Thursday, January 22, 2015

Macro with Olympus STYLUS TG-3 Tough

Once upon a time, a noob known as Jackie Loi excitedly asked for macro shoot with his friends. The purpose of the shooting was to try out how well Olympus STYLUS TG-3 Tough performed in terms of macro. It is no surprise the high TG series is well known as rugged, tough, weathers sealed and also awesome macro shoot. If you seen my review on Olympus TG-2 previously, you shall easily guess that the TG-3 is much improved and much awesome camera.

For this shooting, I was loaned an unit of light guide to mount on the Olympus TG-3. Well don't be surprise to know that the flash guide actually doesn't have any electronic component. It just to guide and disperse the LED flash on the camera. Well, it does act like a ring flash.


Here are the advantages using the ring flash. See the 20 cent coin? That's shoot with pretty close up macro. What if I want it to be closer? Surely the shadow of my hand and the camera will drop on the object and no light going in right?


With the flash guide, tadaaaaa.. I literally put the whole camera lens covered the coin then zoom in to achieve the shot. Awesome lah!


Ok before I go on, here are the key specification of Olympus STYLUS TG-3 Tough

  • 16 megapixels
  • 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) BSI-CMOS sensor
  • TruePic VII image processor
  • ISO 100-6400
  • F2.0-4.9, 25-100mm lens (4X)
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • waterproof to 15m, shockproof to 2.1m, crushproof to 100kgf, freezeproof to -10C
  • 3.0 inch OLED display with 460,000 dot resolution
  • Built-in GPS with landmark tagging, compass, manometer, and logging
  • Built in Wi-Fi
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 1080/30p movie mode with stereo sound
  • Support for fish-eye and telephoto conversion lenses

Honestly beside the megapixel and newer image processor, the spec has not much different compare with TG-2. Anyway, 25-100mm lens are pretty versatile, plus the f2 on wide open which take advantages on low light. Here is photo of us taken with Olympus TG-3.


Alright, using Olympus TG-3 on shooting macro is impressive, most of us know. It has no problem in picking up subject as large as a butterfly or even flower. The auto focus is quick and realiable.






Of course, challenge started when I wanna shoot smaller subject like spiders. I have trouble stabilizing the camera (well, tripod are not allowed in butterfly park KL), the auto focus is not picking up the spot I need and only center AF available (PIFF!!). I have to tried and reshoot alot time to get satisfactory result. In the same time, the lacked on manual control when shooting in microscope (macro!) mode is abit pain in ass. How I wish I could at least set the aperture, or vise versa in aperture mode I can go close up without going to microscope mode.








What I wish the camera can be improved?

  • Larger Sensor!! Well 1/1.7" is more than enough. Seriously I wish it to happen eventhough it might enlarge the camera size. But if Sony can cramp 1" sensor into RX series, I can't see why Olympus can't do so.
  • 5-Axis Stabilization!! Since the body might become big if I wish for larger sensor, might as well add 5-axis IS on it too. Oh god what Olympus has done to me. I can't live without awesome IS in body.
  • Manual Focus!! Not sure on you but personally I love to manual focus when doing macro. At least I get to pinpoint the focus I want. The auto focus in TG3 is not so reliable when shooting object as small as spider. Unless, I do a AF lock and then reposition my hand.

Nevertheless, I am happy with the camera. I dare to say there is no other compact camera can perform macro as good as Olympus TG-3!

All photos are SOC from TG3. Let me know what do you think about this camera ;)