Recently, we had the chance to go down to good ol’ New Orleans with Olympus on a sponsored press trip to try out their new TG-3 and the EM10. We’ve already reviewed the EM10, but it was a pleasure to use the TG-3 because even though it doesn’t allow for tons of manual control (though there is a program auto and aperture priority) it still makes you put an emphasis on creating better images not through fancy settings but instead by working with composition and filters. Call them tacky all you want, but it’s nice to be able to not worry about numbers for a change.
Editor’s Note: Once again I’m stating that this was a sponsored press trip. They happen and often provide us with a better spot to test out the cameras and lenses that we get. However, this post isn’t sponsored. It’s all genuine.
TG-3’s Macro Mode
One of the first things that we wanted to play with on the new TG-3 is the macro mode. The camera allows you to get up to very crazy close distances–we’re talking about literally right up to something. And we’re not joking, we mean literally up to something. We were able to put the lens of the camera up against a phone and it was able to focus on it.
But we decided to shoot something a bit more practical: in this case it was bugs caught in the act.
The camera was fun to use for this reason because it allows you to do just so much when combined with the fact that it can also shoot underwater. It’s really cool to be able to do this and not have to worry about a super expensive DSLR lens. Granted, you’re not shooting RAW but with the right settings your JPEGs can look amazing.
Additionally, the fact that the camera has Wifi built in means that you can shoot and share immediately to your phone then upload to your favorite website.
It’s really, really fun. But still, we really wish that the camera shot RAW. It’s about time in the industry for this to happen.That and a larger sensor of around the Four Thirds size with a fixed lens. At least this shows that Olympus is making progress.
The LED Ring Light
The TG-3 has an LED on it that when combined with a special attachment, redirects the light from this LED to around the lens. It works very similarly to ring flash attachments for a DSLR hot shoe flash. But when you combine this with the ability to shoot really, really up close and personal to something you’re bound to have even more fun.
Just think about what you can do with this when you get up close and personal to flowers and the like.
As a lighting guy though, I have to be honest and say that the best light is still from a diffused panel above your subject.
Shooting Photos/Video in the Bayous
One of the funnest times that we got to have in New Orleans was when we were exploring the Bayous. These are essentially swamps with lots of cool vegetation and animals. In fact, we got to go right up to alligators to capture them trying to get food from our tour guide.
In New Orleans, the tour guides often feed the alligators marshmallows and chicken. And in the case of above, we got to capture it using the TG3. Otherwise, we would’ve needed a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a waterproof case.
The cameras can go really far down into the water, but we decided to stay around the surface.
The EM10 and the City of New Orleans
While exploring the city, we also had to opportunity to play with the Olympus EM10 mirrorless camera in the city. When we originally saw the camera, we weren’t too pleased with it. Then we reviewed it and liked it. So getting a chance to play with it again in NOLA was super fun.
Something that the camera did that absolutely amazed me was capturing the photo above. We knew for a fact that it is capable of delivering some beautiful images, but we pointed an Adorama Flashpoint flash at the ceiling, figured out the exposure in our heads and shot this image above. We didn’t expect it to be that cool–but Olympus’s colors are really amazing when used with the right lenses.