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on 11 August 2012
After a bad experience with my last camera (Fuji F550) I spent a lot of time researching rugged cameras before buying this one. Well, the research paid off because I'm certain I made the right choice. I'll try and summarise the important points:
- Look & feel. I was expecting the camera to be larger; in fact other than the word "Tough" on the front, you wouldn't think it was the rugged type. It feels solid but not too heavy, and I like my green model, can't say I liked the other colour choices. Maybe Olympus should consider adding yellow and a proper red to the range.
- Shooting speed is amazing. This one actually takes the picture when you press the button, and not after your subject has left the room :)
- Auto exposure is extremely good. This is important in point & shoot cameras because you want to be spending your time framing up the shot & not fiddling with options. Having said that, some of my shots were under-exposed due to strong backlighting.
- Auto focus and anti-shake works well. Most of my pictures are in focus.
- Rugged features are good. The camera was drop-tested by a butterfingered colleague; it bounced off the edge of a desk & hit the floor. I can't find any marks on it at all and it continues to work perfectly. I haven't tried it underwater but it survived being rained on, and it worked normally inside the Eden Project's rainforest when everyone else's camera had fogged up with condensation.
- Zoom is 5x, which is good considering the lens is housed entirely inside the body of the camera. Longer zooms are only possible with a much bulkier body or a protruding lens and neither of those would have been an acceptable option for this design.
- Screen is big & clear; like any camera it can be hard to see in bright sunlight.
- Controls are simple, my only complaint is the joystick control would have been better as a set of four buttons for up,down,left,right. As it stands, it's functional but I regularly select the wrong option and have to back up a step & try again.
- Shooting modes - I haven't experimented with many of these yet. Most of my shots were done with in intelligent auto mode, and a few with the macro mode. I also tried a few panoramas and the camera makes it idiot-proof. The auto stitching is quite good, though I haven't found a way to have it take any more than 3 photos per panorama.
- Picture quality is better than I expected. When I compare the photos with results from an SLR, the most noticable difference in well-lit photos is that when you zoom in, you see a little bit of noise. This is the trade-off you make when using a camera with such a small lens. It won't be visible in normal sized prints but it might be an issue if you're planning to crop a photo significantly.
- Battery life is reasonable. I have two batteries but found that had I could have managed with one provided i topped up the charge each day. Not having GPS is a bonus, as this tends to flatten batteries very quickly.
- Movies are acceptable. I didn't buy this for movies because with this type of camera you rarely get results as good as a proper video camera. The one movie I shot was clear enough and I was able to zoom while recording. Playback on my PC stuttered a little bit and the audio is slightly tinny.

To summarise,
Good points:
Everything you need in a rugged camera
Picture quality equivalent or better than some non-rugged models
Easy to use
Good looks
Small size
Good battery life
12MP sensor. This is a good choice, not too small, not too large.

Bad points
Joystick control sometimes hits the wrong direction (in my case, down instead of right). It's just finger trouble but I'd have preferred separate buttons.

Very pleased with this purchase. I also chose a case for it, the Kata DP-407 and I can thoroughly recommend that too.

Kata DP-407 DPS Pouch For Compact Cameras - Includes Elements Cover

--

A small update, now I've been using the camera for a while.
The built-in panorama effect isn't as great as it seems - when viewed on on PC the stitching accuracy is poor. Far better to take multiple overlapping shots yourself and use Microsoft Windows Live Photo Gallery to do the stitching.
And the 3D shooting mode drives me insane, it keeps refusing to take the second shot.
But otherwise, still positive about this camera. I bought it for occasions that I won't take my SLR. Walking recently I slipped on a wet rock and fell flat on my face - no damage either to me or the camera. I don't think my Sony Alpha would have fared quite so well.

