Olympus TG-Tracker Review

September 5, 2016 | Gavin Stoker |
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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.

14mm

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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)

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Macro

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

Macro

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Night

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

Night

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