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 which means you can’t get any off 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.

Broadclub Cuttlefish

Broadclub Cuttlefish

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 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.

Posted in Equipment We Like on .

Popular Services

Diving Photographer In Phuket

PADI Specialty Courses

Looking for a new challenge or want to get the most out of your diving holidays? Then take a PADI Specialty course with Local Dive Thailand and enhance your skills on your Phuket adventure. Don't be limited by your current qualification. Dive deeper, longer, improve your buoyancy and photography skills and boost your confidence with this range of PADI Specialty courses. [...]

Find Out More
Equipment Rental Local Dive Thailand

Renting Scuba Diving Equipment

Renting scuba diving equipment on one of our Phuket diving day trip tours couldn't be easier so if you're not travelling with your own equipment then we can help you out. If you have or are traveling with your own gear, that's great because if you bring it with you on the day on the tour, we will take care of it for you and bring it to the boat at no extra charge. Our equipment is all Aqualung therefore ensuring high quality. The rental eq [...]

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!

phuket diving tripadvisor certificate of excellence News & Updates

Phuket Diving TripAdvisor Certificate Of Excellence

It's the third consecutive year we've received the award, we've been running as company for 7 years. Before that we used to look after other companies dive guests, we still do but for the last three years we've been looking after more of our own guests. SO that's why we're beginning to show on the Phuket diving TripAdvisor section. Our experienced owners and staff have got it right from the beginning and below are some of the reasons why. [...]

Read Full Story
turtle at manta bay phuket Amazing Local Dives

Manta Bay – A Beautiful Phuket Dive Site

We started diving the beautiful Phuket dive site at manta bay a few years ago. Mainly when Banana Rock was too busy but the new coral growth and marine life has seen us return frequently. It's now a regular dive site for the second immersion on the Racha Noi/Yai scuba diving tour. There's plenty to see for all levels and conditions are generally very easy. Everyone! It's a very simple dive site. The shallow areas are perfect for PADI D [...]

Read Full Story
cuttlefish common sightings in phuket scuba diving Rare & Peculiar Critters

Cuttlefish – Cross Dressing Light Bending Camouflage Kings

Cuttlefish belong the to the mollusc family and look like something between an octopus and a squid. Unlike most molluscs, the cephalopod branch which includes cuttlefish, squid and octopus are fairly smart. Certainly compared to their simpleton slug cousins but as with all geeks there comes weirdness - lots of weirdness. Let's get the ball rolling with this cardiovascular indulgence. Cuttlefish have three hearts, one each for their two [...]

Read Full Story

Local Dive Thailand Office In Phuket


Find Us On Google Maps