First, before I dive in, I am going to say the following:
This camera is being reviewed from the perspective of a man that is a cyclist, blogger, and writer of words. I am NOT a professional photographer, nor a professional photography equipment reviewer. There are enough of the "photo-geek" sites out there which should satisfy your desire for pixel-peeping and whatnot. This will not be one of those reviews. For the rest of us that just want a damn camera that works for where we ride and live, read on!
Okay, so I pre-ordered this beast and it was about a month later than projected, (sound like the cycling industry at all?), but I'm okay with that. I figured that was a "best case scenario" guesstimate on the part of the manufacturer. The Tough TG-3 is supposed to be dust proof, freeze proof to about 14°F/-10°C, submersible to 15m/50ft, impact resistant to 2.1m/7ft, and crush-proof to 100KG/220lbs of pressure. In other words, it's one tough camera compared to others you have to maybe be a bit more careful with and handle gingerly.
|The manual comes on a disc for your computer.|
Anywho.....The box had everything in it and the quick start instruction sheet was easy enough to get me started on my way. The battery needed a charge and it took about 3 hours to bring it up to a full charge. This was a partially charged battery, so charging time from a fully drained battery will be longer, most likely. I got a 16 gigabit card and that was the only extra thing I purchased. The cord used to transfer images doubles as a charging cord in tandem with a wall wart. (See diagram at left)
Some camera reviewers grouse about manuals being on a disc, or available on-line. You know what? I like it. I like it because I can make the images and type as big as I want so I can actually read it, and I can dispense with having to physically hold a booklet that is enormous due to having to accommodate 10 languages, and instead relax while I read the manual. Not that camera manuals are exciting, but......what's so wrong with a disc manual? Saves paper, the way I figure, and I think it works just dandy. The manual is pretty clearly written and if you choose to geek out, the info is there for you. I skipped over a lot of that stuff for now, but when I am ready, I will come back and digest those bits. (No pun intended.)
|A look at the backside|
The one thing that I'll have to get used to is the weight. This camera is not near as light as the old Fuji was, but again- it is better in everyway than the Fuji. You have to trade something off, and weight is what that is here. This red camera weighs in at 220 grams ready to roll. Compare that to my Panasonic LX-3 which is a clunkier shape and weighs in at 280 grams, with a long strap attached. (Oddly enough, If you could take off the protruding lens on the Panasonic, these two cameras are very similar in size and shape!) This one will be felt in the jersey pocket!
|My paw wrapped around the TG-3|
I've fired off some test images around the Guitar Ted Laboratories already, and I haven't downloaded those just yet, but I will do that soon. I definitely will be getting out and about now with this camera to test out my theories on its plusses for the image taking cyclist.
The TG-3 is available in this red, or black. I got red because I can find "red" easier than I can "black". That it is a shiny red is a bonus, since I always go for shiny objects. Price is $349.99USD for now. It's a brand new camera on the market, so I wouldn't expect any deep discounts for a while on this guy.
Note: Guitar Ted paid his own money for this camera and is not being bribed, nor paid for writing about it. So there.