First Look at Panasonic LX100


I really have to commend our local London Camera Exchange stores (here in Lincoln), they usually manage to get hold of the latest photographic gear quite early and they are also quite happy for me to spend a few minutes trying out some of their gear too. I guess it helps that I am a good customer. :)

With the introduction out of the way they recently managed stock the Panasonic Lumix LX100, this is the final new compact camera that I wanted to try out. Like all of the other cameras this one was very light and also on the border of being too small; in fact it was too small for my friend Mike who has normal sized hands. The camera did have a nice solid feel too it, there was no creaking and it would certainly take a few knocks before it came to harm.

I tried out the viewfinder and like the RX100 it was really too small, I don’t like these teeny-tiny EVF (electronic viewfinders) that are now appearing on these compact cameras; they border on being too small to use I have to squint my eye to view them, this is not comfortable. I applaud and appreciate that these are becoming more common and I prefer them to be present over not having them but I am not sure if they will ever be used. The one on the Fuji is the smallest I would like to use and that also goes for the Olympus Stylus-1 as well.


Panasonic have gone retro with the LX100, we have an aperture ring on the camera as well as a shutter speed dial (both have an “A” setting allowing anything from full manual to aperture/shutter priority and full program) and we also have an exposure compensation dial too. I like the fact that the aperture dial on the lens has a protrusions to allow quick and precise changes by “feel” but otherwise I am not a fan of aperture rings and shutter speed dials.

Like all of the cameras these days the LX100 has WiFi and Panasonic can make good iOS/Android software so should allow full control, picture transfer amongst other capabilities.

Now on to the main selling point of this camera, Pansonic unlike Sony and Canon went with a four-thirds sensor in this camera which is much larger. If they allowed the whole senior to be used the lens that they would have to use would have been much larger than the one they fitted (a 24-75mm f1.7-2.8) so instead they took a leaf out of their older LX camera series and allowed just some of the sensor to be used whilst at the same time allowing different aspect ratios. Unlike other cameras they didn’t have to crop off parts of the sensor they just used different parts of the larger sensor – this is quite ingenious.


So the camera offers up to an effective 12MP as well as four aspect ratios as follows – 3:2; 16:9 1:1 and 4:3 (the megapixel rating does vary slightly spending on which ratio you choose). Like the LX series the ratio selector is located on the lens itself. I played with all of these and I cannot see why I would vary this much, I was happiest with 4:3.

The camera didn’t have a card fitted so I couldn’t try out the 4K video recording or the 4K picture mode either.

One thing I did like was that this is a true Lumix camera and is controlled just like the Lumix G series cameras so if you have an investment in them you will get on fine with this camera.

The 24-75mm lens is a OK range (if a little limiting) and is controlled via a rocker switch around the shutter release button or a further rotating ring around the lens. So we have an aspect ratio selector, an aperture ring, a user-selectable rotating ring and finally an focus mode selector all around the lens, fortunately this didn’t seem cramped. I have to say although there were no annoying clicks the ring didn’t seem right, the resistance was off and it seemed very slow. If you go into Manual-focus mode the ring controls focus and this by comparison was very nice – strange. Unusually for a Panasonic camera, there was a dedicated macro focus mode on the focus selector and it did allow very close focusing – nice.

I also tried many of the various modes on the camera – there is a plethora of AF modes (face detection, etc) and drive modes too. I don’t see this camera limiting you in any way as there is little missing. Typically for a compact camera the tripod socket was off-centre from the lens axis and the SD card socket was in there with the battery compartment – I hate that. :(

So all in all what did I think? I didn’t “connect” with the camera even though it is very feature-laden, has one of the largest sensors out there and does 4K video. My favourite new camera is Fuji X30, I prefer the camera’s larger size and viewfinder. It is also cheaper at £480 vs £699, I know that this is a little apple vs oranges but I prefer the larger and therefore more comfortable size.


My overall favourite compact camera on the market? This would be a close run thing between the Fuji and the Olympus Stylus 1 (£399), although the Stylus will most likely be updated early next year. When I am a position to purchase one I will have to do some extensive testing and try them out side by side.

Olympus Stylus 1 Update

ID: 8013

Following on from my post earlier this week, the price of he Olympus Stylus 1 camera has fallen somewhat. WEX Photographic are now selling the camera for £399.99 which is a veritable bargain if you ask me.

Whenever you see price drops for something that has been on the market for a while you start to think that maybe a replacement model is coming out. In fact yesterday M43 Rumors posted about the rumored replacement to the Stylus 1.

