Olympus TG 4
I do get asked many times what camera set up i use and when i tell people I’m using the Olympus TG4 Camera with the Olympus PT-056 Housing and a video light i do get some strange looks! The light i use is a light and motion Gobe 850 video light!
It is a compact camera and is cheap to buy, i bought mine new with the housing for £500 and bought the video light for £170! This i use for videos and photography! So a cheap set up!
The reason i bought this camera was for its microscope mode which is very good with no need for any macro lenses. In actual fact the Macro lens you can buy for it is not as good as using it with out the lens! I also travel a bit and to have a small set up is key for me! It doesn’t weigh much so i usually take it all in my hand luggage. The picture below is the same Goniodoris Nodosa as the one pictured above.
The Camera itself is water proof to 15 meters without the housing, this was quite handy on my last trip as i had a leak through one of the buttons on the housing! This was easy fixed but the fact it was water proof saved the camera!
Apart from the macro mode which is very good it has some good features, manual White Balance is easy to set which is handy and the programable modes come in handy to save the settings you have been using! It is an easy camera to use manually but if you did not feel comfortable with the settings to start with the auto mode works well too! It adjusts the white balance as you descend! i know most cameras do that but the Auto mode is quite accurate and gives a good result unlike some cameras.
Every one has different preferences, some prefer strobes on arms and some don’t . I use this set up with the video light on my finger on the left hand for ease of use! I only use it this way for this camera as it helps me get the camera lens into cracks and crevices closer to the subject where strobes won’t work! That way i can then position the light where it needs to be to give an accurate look on the subject. Another reason i use a video light is so i can introduce it gently, slowly to a subject without flashing and spooking so it then swims off! I find the amount of light is important to get the look that i want so the video light is easy to move away or closer..rather than playing with settings on strobes.
I once spent nearly an hour pulling the light away and slowly bringing it back towards an anemone shrimp..it took that time for it to get used to the light and then once it felt safe it was happy to come out for a few close up shots! it even left the safety of its anemone and ventured out over a rock to get to the light lens!
For a cheap compact camera it does get some good results! But if you are looking for better professional results then a better camera is needed! Theres a massive difference in quality between a cheap compact camera and a good proffesional set up!
The TG4 has been replaced by the TG5! Theres not a great deal of difference between them, just a few small changes. Upgraded sensor with reduced MP gives the TG5 more room to help reduce noice in low light. I like the TG4 having 16MP as it helps if i need to zoom in on a photo for cropping but keeping a bit more detail.
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