Olympus TG-5 in Venice

This article, Olympus TG-5 in Venice, features a selection of photographs captured hand-held while visiting Venice during our recent tour of Italy.

I wanted to travel with a reduced amount of camera gear. So, I brought one Nikon 1 J5, a couple of 1 Nikkor zoom lenses (6.7-13 mm 3.5-5.6 and 10-100 mm f/4-5.6 zooms) and the Olympus TG-5 for my use. My wife brought a Nikon 1 V3 along with a 1 Nikkor 10-100 mm f/4-5.6. My Nikon 1 gear is not weatherproof, so the TG-5 was an insurance policy against inclement weather.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus TG-5 @ 6 mm, efov 33.3 mm, f/3.2, 1/80, ISO-400

When visiting popular tourist destinations in Italy one should expect large crowds. This was certainly the case in Venice.

Olympus TG-5 @ 7 mm, efov 38.9 mm, f/4, 1/320, ISO-400

The small 1/2.3″ 12MP BSI sensor in the Olympus TG-5 is capable of quite good image quality considering its diminutive size. Shooting in overcast conditions is actually helpful as the limited dynamic range of the sensor is not pushed too hard.

Olympus TG-5 @ 7 mm, efov 38.9 mm, f/4, 1/640, ISO-400

As we did our walking tour through Venice I did my best to compose as many images as possible that were not filled with other tourists.

Olympus TG-5 @ 7 mm, efov 38.9 mm, f/3.5, 1/640, ISO-400

This meant working very rapidly before other people would wander into the scene I was photographing. At times I only had a couple of seconds to grab my images.

Olympus TG-5 @ 6 mm, efov 33.3 mm, f/3.2, 1/250, ISO-400

One technique that worked very well was to get in close to railings so that other tourists were unable to get in the foreground of my photographs.

Olympus TG-5 @ 6 mm, efov 33.3 mm, f/3.2, 1/40, ISO-400

On rare occasions we would walk past a narrow street or a canal that provided an unobstructed view. I took advantage of every chance I had to capture these types of images.

Olympus TG-5 @ 6 mm, efov 33.3 mm, f/3.2, 1/200, ISO-400

Many of the scenes in Venice provided very colourful and unique photographic opportunities.

Olympus TG-5 @ 10 mm, efov 55.6 mm, f/5, 1/200, ISO-400

I even managed to capture a few ‘slice of life’ images during our tour, like the clothes lines in use in the photograph below.

Olympus TG-5 @ 10 mm, efov 55.6 mm, f/4.5, 1/00, ISO-400

A trip to Venice would not be complete without taking a gondola ride. The operators do their best to keep the seats and inside surfaces as dry as possible between tours.

Olympus TG-5 @ 9 mm, efov 50 mm, f/4.5, 1/250, ISO-400

The gondolas have their own, unique charm. Each is customized to suit the personality of its owner.

Olympus TG-5 @ 15 mm, efov 83.3 mm, f/6.3, 1/60, ISO-800
Olympus TG-5 @ 10 mm, efov 55.6 mm, f/4.5, 1/80, ISO-800

Being part of an organized tour group was helpful as gondolas could be booked in advance for a prearranged time. This meant that we didn’t have to stand in long, public lines waiting for the next available gondola.

Olympus TG-5 @ 4 mm, efov 22.2 mm, f/2.8, 1/200, ISO-400

Being able to shoot in RAW with the Olympus TG-5 was very helpful in terms of image quality as it gave me more latitude in post. The zoom range of the TG-5 provided good flexibility. At times, there were situations where I didn’t have as wide a focal length as I would have liked.

Olympus TG-5 @ 4 mm, efov 22.2 mm, f/2.8, 1/800, ISO-400

In these circumstances I tried to make the wide angle lens distortion work as well as I could in my compositions.

Olympus TG-5 @ 4 mm, efov 22.2 mm, f/2.8, 1/500, ISO-400

I applied perspective control adjustments to the majority of my TG-5 photographs of Venice. I don’t typically like wide angle distortions in my images if I can help it.

The Olympus TG-5 is a specialized semi-automatic, point-and-shoot camera. It certainly did the job for us during the inclement weather during our visit to Venice. When buying a camera of this type there are advantages in choosing one that has a better quality sensor (i.e BSI backside illuminated), a faster aperture (i.e. f/2), and can shoot in RAW. The price of the camera may be higher as a result, but all of these factors can positively affect image quality.

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.

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2 thoughts on “Olympus TG-5 in Venice”

  1. Somehow I dropped of the email list and have not seen your articles for a couple months. I just signed up again but my comment on this October 15 article is a little late.

    I have acTG-5. It fascinates me, maybe be because it is such a challenge to use it sometimes. It is great for close up and macro and anything in or near water. But, I have actually pretty much given up on it for travel and general photography because its dynamic range is so poor. Your beautiful Venice images show the issue: the skies are blown out or close to it, even on an overcast day in Venice. Sometimes that can look fine in a monochrome image but to my taste, it doesn’t look so great in a color image. Yes, The TG-5 can do HDR jpegs but I have not had great results with that so far.

    It just seems very odd to me that the TG-5 offers focus bracketing but not exposure bracketing. That seems like such a standard feature on a modern camera.

    1. Hi Kevin,

      I agree that the small sensor in the TG-5 is challenged in terms of dynamic range and colour depth… even though it incorporates BSI technology. We have been using our TG-5 in microscopic mode and as a back-up to our Nikon 1 gear in inclement weather. Since the TG-5 is a semi-automatic camera it doesn’t have the amount of control that I would ideally like… but it is what it is.

      In terms of the TG-5 images of Venice in this article, the sky was not ‘blown out’. It was completely overcast during our visit to Venice and was a monochromatic, flat grey in colour.

      I see your new subscription sign up… the confirming email that our website uses has not been returned yet. Would you like me to use your comment as a confirmation?


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