Looking at the comments on that particular article seems to indicate that users want two things; a 1″ sensor (to combat the Sony RX100 and Canon G7X) as well as a size-reduction. IMO a size reduction could be a bad thing if done incorrectly, the main issue is the viewfinder “hump” on the top plate. I think many users would prefer if the EVF (Electronic ViewFinder) didn’t take up too much space – a rangefinder style maybe?

Anyway, if you are interested in the camera I would think about getting one sooner rather than later because the stock will be gone soon and the replacement (whatever it may be) will be more expensive. I seem to remember that the Stylus 1 was overpriced when it first came out like many new Olympus products!

Prime movers

One of the main advantages of the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system is that there a lot of lenses available, most of these come from Panasonic and Olympus with a few from Sigma, Samyang as well as a smattering of lenses from much small players (such as Voigtlander).

I have used the Panasonic lenses may times before from the cheap and cheerful 14-42mm f4.5-5.6 to the more professional 35-100 f2.8 OIS lenses but have never used any of the Olympus lenses before although now that I am about to invest in their ecosystem I should consider their optics with a view to owning some of them.

35-100mm f2.8 Lens

Before I continue, I have always admired the quality of the Olympus prime lenses they are sharp, priced fairly (for the most part) and show the benefits of the MFT system as they are small and light. Some of the prime lenses are very well built too; the 75mm f1.8 lens is probably their top optic and would give Panasonic’s 42.5mm f1.2 lens a good run for its money. I should also state that this isn’t going to be a Panasonic bashing sessions eithe, they also have some very fine optics too.

Panasonic 42.5mm-f1.2

Stated earlier the main benefits of the MFT system is the number of lenses but the fact is that the Panasonic lenses work to their fullest capability on Panasonic bodies; similarly the Olympus lenses work to the best of their abilities on Olympus bodies. This is mainly due to the in-built lens correction algorithms built in to the Panasonic and Olympus bodies – for their own lenses. Secondly is the fact that Panasonic do image stabilisation in the lens (OIS – Optical Image Stabilisation) whereas Olympus do this in the camera’s body (IBIS – In Body Image Stabilisation).

The lenses are also marketed differently, nearly all Panasonic lenses come with a lens hood and lens bag, the Olympus lenses typically don’t although the new “PRO” line which only includes the 12-40mm f2.8 and the 40-150mm f2.8 do come with these accessories; the bag with these new Olympus lenses is nicer too. I suspect that the new PRO lenses, the forthcoming 300mm f4 and the 7-14mm f2.8 will also come with a hood and suede-leather bag too.

So without further a do what does the Olympus lens line-up look like? Olympus have 3 distinct ranges of lenses as well as a few oddities, these are as follows:

NOTE: All prices are correct at time of publication.

M.Zuiko PRO Lenses:

  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO – circa £799 (Weatherproof)
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f2.8 PRO – circa £1299 (Weatherproof)
  • M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x teleconverter MC-14 – circa £299 (Weatherproof)

Theses are the best Olympus lenses in their line-up and today include only the two fully weather-proof 12-40mm (24-80mm) and the 40-150mm (80-300mm) f2.8 lenses. The 1.4x teleconverter is technically not a lens (PRO or otherwise) but it only works with the PRO lenses (the 40-150mm and the 300mm lenses). They are all weather-proof (dust-proof, water-proof and freeze-proof). This means that you shouldn’t be afraid to use these lenses attached to and equally weather-proofed OM-D in adverse weather conditions. I wouldn’t go diving with them though! :)


The PRO range uses the best optics and are second only to the aforementioned 75mm f1.8 lens but only just. They use the very best that Olympus can manufacture and are not considered as budget lenses as can be seen by the price-point.

The other benefit of these lenses is that they have a manual “clutch” focus system that can be engaged by pulling back on the focusing ring. This give the added benefit of something called “snap-focus” whereby the camera can be focused on an object at one focus distance and the focus can be snapped to a different focus by pulling back on the focus ring – the manual focus position over-rides the (usually) different auto-focus position.

When I purchase the OM-D E-M1 it will come with the 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens and I have pre-ordered the 40-150mm f2.8 PRO lens form my local London Camera Exchange. In fact I pre-ordered the 40-150mm +1.4Ex combo pack as this saves you £100 over purchasing them separately.

