Olympus TOUGH TG-6 Handling & Feel

Review Date: July 16, 2019

Category: Entry-Level

Olympus TOUGH TG-6 (Red)

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2019 - Compact Rugged
Photoxels Editor’s Choice 2019 – Compact Rugged


Rugged means the Olympus TOUGH TG-6 can take a beating and still keeps working. A floating construction protects the inside of the camera so that it can survive knocks and drops from a height of 2.1 m / 7 ft. A reinforced body means the TG-6 is able to withstand 100 kg / 220 lbs of crushing force. A system of seals and double lock construction allows you to safely shoot in the dust (IP6X), rain, fog, water and salt spray, and underwater down to a depth of 15 m / 49.2 ft. It won’t freeze up at temperatures as low as -10°C / 14°F. It’s a camera for both ordinary and extreme conditions so that you can feel reassured that you can take it shooting into any environment.

Compared to previous models, the TG-6 sports a more rugged body look. The specs remain basically the same, except for a higher 1040k-dot resolution LCD display. There is no EVF (electronic viewfinder), so on bright sunny days, the LCD display will sometimes appear washed out.

On the front of the camera, there is the Lens ring release button that allows you to remove the Lens Ring and attach other lens converters, LED light, Flash diffuser, Lens barrier and protective filters. Besides the flash is the AF Illuminator (which also doubles as the self-timer lamp and the LED Illuminator). A speaker is located on the side of the camera.

The Battery/card compartment cover (underneath) and the Connector cover (on the side) each has a LOCK knob in addition to its cover lock. To ensure that water does not seep into those compartments, you must be careful to push them tight, engage the cover lock and then engage the lock knob. Ensure also that the memory card is inserted fully or you might sometimes get an error display.

Olympus TOUGH TG-6 (black)

On top of the camera, from right to left, there is the Control dial, Shutter button, Zoom lever around it, ON/Off button with an Indicator lamp. The GPS antenna is located in the middle. On the other side are the LOG switch (that will record the GPS and other sensor data) and the two Stereo microphone holes.

Olympus TOUGH TG-6 (black)

On the back of the camera, there is the large 3.0″ 1040k-dots LCD display (no touchscreen), the Movie/Select button, Mode dial, INFO button, Playback button, Arrow Pad and MENU/Wi-Fi button.

On the Arrow Pad, UP = Exposure Compensation, RIGHT = Flash button, DOWN = Sequential shooting/Self-timer/Erase button, LEFT = Mode button. In the middle is the OK/Live Control button.

Other Accessories You May Want To Consider

  • Lens Barrier LB-T01 keeps dirt and dust off the lens surface to prevent scratching. Easily opens and closes with a quick turn — even with gloves on. US $49.99
  • PT-059 Underwater Housing is a polycarbonate housing that protects the TG-6 down to depths of 45m (147 feet) while providing complete control of all camera functions when the camera is inside the case. US $299.99
  • Circular Fisheye Converter FCON-T02 & Adapter CLA-T01 Tough Pack Kit. The Circular Fisheye Converter is waterproof up to 20m (65 feet) and expands photographic expression with circular fisheye and diagonal fisheye capability. Lens is nitrogen gas sealed to prevent fog due to temperature differences and is dustproof. Diagonal fisheye is obtained by zooming the camera. CLA-T01 Adapter is included in this kit.US $224.99
  • Silicone Jacket CSCH-127. The Light Guide LG-1 and Flash Diffuser FD-1 (sold separately) can be attached while the jacket is on the camera. US $34.99

I found the TG-6 compact enough to carry in a large trouser pocket and carried it in my pocket all day without discomfort, taking it out for a shot whenever needed. I also found the wide strap quite comfortable, though the addition of an adjustable and locking mechanism would guarantee a safer fit around the wrist.

In operation, I found the TG-6 to be simple and straightforward to use once I got used to its control buttons and menu system. It really pays to spend some time reading the Instruction Manual (downloadable) and setting it up the way you like to shoot before heading out. The TG-6 handles well and there was no head-butting frustrating moment trying to find the feature I wanted. I used it almost exclusively in P shooting mode, with the occasional negative exposure compensation dialed in when shooting very bright scenes. It’s a beautiful camera and, though my review model came in red, I believe I would have preferred the black color for more discreet shooting.

Next: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 User’s Experience

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