I became interested in the Olympus TG-6 camera, while exploring affordable alternatives to the GoPro Hero 7 / 8 for snorkeling and poor weather conditions. I wanted something that I could take underwater and that was small enough to keep with me and pull out in the rain.
The TG6 is part of the Olympus tough series cameras. The appearance of the camera has a tough look, but handling the camera does not leave me with a lot of confidence. It feels pretty cheap.
There are also several reports of the housing leaking in shallow water. For serious underwater use, you would probably want the optional dive housing, but that almost doubles the price of the camera.
I gave the Olympus TG6 a try and shot a bunch of videos and pictures above water. What I found was that it does a good job in bright conditions, but the quality quickly suffers in low light conditions.
This might not be a problem for some people, but I wanted to use this camera in shallow water without a heavy light rig. This pretty much became a non-starter for me as I already have a GoPro with underwater housing and filters.
What I like about this camera are the underwater and macro settings. I felt the macro did a really good job for a camera in this price range. I can also see how the underwater settings would be really useful in some situations.
That said, if I am snorkeling, I don’t have time to set up intricate macro shots. Above water, I would use my Canon 100mm macro lens. So, while useful, it just did not meet my needs. I am mostly interested in video.
The main reasons I decided to stick with the GoPro are that I am mostly interested in video, I already have a bunch of accessories, and the image stabilization is much better in the GoPro Hero 7 Black than it is in the TG6.
In the end, I decided to sell it before investing in the underwater housing. But, for people interested in a cheap intro to underwater photography, this could be a good option. I really think that this camera would be useful for a small group of photographers who will be using lights, but not the best option for most people.