OM System TG-7 Review

Not Worth the Upgrade for Underwater Photography
By Nirupam Nigam

After a lot of anticipation, the OM System (Olympus) TG-7 has been announced as the successor to the Olympus TG-6, which was quite popular in 2019 with underwater photographers, especially macro shooters. Four years later, Olympus has since been acquired by OM System (aka Japanese Industrial Partners). With the company under new management we were hoping for a revamped, improved, and reimagined TG-7. Unfortunately, some TG-6 shooters will be met with disappointment. Much like the "upgrade" from the TG-5 to the TG-6, the TG-7 is a repackaged Olympus TG-6 with very minor upgrades for underwater photography - for an even higher price point of $549.99. This is surprising to see considering the fact it's been six years since the TG-5 was announced in 2017 - without a major update since. Even with inflation, the TG-7's pricepoint is making professional-grade APS-C cameras a lot more enticing. Take the Canon R100 for instance. This entry level mirrorless camera clocks in at $479

OM System TG-7 Review

OM System TG-7 Underwater Housings

The one upside to the new camera is that it is so similar to the TG-6, it will fit in current Olympus TG-6 housings. So be sure to check out Bluewater Photo's preview of the OM System TG-7 underwater housings options available, including the Olympus PT-059 housing. Even though the images captured with the TG-7 will be the same images you've seen in the Olympus TG-6 review, we'll be sure to be the first to get this camera underwater for a full review, so stay tuned! 



Shop at Bluewater Photo for OM System TG-7 Camera and Housings! 


Ikelite Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Housing

Nauticam Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Housing

Isotta Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Housing

Olympus TG-7, TG-6, TG-5 Underwater Housing PT-059


Our Top Olympus TG-7 Underwater Bundles and Packages:

 Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Snorkel Package

Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Macro Package

Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Video Package

Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Ultimate Package

Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Housing and Strobe Package

Olympus TG-7, TG-6 Camera and Housing Bundle

Great Value Package for the Olympus TG-7, TG-6



OM System TG-7 Specifications

  • 12 megapixel, 1/2.33" sensor (smaller than Canon G7X Mark III and RX100 VII)
  • Olympus TruePic VIII image processor
  • Waterproof (50ft without housing), shockproof, crushproof, freezeproof
  • Fast f/2.0-4.9 lens with 4.5mm - 18mm focal length (equivalent to 25mm - 100mm)
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization (up to 2.5 stops)
  •  Minimum working distance 1cm (in super macro mode)
  •  ISO range 100 - 12,800
  • 25 autofocus points with Single AF and Tracking
  • 4K@30p video recording (approx. 102 Mbps bit rate)
  • High Speed Movie mode with 1920x1080@120fps / 1280x720@240 fps / 640x360@480fps 
  • 4K timelapse video
  •  Pro Capture mode for 20fps image capture
  • Shutter speed 4 sec to 1/2000 sec
  • Custom white balance (4 slots)
  •  Built-in flash
  • SD storage (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
  •  RAW and jpeg shooting
  •  WiFi capabilities, including camera control via smartphone
  •  Action track sensors record location, temperature, direction and altitude data 
  •  Weight (approx): 249g / 8.72oz with battery & memory card 
  •  Dimensions: 113mm x 66mm x 32.7mm (4.43in x 2.6in x 1.23in)
  •  Battery life (CIPA): 330

What's New? The TG-7 vs the TG-6

As we mentioned, not much is new with the OM System TG-7 vs the Olympus TG-6 - and certainly nothing that will excite underwater shooters. That said, here are a few updates with the camera: 

1. The TG-7's charging and data transfer port has been updated to USB-C.

2. The TG-7 will automatically rotate your video vertically if you take vertical videos for social media.

3. There is a new construction mode for people that need to bring the camera to worksites. 

Image Quality

The TG-7 hosts the same 12 megapixel, 1/2.33" sensor as the TG-5 and TG-6. This means you can expect the same great image quality from the TG-7 as its predecessors. While the dynamic range isn't quite as good as 1" compact cameras that are currently on the market, it does a great job for macro images that don't often require as wide a dynamic range as wide angle images do (i.e., sunball shots). The microscope mode on the TG-7 will continue to please macro aficionados. 

Olympus TG-6 Sample Underwater Images

Until we have a full review of the TG-7 released, be sure to check out these sample underwater images from the TG-6. 



