The release date is just around the corner, so it is time to discuss what new underwater features make the Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling and diving one of today’s best waterproof cameras. Although there aren’t major changes comparing the predecessor TG-5, but some minor updates strengthen Olympus’s winner position among the rugged point-and-shoot compacts.
Table of Contents
- Why do we recommend Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling?
- Olympus TG-6 underwater modes
- Underwater white balance modes
- Olympus TG-6 specification
- Olympus TG-6 vs TG-5 comparison
- Olympus TG-6 underwater accessories
Why do we recommend Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling?
The Olympus TG cameras have been always popular by outdoor adventurers thanks to their all-weather usability, but with the last few models (TG-4 and TG-5 ) the company put the focus on users who look for a compact camera for underwater use. On the top of the ordinary tough capabilities -waterproof, shockproof, freeze-proof, dust-proof and crush-proof features- several refinements and underwater photography related changes ensure that the latest, 2019 model will be your ‘must-have’ camera in all-weather conditions.
The whole TG series is famous for the superb underwater image quality, especially when shooting macro and this is valid for the new model too. But with an even more user-friendly menu, handy control buttons and easily accessible underwater modes, the Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling and diving becomes the top-pick of the year.
The Olympus TG-6 US release date is 28 June 2019. In Europe, it will be available from early July 2019.
- upgraded all-weather point-and-shoot camera with 12MP photo and 4K video quality
- advenced waterproof, dustproof, freezeproof, crushproof, shockproof, anti-fog features
- 5 UW shooting modes, 3 UW white balance modes
- recommended for hobbyist and professional underwater photographers
Olympus TG-6 features for underwater photography
Whether you are a hobbyist or professional underwater photographer, let us quickly guide you through some features and functions that will help you to capture the best ocean images if you decide to buy an Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling or for your diving adventures:
- waterproof up to 15m/50ft without additional housing
- underwater housing (PT-59 case) available to buy
- anti-fog design: double layer protective glass construction to prevent lens fogging
- 5 underwater shooting modes
- underwater microscope mode
- new selectable underwater white balance modes
- whole range of accessories available
Olympus TG-6 underwater modes
The Tough TG-6 features 5 underwater modes: Snapshot, wide, macro, microscope and HDR.
With this brief explanation, it is easy and clear to decide which one you should use:
Snapshot: for clear images in shallow water using natural light only, with light compensation of red color loss. The best mode when using the Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling
Wide: a general underwater mode that can be used up to medium depths while freediving, diving or when duck diving when snorkeling.
Macro: for shooting sea creatures such as small fish, nudibranch, critters or invertebrates, choose the macro mode that activates the onboard flash too!
Microscope: the microscope mode with the closest focusing distance of 1 cm / 0.39 inch will help you to capture sharp, detailed close-up images of even the tiniest subjects at up to 7x magnification.
HDR: you can enjoy the HDR mode advantages the best when taking photos of creatures that are in shadow but the background (sea surface) is bright. This mode takes several shots with different settings than blends them in one picture.
Underwater white balance modes
While the previous TG-5 had only one underwater white balance option, the TG-6 offers 3 preset modes for underwater shooting: shallow, medium and deep.
- Shallow: for swimming/snorkeling in shallow water (3 m /10 ft). This mode offers light color correction.
- Medium: general underwater white balance setup to restore the natural colors on your images and videos. Use it between 3-15 m / 10-50 ft.
- Deep: improves blue tones when diving deeper than 15 m / 50 ft. Select this white balance mode when using the TG-6 camera with the PT-059 dive housing.
Olympus TG-6 specification
- 12 MP Backlit CMOS sensor
- 4K/30 fps, 4k time-lapse, high-speed 1920×1080 120fps FHD videos
- TruePic VIII image processor
- 4.5mm-18 mm focal length f/2.0-4.9 lens (equivalent to 25-100 mm)
- ISO 100-12800
- 1/2000 sec – 4 sec shutter speed
- 4x optical, 2x digital zoom
- close-up range of 1 cm
- RAW image shooting capability
- focus stacking
- focus bracketing
- Pro-capture mode: 10 frames per second shooting starting 0.5 seconds before shutter button is fully pressed
- Field Sensor system including GPS, manometer, compass and temperature sensor
- WiFi functions
- built-in flash
- waterproof down to 15 m / 50 ft
- freezeproof up to -4C / 14 F
- shockproof to 2.1 m / 7ft
- dustproof, IPX6 rating
- crushproof to 100kgf / 220 lbf
- lightweight yet sturdy design, weight approx. 250g
- Lithium-ion battery (fully charges in less than 2 hours)
Olympus TG-6 vs TG-5 comparison
The Olympus Tough TG-5 arrived with some major improvements that made the model one of the best waterproof compact camera of 2018. The TG-6 kept all the winning features of its predecessor, but got some updates in order to continue the success story.
TG-6 improvements comparing to TG-5:
- updated underwater modes
- more UW white balance pre-sets
- videos and microscope modes are available in aperture priority and program, no need to move the ring dial
- super macro autofocus 4K videos
- TruePicTM image processor
- anti-reflective sensor coating to reduce flare
- 1.04 million dots LCD screen instead of 460K dots
To decide if you need the Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling or the previous Tough TG-5 will also meet your needs, have a look at this comparison table that highlights the models’ main differences:
Olympus TG-6 underwater accessories
To use your Olympus TG-6 for snorkeling, you don’t need anything additional, but to protect your camera from dirt and scratches, or take it diving requires some extra accessories. The Olympus is proud to offer a whole range of accessories to support you on your underwater adventures!
PT-59 Underwater housing
To use your camera deeper than 15 m / 50 ft, you need to get an extra housing. In the original PT-59 Olympus case, your camera will be safe up to 45 m / 147 ft deep. With the original case you will enjoy access to all camera control buttons. Moreover, 2 external flash units can be attached to the housing.
- original underwater housing for the Tough TG-6
- can be used for diving up to 45 m / 147 ft
- compatible with macro and wide conversion lenses
- external flash can be attached
Fisheye lens converter
Take your underwater photography to an even higher level, expand your equipment with circular and diagonal fisheye capability. Get the FCON-T02 fisheye converter (waterproof up to 20 m / 65 ft) and enjoy taking images in a new style. The kit includes the necessary CLA-T01 adapter too.
- more possibilities to capture ocean scenes
- waterproof up to 20 m / 65 ft
- anti-fog features (interior of the lens is filled with nitrogen)
The LB-T01 lens barrier comes handy in on rocky shores or sandy beaches when the lens needs to be protected from dirt and scratches. It can be easily opened or closed even if wearing gloves by simply rotating the lens barrier.
- protection against scratches and dirt
- opening and closing by rotating
- one hand operation
TG-6 silicone case
Use this extra silicone protective case during water sports, climbing or any other activity when the camera body can be scratched. Also it provides the user with better grip when the device gets wet. The CSCH-127 silicone jacket was designed to fit perfectly the new Tough TG-6 series and you can attach the light guide lg-1 or the FD-1 waterproof flash diffuser even with the silicone case on.
- better grip and control in wet conditions
- protects the camera from scratches
- all function buttons available when the case is on
Waterproof flash diffuser
FD-1 is a useful accessory when shooting underwater macro photos that is not only illuminating your subject but also allows to use lower ISO as well as faster shutter speeds in order to achieve the best possible results.
- the flash diffuser improves light distribution
- can be used underwater too
- 2 to 30 cm illumination distance
"Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you."