Olympus TG-5 Underwater Images

During a recent holiday I had a short opportunity to shoot a few sample underwater images. It was the first time in over 3 years that I had tried this type of photography… so this is definitely not one of my strong points! This article shares a selection of Olympus TG-5 underwater images captured during an hour and a half session.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/640, ISO-100

I set the Olympus TG-5 for underwater photography and used a single focus point for the images displayed in this article. All of my images were captured towards the long end of the zoom range.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

There were quite a few people in the water in the general area so I tried to move away as best I could. This reduced the risk of having a lot of kicked up sand and debris in my images.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

Initially all I saw were a few small schools of fish patrolling up and down the edge of a coral reef.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/640, ISO-100

I wasn’t able to get a good, clear shooting angle on the fish so I simply pointed the TG-5 in their general direction. I guessed at the shooting angle since I couldn’t see the rear screen of the camera as I reached out towards them. I was surprised that I did manage a few decent, albeit lucky, captures.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

The light did seem to change quite a bit depending on the direction I was moving in the water. Since I’m not an experienced underwater photographer I wasn’t sure if this was due to the intermittent cloud cover, or the angle of the sun.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

My objective was simply to get as many usable images as I could given the limited shooting time I had available. Some of my photographs would have worked well in a ‘Where’s Waldo’ game.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

Although I did not specifically purchase the Olympus TG-5 for its underwater capability, I did find the camera easy to use and well matched to my level of inexperience.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

After a small school of patrolling fish went by, some smaller fish would start to appear from nooks and crannies in the coral. Then, they would dart back into their hiding spots when another patrolling school approached.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/400, ISO-100

These smaller fish were much harder to capture as they darted about. Many of my images were not particularly well framed.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/640, ISO-100

I thought it was important to include as many images as I could in this article in order to give readers a decent sampling of photographs. I appreciate that during this time of year many people may be looking for an underwater camera.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/800, ISO-100

The strap on the Olympus TG-5 seemed secure and I had no difficulty holding onto the camera and swimming.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

As you can see from many of my images, the biggest challenge for a neophyte like me, was simply getting enough of a fish in the frame to warrant a photograph.

Olympus TG-5 @ 18 mm, efov 100 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

Having the ability to shoot in RAW was quite helpful, especially given the TG-5’s small 1/2.3″ BSI sensor. The files responded pretty well in post.

Olympus TG-5 @ 16 mm, efov 88.9 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

I bought my TG-5 from the local outlet of one of Canada’s largest chains of camera stores. The sales personnel were quite knowledgeable about the camera. A couple of them mentioned that they sell more TG-5s than all of the other underwater cameras they carry combined.

Olympus TG-5 @ 15 mm, efov 83.3 mm, f/6.3, 1/800, ISO-100

I very likely will not have another opportunity to do any more underwater photography with the TG-5 for at least another year. I hope this selection of Olympus TG-5 underwater images in this article gives readers a reasonable glimpse of the camera’s capabilities in the hands of a neophyte.

Olympus TG-5 @ 15 mm, efov 83.3 mm, f/6.3, 1/500, ISO-100

The double locking set up on the camera doors seems to do a very good job keeping the camera water tight. I made sure to give the camera a good washing in my hotel room to remove any salt and other residue from the surface and around the external controls. This is recommended in the manual.

Technical Note:
All photographs in this article were captured hand-held using camera gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.

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6 thoughts on “Olympus TG-5 Underwater Images”

    1. Hi Mark,

      While capable of underwater photography the AW-1 does not offer the shock-resistance of the TG-5 which was one of my major criteria for buying the camera. Another factor in my recent TG-5 was the camera’s microscopic shooting mode… something not available with the AW-1. At one point I did own a J4 with a Nikon 1 underwater housing, but I did not use it sufficiently to justify keeping it. That gear was sold and a J5 was purchased with the proceeds.


  1. Enjoyed seeing your images a lot. I remember when these underwater cameras came out, one would be lucky to get a colored blur. Thanks for posting them.

    1. Thanks Pam, I’m glad you enjoyed the photographs!

      These types of cameras make underwater photography quite affordable for a great many people. I’ve never been interested enough in underwater photography (nor am I a good enough swimmer) to be able to justify investing a large amount of money in underwater flashes etc. Cameras like the TG-5 allow a lot of fun for a modest investment.


  2. Good underwater pictures generally require 1 or 2 flashes.
    These look like you are in 10 feet of water relying on ambient light?

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