Olympus’ TG-3 Tough Cam Sports Serious Macro Capabilities Like Focus Stacking


The PEN-like Stylus SH-1 wasn’t the only camera to get its debut tonight. Olympus also introduced a new Tough camera, the Stylus Tough TG-3, whose claim to fame is impressive macro photography capabilities including an automatic focus stacking feature that’ll help expand your depth of field when you’re shooting really tiny subjects.

Basic specs are the same as the SH-1: a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor is joined by a TruePic VII processor, a 3-inch 460k-dot LCD (this one’s not touch) and built-in WiFi. On top of that, the TG-3 also boasts a fastest-in-class 4x 25-100mm equivalent f/2.0-4.9 lens, GPS, water depth and elevation sensors, and an e-compass.

Additionally, as you might expect from a Tough camera, this little shooter can withstand a great deal of abuse. The TG-3 is freezeproof to 14-degrees F, waterproof down to 50ft, shockproof from 7 feet up, crushproof to 220 pounds and dustproof.

Here are a few more pictures of the red model (it also comes in black):





Like we said though, the really impressive features of this camera have to do with macro photography. Four modes including Microscope Mode, Microscope Control Mode, Focus Stacking Mode and Focus Bracketing Mode all help you take beautiful close up shots of everything from flowers to snowflakes.

You can take pictures of subjects as close as 10mm away from the lens when it’s set in microscope mode, and the focus stacking feature will take 8 pictures in quick succession, shifting the focus each time and then combining the shots so that everything is in focus.

Of course, lighting things that close can be a challenge, and so Olympus is also releasing a new ring light attachment that will take the camera’s built-in flash and redirect it more evenly over a small subject:


And if you want to change your field of view, you can fit the camera with these new telephoto and wide-angle conversion lenses:



The Stylus Tough TG-3 will arrive a bit later than the SH-1. This one will hit stores in June for $350 in either black or red. You can learn more about the new tough camera by clicking here.

  • Jodoform

    And again, on the Tough TFG-3 they forgot to add raw-image capability.

  • Zos Xavius

    I think manufacturers are afraid to put raw on consumer oriented cameras because it would likely just confuse the average person when they can’t figure out why windows photo viewer won’t open all pictures they just took. Maybe it will now (I think it does with some upgrading), but the default tools for viewing files at their disposal surely can’t deal with raw. You can’t upload them to facebook for instance. I know a small subset of people really want that capability, but its probably not enough to outweigh their fears that people will be flooding them with calls asking WTF is this .CR2 file??

  • Dover

    Include raw and jpeg. Let the informed photographer choose.

  • LLL3

    nice..a tortured fish….

  • Christopher Stivala

    Why does it have to be a tortured fish? Could this not be dinner or something found? Lets not be negative without all the info.

  • Andmoff

    Will be even nicer when it’s in the pan.

  • TN

    olympus offers a free .orf raw codec for windows, on their website.. they could include it’s installation with the software package included with the camera.

    this wouldn’t resolve the end users issue of what to do with it after it’s off the camera, and may result in a few expletives. this could go well, if the consumer is a self guided learner, and frustrating if they just want pictures out of the camera.

    i want one of these cameras, but i don’t think raw capabilities would make this a better camera.. however, i do think olympus needs to make a larger sensor underwater camera, that is raw capable

  • Zos Xavius

    I’m not saying I disagree!

  • Jorge

    No raw = no sale. As I browsed through this i was getting excited as this camera would have suited me perfectly for water sports and macro work. Honestly, some of my best macros were shot with my Panny Lumix LX5 as that camera could get extremely close. Anyway the lack of raw makes it a no sale for me. Sorry Olympus but you almost had me. You were thaaaaat close.

  • Sky

    Olympus – advertised by a dead fish.

  • Michael D

    That focus stacking microscope mode is amazing! I do a lot of very close macro stuff for work record keeping, and have switched almost entirely to my phone because it does closeups and shoots through a microscope so easily and quickly, but this camera might be something I would actually buy.

  • pr0digy

    Codec is irrelevant if the camera cannot take RAW images in the firs place.

  • Mat Miller

    Using a dead fish to sell a product. Real cool Olympus.

  • TN

    0_o you missed the point.. the thread started with a complaint about a lack of RAW file output. which was answered with the concern for the target market, not being interested in RAW, or the presumed inability of their computer to convert the RAW data into a viewable format, in this case a .orf file. I mentioned that the .orf codec is free, and could be bundled with the other software that typically accompanies olympus’s RAW capable cameras. from this point, the dialogue is purely speculative..

    BUT to address your declaration of irrelevancy:

    RAW, is a series of 1’s and 0’s not an image

    with a digital camera that is capable of saving RAW data, the image preview is jpeg, but it’s derived from raw data.

    the same is true for digital cameras that are not RAW capable , however, they discard the RAW data after the jpeg is generated.

    The TG-3 generates RAW data, however, that data is discarded after jpeg is created. as is the case with ALL digital cameras that do not save the RAW data for later.

    the real question is, does the target market care about RAW, or is it a small sample? and then, is that small sample of users going to be able to cover the additional costs associated with writing the firmware to include additional context menus, or the file system handling protocols necessary to save the RAW data for later processing.

  • Michael Spotts

    If I caught a fish, I’d snap a photo. Makes sense. Sure, I think catch and release is unethical. But fishing for food is approved… by fish!

  • crummett

    Minimum focusing distance in normal shooting mode is 10cm, not 10mm- 4 inches vs 1/2 inch. Makes a difference. “Super Macro Mode” gets you to 3cm, about 1.2 inches. Better! Still, I’d love to try the auto focus stacking.

  • mooboy

    +1.. I was exactly the same, I was all interested until I saw the comment there is no RAW support.