When the 300mm f4 lens is released I would like to own that lens but it will come down to what it will cost – I suspect we will be looking at £1500 to £2000 – it could be more :(

M.Zuiko Premium Lenses:

  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2.0 MSC (Silver & Black) – circa £556 / £739 (Snapshot)
  • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f1.8 MSC (Silver & Black) – circa £369 (Snapshot)
  • M.Zuiko Digital 25m f1.8 MSC (Silver & Black) – circa £349
  • M.Zuiko Digital 45m f1.8 MSC (Silver & Black) – circa £218
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro MSC – circa £365 (Weatherproof)
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f1.8 MSC (Silver & Black) – circa £719

Olympus also has a “mid-range” system of lenses that comprises purely of prime lenses ranging all the way from 12mm to 75mm (24mm to 150mm) and all but the Macro lens have an aperture of f2.0 or greater. All of these lenses are excellent optical performers and if Olympus were to create the lens line-up today many of these would have a PRO rating (it could be that even faster f1.4 or f1.2 variants are coming later).

Olympus 75mm f1.8 (Black)

All of these lenses also have the MSC designation which stands for “Movie and Stills Compatible”, this means that these lenses are silent or very nearly silent when they are focusing making them ideal for video with on-board sound-recording.

These lenses are however not fully weather proof apart from the 60mm Macro lens so this is most likely the reason that these are not PRO lenses. I can see a longer focal length macro lens in the future and that will probably be a PRO version.

As you can see both the 12mm and the 17mm have the “snap-shot” focus system as they also have manual focus clutch mechanisms.

M.Zuikio 60mm f2.8 Macro Lens

From this range the number one lens for me is the 60mm Macro as this is the most versatile lens there, I might also get the Black 45mm lens as it is so cheap. If I didn’t already own the Leica 25mm f1.4 lens I probably would have gone for the Black 25mm f1.8 lens too.

Yes, they are all magnificent lenses that I would obviously like to have but I have little practical reasons to own many more of them. If they come up cheap second-hand maybe…

M.Zuiko Lenses:

  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 – circa £480
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ (Silver & Black) – circa £280
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ Pancake (Silver & Black) – circa £250
  • M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R (Silver & Black) – circa £250
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f4.0.5-5.6 (Silver & Black) – circa £250
  • M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f2.8 Pancake (Silver& Black) – circa £230
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f4.0-5.6 R (Silver& Black) – circa £230
  • M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II (Black) – circa £390

The budget or consumer lens range is the third in the Olympus line up an also contains their very first lenses released or newer versions of those lenses. You can see that they are not very fast; the 12-50mm has an aperture of f3.5-f6.3 and the 75-300mm lens has a range of f4.8-f6.7. All of these lenses are zoom lenses apart from the 17mm f2.8 pancake lens.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t some gems in this lens line-up. The 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Ez lens for example is incredibly small and compact when the camera it is mounted to is off. When the camera powers up the lens extends from it compact position and is ready to shoot. The “EZ” in the lens name is for “Electronic Zoom” and this lens is great for video and when you want a really compact lens on the camera. The lens also contracts into its compact home position when the camera is powered-down.

Until the PRO 7-14mm f2.8 lens is released your only wide-zoom options (in the MFT range) are the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 lens which isn’t cheap (circa £850) or the M.Zuiko 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 lens which is almost half the price.

M.Zuiko 9-18mm ED f4-5.6 Lens

The final lens that I will point out here is the 75-300mm lens, this is very similar to the Panasonic 70-300mm lens but is slower at the long end (f6.7 vs f5.7). Depending on who you believe this (mark II version) is very similar in performance to the Panasonic lens and maybe surpasses it. I’m not sure who to believe but I probably should have held onto my Panasonic lens until the PRO 300mm is available.

Although I wouldn’t mind having some of these lenses I will have to wait and see if good cheap second-hand variants come up as I would rather save my money for the 300mm and possibly the 7-14mm PRO lenses when they become available next year.

Other Stuff:

  • Body Cap Lens 15mm f8 (Silver, Black, Red and White) – circa £59
  • Body Cap Lens 9mm f8 Fisheye BCL-0980 (White & Black) – circa £89

Finally we have a couple of options that can only be placed in the “weird” lens camp. Both of these describe exactly what they do on the tin and yes both are (thick-ish) lens caps with a few built-in optical elements, they have no electrical contacts either.

Fish-eye Body Cap Lens

When you take into account what they are and what they cost they can actually be fun to use as long as you are aware of their limitations (manual focus, fixed aperture and limited optical quality). The fish-eye variant is particularly interesting and I will have to keep an eye out for a second-hand one preferably in black.

