Olympus TG-Tracker Review

September 5, 2016 | Gavin Stoker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Olympus TG-Tracker is a 7.2-megapixel compact camera that is shockproof to a height of 2.1 metres, crushproof to a weight of 100kg, dustproof, freezeproof down to -10°C and waterproof down to a depth of 30 metres. The TG-Tracker features a 14mm f/2 ultra-wide-angle lens, 4K video recording, a detachable grip, 5-axis image stabilisation and a 1.5" flip-out LCD monitor. As the name suggests, the Olympus TG-Tracker can sense acceleration, altitude or depth and temperature as well as direction of movement, all in addition to latitude and longitude. Available in green or black, the Olympus TG-Tracker costs £279.99/ $349.99 / €349.00.

Ease of Use

Looking for a toughened camera and action camera combined – one that needs no additional outer casing for use in the dirt or the wet? Olympus has a long history of reinforced ‘Tough’ branded models stretching back a decade, of which the stills and video shooting TG-Tracker is the latest iteration; or, perhaps more accurately, evolution. In publicity pictures its industrial design makes it appear angular and chunky – so it is something of a shock to unbox the camera and discover that it’s no bigger than a regular pocket matchbox.

Olympus TG-Tracker
Front of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Its ultra compactness – it measures just 56.5x35x93.2mm – means that this Olympus immediately sits very comfortably in the palm, or anywhere else for that matter. The other obvious lure is the promise of 4K-video capture at 30fps for the first time in the series (along with Full HD or HD footage), with a new TruePic VIII processor on board to crunch through all that inevitable extra data. GoPro has long been the leader when it comes to action cameras however – so can this Olympus attempt to knock it from its perch and challenge the status quo?

This time around the Tough series camera’s credentials are that it is shock-proofed to withstand a drop from a height of 2.1 metres, crushproof, in that it is theoretically able to survive a weight of 100kg placed upon it, dustproof (and as we discovered sandproof, to the extent of being able to withstand at a day at the beach and be washed clean of grains afterwards), freeze-proof down to -10°C, plus waterproof to depths of 30 metres. So, unlike certain action cameras from competitors, including most GoPro’s, you don’t need to concern yourself with investing in a protective outer case in addition to the camera itself. At its heart is a small 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor boasting 7.2 megapixels.

Olympus TG-Tracker
Side of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Living up to its ‘Tracker’ name, if using the free Olympus Image Track Ver 2.0 ‘app’, users can review outdoor adventures with info including altitude or depth, air or water temperature, geo-location and direction, plus speed of movement, via convincing-looking on-screen illustrations. With five-axis image stabilisation on-board to prevent blurred stills or video when not only camera but also camera operator is in motion – so matching its manufacturer’s OM-D models in that respect - the camera even logs changes in G-force.

Such gimmicks aside, this Olympus also seeks to fulfill creative needs and multi angle shooting requirements too. It comes with a detachable grip (provided in the box, along with wrist strap, mains plug and USB cable – the latter the means by which the camera’s battery is internally re-charged), wide angle lens offering 204° point of view – so we had to be vary careful to avoid fingers straying into shot – and flip out LCD monitor. This screen is tiny by current standards at just 1.5-inches in size, and cannot be rotated, which means we found it tricky to accurately compose and review in bright sun light. The resolution isn’t marvelous either, at just 115,200 dots. Of course, the alternative of a larger screen or eye level viewfinder would have added to the bulk – but we’d have liked one nonetheless.

Olympus TG-Tracker
Tilting LCD Screen

Unsurprisingly, given its diminutive dimensions, the only removable media option here is microSD card, just like on our smartphone… while a bright, shiny, lime green livery (an alternative black bodied TG-Tracker is also available) ensures that the camera stands out, despite its small size, meaning you’re unlikely to misplace it. It weighs 180g, which whilst light enough for us to be able carry in the pocket of our beach shorts, still feels reassuringly sturdy in terms of build when gripped in the hand, or dropped into the swimming pool.

With deceptively basic controls and operational levers large enough to be operated with wet hands or wearing gloves, the layout of the TG-Tracker is somewhat akin to a point-and-shoot stills compact meets a camcorder. Quick to power up via a flick of the simple ‘on/off’ lever at the side, the tiny LCD screen by current standards is located on the opposite flank of the body, where it can be swung out at a right angle, whilst the goldfish bowl-type lens sits at the narrow end of the body, cine camera style, a headlamp offering 60 lumens of brightness sits above it. The opposite (back) end of the TG-Tracker is the location for the connectivity ports and lithium ion rechargeable battery, including media card slot. This sensitive area is protected against grit or water ingress by a chunky door, open or shut via ridged latch – ridged, presumably, so that it can be slid open or shut whilst wearing gloves or with wet fingers.

