I’ve noted previously that there’s barely a camera that can’t take decent photographs or video and much the same applies even to mobile phones nowadays. So I was really keen to find out how the TG-5 performed, especially in the role for which I’d bought it and that was video in place of my earlier action cams. But I won’t ignore still photography, as this camera has some features that are quite surprising and, if they work well enough, potentially quite rewarding. I also wanted to get away from the typical action cam, fisheye lens, look and the modest wide to telephoto zoom of the TG-5 is perfect for what I want. So continuing on from Part 1, I want to produce video that is along the lines of traditional movies, not more examples of some extreme sports fanatic’s YOLO world view. The latter is one reason, amongst several, why I wasn’t interested in the Olympus TG-Tracker action cam.
In my quest to find an action cam that will suit the sort of video that I want to produce, I’ve gone through several camera iterations and have been disappointed every time. So once again I went in search of another action cam and this time took a completely different approach. This story is about the Olympus Tough TG-5, a versatile compact camera, and why I think it may well be the ideal camera for use as both an action cam, all round video camera (as well as a regular stills camera) and a great addition to any DSLR or mirrorless camera kit. I’ve come to the conclusion that with certain products you simply won’t be happy buying at the bottom end of the market and It’s not that cheap is always bad, but with things like action cams, cheap usually means bad. And then there are other things to consider.
One of the things that I’ve been trying to do lately on our Cruises is take a bit of video rather than just still photographs and, while I have fairly good video capabilities with my camera, it’s difficult to combine video and still photography at the same time. I’ve been using my dash cam while on the move and it’s proven to be a reasonably good video camera, providing quality results, even though YouTube doesn’t quite show that quality. However, the dash cam is poorly designed for general use, even though I did do some experimenting earlier on. The major issues are the lack of standard mounting points and protective housing. To that end, I finally decided that a cheap action cam was what I really needed so that I’d have a bit more versatility than what I could get with the dash cam.
I’m not that much into video, but it’s a thing that keeps nagging me and there are occasions when I’d like to take video of things that are happening when on a trip or the like. My camera takes quite reasonable video, but it’s often not quite what I’m after when it comes to the type of video that I want to record and the ease of use that I’m after. A GoPro is the style of video camera that usually fits the bill, but I simply don’t want to spend the money on a GoPro for the relatively limited use that it’s likely to get. So what’s one to do? Think laterally as always and, to that end, I found an ideal solution in the dash cams that I’d bought a while back for our two cars (I’ll even give a plug for the eBay seller because of two good deals I received).