The Olympus TG-Tracker is a break from the usual box style of action camera, and the design and feature set make it very appealing. The shooting specs are impressive too, with the 4K video recording at 30fps enabling you to capture high-quality footage to set the scene, then 1080p at 60fps to capture the action. The option to shoot 720p at 240fps is also a huge benefit for those wanting to capture action sports in slow motion.
Image quality is good and stands well against the likes of the Olfi, Garmin Virb XE and TomTom Bandit. However the GoPro Hero4 Black still has the edge when it comes to absolute quality of footage.
Capturing location and motion data through the five sensors is a huge selling point, and matches the abilities of the Virb XE and Bandit.
However, at present the integration of this data capture with the app and software doesn't feel like it has been fully realised – the Virb XE enables the overlay of the data on the footage and integration with Garmin heart monitors and other compatible gear, while the Bandit has the overlays and the shake to edit feature. At present the TG-Tracker's app is only able to display the data alongside the footage.
But at least the hardware is in place, and hopefully the software will be updated to make full use of its capabilities.
The TG-Tracker is easier and more intuitive to use handheld than any other action camera presently on the market, with the flip-out screen making it easy to compose shots and view settings information, and the button layout making it simple to adjust settings. Connecting and using the app, and data capture, are also easy.
The inclusion of the GoPro mount adapter opens up almost endless mounting options, and the use of a standard 1/4-inch thread will be welcomed by photographers, as it enables the camera to fit any tripod without the need for an adapter.
The larger size and weight compared with the GoPro can be an issue when mounting the TG-Tracker in some positions. The flip-out screen is an asset, but the inability to rotate it once flipped is a niggling issue – it's the first thing anyone tries to do once they've flipped a screen out.
At present it doesn't feel like the software and app have been fully developed to take full advantage of the camera's sensors.
For all-round features and performance, the Olympus TG-Tracker is ahead of all other action cameras that are currently available. The tough design, waterproofing, small screen, button layout and included Steady Grip make it exceptionally easy to use, and a great choice for families as well as action cam enthusiasts.
The addition of multiple sensors, and 4K and 1080P video recording options, will also appeal to those taking part in extreme sports who want a single device to capture both data and visuals.
The TG-Tracker's price puts it in direct competition with the TomTom Bandit and Garmin Virb XE – and it's a pretty even battle, with each camera having advantages in particular areas.
If you want a rugged, easy-to-use action camera for recording family days out, the TG-Tracker is unbeatable when it comes to ease of use. The TomTom Bandit leads for auto-editing features, while the Virb XE has the edge if you're out on the trail and want a camera that's compatible with Garmin fitness devices.