Olympus TG-Tracker
The Olympus TG-Tracker In-hand

As one would expect with a toughened camera, operation is of the point and shoot variety so owners can concentrate on the thrills and spills at hand. There is no zoom option or unnecessary plethora of creative effects built-in here – what we see or can readily access is pretty much what we get. This is a device constructed to serve its niche purpose – shooting in conditions that would cause other cameras to give up the ghost. So while it’s most definitely not a replacement for your CSC or DSLR, it will allow you to get pictures where a CSC or DSLR wouldn't without some form of additional protective casing. Here the Olympus wears its own endoskeleton.

That said a smattering of camera accessories is included in the box with the TG-Tracker – including detachable handgrip with screw thread, joint screw and mount coupling. A USB lead and mains plug is further provided and the means by which the camera’s lithium ion battery is recharged within the device itself. This is good for 300 shots from a full charge, or 90 minutes duration, which, whilst no great shakes, is still comparable with the power performance of your average CSC. Squeeze the shutter release and you don’t see the camera adjusting focus before the shot is taken – but you do get an affirmative beep that it has happened, whilst there is a counter on display whilst the video is being recorded to likewise reassure it’s still working after multiple drops and soaks.

Olympus TG-Tracker
Top of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Also included with our review sample of the camera were a couple of lens protectors – one was already affixed to the camera when we got it – whilst the other is provided for the purpose of using the unit underwater.

If there was one thing we found a bit of a faff regarding operation of the TG-Tracker it was that there is no dedicated ‘play’ button for immediately reviewing shots and videos. Instead you have to tab through the ‘mode’ screen and select that particular option. We also kept forgetting whether we need to press ‘mode’ or immediately adjacent ‘menu’ button to find what we wanted – for example the set-up menu falls under the mode options, where we find the more expected photo, stills, time lapse and playback selections.

But what of the pictures and video it captures. Are they up to scratch or only worthy of deletion?

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 7.2 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 2Mb.

The 7.2 megapixel images delivered by the TG-Tracker’s combination of bright/fast f/2 lens and CMOS sensor, each some 2MB in file size, very much resemble stills grabbed from video – presented as they are in widescreen ratio format, complete with an overall softness that means they are no match for a dedicated stills camera… if still photos are predominantly what’s required by the user. If we’re being picky we’d also suggest that shots are distinctly lacking contrast straight out of the camera and benefit from a spot of subtle image editing to lend them a more sharply defined look and bring out their best.

Since the lens can deliver a 204° field of view it is all easy to absent mindedly let fingertips stray into shot when in use if you’re not careful, as well as drag people on the periphery of your intended framing into view. Arguably though, this fisheye view of the world is part of the camera’s unique appeal – cramming as much into shot as possible and to hell with precise composition – which particularly gratifying if you’re riding the waves or pulling stunts on your BMX and want to capture as much as you can of the process.

If it’s predominantly video you’re buying the TG-Tracker for, this to our minds proves more successful than utilising it as a stills camera.

Video works better in terms of keepsake image quality – thanks in part to that fast aperture fixed lens – and the integral stereo microphones located just behind the lens delivers commendably bright sounding audio, even if sound does dip out if dunking the camera underwater, whilst wind noise and camera rattle is also picked up when out and about in the great outdoors. All of these things we can live with however, because the Olympus TG-Tracker isn’t a replacement for our DSLR or CSC and we’re quite clear on that fact.

Focal Range

The Olympus TG-Tracker has a fixed lens which offers an effective focal length of 14mm, for a 204° field of view.



Chromatic Aberrations

We managed to identify some chromatic aberration at the far edges of the frame. However, because of the wide-angle view of the lens, this tends to be quite distorted and blurred, so not very easy to see. You may therefore decide that it's not harsh enough to consider a problem.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The Olympus TG-Tracker can focus as close as 20cm from the subject.




The Olympus TG-Tracker's slowest shutter speed is 1/2 second, which isn't great for night photography.



Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Olympus TG-Tracker camera, which were all taken using the 7.2 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movies & Video

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 48 second movie is 445b in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 34 second movie is 122Mb in size.

