Olympus Stylus TG-Tracker
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Olympus Stylus TG-Tracker Review
The TG-Tracker is Olympus’s answer to the GoPro. It is their first ever action camera and we would expect it to have some negatives considering the fact that it is their first attempt at producing one. But the TG-Tracker has a few surprises up its sleeve and it will catch you off-guard for sure. It doesn’t follow the GoPro in terms of design and has the lens placed over at the front in a cuboidal shape. The camera is available in black and green and the green does look a bit flashy.
Which one do you prefer? The flashy green or the classy black?
There is also a prominent LED lamp which can be used for filming in the dark. Some people might like the green variant better, but I’m a fan of the black and red variant. The box comes with a whole lot of stuff like a microSD card, charger, charging cable, battery, a steady grip, lens protectors, mount coupling adapter, manuals and the camera itself. This in-depth review of the Olympus TG-Tracker will look into each and every aspect of the camera and how it fares against its competitors. Let’s dive right into it.
Design and Build Quality
The design is striking and the build quality is top notch. Olympus has not left any stone unturned for the TG-Tracker and they’ve gone ahead and placed 5 different sensors in it. Another added advantage is that it doesn’t need a waterproof casing and is waterproof up to 100ft/30m out of the box. It is a lot heavier than the GoPro Hero5 Black and this can cause slightly more vibrations, but there is stabilization provided to smoothen them.
All the buttons and ports are fully sealed and there is a hinged door that gives access to the battery and other ports. The TG-Tracker is not just waterproof. It is shockproof and can withstand drops from up to 7 feet. It is crushproof and can withstand up to 220lbf of force. It is freeze proof and can withstand subzero temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius. In addition to all this, it is also dustproof. The word ‘Tough’ is engraved on the camera and it is literally the toughest action camera that you can find.
There is a 1.5-inch 4:3 display on the TG-Tracker that can be tilted outwards to 90 degrees. This makes the action-cam look a lot like a camcorder. The overall design language of the TG-Tracker is rugged with visible screws on the sides. Due to the slight heaviness, it feels a lot more convincing in hand.
Hardware and Performance
The number of sensors on the Olympus TG-Tracker itself is a reason to buy it. It comes with an accelerometer, barometer, thermometer, compass and GPS. Only a few action cams at this price point offer these many sensors. The TG-Tracker also has the widest FOV, at 204 degrees, for any camera out there. While the increased FOV is appreciated, it can turn out to be a pain with some weird distorted footage.
The screen simply flips out on the TG-Tracker and doesn’t rotate.
Comparing this with the GoPro, it is just 170 degrees. While taking videos on the TG-Tracker, if you happen to show your hand within the FOV, you can see the level of distortion. Turning on image stabilization decreases the FOV to 161 degrees and this is highly recommended while shooting footage. Coming to the footage itself, the TG-Tracker can shoot 4K videos at 30 frames per second, 1080p videos at 60 and 30 frames per second and 720p and 480p videos at 240, 120, 60 and 30 frames per second. It is highly unlikely that anyone will use the 480p video resolution, but it is good that they’ve added it.
The surprising thing about the TG-Tracker is that the video quality is slightly better than its competitors like the Bandit and the Virb XE. The footage was much more detailed and the contrast was slightly on the higher side, which is a good thing. The camera also adjusts to change in exposure very well and both the exposure and color balance were adjusted simultaneously while shooting.
Even low light footage and stills were slightly better on the TG-Tracker thanks to its 5-axis image stabilization and 1/2.3” BSI CMOS sensor which captures more light. The TG-Tracker’s stabilization produced mixed results while testing and we found that the image stabilization on GoPro Hero5 Black was much better.
Low light stills and footage have ample amount of detail and sharpness
The TG-Tracker is extremely easy to use and the buttons placed above the camera have dedicated functions that you can get used to in a few minutes. There are two shooting modes, ‘On’ and ‘Log’. While shooting in ‘On’ mode, the TG-Tracker simply captures video while during the ‘Log’ mode it switches on the sensors and displays the sensor data. The companion app, dubbed as OI.Track is sort of a mixed bag. It is a simple app that doesn’t provide many functionalities and it does its job well. But it looks like Olympus rushed a bit with this app as it doesn’t have many key features like adding overlays and auto editing. It just allows users to view and share the recorded footage.
The Olympus TG-Tracker is one of the best action cameras that have been released in the recent times. The rugged design and toughness of the TG-Tracker is unmatched and it produces some of the best looking shots by any action cam. Another great advantage is that it comes with a large 1,350mAh battery which can last for about 90 minutes while shooting 4K videos. Do note that switching on the sensors will drain the battery faster. The wide angle lens can produce some distorted footage, but this can be reduced by decreasing the FOV. The only downside to the TG-Tracker is that it is a lot heavier than its competitors and also larger. The screen doesn’t rotate and this might need some time to get used to. But other than that, Olympus has made a solid entry into the action-cam market.
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- The Olympus Stylus TG-Tracker is manufactured by Olympus and was added in July 2016 in the Action Camera section
- This product has a rating of 4.5 out of 5
- The best price of the Olympus Stylus TG-Tracker in Australia is $309.35 at Digidirect
- In Australia this product is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
- You can find this product at Digidirect, CameraPro, Georges, Camera Electronic