The Panasonic’s photos are almost as good as the Olympus’s. While the results typically aren’t quite as sharp, the Panasonic’s brains tend to make better decisions when subjects are backlit or when the lights get low. This is important because you likely don’t want to fumble with settings while you’re out on your adventures; you want to trust that the auto mode will pick the right settings. The Panasonic does well on this task. That said, the Olympus has a faster focusing system and takes better-quality photos overall, with less image noise in dim light thanks to a fast lens.
In its default Standard color mode, colors generally appear a bit more realistic (though more muted); if you prefer the more saturated, vibrant look that the Olympus produces, however, you can change the Panasonic to its Happy color profile, and the photos will pop just like those of the Olympus. The Panasonic’s flash works much, much better than the Olympus’s, and it’s smarter about when it engages.
Your photos are ready to go straight from the camera, and they will look fantastic when you post them on Facebook. You can see comparison images between last year’s TG-3 and our alternative pick at the time
But easy, good-looking photos are only the beginning. The TG-4 has a 16-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. That’s a pretty standard sensor for compact cameras, so the resulting photos won’t blow your mind, but they will certainly be up to snuff and on a par with images from other modern point-and-shoots. Thanks to the camera’s 16 megapixels, you’ll have plenty of room to crop if you’re looking to create a Facebook photo or a 3-by-5 print. The TG-4 also has an optically stabilized (which not every camera has) 4x-zoom, 4.5-to-18.0-mm lens (35 mm equivalent: 25 to 100 mm). That means its field of view goes a bit wider than that of most tough compact cameras, so it’s fantastic for capturing broad, sweeping landscapes and getting a lot of scenery into a single image.