By the way, for those of you complaining about accidentally bumping the buttons, there's a setting in the menu called "> Power On". Disable this, and it'll solve the problem.
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on 23 August 2012
This is a good little camera that gives the user the point and shoot option, to capture the action as it happens and the options to have some control when you have more time, though not a huge amount. The video however, is pretty poor and not suited to fast moving action. The TG 620 is a lot of fun and feature packed.
The 12MP CMOS image sensor working in conjunction with the True Pic image processing software, does a great job in low light and really does set the bench mark in this genre of compact camera. The pictures are crisp, the colours vibrant and there is no blurring around the outer edges. It really does help having such features when you have such a small lens and maximum aperture.
The scene modes provide much amusement and I particularly like the fish and and reflections modes. If you take a panorama or use sequential shots, the camera can be very slow to process them, so you may miss out on some of the action.
The on board guide is an excellent feature to help you get the most out of the cameras many functions (just press the "?" button which also can be pressed when the camera is turned off, to give the time and date), as does the icon guide. In fact there are so many features worth mentioning here, that I could go on and on.
Image stabilisation works pretty well when taking stills and is ok in movie mode. Speaking of movie mode,the picture is not bad, its just the focus ( so slow and unsure)!! It also lags a little. I think its fine for underwater stuff where the camera is supported by the water and movement is slower, but for on land sports action, it comes up short.
I would have liked to have seen an inbuilt lens protector and wonder why it is only supplied in the TG 820? They are provided in Olympus cameras of this price, from 2 years ago ( The 6020 and 8010 has them). Is it a ploy for us to damage our lenses and buy more cameras?
I do really like this camera and want to give it 5 stars but it just falls short on the video and lack of a lens protector
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on 14 October 2012
I have become increasingly keen on landscape, weather and plant photography over the last few years. Starting with Fuji, then two Panasonic TZ series cameras which I was happy with but needed something more robust as they soon gave up in wet weather.
The good points are: compactness, robustness in bad conditions, no dust yet inside the lens (unlike the Panasonics), good image quality and consistent results including in lower light. Generally the pictures "sing" a bit more than the nicely detailed but sometimes rather flat/dull Panasonic images which are my main basis for comparison. Niggles: the main operational button with four way plus central control is fiddly, unresponsive and sometimes frustratingly tiresome (not looking good for winter use - a real need for improvement here), loss of zoom because of constrained within the casing (but well worth the compromise for the robust features), images often warm with pinkish or orange tint which need cooling off for natural colours after downloading (but can usually be made to look just fine quite easily). I'm not interested in the video or the 12 funky "magic filters" so no comment from me on those - would rather have something that concentrated on doing the basics really well and therefore less cluttered and easier to use. All in all, still well worth four stars, the poor operation button is the only thing to definitely rob it of the full five.
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on 13 November 2012
What used to be a very good, basic but sturdy and effective all-terrain camera has been certainly electronically upgraded but the control 'bits' are way too exposed and far too sensitive for anyone with cold or wet hands. Even more frustrating is over-sensitivity of the 'Review' button from which the user can access stored images. Just accidentally touching it when I pick-up the camera turns it on - even when it's in a carry pouch! Not good, at all.

It doesn't feel tough and the casing is very thin: I've got a wee dent just from knocking it whereas my original Miju, now with a knackered battery cover seal (£80+ to repair)and a few historic scratches, saw 5 winter climbing seasons, at least 20 canyoneering and gorge walking trips, countless climbs, hundreds of KM's on my bike, family holidays and four years of recording MRT Training. This one won't last and I think the 3 Year Warranty from Amazon is not only good value but will more than pay for itself in 2015....better log-in and buy one, eh?
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on 15 September 2012
i've had this camera about a month now, and am well pleased with it. The 'notes' on the back screen are helpful, so although i have printed the manual out, I have hardly looked at it.
As others have said, the auto setting gives good results, and there is no noticeable shutter lag on most settings.
Macro, super macro and super macro with LED are very good quality. The 'scene' mode for landscape shots doesn't seem to give good results, but the scene mode for beach and snow shots delivers well.
There are twelve filter options, and these are fun to play with; my favourites are 'dramatic' and 'miniature'.
Sequential or drive shots work well too, for sport or birds flying!
As others have said, the joystick control is a bit annoying, it is too easy to select the wrong setting.
Lens protection is not supplied: i just try and keep it in the case. I bought the Kapta case [...]
as recommended by the first reviewer, but it is a little bit tight. Maybe another Kapta case would be roomier; this seems to be a good, well made brand.
The charging arrangements are annoying: you can only charge the battery In the camera. It doesn't feel safe to leave it trailing by a USB lead. I ended up buying a spare battery [...] and a plug-in charger of the same brand
[...]
and finally, a gorillapod, which i have not yet used as much as anticipated.
[...]

