Easily the best fishing camera

OM Systems TG-7: The Ultimate Camera Review for Avid Anglers

As an angler who’s often knee-deep in water, I’ve learned the hard way that using a pricey smartphone for capturing those fishing moments is a gamble. A single slip, and you’re not just losing a device, but your main means of communication.

Enter the OM Systems Tough TG-7, perfectly suited for the rugged demands of watery outdoor adventures. It’s waterproof, robust, and ideal for fishers. The added convenience of its app allows for quick photo transfers, ensuring your prized catches are shared instantly, all while keeping your phone safely tucked away.

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Waterproof TG-7 Tough Camera
Waterproof TG-7 Tough Camera

OM SYSTEM Tough TG-7: A Fly Fisher’s Take

I recently took the OM SYSTEM Tough TG-7 Underwater Camera out to test its “fishiness” (I’m not sure if that’s a word) Like many anglers I know, we need gear that can standup to some harsh conditions.

The TG-7’s robustness is its standout feature. Waterproof to 50 feet, dustproof, shockproof from 7 feet, crushproof, and freezeproof, it’s built for the unpredictability of fishing adventures. Whether it’s an accidental drop in the river or exposure to harsh conditions, this camera can take it.

On-Water pictures with the OM Systems TG-7
On-Water pictures with the OM Systems TG-7

Its high-resolution F2.0 lens with 4x zoom captures the vibrant hues and intricate details of my aquatic finds, even in low light. The macro modes are exceptional, allowing me to get up-close shots of fish scales and flies with stunning clarity.

Underwater shooting is effortless, thanks to its specialized modes. From releasing fish to stream photography, the TG-7 delivers impressive results.

Plus, the 4K video capability means I can record every thrilling moment of the catch in high-definition.

In short, the Tough TG-7 is now an indispensable part of my fishing kit. For anglers and outdoor enthusiasts, it’s a worthy companion to capture your adventures.

OM SYSTEM Tough TG-7: The Optics

Out on the river with the OM SYSTEM Tough TG-7 in hand, I’ve been genuinely impressed by its optics. As a fly fisherman, capturing the essence of the sport is as much about the scenery and wildlife as it is about the catch.

The TG-7’s 1/2.3-inch sensor and digital image stabilization make every shot, even underwater, crisp and clear. With a 12 MP resolution, it’s perfect for those moments when the light hits the water just right, or you’ve landed a particularly photogenic trout.

Pro Tip about Camera Sensors: A superior camera sensor is defined by its size and resolution: larger sensors capture more light and detail, enhancing image quality, especially in low-light conditions. Additionally, its ability to effectively handle various lighting situations without excessive noise is crucial for producing clear, high-quality images.

I’ve tried a fair share of underwater cameras, but the TG-7’s 44x macro shooting stands out. It lets me capture the intricate details of aquatic life, the delicate patterns on a fish, or the fine craftsmanship of a fly.

However, its shutter speed range, from 1/2 to 1/2000 seconds, means I need to be a bit strategic when snapping quick-moving subjects, like a fish striking the fly.

The 4K video recording is another feature I’ve come to appreciate. Recording my casts and the surrounding nature in such high resolution brings a new depth to reliving those experiences back on dry land.

Guide Pro Tip: Are you looking for a comparison of the cameras I’ve used? Heck I’ll bet I broken or lost more point and shot tough cameras than most folks. Read 👉 Best Cameras for Fly Fishers

Underwater Capabilities of the TG-7

On a recent outing, I tucked the TG-7 into my wader pocket, with the objective of really testing the cameras’ ability.  My hope was to at least hook into one of the smaller brown trout that reside in the river.

The highlight was hooking a stunning brown trout. As I gently released it back into the water, the TG-7’s waterproof capabilities shone. Submerged, it captured the trout’s features and vivid details with its high-resolution lens.

