Adding a Silicone Skin on the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera

Looking to add a silicone skin to your shiny new Olympus TG-5 camera? Here’s a quick rundown of what the CSCH-126 silicon jacket accessory does and doesn’t do.

Olympus CSCH-126 Silicon Jacket for the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera Front View
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I recently picked up one of the new Olympus TG-5 Tough waterproof point and shoots. I’ll be posting a detailed hands-on review of it after I get from shooting with it while kayaking in the Arctic, but in the meantime, I thought I’d do some quick posts on some of the accessories I’ve kitted it out with in case they’re useful for anyone getting ready to head on vacation with one of these cameras.

Olympus is now OM System

In 2020-21, the photography business of iconic camera brand Olympus was spun off and sold. The core remaining Olympus brand is focusing on medical and scientific products. The camera and photography side was then rebranded as OM System, with the first cameras and lenses under that brand coming out at the end of 2021.

This first post focuses on the silicone skin for this camera (or silicon jacket, as Olympus calls it). It’s one of Olympus’s official accessories for this camera. Here’s a quick rundown of what it does and doesn’t do.

It’s pretty simple: it’s a silicone rubber cover that fits snugly over the camera. There are cutouts for the things you might need to access to operate the camera. While it’s technically called gray, it’s actually a translucent silicone, so you can still pretty easily read the button labels.

Olympus CSCH-126 Silicone Jacket for the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera

Buttons and dials that need to move, like the zoom lever and settings dials on the top and back, as well as the GPS switch, are all exposed.

Olympus CSCH-126 Silicon Jacket for the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera

Not every button has a cutout–some are completely covered by the silicone, but it’s designed in such a way that even those buttons are still easy to feel and use. That’s important because some of the buttons that are covered are the ones on the back of the camera that you’ll need to change settings and use the back screen.

The doors and ports are still accessible, so you can change the battery, swap out the memory card, connect to a TV, or charge via USB just as you normally would.

Olympus CSCH-126 Silicon Jacket for the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera

The flash is also clear. And there are a couple of small cutouts for the onboard microphones, so they should work just as normal.

The lens remains unobstructed, and you can still attach the lens attachments like the FD-1 fisheye lens if you wish.

Olympus CSCH-126 Silicon Jacket for the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera

What It Does & Doesn’t Do

The silicone adds some extra grip. It’s noticeably grippier when using with wet hands. And it’s not just a matter of holding it. I’ve found it’s also good when you’re putting the camera down on smooth surfaces like the deck of a boat or kayak. It’s a bit less likely to slide around.

It also adds some protection from bumps and scratches and much of the camera’s body. So if you want to keep your camera looking good–perhaps to increase the chances of selling it later–the skin comes in handy.

But it’s important to know what the silicone skin doesn’t do: it doesn’t provide any protection for the lens or the back screen. Both remain just as exposed as they would be without the silicone skin.

The entire back screen is exposed through a cutout. On the plus side, that means that your view of the screen is entirely unobstructed. But if you want a screen protector, you’ll need to pick that up separately.

Olympus CSCH-126 Silicon Jacket for the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera Back View

It also doesn’t add the kind of protection a lens cap would. (And, as a related aside, I’m a bit baffled as to why the camera doesn’t include a lens cap right out of the box.)

It also doesn’t make the camera any more waterproof than it already is–it’s not a dive casing.

Worth Knowing

Two more things are worth knowing, neither of which is a big deal for most but might be important to some. The first is that while you can still access the tripod attachment on the bottom, the silicone that’s flush with it on one side will interfere a bit with screwing it onto many tripod heads or other mounting points. You can either try to jam the silicone in between the head and the camera and hope that doesn’t damage the thread or cut away some of the silicone and risk that it will loosen the back portion.

Olympus CSCH-126 Silicon Jacket for the Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera

The other thing worth noting is that if you get any water trapped between the skin and the camera, it takes a bit longer to dry out after taking it for a dunking.

Random Notes

I had no problem putting the skin on by starting through the largest hole and then gently easing it over the rest of the camera. Of course, you want to avoid tearing the skin to prevent tears from getting big.

Because of the grippy rubber, it does tend to attract dust and dirt.

With the skin on, the camera won’t fit easily in the CSCH-121 mesh case.

Find Them At

I bought mine at B&H Photo. The model number is CSCH-126, and it’s specifically for the TG-5.

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David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

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