First look at Fujifilm X30


As is usual for a Monday I visited my favourite coffee shop Caffé Nero which is not far from the Silver Street branch of London Camera Exchange store.

On the way back I usually have a quick look in the window to see if they have anything new and to also have a look at the second hand section. Whilst I was in there I noticed that they had the new Fujifilm X30 in the compact cabinet. It wasn’t long before I had the camera in hand to “play” with.

If you didn’t know the X30 is the 3rd edition of this model in Fujifilm’s line-up and whilst last year’s update was quite minor (X10 to the X20), this year’s model has had quite a bump in features. Just like Canon and Sony this camera has an “X” in the name but at least they have been doing this product when adding an X to the model number was quite a new idea.

Like the Canon Powershot GX7 I had not seen this camera before. My first impressions were very positive; it’s larger than the GX7 and the Sony RX100 models and has a slight handgrip. I have a major problem with anything that is so small it becomes too small. The Canon is too small, the Sony is borderline too small, the Fujifilm is “just right”.

Like the other cameras that are in vogue at the moment this one has a lot of metal and it gives the camera a nice heft and like the size is just the right amount. I wouldn’t like to use the camera for too long without a wrist strap of some kind but that could just me being paranoid about dropping the X30.


The X30 has a mode dial and exposure compensation wheel on the top plate, it has retained the screw-in cable release socket of its forbearers and now has a dedicated microphone/cable-release socket although it is only 2.5mm and not the full 3.5mm socket. Unlike the Sony and the Canon, the power and zoom functions are controlled by the zoom-ring at the front of the camera, you rotate this from the off position to the wide-angle focal length setting to switch the camera on and then rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise to adjust the focal length between 28mm and 112mm, the aperture is unfortunately variable from one end to another but the difference isn’t that great either (f2.0 at 28mm to f2.8 at 112mm).

I’m not sure how, but Fujifilm have managed to cram an integral “pop-up” flash, a full hot-shoe, a mode dial, exposure compensation wheel, shutter release and video record function all on the top-plate whilst also offering an EVF on the rear of the camera. Cram might be too strong a word here as it doesn’t feel cluttered or too close together.

And yes! The X30 now has an EVF instead of the parallax inducing optical viewfinder of the previous X10 and X20 models. This is clearly a superior EVF to the one on the Sony; Fujifilm have managed to fit a large 2360k-dot, 0.39in OLED panel in there whilst the Sony has to make do with a small (too small if you ask me) 1440K dot device..

Where the X30 might lack is in the sensor department; both the Sony and Canon have 20MP 1” sensors whereas the X30 only has a 12MP 2/3” X-Trans CMOS II sensor with no optical low pass filter. In real terms this probably doesn’t make agreat deal of difference but the camera will have less detail in some pictures.


Like the Sony and Canon, the X30 has a tilting 3.0″ LCD screen (920K-dot) and this was nice, clear and lag free. The X30 also has a control ring around the throat of the lens (behind the zoom-ring) and this was just gorgeous, it had click stops but these were artificial and could be switched off if unwanted. This was buttery smooth and is reason enough to choose this over the Canon model – did I say I hated the wheel on the Canon camera? I cannot remember.

The controls on the rear of the camera were logical and if you will feel right at home if you have another Fujifilm camera particularly if it is one of the the X series models. The Q button is one of the best controls as it gives you access to all of the commonly changed controls and it is now customisable too. The final control that was a genius addition is the button on the front of the camera that allows you to quickly adjust the function of the front lens control wheel – it’s not buried in a menu somewhere.

So all in all I really liked this camera and my choice of compact would come down to this model or the Olympus Stylus; I also have a choice of silver or black. I’m afraid that the RX100-mkIII and Canon G7X are simply not on my sort-list. I still need to try out the Panasonic LX100 but this hasn’t shown up yet, my first try of the might be at the LCE Photo and Optics show in 2½ weeks time.


Whilst the Canon G7X tries to compete with the Sony RX100-III and fails, the Fujifilm X30 gives the prospective purchaser/user something slightly different and at a much cheaper price point too.

On the subject of the cost, the Fujifilm X30 is £479, this is in the same range as the Olympus Stylus 1 which costs is between £435 and £450. These prices illustrate that the Sony and to a lesser extent the Canon may be out of touch here. The Canon G7X is £580 whilst the Sony RX100-MkIIl costs £699. The only real advantage that these cameras have is the 20MP 1” sensor; it may be that this is very important requirement in which case you have to pay a bit more otherwise save you money as the real world difference will be negligible in most cases.