Underwater picture of a beautiful brown trout using the TG-7
Underwater picture of a beautiful brown trout using the TG-7

The image was a vibrant testament to the trout’s beauty, immortalizing the thrill of the catch in extraordinary clarity.

This experience with the TG-7 was more than just photography; it was about capturing the essence of fly fishing. The excitement of watching the trout swim away, coupled with the camera’s ability to freeze that moment, was exhilarating.

For any angler seeking to document such memorable encounters, the TG-7 proves to be an invaluable asset, blending the thrill of the catch with the art of underwater photography.

Macro Mastery for Fly Fishing with the OM Systems TG-7

Bright green caddis nymph and a matching fly - using the TG-7
Bright green caddis nymph and a matching fly size 20 – Marco photo with the TG-7

On the river with the OM System Tough TG-7, its macro capabilities have truly enhanced my fly fishing.  The ability to zoom in as close as 1 centimeter is incredible, especially when capturing the delicate details of a tiny caddis nymph, a staple in my fly box.

While mastering these close-up shots takes some practice, the TG-7’s sharp F2.0 lens and backlit CMOS sensor ensure each intricate pattern and texture is vividly captured, adding a rich layer to my fishing experiences.

How the TG-7 Hooks into the Needs of Anglers

For the fly fisher seeking to capture the essence of their adventures, the OM Systems TG-7 offers the perfect blend of rugged durability and exceptional imaging. Waterproof and user-friendly, it’s an ideal companion for documenting every vibrant detail and serene moment on the water.

Capturing a true trophy with the Tough TG-7
Capturing a true trophy with the Tough TG-7

Ease of Use: Navigating the TG-7 is as smooth as casting a line on a calm morning, thanks to its angler-friendly interface and straightforward controls, perfect even when you’re wading in challenging conditions.

Waterproof Rating: Dive into your fishing adventures with confidence; the TG-7 is waterproof down to 15 meters (50 feet), ideal for capturing the underwater ballet of trout in their natural habitat.

Durability: Just like a trusty fly rod, the TG-7 is built tough – shockproof, dustproof, and freezeproof, ready to withstand the unpredictable elements of the great outdoors.

Image Quality: With a high-resolution sensor and sharp lens, the TG-7 brings the vibrant colors of a rainbow trout or the shimmering scales of a bass to life in stunning detail.

Battery Life: Designed for the long haul, much like a full day of casting and reeling, its battery life ensures you won’t miss a moment of your underwater escapades. I wasn’t able to run the battery dead, but it is reported to last for 330 shots. Ref here

Lighting and Flash: The TG-7’s built-in lighting is akin to the perfect fly lure, drawing in subjects for enhanced underwater photography, and it’s ready to pair with external flash units for that extra sparkle.

Macro Capabilities: Get up close and personal with the tiniest nymphs; the TG-7’s macro photography skills allow for capturing intricate details of aquatic life, just like examining the delicate patterns on a fly.

Stabilization Technology: Its advanced image stabilization keeps your shots steady, much like the steady hand needed when tying a fly or setting the hook.

Wireless Connectivity: With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, sharing your catch of the day is as easy as a gentle release back into the water, allowing for seamless image sharing and transfer.

OM Systems TG-7 Accessories
OM Systems TG-7 Accessories – image credit OM Systems

Accessories Compatibility: Expand your photographic tackle box with the TG-7’s compatibility with a range of accessories, including external lenses and filters, enhancing your underwater photography like the right fly enhances your fishing experience.

Reeling in Reliability: TG-7’s Pros and Cons

The OM SYSTEM Tough TG-7 stands out as a robust and versatile camera, ideal for adventurers and us fly flingers. While its durability and image quality are commendable, it’s important to note that it may not entirely replace high-end mirrorless camera and does require some time to master its various settings.

