Getting ready for Costa Rica with the Olympus TG-5 Tough

You may remember me writing about a very exciting trip I am going on, to the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. This trip is now only a week away. I am joining the team at Osa Conservation and hoping it will lead to lots more exciting possibilities in the future! As I will be in the rainforest, in rainy season with just about 100% humidity, I knew I was going to need a camera that I could take out without having to worry about the effects of the weather; the sort of camera I could use to document my trip, but that would also give me opportunities to still photography some of the wildlife there, particularly the incredible invertebrates that live in this area.

I did a fair bit of research, but was most impressed by a new camera just released by Olympus; the TG-5 Tough. The ‘microscope’ function and its impressive credentials regarding its ability to survive , unscathed, in rainforest conditions kept me going back to look at it. After looking at a range of other similar cameras, I felt that this Olympus  was going to offer me all I wanted in a camera that I could keep in my pocket and document the trip. Approaching Park Cameras, with whom I have worked with before, they agreed to lend me one for the trip to put it through its paces!

Advertised as a camera that is ‘up to the challenge’, the TG-5 Tough is the newest family in the ‘Tough’ range. You can read more about it HERE



I have been trying it out in a range of situations at home, to get used to the settings and to assess what it is capable of. I have been concentrating on the ‘microscope’ mode, which is the macro aspect of the camera. There are 4 modes within this setting; Microscope (as close as 1cm from subject), Focus Stacking (multiple images taken, shifting the focus & combining the images), Focus bracketing (as previous but you can set the settings) and Microscope Control  (optimised for close-ups with the subject magnified in the monitor.)

With lots of butterflies around in the garden, I spent some time with the camera just on the basic microscope mode. You can go as close as 1cm from your subject and the camera is quick to focus  without depressing the shutter.Some of these images have been cropped, but were shot in Jpeg and have very little adjustments, other than slight exposure levels changes.

The camera was easy to manoeuvre close to the subject and focussed almost instantly . allowing for a rapid shot, often needed with slightly butterflies! If the zoom was used whilst in this mode, a slight graininess was detected, but pretty impressive!