Side-note: at the moment the Fujifilm X30 comes with a free leather case from most retailers (i.e. LCE and WEX)

I will leave you with a YouTube video from Digital Rev. Whilst I really like the Fujifilm X30 over the RX100 (and G7X) does Kai agree with me? Watch and find-out:

The DXO website Conundrum

Straight away I want to advise people that you should be careful when you use the DXO website as you will likely leave there disappointed.

Thanks to Tony Northrup I went there and after a lot of playing around trying out different lens and camera comparisons it was obvious that anything less than full-frame (in 35mm terms) was not worth considering – at least this is what the numbers were reporting. If you cared about sharpness and resolution forget APS-C and certainly forget about MFT!

It didn’t help in that there was something wrong with the site in that it stopped refreshing when you tried different comparisons – it was a more painful exercise than it should have been.

The other problem is that D750 and the A7 are not on the site; I can understand why the D750 isn’t but the A7 was released over a year ago and the Sony A7R is on the site. So I had to use the A7R as the ONLY full-frame Sony camera. For Nikon I used the D610 which is a much fairer comparison as this camera’s sensor will be very close to the sensor in the D750.

The more I played with the site the more I came to the conclusion that I was wasting my time as I couldn’t do fair comparisons between different cameras and when looking at third party lenses (such as the Sigma 24-105 f4 OS Art lens) I had to compare the Canon mount version against a Nikon camera with a Nikon equivalent (in this case the 24-120 f4 VRII lens).

The other problem highlighted by this site is that few lenses are getting even close to matching the possible resolution from the camera that they are attached to; the lenses that do are obscenely expensive. The big surprise for me is that the newer third party lenses from Tamron and Sigma are outperforming the equivalent Nikon lenses although they seem to vignette more and are all guilty of focus breathing too which could be an issue at close distances.

That all said the Nikon lenses are still very good, if they weren’t I think we would have heard more about this by now. I don’t see a lot of professional shooters picking the latest f2.8 Tamron zoom lenses over the Nikon equivalents even though they are cheaper.

Don’t be tempted to go to the DXO website – just don’t, you’ll be disappointed. This is unless of course you have the D800e/D810 with the multi-thousand dollar lenses that match the resolution of the camera sensor!

Follow up to my first look at the Canon G7X

Following on from my first look late last week about the Canon G7X here, “The Camera Store” posted their video review of the Canon G7X and compared it to the Sony RX100 MkIII. This was published late yesterday and I wanted to share their thoughts about the comparison with you here:

They seem to make a lot of the points that I made, but they also did some image comparisons too and I was a little surprised by the results.

Olympus Stylus 1 and Stylus TG-3

When I had a look at the Canon G7 X on Wednesday I also had a look at a couple of the Olympus compact camera models too (well the cabinet was open so why not!). These were the Stylus 1 and the TG-3, whilst they are not in the same league as the G7 X (their sensors are much smaller to start with) but they are at the high end of what Olympus offer and I was curious to see what they were like from a handling perspective.

Olympus Stylus 1
ID: 8013

This camera definitely gets its design from Olympus’s OM-D camera range; it looks very similar to the E-M5. I think that this was chosen so that the camera could be picked by any of their OM-D users and used without much manual diving. I noticed that the awful Olympus OM-D menu system can also be found on this camera model too – although once you get used to the way it works this isn’t too bad.

When I picked up the camera the first thing I noticed that it handled very similar to the E-M1 (that I have played with on and off quite a bit now) so I believe they achieved their main aim. The next was that it felt quite “plastic-y”; it had quite a hollow feeling although it didn’t creak and bend so this is something I could get used to.

ID: 8009

The camera was quick in response, was easy to use and the grip was just the right size, although it was smaller than the E-M1 it wasn’t too small. I liked the large dial on the top of the camera just to the right of the faux pentaprism hump which housed the built-in EVF (that’s right a “built-in” EVF – are you listening Canon and Nikon?). There as a secondary control ring that surrounds the zoom lenses’ throat that unlike the Canon camera was almost silent and had just the right amount of resistance too. Unlike the OM-D EM-1 and EM-5 cameras, the Stylus 1 also has an integrated flash built into the prism.

I liked the fn2 lever on the front of the camera, flicking this changed the function of the control wheel around the lens from an exposure variable to manual focus and this was highly responsive even though it was fly-by-wire. This reminded me of the AF selection switch and optical viewfinder switches on the Fujifilm cameras.

