Review: Best Compact Travel Camera 2014

If you are reading this you are probably looking to buy a new camera. Last year we decided to upgrade the camera we travel with. We wanted a camera that took great shots, was waterproof and smallish. We ended up with the Olympus Stylus TG-830 iHS Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 3-Inch LC in silver and could not have been happier. We even sprung for the optional buoy so that if while we were snorkeling and dropped the camera it would float instead of sinking.

The camera is tough enough to go 33 feet underwater, when most cameras are good to 6-9 feet. It can survive being dropped by your average NBA center, and can operate in frigid temperatures. One of the best features for those of us that travel is that it also packs a GPS, so your photos will be tagged with the location of where they were captured, and you get a generous 5x zoom lens.

 

Olympus Stylus TG-830
Olympus Stylus TG-830

We wanted a camera designed for travel, not one that was designed to look nice. The Olympus Stylus TG-830 iHS takes great shots even by this amateur and comes in a small factor. I have owned smaller cameras in the past and loved that they easily slid into any pocket. As long as you are not wearing skinny jeans you can still fit the TG-830 into a pocket. The added heft and size as compared to its competitors comes from its water-proofing. We tested the camera under a tap of running water, then a pool, then by jumping off a boat into the ocean. It survived each time. We were able to swim deep with it and jump with it recording video from a boat into the ocean.

 

Key Features
16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor
5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)
Sensor shift image stabilisation
3.0 inch 460k dot HyperCrystal III LCD screen
Waterproof to 33ft
Shockproof to 7ft
Freezeproof to -10°C
Crushproof to 100kg
GPS electronic compass
Full 1080p HD video recording
ISO 125 – 6400
3cm minimum focusing distance
11.5 fps full resolution continuous shooting
Panorama mode
Available in red, black, blue and silver

Olympus TG-830 Body
The TG-830 has a solid metal body with a rubber grip on the front and a metal bar on the rear with helps you hold the camera as well as attached a hand strap. There are two openings, one for the battery and memory card and the other for cable connections. These are kept firmly in place with two locks on each, which will ensure no water is able to get in.

Pros:
Water-proof to 33ft
I can drop the camera
Double latches for every opening
GPS

Cons:
1080p movies seem a bit off, but I assume thats from me not holding the camera steady enough.
GPS takes a bit of time to acquire a signal (30s).
Odd to me that the lens does not have a cover. It would be nice to have a small cover to protect it.

 

 

For convenience you can click on the Amazon link below to easily purchase the camera with Amazon Prime shipping.

 


I would highly suggest the Olympus TG-830 for anyone out there getting ready to hit the road, it is near perfect for the well-travelled photographer. We would easily buy the camera again.