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Olympus TG-3 – A Great Camera for Anglers

Posted on June 30 2015

Why we like the Olympus TG-3 point and shoot camera for fishing
The Olympus TG-3. Photo: Kyle Shea.

Warning: This is not a super-technical review.

Photography has become a big part of the fly fishing culture. Heck, there’s a lot of cool things to capture! Surprisingly enough, a question we get asked all the time at our lodges is ‘what camera would you recommend for fishing?’

While we love our big fancy DSLRs, they can be a bit cumbersome while fishing, not to mention a huge heartbreak should they accidentally fall in the drink.  Therefore, when we’re fishing hard, we like to have a smaller point and shoot that we can throw in a waist pack or the chest pocket of our waders and get after it.

Last year, we picked up the Olympus TG-3. We’ve been super pleased with it, and today we’re going to tell you why.

The Olympus TG-3 – Why We Like It

The Olympus TG-3 has a ton of really cool features, far more than your run of the mill point and shoot camera. However, because we know not all of you are photography nerds like us, we’re going to stick with why we think the TG-3 makes for a great all around camera on the water. For a more in-depth list of features, check it out on Olympus’ website, here.

Some of our favorite features of the TG-3 are as follows..

  • It’s Waterproof. We tend to fish on or around water.. So a camera that doesn’t die when it gets dunked it pretty important to us. The TG-3 is waterproof up to 50 feet, which as far as we’re concerned, any deeper and we’re not getting it back anyhow.
  • It’s Really Tough. We’re not the most graceful bunch, so we like being able to drop our camera in the bottom of the boat once in a while. Also, yours truly likes to keep his camera in the chest pocket of his waders which is not the safest environment. The TG-3 has stood up to the abuse however, which we’re really impressed with.
  • It’s Easy to Operate with Cold, Wet Hands. We fish in some nasty conditions at times and fumbling around with a micro-sized camera with freezing cold hands is no fun. A camera that’s simple for everyone to operate is really nice. After all, fumbling a fish while explaining to someone how to turn your camera on is a bummer.
  • It Takes Really Clear Photos. Without getting into megapixels, censor size, or the like, we’ll just say we’re really impressed with quality of photos the TG-3 has dished out, far better than we expected in fact.
  • Surprisingly Good Macro Setting. In our line of work, taking photos of really small things is important. Think flies, knots, sea lice, and so on. The TG-3’s ‘microscope mode’ actually works surprisingly well for a point and shoot camera.
  • A Bunch of Fun In-Camera Editing Effects. Unless you’re a photography buff, you’re probably not going to spend hours editing your photos to your liking. The TG-3 has a bunch of fun effects that are super easy to use to produce photos with a bunch of different looks. One of our favorites is ‘dramatic tone,’ which makes a typical cloudy day in Alaska look like an epic event. Take the photo below for example.
Fly Casting in Alaska
‘Dramatic tone’ mode. Photo: Jason Whiting.

As you can probably already tell, we really, really like the TG-3. There are more features to this camera than we have room for on our blog, but If you’re looking for a new point and shoot to take with you on the water, we’d highly recommend it. And, at $349.99, we think it’s a pretty awesome deal. Just last month, Olympus released their latest TG-4 model which retails for $379.99 and now offers the ability to shoot in RAW, which we think is pretty darn cool.

For more information on the TG-3 and TG-4, check them out on Olympus’ website, here.

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