Olympus Tough TG-3: Sharpness and ISO

olympus tough tg 3

Olympus Tough TG3 ISO noise

  • As the Olympus Tough TG-3 is a jpeg only camera, we’re taking a look at both ISO noise and noise reduction.
  • These images where shot in the Jpeg Fine settings for optimal quality.
  • ISO noise is well under control up to ISO 800 (and the TG-3 will switch to this number fairly quickly when submerged due to the inherent loss of light in these conditions as explained here).
  • ISO 1600 is still quite useable, but beyond that, ISO noise really starts affecting edges and sharpness.

Olympus Tough TG3 sharpness

  1. As I’m reviewing this camera mainly as an underwater camera, and it switches to at least ISO 800 in those conditions, I decided to test sharpness at this ISO level.
  2. It might not be the ideal way to test overall sharpness, but it will give you an idea of how it will perform underwater.

olympus tough tg 3

Sharpness at 25 mm

The fast F2 lens seems to perform well in the center throughout the aperture range at 25 mm, peaking at F/2.8. Corners seem best at that number too, although I’d never call them really sharp.

Sharpness at 100 mm

At the far end of the zoom range,  the Olympus Tough TG-3 center is sharpest at F/4.9, but performs ok at F/6.3. Same story here in the corners, always very soft.

Underwater autofocus

olympus tough, TG-3

Auto-focussing underwater underwater is a difficult task for any camera. As the water absorbs light, contrast and colour deteriorate. A faster F/2 lens should help, but in my underwater tests, 80% of my picture where out of focus. It was especially difficult to focus with any movement going on. I did not test them side by side, but as I remember it, the Fuji XP200 did a better job here.  The Olympus Tough TG-3 is superior when it come to auto white balance and colour rendition though, and when you have an in focus underwater  shot, they do look very nice.

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