Turtles are endearing creatures and we're lucky enough to find plenty around Phuket. Their slow movements, tolerance for divers and wisened features make them a firm favourite with divers all over the world. We mostly get hawksbill turtles around Phuket but we also get green, loggerhead, olive ridley and the biggest of all the seven species - the giant leatherback. Unfortunately all are endangered thanks to us... Plastic pollution, destructio [...]

Read Full Story
Black Tip Reef Shark at Palong Wall Phi Phi Islands dive tour Amazing Local Dives

Dive Site Spotlight: Palong Wall

Palong Wall is located on the west side of Koh Phi Phi Ley and is a popular day trip dive site from Phuket. The island offers an impressive sight with its massive limestone cliffs, and is also famous for its tropical paradise atmosphere portrayed in the movie The Beach. The dive site is a sloping reef dropping to a sandy sea bottom. You can find big and small things there - sea turtles, cuttlefishes, various species of fish, nudibranche [...]

Read Full Story
decorator crab with plastic News & Updates

Take A Moment To Think On Ocean Clean Ups

Ocean clean ups are undoubtedly important events for the both marine life and the local communities that share the resources. Toxic materials, plastics, fishing nets all need to be removed but we can get a little enthusiastic with items that are possibly home for marine life. So please slow down and take a moment to think. The important thing is that the reefs are clean and not the group photo of how many tonnes of rubbish you collec [...]

Read Full Story

Local Dive Thailand Office In Phuket


Find Us On Google Maps