🎣 Ready to elevate your fishing photography? Check out this Amazon link for current prices 👉 OM Systems Tough TG-7

Pros and Cons of the TG-7

Durability: Waterproof (15m), dustproof, shockproof, crushproof, and freezeproof, with an anti-fog feature for clear photos in humid conditions.Compact Design: Might take time getting used to, especially for those accustomed to DSLR or mirrorless cameras.
Image Quality: High-resolution F2.0 lens, 4x zoom, TruePic VIII processor, and back-illuminated CMOS sensor produce sharp, vibrant photos.Image Quality vs. DSLR/Mirrorless: Doesn’t quite match the image quality of high-end DSLR or mirrorless cameras.
Macro Capabilities: Variable macro system with four modes for extreme close-up shots, as close as 1 centimeter.Learning Curve: Numerous settings and modes can be overwhelming initially, requiring practice to fully utilize.
Underwater Modes: Five modes including underwater microscope and HDR, ideal for divers and snorkelers.
Video Capabilities: Records in 4K resolution and offers 120 fps high-speed movie recordings, with a vertical video mode.

More Camera Options Fisher Folks

Each of the cameras below have their own strengths and weaknesses.  I have not tested any of them like I have the TG-7 or a GoPro beyond the HERO9 (which I love), so it’s important to consider your specific needs, like; rugged outdoor activities that involve water, or casual adventures, before making a decision.

Ricoh WG-70 👈 link to Amazon for price and reviews

Ricoh WG-70
Image credit Ricoh WG-70
  • Waterproof up to 14 meters, shockproof from 2.7 meters.
  • Features a 16MP sensor and 5x optical zoom lens.
  • Versatile for various outdoor adventures.

Nikon Coolpix W300 👈 link to Amazon for price and reviews

Nikon Coolpix W300
Image credit Nikon Coolpix W300
  • Comparable ruggedness with waterproof capability up to 30 meters and shockproof from 2.7 meters.
  • Equipped with a 12MP sensor and 5x zoom lens.
  • Suitable for capturing outdoor memories.

For those seeking more professional-grade features, and even greater durability, consider this action camera:

GoPro HERO11 Black 👈 link to Amazon for price and reviews

GoPro Hero11
Image credit GoPro Hero11
  • Renowned for its durability, waterproof up to 10 meters, and extremely rugged.
  • Upgraded 27MP sensor with improved image stabilization.
  • Captures stunning action footage in extreme conditions.

Landing the Big One: Why the TG-7 is a Keeper

I know I'm going to keep the TG-7 close for capturing memories
I know I’m going to keep the TG-7 close for capturing memories

I’ve found the OM System Tough TG-7 to be a reliable companion on the water. Its waterproof and freeze-proof features are perfect for the diverse conditions I face. The image quality, especially with its underwater capabilities, impresses me every time. It’s become as essential as my fly box, fitting easily in my waders or sling pack.

While it may not replace an action video camera like a GoPro, the TG-7 excels in its own right. For those seeking a rugged, versatile camera that delivers stunning results in harsh environments, the TG-7 is a solid choice.

Hi David Humphries Owner of Guide Recommended. I love everything to do with fly fishing. Casting, Tying, YouTube, writing about it and even teaching. I’ve got a FREE video workshop teaching how to dry fly fish at this link How to Fly Fish

More Reading and resourses

  • Guide Recommended – Best Camera for Fly Fishing: This article provides insights from a fly fishing perspective, making it a valuable resource for anglers looking to understand how the OM Systems TG-7 could enhance their fishing experience. Read the article
  • For detailed and official insights on the OM Systems TG-7, visit the OM Systems website. It offers in-depth information on the camera’s features and specifications. Visit the OM Systems website
  • PCMag – OM System TG-7 Review: PCMag offers a comprehensive review of the OM System TG-7, detailing its features, performance, and how it stacks up against competitors. Read the review on PCMag
  • Digital Photography Review (DPReview): DPReview is a trusted source for in-depth camera reviews and could provide a detailed analysis of the OM System TG-7, including image quality and performance assessments. Visit DPReview
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