I have not used it underwater yet, but It has been dropped twice, and is still working! Also shot one short video and this was acceptable quality, though I am no expert.
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on 9 December 2012
While on holiday in Croatia an octopus wrapped itself around my leg. My shock turned to delight when someone swimming nearby took an underwater picture with an Olympus Tough and later sent me a copy.
I vowed then that I would treat myself to one so I would always be prepared for any eventuality.
I have not been disappointed. It is brilliant.
I now have film of my grandson swimming underwater at the local pool and the quality impresses all who see it.
I take the camera everywhere with me.
It is so simple to use and the 'one touch' video button is a godsend.
Even if you dont use it underwater, not having to worry when its raining or when its banging around in your bag or pocket means you use it more often.
There is nothing I dont like about it.
I bought as Olympus Neoprene Case to keep it in. I saw hard cases costing a lot more but with this tough little camera you dont need a tough case. The neoprene case makes it comfortable to carry and makes the camera easy to access while protectiing the lense and screen
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on 15 December 2013
Some Olympus descriptions say the TG-620 has the new Truepic VI processor...the asian Oly site completely omits that bit of info, leading me to believe it may have the slightly slower Truepic V (even the asian page says the 630 has the TP6 chip). Either way, the 620 is still more than plenty fast for it's consumer range...but Olympus's marketing tactics seem questionable (at least to westerners).

There's a lot of upgrades from my old olympus. One I'm enjoying lately is the self timer stays on until you turn off the camera (on the old one, I had to keep resetting the timer after every shot...seems trivial, but gets aggravating).

If used a lot, battery life is only a couple days....but my old olympus used standard AA batteries with a smaller screen and only lasted a couple hours.

There's no lens cover, but that may not be a bad thing as they've been known to get stuck with grit. A habit you'll need to get into with the TG-620 is remembering to check/wipe off the lens every time you turn it on.
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on 4 May 2013
This camera is absolutely fantastic! I love using it and have taken many brilliant pictures if I may say so myself :D having dropped it from different heights several times (a few of them directly onto concrete) it really does seem to be quite indestructible - would recommend it to anyone.
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on 7 June 2014
Received earlier and it had been opened before I got to it! Not the envelope it'd been sent in but the official Olympus box and it had been almost, but not quite, put back in its box properly. Clearly it had either been sent to and rejected by another buyer or it had been shown to another buyer as if it came from a brick shop! All seems to be in order though and, apart from fingerprints, it is clean and all there.
Takes good pics and a quick movie test seems to take a reasonable video too. Sound is muffled but improved over the Mu 850 SW it replaces.
Feels nice and the menus are similar to the Mu so I haven't yet resorted to the manual and it was simple to set up.

Again it would have been 5 stars but I don't love inanimate objects.
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on 20 January 2013
Good camera, does what you expect. Good image quality for the size/weight.

Oddly this camera does not come with a separate battery charger, you can only charge the battery in the camera when attached via the supplied USB lead to a computer or to the (supplied) USB mains adapter - it is handy to be able to top up the battery while downloading pictures, but not so convenient if you want to charge a spare battery.

One drawback: The USB interface is a NON STANDARD connector, if you visit a friend with your camera and want to show them some pictures on their computer (or top up the battery), then it's tough if you didn't bring the supplied USB cable with you, as they will not have a USB cable which fits.
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