Body & Build Quality

The TG-7 is built with the same sturdiness as the TG-6. It is freezeproof to 14F/-10C, crushproof to 220 lbs/100kg, and shockproof from 7ft/2.1m. The camera is also waterproof to 50 ft, so if you get a minor flood at depth in your underwater housing, you camera is likely to survive! 

Battery Life

The TG-7's battery life is rated for 330 shots. In using the TG-6, we've started to recommend changing the camera battery after each dive, or every other dive if you don't take many photos. We would recommend buying a couple extra batteries if you intend to go on a dive trip with the TG-7. 

Strobes and TTL/RC Capability

Strobes are underwater flashes that bring colors and details back into your photos. Through-the-lens (TTL) is a strobe setting where your camera controls your strobe power based on its own light metering. The internal flash trigger is transmitted to your strobes via fiber optic cables, and your strobes fire with a corresponding strength. You can get optical TTL when using fiber optic cables with the Sea & Sea YS-03 Solis strobes, Sea & Sea YS-01 Solis Strobes, Inon s220 strobes, Apollo 28 strobes, and Apollo 33 strobes. TTL works in all modes - P, A and auto modes.

The TG-7's built-in flash, which triggers your strobe, has a maximum recycle time of 4 seconds. This is a while to wait for your camera to catch up to your strobe before taking the next shot. One alterative is to not shoot in TTL mode. If you turn your strobe to manual and set the manual flash setting on the camera to 1/32 power, you should be able to trigger your strobe, but shoot quicker. 

The Best Option for TTL (auto strobe exposure)

When it comes to getting the right exposure with your underwater strobe, Ikelite and Sea & Sea go above and beyond with Ikelite's RC1 TTL converter, and Sea & Sea's RC compatible YS-D3 duo strobe. The RC1 TTL converter is a special device that can only be used with Ikelite DS strobes. This device takes the RC flash signal from your Olympus TG-6 and tells the Ikelite DS strobe what exposure you need for your shot. It's extremely accurate and produces great results! We used the RC1 TTL converter in all of our TG-6 sample shots. For the TG-7 we recommend the DS 51 strobes, and if you need a lot of light for wide angle, the DS 160s. The Sea & Sea YS-D3 duo performs just as good! This strobe is great for both wide angle and macro. 

Microscope Mode

The Tough line's microscope has been legendary among macro shooters since its inception. The TG-7 has the same microscope mode functionality as the TG-6. It enables you to take incredible close up photos of small subjects without an additional macro lens. You can also use supermacro autofocus in the TG-7's other modes - allowing you to do "microscope mode" in aperture priority. Pro tip: make sure you zoom the camera in all the way and get close to your subjects when in microscope mode! 

Om System TG-7 Underwater Video

The OM System TG-7 is a good camera for underwater video, but not our first choice for underwater video at this pricepoint. It is capable of capturing 4K video, but we recommend shooting at 1080/60p so that you can slow down your footage in post processing for better stabilization. Perhaps the best video feature of the TG-7 is the fact that you can film video in microscope mode for macro subjects. 


When I first heard of the OM System's TG-7 announcement, I was quite excited to see what new tech OM Systems would bring to the table with their first Tough line camera. After pouring over specs sheets and watching reviews, I became incredulous. After all, the major photo websites had been raving about the new release. But it seems as though the internet has a short memory. There is nothing substantially different between the TG-7 and TG-6.

OM Systems, or rather Japanese Industrial Partners, is at its core a private equity firm. Their job is to turn around struggling companies to make short term profits. I had hoped that Olympus's transition to OM systems would be an exception. But it's clear here that the release of the TG-7 was a ploy to increase the price of the camera and generate more sales from customers unaware that this isn't an upgrade. And we're happy to call them out on it.


Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. After working as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific, Nirupam became the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the President of Bluewater Photo - the world's top underwater photo & video retailer. Check out more of his photography at!


The Best Service & Prices on u/w Photo Gear


Visit Bluewater Photo & Video for all your underwater photography and video gear. Click, or call the team at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!


The Best Pricing, Service & Expert Advice to Book your Dive Trips


Bluewater Travel is your full-service scuba travel agency. Let our expert advisers plan and book your next dive vacation. Run by divers, for divers.