Congratulations on buying the great Olympus TG-4 camera and YS-03 strobe underwater compact camera package! We've written these instructions to help you get started.
We also have a review with photos that will show you some practical ideas for using it. Be sure to visit our Handbooks in the Resource Center as there are many free guides to help you get started with underwater photography, and understand techniques to improve your photos.
To assemble the Sea & Sea YS-03 strobe lighting package with the Olympus housing:
- Move the screw mount to the furthest possible point away from the arm. This allows the latch easier to open and close on the housing.
- Place the screw mounting block in the middle of the tray
- Place the Flex Arm onto the mount. When placing the Flex arm on the tray turn the screw all the way in and not sticking out. The base of the arm should be flush with the mount on the tray.
- Inside of the housing you will find a U shaped, black plastic sync cord holder that has the two holes through it. Fit this plastic piece over the flash diffuser on the front of the housing. It holds the sync cord onto the housing.
- Put the strobe onto the top of the arm (the flat portion of the arm with a hole through it) and use the handscrew that comes with the strobe to hold it in place.
- Insert one end of the sync cord into the strobe using the socket on the lower left hand front. Insert the other end of the sync cord in the black plastic holder on the housing diffuser. You can wind it around the arm to hold it out of the way. If you notice that you are having trouble inserting the sync cord into either the strobe or the housing, use the Sea & Sea grease on the o-rings of the sync cord. One dab of grease should help.
- Place camera in the housing, close housing and turn on strobe and camera.
Setting up the Olympus TG-4 cmera for Underwater Use
See Olympus TG-4 camera manual available here. It's more robust than the "Quick Help" sheet.
Make sure to set time, date and time zone for your camera.
Using Underwater Modes:
- 5 underwater modes: Snapshot, Wide 1, Wide 2, Macro and Underwater HDR.
Three of these modes don’t use flash, Snapshot, Wide 2 and HDR, your external strobe will not be triggered. See page 22 for more information.
- There are two modes that will get you just about everything from large schools of fish down to the very small nudibranchs, Wide 1 and Macro
- Wide 1 is good to use when you are shooting large schools of fish or a wide angle shot of the reef, so a flash is needed. It also allows for some zoom to take place
- Macro setting allows for you shoot not only small but larger creatures by zooming in and out. As it allows closer focusing, this is a good mode to use to reduce the amount of water between you and the subject. Using zoom allows you to stay further away from the subject without scarring it or you can get in nice and close and get those head shots of a small nudibranch. But remember the first rule of underwater photography - get close!
- Switching between these underwater settings is easy just press the left arrow key. This will bring up the different modes. Use the left and right arrow keys to scroll through the different modes.
The other three modes for underwater use:
- Snapshot - great for the pool or snorkeling
- Wide 2 - ideal for the underwater action scene or when flash isn’t allowed near large animals. Can select a different flash option, but the default setting the flash is turned off. Doesn’t allow for any zoom.
- Underwater HDR - Combines images with different brightness together in one image. Does not allow flash or RAW format. This mode may not be sucessful underwater unless you can hold the camera very steady as multiple exposures are taken at a single press, then combined.
- Sea & Sea YS-03 Universal Lighting Package use the Fill-in Flash. This allows for the flash to always fire.
- If using the Sea & Sea YS-01 strobe and it is not syncing, follow these steps:
- Press Menu
- Go to Camera Menu 2 - use down arrow to get to this setting
- Go to Accessory Setting - use right arrow or OK to enter this setting
- Select Remote Flash - use Right Arrow or OK
- Use Down Arrow to go to "Slave". Select OK to select Slave
- Press Menu to get back to taking pictures
- Then press Right Arrow
- Scroll until you can select the Lighting Bolt with SLV next to it
- Slave Flash will go away when the camera is turned off either by the user or by the camera turning itself off. This Flash Mode can be saved in one of the Custom Modes, see Custom Menu under More Advanced Options to see how to save a Custom Modes.
See Page 30 for more information about different camera flash settings.
Shooting in RAW format. We recommend using this as then using Adobe Elements or the Olympus software you can adjust exposure and many other aspects of your photos later and make a new jpeg. It gives you much more control.
- Can be used in almost any mode except for a few (Refer to page 40 of the TG-4 Manual).
- Getting to the RAW format
- Use the down arrow to enter the onscreen menu settings
- Press the down arrow to get to the size of the images (ex. 16m, 8m, etc.)
- Use the right arrow to select the 16m+Raw.
- Press OK to select image setting and return to taking photos
More advanced options
- Set your camera to the A on the dial.
- A new option for aperture settings appears at the bottom of the on screen menu.
- You can get to this new option by pressing the right arrow.
- The screen will have an A in top left of screen with an F and number highlighted on the bottom.
- Use the Up and Down Arrows to change the numbers up and down
- While it doesn’t have a lot of settings, it will help you explore depth of field.
You will also have control of the ISO, White Balance (WB), Flash Control and the Flash style.
You will also have full range of the zoom so you can do wide angle and macro all at the same time
- Custom 1 (C1) and Custom 2 (C2) allows for control of everything in the camera. See page 21 and 57
- The camera can remember the setting that you want by saving the info as C1 or C2.
- Make all your adjustments, then to save:
- Press Menu
- Select Menu 1
- Select Custom Mode Setup
- Select Custom Mode 1 or 2
- Press Set
- You can save Scene modes or Aperture Mode to the two different Custom Modes
- This allows you to change to a Scene mode and then go back to either Custom 1 or 2 and has the setting that you want for either underwater or above water ready to go.
- It is a good way of expanding your understanding of the camera and the different functions that it can do.
Program Auto will allow you to do the same thing, but you just can’t save the settings that you have just used.
- You can also manually focus the camera (see Page 34). Manual focus can be used in Microscope mode, Snapshot, Wide 1, Macro and HDR Underwater.