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Olympus Stylus TG-870 Review

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PROS / This camera takes outstanding underwater photos.

CONS / Dry-land photos can turn out a bit grainy.

 VERDICT / This camera can endure the elements and takes great underwater photos.

The Olympus Stylus TG line is known for durable cameras that take great underwater pictures, and the TG-870 is no exception. This waterproof camera has a handful of features, a rugged exterior to endure the elements, and the ability to capture great-looking underwater photos. The Olympus Stylus TG-870 deservedly earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.

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  1. This is the maximum depth the camera can withstand underwater.
    More is Better.
  2. 3 Olympus Stylus
    50 Feet
  3. 100 Feet
  4. 50 Feet
  5. Category Average
    58.14 Feet

Durability

Upon holding the camera, it's easy to tell that it can survive a few dings. The body of the camera has some metal, and a hard, rough, plastic composite outlining on the front of the device. The texture of the plastic composite helps you keep a tight grip, which is helpful when your hands are wet.

The Olympus underwater digital camera is rated to go 50 feet under water. It can also withstand a drop from 7 feet, which is as good as it gets in our comparison. Olympus also claims that the TG-870 is dustproof, crushproof and freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

Image Quality

The camera takes outstanding underwater pictures. We tested each device by capturing photos of an underwater test scene located at the bottom of a pool. The TG-870 captured sharp and vibrant photos. The water was a nice light-blue with white highlights, which is an accurate representation. The test scene itself was in focus and sharp. The neon-green and pink flowers on the floral test scene were not only bright and vibrant, but accurate in color saturation. The porous rocks look definitive, even when zoomed in. The water does nothing to diminish image quality. The underwater image quality is top notch.

Our dry-land testing involved taking photos of a test scene in a controlled lighting environment. The TG-870 displayed some noticeable grain when we zoomed in on an area with multiple colors. Lines between the different colors look rough instead of smooth and crisp. Some of the colors look like they are bleeding into one another, although the rendering of the colors was accurate and vibrant.

The ISO on this waterproof digital camera is adjustable and ranges from 125-6400 to capture clear images in well-lit and dark environments. The shutter speed ranges from half a second to 1/2,000 of second – good for catching fast-moving subjects.

Features

This underwater camera has both built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. The OI Share mobile application opens up a variety of possibilities. You can use the application as a remote control for the camera to adjust camera settings as well as take pictures. It can also upload photos from the camera to the mobile device. GPS adds geo tags to your photos. This helps you recall where you were when the picture was snapped. This is a cool feature to map out where you've been on your trips.

You can expect this camera to have all of the standard features, including image stabilization, focus lock, panorama picture capabilities and video recording. The TG-870 takes full 1080p HD video that includes audio.

Design

This Olympus waterproof camera is powered by a Li-ion battery than can snap 300 pictures on a single charge. Since camera batteries range anywhere from 210-380 shots on a full charge, this one is on the higher end of longevity.

This is the only camera in our comparison that has a 3-inch display that can flip out and up, to face the same direction as the camera lens. This makes it easy to hold the camera in front of you to take an image because you can see the digital viewfinder.

The back of the camera has a record button for video, the scene selector, the playback button, the menu directional pad and the menu button. When you adjust the mode selector, the display explains what mode you have selected, taking the guesswork out of the little icons on the selector. The internal menu has a simple layout, one list that you can scroll through. This makes it simple to adjust the camera's parameters and navigate the menu.

The locking mechanism to seal the battery and memory card is easy to understand and use. The TG-870 uses a sliding mechanism to lock and unlock the door. Once it's in the unlocked position, you can pull down the tab to open the door. It is easy to verify when the door is locked so you don't accidently submerge the camera when the hatch isn’t properly sealed.

Help & Support

The TG-870 is covered by a one-year warranty. Olympus can be reached via phone and email, but there isn't a live chat option available. We recommend phone support for immediate attention.

Summary

The Olympus Stylus TG-870 takes great underwater pictures. This camera can handle drops, low temperatures, dirt and water pressure down to 50 feet. A few other cameras take better dry-land pictures than this camera, but if you're looking for adventure shots below water, this camera's as good as any in our comparison.

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