The 3″ screen on the back of the camera supports the same tilting mechanism as its larger OM-D brothers and is also a touchscreen too. The camera has WiFi and therefore supports the Olympus developed smartphone application “OI.Share”; this is designed for both iOS and Android. This software has many capabilities from the transfer of images to full remote control of the camera, it is one of the better featured and designed smartphone applications out there (again are you listening Nikon – what you have for the D750 is frankly a disgrace). For more information about the capabilities of the OI.Share application please click here.

ID: 8031

Finally, like the OM-D cameras the Stylus also has a full-hot-shoe allowing the use of a full flashguns. In fact there wasn’t much I didn’t like, the price at £450-LCE £435-WEX was reasonable too. I have to say that this would be a good compact camera companion model for any OM-D owner. This is as long you aren’t looking for a “pocket-able” camera or something with a large sensor in which case I would have to suggest one of the Sony RX100 models or possibly look at one of the Olympus EPL models which aren’t much larger but do offer a full 4/3 sensor and access to the full MFT lens range at about the same price.

The basic specs of the camera are as follows :

  • 12.8 Megapixels
  • 1/1.7″ BSI CMOS sensor
  • 28-300mm @f2.8
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 60 to 1/2000 sec shutter
  • 100-12800 ISO
  • +/- 3 EV
  • 1.4 million pixel 3″ screen
  • 1080p video
  • Dimensions of 116.2 x 87 x 56.5 mm
  • 402g

Olympus Stylus TG-3

The second Olympus model I looked at was the TG-3, unlike the Stylus 1 I knew a bit more about this camera thanks to Jamie MacDonald, he posted a nice Macro tutorial on his YouTube site about using the EM-1 but he also showed the TG-3 too. I have embedded the video here for you to watch please remember to Like the video and I also recommend subscribing to his channel too as he is posting a lot of Olympus content:

So I was keen to see what the camera was like from a handling perspective and I wanted to “play” with the microscope function; which is a unique idea and a great marketing feature – or is it a gimmick? In the hand it felt very solid, the weight of the camera was just right and it wasn’t too small either, certainly smaller than the Stylus but not as small as the Canon.

The TG-3 if you hadn’t realised is a rugged camera and has seals and locks on all of the ports, the lens focuses and zooms internally within the body too. The tough features of the camera are as follows: dust prove, shock-proof up to 2.1m, water-proof down to 15m, freeze-proof down to -10 degrees C and crush-proof to 100kg – this is a tough baby. If you want to dive deeper than 15m you can put this inside an underwater housing (PT-056 @ £279) which enables to go down to 45m!

After trying out some of the functions I had to try out the microscope mode and I am impressed on how close this focuses. If you buy this from London Camera Exchange for £350 they are throwing in the LG1 “ring flash” which normally retails for £30; you can get the TG-3 for a bit cheaper at WEX Photographic (£325) but you don’t get the LG1.

The LG1 is actually a ring-shaped diffuser that shapes the output from the built-in-flash into a ring shaped output around the lens. It connects to the TG-3 via magnets. There is more detail on the Olympus product page here.


Like the Stylus 1 the camera also has integrated WiFi with support for the “OI.Share” app as well as the “OI.Track” app (also for iOS and Android) which works in conjunction with the integrated GPS. For more information about the capabilities of the OI.Track application please click here.

I have to say that I liked the way that the TG-3 handled and functioned, I especially like the fact that it has GPS, this is a camera that you could take anywhere and not worry about keeping it dry. It would be a great travel camera and I wouldn’t be worried about damaging it. I can also envisage me taking this to Alton Towers or Thorpe Park and on the water rides too.

The basic specs of the camera are as follows :

  • 16.76 Megapixels
  • 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
  • 18-100mm @f2.0-4.9
  • Sensor-shift based image stabilisation
  • 0.5 to 1/2000 sec shutter
  • 100-6400
  • +/- 2 EV
  • 460K million pixel 3″ screen
  • 1080p video
  • GPS
  • Dimensions of 111 x 66 x 31 mm
  • 247g
  • Two colours available: Red and Black

I have to say that I liked the both the TG-3 and the Stylus 1 if I was in the market for a compact camera and it would be a tough choice to choose between them as they both have their strengths. I think that the TG-3 would be a better overall choice as I can envisage scenarios where this camera would help so maybe before I go to the next park I will pick one of these up and I prefer the red one too – it would be easier to see if dropped or something.