Olympus Tough TG6 -v- Canon Powershot G7 Mark III – Which One’s Best for You?

Two Popular Compact Cameras of 2021

Choosing a compact camera can be hugely overwhelming and even moreso with the giant strides in technology over recent years. So today I thought I would have a look at two of the most popular cameras for those starting out on their underwater photographic journey.

As some of you may know I started off developing my underwater skills with the Olympus 5050/5060 which I absolutely loved until it wasn’t replaced and then started using Canon brands. I switched back to using the Olympus TG4 a few years ago and haven’t looked back since. But what are the main differences between the two and do they really affect performance and your underwater images?

So let’s start off looking at the main differences with the newer Canon G7 Mark III. Firstly, it now includes both Bluetooth and WiFi capability as well as a tilt screen of 180 degrees, which is great for selfies and Vloggers looking to work on the road and upload content immediately.

It also has a 1 inch sensor meaning that the quality for lower-light images will be much better than before, plus it has a faster burst mode, faster capability for shooting RAW files and the ability to capture in 4K video. It can also now shoot video in a vertical format, again, an added bonus for Vloggers and it even supports live-streaming on YouTube, as well as capturing images in Panorama mode.

Goby Resting on Hard Coral, taken with add-on Close-Up
Lens and One Strobe

The Canon G7 iii has an f1.8 lens which allows in more natural light and gives the camera the extra speed for capturing images and the ability to capture better quality images than before in darker conditions without the need for extra lights.

Valentines Wreck in Swanage captured with a wide-angle lens

Both wide-angle lenses and close-up lenses can be added, just be careful that the corners of images may be softer with wider lenses giving a larger view than 100 degrees.

So moving onto the Olympus Tough TG6 and what I’ve always loved about the Olympus camera since it’s humble beginnings was it’s macro capabilities and it’s Super Macro Mode. Fast forward to today, and it’s hard to believe that this mode will allow you to focus on subjects just 1 cm away from the camera. The Microscope Mode is now available directly through both it’s Programme and Aperture Priority Mode as well as Video, an ideal bonus for those of you who love capturing critter behaviour. It’s also available in 4K video as well, just by the quick touch of a button.

Wide-angle lovers (myself included here) won’t be disappointed either as there is now an anti-reflective coating to the glass around the sensor, meaning that capturing sunbursts underwater should be sharper and ghosting and flare, less likely.

Sunburst in Egypt captured with a wide-angle lens and one strobe

There are 3 new underwater settings taking the total to 4 as well as different white balance settings, making it far easier for beginners to obtain colour to their images without the need for extra lights when starting out.

The only main advantage that the Canon G7 Mark III has over the Olympus Tough series is that it has full Manual Controls. However, this is only important if you are looking to control the background to your subject and creating a darker blue to it or even black. (More on this another day). Here’s an example to show you.

Hawksbill Turtle Taken with Wide Angle Lens, Two Strobes on Manual Mode

When starting out in underwater photography, the golden rule always applies, what exactly do you want to get out of it, what subjects would you like to capture and where will you be diving. Answering these questions will help you build a system around this that will last and help you capture beautiful images to make your social feed shine.

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