Product Images

Olympus TG-Tracker

Front of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Rear of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Side of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Side of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Top of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Bottom of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Side of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Side of the Olympus TG-Tracker / Tilting LCD Screen

Olympus TG-Tracker

Tilting LCD Screen


Olympus TG-Tracker

Tilting LCD Screen

Olympus TG-Tracker

Tilting LCD Screen

Olympus TG-Tracker

Side of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Side of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Top of the Olympus TG-Tracker

Olympus TG-Tracker

Tilting LCD Screen

Olympus TG-Tracker

Battery Compartment

Olympus TG-Tracker

Battery Compartment

Olympus TG-Tracker

Battery Compartment

Olympus TG-Tracker

Memory Card Slot


Offering ruggedness and resilience a-plenty – but not bulk – the 8 megapixel stills shooting Olympus TG-Tracker offers convenience and portability. Ironically, because it is so small, a UK price tag of just under £300 may at first appear a little steep, in terms of return for investment; but then again this is something of a marvel of miniature engineering that can square up to alternatives from the likes of GoPro and Tom Tom in the action camera market sector. Whilst we don’t feel that it is quite a GoPro killer just yet, it certainly feels more refined in terms of styling and handling to us, and of course Olympus has had many, many years of practice at this.

If there is one thing that this camera has got going for it, for anyone seeking a jack-of-all-trades action camera, it’s the TG-Tracker’s size – or rather lack of it. It just as ably sits in the pocket of your beach shorts as the palm of your hand. Ultimately it’s probably best viewed as something to have fun with, rather than as a replacement for any non-protected cine or stills camera. The images are best viewed as keepsakes you wouldn’t have otherwise have got, rather than as potentially something to print out and hang on the wall. Buy with that in mind and you and the family will have fun, and won’t be disappointed.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 3.5

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Olympus TG-Tracker.

Canon PowerShot D30

The Canon PowerShot D30 is an action compact camera that's waterproof to an impressive 25m, as well as being dust, freeze and shock proof. The Canon D30 also offers12 megapixels, a 5x zoom, 1080p HD video, built-in GPS and a 3-inch screen. Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot D30 review now...

Fujifilm FinePix XP90

The Fujifilm FinePix XP90 is a tough water, freeze, shock and dust proof compact camera. The XP90 offers a 16.4 million pixel 1/2.3 inch BSI-CMOS sensor, built-in wi-fi, 10fps burst shooting, 1080i HD movies, a 5x zoom lens and a 3 inch LCD screen. Read our Fujifilm FinePix XP90 review now...

Leica X-U

The Leica X-U (Typ 113) is a new waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof compact camera, offering a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, 1080p HD video recording, fast f/1.7 35mm lens, 5fps burst shooting and a 3-inch screen. Read our in-depth Leica X-U (Typ 113) review now...

Nikon Coolpix AW130

The Coolpix AW130 is Nikon's latest all-action compact camera. The 16 megapixel Nikon AW130 features a 5x zoom lens, 3 inch OLED 921K-dot screen, built-in GPS. NFC and wi-fi, 8fps burst shooting and can record full 1080p video. Read our Nikon Coolpix AW130 review to find out if it's the right tough camera for you...

Olympus TG-860

The Olympus TG-860 is a water, freeze, shock and dust proof compact camera with built-in wi-fi connectivity and GPS tracking. The 16 megapixel TG-860 also offers a 180-degree tilting LCD screen, 1080/60p HD movies, a 5x zoom lens starting at 21mm, and time-lapse interval shooting. Read our Olympus TG-860 review to find out what this tough camera is capable of...

Olympus Tough TG-3

The Olympus Tough TG-3 is a new water, freeze, shock and dust proof compact camera for 2014. Boasting a fast f2.0 aperture high-speed lens, the 16 megapixel TG-3 also offers built-in wi-fi and GPS connectivity, 1080p HD movies, a 4x zoom lens and a 3 inch OLED screen. Read our Olympus Tough TG-3 review to find out what this all-action camera is capable of...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 is a new freeze, shock, water and dust proof camera. The well-appointed Panasonic FT5 also features built-in GPS, wi-fi and NFC functionality, a compass, altimeter and barometer, 4.6x zoom, 1920x1080 full-HD movie recording and a 16 megapixel sensor. Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 review to find out if this is the best do-it-all camera for your family....

