Choose New Camera After Flooded Olympus TG

By Bill S

We just flooded our second Olympus TG camera. Yup. Twice. We need help to choose which camera to replace it with.

We’ve read the reviews (waterproof cameras and compact cameras). Macro is important to us.

Two blue christmas tree tube worms on a hard coral

Should we replace the TG with a new one (with a housing this time), or go with the Canon G7 X Mark II, or Sony RX100, with a housing?

9 Comments

  1. If you really like to take macro pictures, the Olympus TG cameras are hard to beat. They have a macro focal distance of 1cm (.4″). The Canon G7X II and Sony RX100 both do OK at macro, but the focal distance is 5cm (2″).

    Then again, the G7X II and RX100 have much larger sensors and more megapixels than the TG. So you even though you can’t get as close to the subject, you can crop your image closer in post-processing, and it will likely retain as much detail as the uncropped TG picture.

    Another option is to get a Canon G7X II with a Fantasea housing, and one of their 67mm adapters and UCL-05LF macro lens. That will get you nice and close. You do have to zoom a slight bit with that lens to avoid vignetting.

    If you like the image quality and controls on the TG camera, getting another with a housing will likely be a good solution. You could also consider adding a tray, and some lights for even better macro work, if you don’t mind dealing with all that gear.

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  2. If you don’t mind buying a reconditioned camera, guaranteed, the Nikon Coolpix from years ago are still available. Their optics are are wonderful, even by today’s standards. Good luck!

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  3. We also have had numerous TG’s with water issues! Only after the eighth time (three being the TG6 and less than 12 months old) did they replace two under warranty. We still have a TG3 going great but all others have died with water issues.

    Housing is the best option for any choice.

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  4. Hi Bill, I agree with Galen and Nicole’s recommendation: get another TG, WITH THE Olympus housing. The housing is worth it just for how much easier it will be to handle and control the camera, not to mention the extra protection against leakage. Seriously, I was really pleasantly surprised with how much the housing’s larger controls improved the user experience. In the past, I have had three different manufacturer/models of underwater cameras leak when used without a housing, no matter how careful I am. Definitely get a housing. I use the Olympus PT-059 with my TG-6.

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  5. I use the TG Olympus housing. Thanks, everyone, for helping affirm that that’s a good choice. Someone on the threads (Nicole?) once said you don’t want to have your trip ruined due to a damaged camera, and while I know people like to kvetch that “It’s waterproof, why should I have housing for it?” that comment has stayed with me ever since.

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  6. I was considering a Sony RX100 VII to replace my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark 1 with an Olympus Housing, but after considering the all-in cost for the RX100 and housing, I went with a Sony a6400 with a Sea Frogs housing. My reasons:
    1) Much larger sensor
    2) Same price or slightly cheaper, if you get a used a6400, which there are a lot for sale
    3) Ability to go with faster prime lens, like f 1.4 or very wide angle, if you purchase a dome port. Sea Frogs also sells a dome that will take a 200mm lens.
    4) Also a good video camera
    5) Better camera system for land photos and video.

    The downside to the Sony with housing is that it weighs much more and more space is required. However, it is no more than my original Olympus system.

    About me: I am a senior that used to scuba and now only snorkel and do a lot night photography while snorkeling.

    Lastly my wife uses TG6 (her 3rd) and has a TG5 as a backup.

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  7. This may be a little off topic but the TG cameras have a double latch configuration on the access doors. Did the leak occur because of a gasket failure/problem or operator error? Mine has not leaked but I don’t want to have a problem if possible.

    Thanks for your input.

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  8. Thank you all for your responses. We are thinking we will just “do both”. We will buy a new Olympus with a case, as well as a Canon with a case.

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  9. When my husband’s underwater Ricoh died due to water damage he hired a TG5 at a Maldivian resort and you must use the provided housing and he liked the housing. I had my TG5 replaced under warranty, and when it happened a second time I bought the new TG6 (latest at the time) and a housing and I was surprised at how good it was to use – much easier than without the housing.

    The disadvantage is the extra time to re-lubricate the o-rings etc., and the extra space in the suitcase, but I wouldn’t be without the housing now. I will note that it is a moisture issue over time and use rather than finding water inside the camera. The cost of getting a preventative Olympus TG5 service of o-rings etc., is equal to the cost of a new camera!

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