Olympus Tough TG-1 Digital Camera Review$399.99
The TG-1 looks like it might be tough to handle—the finish is slick, the grip is small, the rear panel is crowded. But it's actually comfortable and well-balanced in the hand. It's solid, but light enough for easy one-handed use. You'll need to use two hands if you need to manipulate the controls, but that's typical for a compact.
It's compact enough to fit into a pants pocket, but it won't be comfortable. It'll fit easily into a cargo pocket or jacket pocket. It's sturdy enough to live in the bottom of a backpack, and can survive occasional bumps and bruises if it's hanging from a caribiner. On the whole, it's slightly smaller, lighter, and easier to handle than most tough-cams.
Buttons & Dials
The TG-1's button layout is pretty typical of a tough-cam (and point-and-shoots in general), though a bit cramped. The mode dial on the rear makes it easy to switch between common shooting modes (iAuto, program, and a few others). The four-way selector is tied directly to the quick-menu system, which is helpful, and there are dedicated buttons for movie mode, playback mode, and the menu. Also typical of the tough-cam class is the two-button, W/T zoom control (as opposed to a zoom tilter).
The 3-inch, 610,000-pixel OLED display is yet another hardware highlight on the TG-1. It's brighter, crisper, smoother, more vibrant, and more energy-efficient than even the best tough-cam LCD displays. The improvement is most obvious in bright sunlight and underwater, where regular LCDs struggle.
The TG-1 has built-in optical image stabilization. It struggled in our lab test—some cameras just don't do well with the unnatural side-to-side shaking that we apply—but in the real world, it's good for a few extra stops of shutter stability. We could shoot at 1/13s with crisp results.