Olympus TOUGH TG6 review - Quality

Quality

To test real-life performance, I shot this scene with the Olympus TOUGH TG-6, the Fujifilm Finepix XP140 and Nikon COOLPIX W150 using their best quality JPEG mode. All three cameras were mounted on a tripod and image stabilisation was disabled. Program auto mode was selected for the exposure.

 

 

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The TG-6 was set to its base 100 ISO sensitivity as was the Fujifilm XP140; the COOLPIX W150 automatically set its base 125 ISO sensitivity. I zoomed the TG-6 and the XP140 in a little to match the narrower field of view of the COOLPIX W150 at it’s widest setting. As usual, the crops below are taken from the areas marked in red above.

The first thing to point out is that the 12 megapixel sensor on the TOUGH TG-6 produces crops with a larger area and smaller detail than those of the 16 Megapixel Finepix XP140, but closer to the 13 Megapixel COOLPIX W150. Bear in mind though that the TOUGH TG-6 and Fienpix XP140 both have 1/2.3in sensors whereas the COOLPX W150 sensor is smaller at 1/3.1in. So you’d expect the image quality on the COOLPIX 150 to be inferior. But let’s take a look at the crops.

Looking at the first row from the left edge of the frame there’s a clear quality difference with the Olympus on top followed by the Fujifilm Finepix and then the COOLPIX. The TG-6 crop is sharp and detailed, the XP140 crop is a little soft and has some colour fringing and the detail in the W130 crop looks a little clumpy.

And it’s actually a similar story for the remaining three rows, with the TOUGH TG-6 coming out on top every time and the COOLPIX W150 in bottom place. This isn’t all that surprising a result – you’d expect the TG-6’s 12 megapixel sensor to out perform the 16 megapixel sensor in the Finepix XP140 and the physically smaller sensor in the COOLPIX W150. And the Tough TG-5 beat the XP120 in our quality test a couple of years ago. That said, though both models have the same lens and sensor combination as before, it’s well worth making this comparison as there have been several tweaks and improvements to both models since then, not least the anti-reflective coating on the glass in front of the sensor on the TOUGH TG-6.

Scroll down to see how the TOUGH TG-6 and Finepix XP140 compare in terms of noise performance.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 5.8mm f9 100 ISO. Above centre: Fujifilm Finepix XP140 at 5.6mm f7.1 100 ISO. Above right: Nikon COOLPIX W150 at 4.1mm f6.6 125 ISO.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 5.8mm f9 100 ISO. Above centre: Fujifilm Finepix XP140 at 5.6mm f7.1 100 ISO. Above right: Nikon COOLPIX W150 at 4.1mm f6.6 125 ISO.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 5.8mm f9 100 ISO. Above centre: Fujifilm Finepix XP140 at 5.6mm f7.1 100 ISO. Above right: Nikon COOLPIX W150 at 4.1mm f6.6 125 ISO.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 5.8mm f9 100 ISO. Above centre: Fujifilm Finepix XP140 at 5.6mm f7.1 100 ISO. Above right: Nikon COOLPIX W150 at 4.1mm f6.6 125 ISO.

 

Olympus TOUGH TG-6 JPEG Noise

 

To examine noise levels under real-life conditions, I shot the scene below with Olympus TOUGH TG-6 and the Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at each of their ISO sensitivities using their highest quality JPEG settings. Both cameras were mounted on a tripod and stabilisation was disabled.

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One thing to bear in mind before we look at the crops is that the TOUGH TG-6 has a 12 Megapixel sensor, compared with 16 Megapixels on the XP140, so the TOUGH TG-6’s crops show a larger area with smaller detail. Unsurprisingly the performance of both models in this test differs very little from when I tested the TOUGH TG-5 up against the Finepix XP120 back in 2017. After all, both cameras are unchanged in terms of the lens and sensor.

So the short version is the TOUGH TG-6 does very well, with low noise levels up to 400 ISO and the noise managed well from there up to 3200 ISO so you can get excellent results at less than 100 percent viewing sizes. If you want a more detailed report take a look at my TOUGH TG-5 vs Finepix XP120 quality results.

The only thing I’ll add here is that the TOUGH TG-6 has at least a one stop noise advantage over the Finepix XP140. In other words the TOUGH TG-6 looks at least as good at 1600 ISO as the Finepix XP140 does at 800 ISO. That’s pretty good to begin with, but don’t forget the TOUGH TG-6 also has a lens that’s two stops brighter at the wide angle setting than the XP140. Which means that in the same conditions, shooting at the same shutter speed, the Finepix XP140 will need 1600 ISO where the TG-6 will get by at 400 ISO. So other than when shooting outdoors in bright conditions out of or above the water, you’re going to get better quality, lower noise photos and video with the TOUGH TG-6.

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 100 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 100 ISO f3.9.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 200 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 200 ISO f3.9.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 400 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 400 ISO f3.9.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 800 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 800 ISO f3.9.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 1600 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 1600 ISO f3.9.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 3200 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 3200 ISO f3.9.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 6400 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 6400 ISO f3.9.

 

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Above left: Olympus TOUGH TG-6 at 12800 ISO f2. Above right: Fujifilm FinePix XP140 at 12800 ISO f3.9.

 

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