Ricoh WG-5 GPS

The Ricoh WG-5 GPS is a new shock, freeze, dust, water and crush proof compact camera. The Ricoh WG-5 GPS offers a 16 megapixel Backside Illumination CMOS sensor, a 4x zoom lens with f/2 aperture, Full HD movie recording and built-in LED macro lights. Available for £259.99 / $379.95, read our in-depth Ricoh WG-5 GPS review now...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Olympus TG-Tracker from around the web.

cameralabs.com »

The Tough TG-Tracker is the latest rugged waterproof action camera from Olympus. The Tough brand has proved very successful for Olympus and a decade on from the release of its first Tough model it enjoys a fairly dominant position in the market for compacts that can survive the rigours of extreme environments.
Read the full review »

techradar.com »

The TG-Tracker's stylish and rugged design helps it stand out from the boxy action cam crowd, and it's got specs and features to go with those looks, making it a serious challenger to GoPro and other established names.
Read the full review »


Image Sensor

  • Effective pixels

    7.2 Megapixels

  • Filter array

    Primary colour filter (RGB)

  • Type

    1/2.3'' CMOS


  • Focal length


  • Focal length (equiv. 35mm)


  • Angle of view


  • Structure

    7 lenses / 7 groups

  • Aspherical glass elements


  • Maximum aperture



  • Monitor type


  • Monitor size

    3.8cm / 1.5'' (4:3)

  • Resolution

    115200 dots

  • Brightness adjustment

    +/- 2 levels

  • Frame assistance


  • Protection panel


Focusing System

  • Modes

    Fixed focus

  • Standard mode

    0.2m - ∞ (wide)

Light Metering

  • Modes

    ESP light metering

Exposure System

  • Modes


  • Shutter speed

    1/2 - 1/24000s

  • Exposure compensation

    +/- 2 EV / 1/3 steps


  • Auto


White Balance

  • AUTO WB system


  • Preset values

    • Overcast
    • Sunlight
    • Underwater

Sequence Shooting

  • Interval shooting

    Interval: 0.5s - 1min

Image Processing

  • Engine

    TruePic VII (4K)

  • Shading compensation


View Images

  • Modes

    • Single
    • Index
  • Index

    3 x 2 frames

View Movie

  • Modes

    • Frame by frame
    • Fast forward
    • Reverse playback

Still Image Recording

  • DCF


  • EXIF


  • PIM


Movie Recording System

  • Recording format

    MOV (H.264)

  • Image Stabilisation Mode

    Digital 5-axis

  • HD Movie quality

    4K 30p

  • 1080 60p/30p

  • 720 60p/30p

  • Movie quality

    480 60p/30p

  • Note: maximum recording time 29min or up to 4GB.

  • When shooting 1080P/720P movies, use SDHC / SDXC class 6 or higher.

  • UHS-I card is recommended for shooting 4K movies.

Movie Specialties

  • High-Speed Recording

    720P / 480P / 240fps

  • 720P / 480P / 120fps

  • Time lapse


Sound Recording System

  • Voice Playback


  • Sound recording

    Yes; PCM

  • Internal microphone


  • Speaker



  • Removable Media

    microSD / microSDHC / microSDXC (UHS-I class supported)

  • Capacity


Image Size

  • 8M

    3840 x 2160

  • 2M

    1920 x 1080

  • 1M

    1280 x 720

  • 04M

    854 x 480

  • Aspect ratio



  • Menu languages in camera


Tough Features

  • Shock resistant

    Shockproof from heights of up to 2.1m *

  • Waterproof

    Waterproof up to a water pressure equivalent to 30m depth **

  • Freezeproof

    Freezeproof down to -10°C ***

  • Crushproof

    Crushproof up to 100kg ****

  • Dustproof


  • * Equivalent to MIL Standard (Olympus test conditions)

  • ** According to IEC standard publication 529 IPX8

  • *** According to Olympus test conditions

  • **** According to IEC standard publication 529 IPX6

Other Features

  • GPS


  • Electronic compass


  • Accelerometer


  • Thermometer


  • Manometer


  • Underwater Detector


  • Level Gauge


  • Self timer

    Delay: 2 / 12s

  • LED Illuminator

    Yes; (Max. 60-lumen headlight (20 Lumen=30min / 60 Lumen=1min))

Power Supply

  • Battery

    LI-92B Lithium-Ion Battery

  • Internal Charging



  • HDMI™

    Yes; Micro connector (Type D) *

  • USB 2.0 High Speed


  • Wireless connectivity


  • * "HDMI", the HDMI logo and "High-Definition Multimedia Interface" are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC.


  • Dimensions (W x H x D)

    35.0 x 56.5 x 93.2mm

  • Weight

    180g (including battery and memory card)


  • Material



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