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- Olympus Tough TG-1
- Olympus brings a bright lens to the tough-cam pool, boosting all-around image quality.
Olympus Tough TG-1 Digital Camera Review$399.99
The Olympus TG-1 reproduces fairly accurate colors. We measured a minimum color error of 3.14 (under 3.5 is good, under 3.0 is very good), with 93.78% saturation (anything between 90 and 110% is acceptable). Reds and blues are close to their ideal hues, but yellows and greens are noticeably flat. More on how we test color.
So the scores are fine (if a bit below average), but the real-world implications are problematic. For a camera designed to survive in challenging outdoor conditions, it doesn't shoot them particularly well. Under-saturation is the main problem; outdoor scenes look better when colors are punchy. Colors naturally look flat underwater, so a good underwater camera should boost the saturation and compensate for the odd color temperatures.
The TG-1 comes up a bit short in all of those respects, and with almost no user control over the color profile (there's only the one default color mode, with no additional profiles or fine controls), it's stuck with slightly dull shades.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
In terms of straight-up accuracy, the TG-1 falls behind just about every other tough-cam, only slightly beating the Pentax WG-2. But the Pentax has a low score partially because it oversaturates, and that's a much better problem for an outdoor, underwater camera to have. Of course, color is the most subjective aspect of image quality. But even so, we think that the TG-1 is last in its class in this regard.
The TG-1 has just one default color mode, and offers basically no control over that mode.
Auto white balance leans warm under all types of lighting, meaning that there's usually a very slight yellow cast on photos. Incandescent light, as always, is the most challenging setting for AWB, but the TG-1 balances it better than many compact cameras.
Custom white balance leans cool, but in general, it's close enough to the true color temperature that you won't notice any slightly blue color casts.
White Balance Options
White balance presets include Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, and Underwater lighting, as well as two custom white balance settings.