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Olympus adds an action camera to its Tough series

Create: 05/24/2016 - 18:30
Olympus Tough TG-Tracker

HIGHLIGHTS

  • LED light above the lens can be used as movie light or a flashlight
  • Records Ultra HD 4K video at 1080 60p/30p
  • Fast f/2.0 13.9mm (full-frame equivalent) image-stabilized lens

 

The so-called action camera market continues to get more crowded as traditional camera makers show up with their own products.

The latest is Olympus, which announced the Tough TG-Tracker, a small feature-laden video camera that is available in black or neon green. The action cam mimics the design of Olympus' Tough cameras.

The TG-Tracker adds a number of features that reflect its "Tough" branding:

  • Waterproof to 100 feet (30 meters)
  • Shockproof to 7 feet (2.1 meters)
  • Dustrproof and freezeproof to 14 degrees F (-10 degrees Celsius)
  • Crushproof to 220 pounds foot of force (100 kilograms of force)

On the technical side, this can record Ultra HD 4K video 1080 60p/30p. It uses an 8-MP 1/2.3-inch backside illuminated CMOS sensor. The aspect ratio is 4:3 and can be viewed on an articulating 1.5-inch LCD monitor that normally is stowed flat against the camera body.

No clip can be longer than 29 minutes or 4 GB. A new clip starts automatically after that limit has been reached. The TG-Tracker has electronic five-axis image stabilization.

As is common with most action cams, this carries a fast non-zoom wide angle lens – f/2.0 1.58mm (13.9mm full-frame equivalent). The lens is made up of seven elements in seven groups. It can focus as close as 7.8 inches (0.2 meters).

Above the lens is a small LED lamp to throw light on your subject provided it is within 3 feet (1 meter). The lamp also doubles as a flashlight with a reach of 10 feet (3.5 meters). It can be used as a flashlight for 60 seconds at a time.

The camera also has on-board GPS, e.Compass, accelerometer, as well as sensors for barometric pressure, temperature and water. Olympus' Image Share (OI.Share) app, the TG-Tracker can connect wireless to a smartphone for image transfer, as well as allowing the smartphone to control the camera.

The camera uses Micro-SD memory cards up to 128GB. The battery can be charged without removing it from the camera and provides 95 minutes of video recording or 480 still photos. Still images are recorded as JPGs only with very few manual controls: white balance, image size and sequential shooting but no image stabilization. Remember, this is a video camera with limited ability to take still photos.

It's a small camera at 1.4 x 2.2 x 3.7 inches (35.0 x 56.5 x 93.2mm) and weighs 6.4 ounces (180 grams).

The camera is available for pre-order at US$349.99. In addition to the usual cables and straps, the package also includes two lens protectors (standard and underwater) and the Steady Grip.

Watch Olympus' promotional video for the Tough TG-Tracker.

 

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.