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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

The flash is also clear. And there are a couple of small cutouts for the on-board 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.

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, and that is 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.

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.

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 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.

Buy 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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