Olympus TG-Tracker review

The TG-Tracker is a solid first foray into the action camera market by Olympus

TG-Tracker

The camera is comfortable to use, with the flip-out screen making handheld filming very easy; however the screen merely flips out, rather than flipping and rotating.

The TG-Tracker comes supplied with a series of accessories, including a steady grip that bolts onto the bottom of the body, giving it an almost Super 8 cine camera look and feel.

All the settings and controls are accessed via four of the five buttons on top of the body; the fifth button is the shutter button, which is mounted conveniently forward of the others.

Olympus TG-Tracker review

Menus are activated with the Menu button, the forward and back buttons make navigating through the options extremely easy, and the OK button is used to confirm selections.

The position of the buttons makes them easy to reach, and the layout is intuitive – in fact it's the easiest action camera to operate that I've come across.

The screen is bright and easy to view in all conditions, with the live view giving you a good overall impression of the colour and exposure of captured footage.

The companion OI.Track app is quick and easy to set up, although at present it's only available for Android devices. Once connected, video, along with the log files, can be downloaded to your mobile device and viewed alongside any sensor data recorded.

Olympus TG-Tracker review

At present the app really only enables the viewing and sharing of footage, and doesn't enable overlays, as with the Garmin app, or any auto-editing features, as with the TomTom Bandit app. The app and software have a long way to go before they're as fully featured as the competition.

Mounting is an important factor with action cameras, and Olympus has clearly taken this on board. The aforementioned steady grip, when attached, makes the camera easy to hand-hold, while the included mount coupling makes it easy to attach the TG-Tracker to almost anything, including a standard GoPro mount. Both are attached via a standard 1/4-inch thread on the base of the camera.

Image quality

The TG-Tracker's 30fps, 4K video footage is well balanced for exposure, with plenty of fine detail visible. Contrast is a little high, and as with the majority of action cameras it struggles with dynamic range, losing some shadow and highlight detail in high-contrast situations.

When you're filming while moving between bright and shaded areas, however, the exposure adjusts quickly, and the auto white balance works well; unusually the TG-Tracker manages to adjust both exposure and colour balance at the same time.

Olympus TG-Tracker review

Dropping the resolution down to 1080p at 30fps results in well balanced footage with a good amount of detail. Shooting at 60fps captures smooth motion, but a the cost of a slight drop in the quality of the detail and tonal rendition when compared with footage shot at 30fps.

The 204-degree angle of view lens captures a very distinctive fish-eye perspective, even more so than that of the GoPro. Footage is sharp at the center of the frame, but as you'd expect the sharpness falls off considerably towards the edges, and there are signs of blue chromatic aberration.

Olympus TG-Tracker review

The lens is protected by a domed filter which can be removed and replaced if the filter is broken, or if additional filter options become available in the future. In bright conditions the lens can introduce slight flare at the edges of the frame, but this generally isn't noticeable.

The TG-Tracker has two recording modes: On and Log. The On setting captures just footage, while selecting Log activates the sensors, to capture GPS and other data. The data from the sensors can be viewed on the screen during playback, or in the OI.Track app. It's worth noting that Log mode drains the battery much more quickly than the standard recording mode.