Review: Olympus Stylus TG-2


Words & Photo: Anthony Churchill

Hello again readers. I've been entrusted with another camera to test and review, this time one more fitting to my lifestyle – the waterproof and adventurous Stylus TG-2. Now for all my adventurous spirit, I rarely have trips planned that coincide with the timing of these reviews (sad I know), but I’ve done my best to give you the ins and outs of this camera.

First impressions

It’s not pretty! But don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. The Stylus TG-2 is rugged and aggressive, with sharp manly edges. Kind of like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine.

The first thing I did was use it in the garden. While its touch and feel makes you feel like an adventurer and tough right off the bat, you have to remember that it is a camera and should take good pictures.

Its 12 megapixels do a great job and the auto setting, which most people end up using, is also good. However, the feature that first captured my attention was the ‘super macro’ setting. It can clearly focus on an object that is just a centimetre away from the lens, which is great fun for exploring the smaller details.

While most images on the Stylus TG-2 are good quality, I found myself, at times, fighting for faster focus. Maybe I’m too used to my DSLR. This focus issue isn’t new to these waterproof/adventure type point and shoot, as I’ve encountered it before on different brands and models. And when I tried to take pictures at night, even though a good scene option helped, the image was still not perfect.

Now the aperture priority gives you more control of your images and with a very nice 2.0 aperture at its widest zoom, you can get loads of light. There’s also a whopping 23 different scene choices, so you will be prepared for anything. In addition to the usual landscapes, starlight, sport, sunset, and portrait scenes, there’s some really cool scenes like documents, cuisine, cat/dog (both of which take a picture when it detects the animal’s face), and beauty.


• Its three-inch, high-resolution OLED display works well in all kinds of lighting, so you can clearly see your imagery.
• I like having so many different scenes to choose from, thus allowing anyone to take good images in any situation.
• It’s easy to use. The set up, especially the mode dial, makes changing options simple. I can hand this camera to my little brother and he’ll figure most of it out.
• The ‘please check battery latches’ is a smart reminder, as we all forget to check those.
• The super macro setting is definitely my favorite feature. It’s easy and fun to use, and makes taking close-ups exciting.
• The fact that it’s super tough and able to shoot underwater means more fun for everyone, no matter where you are.
• Its size. It is only just bigger than my phone and fits into my pocket, so I was able to take it everywhere with me, without it being a hassle to carry around.
• It can shoot 60 frames per second and up to 100 pictures at 3 megapixels, which is tiny, and is great for sports events.
• The camera strap and double-lock sealing system are both essential if you want this camera to last. The double-lock system has two little switches located next to the battery compartments, to prevent the sealed doors from accidentally opening. The strap is just as rugged as the camera and helps keep it attached to you through your more adventurous moments.
• Battery life is great and I used it all weekend on one charge. Of course, more night/flash shots would lessen the battery life.
• The GPS image tracking is fantastic to help you remember where you took those awesome shots.


• As previously mentioned, I found the auto focus slow, especially at night. My family and friends didn’t notice it though, so it can only be me and my DSLR ways.
• The menu could be set-up better. To get to the 23 scenes, you have to scroll from left to right through all the scenes. A grid layout with the ability to scroll in all directions to select your scene would have been a better option.
• No manual dial. Having more control really helps to be more creative and specific.
• The video quality is good, but again focus is not as it should be.

Camera facts

• Metafiles -11.8
• CCD size -1/2.3 inches
• ISO range 100 - 6,400
• Exposure modes - programme, aperture priority
• Aperture range - f/2-8(wide); f/4.9-18(tele)
• Closest macro focus – 1 cm
• LCD size - 3.0 inches
• LCD screen resolution - 610,000 pixels
• Optical zoom - 4x
• And more


Based purely on my opinion of this camera, my ratings are as follows:
• Look and feel: 4 out of 5
• ISO noise control: 3 out of 5
• Image quality: 3 out of 5
• User friendliness: 4 out of 5
• Price: 4 out of 5
• Overall: 3.5 out of 5

Final opinion

I really enjoyed playing with all the various scenes and magic options on this camera. I also enjoyed being able to play ‘rough’ with it and not having to worry about it getting broken. I even enjoyed seeing friends and family enjoy it.

Its size, build, features, and pricing (about R5k) are great, but the one thing I keep coming back to is its focus ability. However, this is lacking in most of the point and shoot cameras I’ve used.

Overall, I am happy to say that if you want a fun, simple, hard working, somewhat creative, and tough camera, this TG-2 can do it for you.