User review of the Olympus VR-310

Front
Front
From above
From above
Backside with LCD screen
Backside with LCD screen

The Olympus VR-310

The Olympus VR-310 is a compact high-zoom digital camera. It comes from the new line of megazoom cameras from Olympus with which they will try to win over the crowd that does not want to spend too much on a quality digital camera. Compared with other digital cameras within the same price range, the VR-310 has a lot of features and a powerful optical zoom.

I will say out front that the Olympus VR-310 has a great quality/cost ratio. It is not a very expensive camera but it is perfect for an amateur photographer, or even someone just looking for a quality camera to take on the family holiday.


User Friendly

I bought this camera before I went on a holiday to Sweden to check out the great and beautiful swedish nature. My budget, I'm a poor student :(, did not allow me to buy a expensive digital camera. So I went on a search on the internet to find a good camera for a decent price. I wanted a camera which had reasonable zoom (8x optical at least) and resolution. On my search I found the Olympus VR-310 which has 10x optical zoom (+4x digital zoom) and has a resolution of 14 megapixels. all the expert reviews I could find gave good scores and so I decided to buy one.

First impressions were good, took the camera outside to make pictures of all kind of things just to see how it worked and what the pictures would end up looking like. The menu and all the settings work intuitive and before I knew it I was making a lot of different pictures. The camera is light and compact and feels and holds great.

Most settings which you can be used to adjust for environment, daytime etc. have an auto-mode in which the camera chooses the best setting for the place and time for the picture. This works pretty good and is ideal when you do known a lot about photography (yet), like me.

The VR-310 also comes with seven filters which can be immediately used on the pictures you just took. Fisheye, punk, soft-focus, sparkeling, pop-art, pinhole and my personal favourite drawing. These filters let add effects to your pictures without using software and you're able to see what the picture will look like with the effect while taking it.


Picture quality

I find the quality of the pictures to be pretty good although I am no expert in this area. It has double imagestabilization which helps the pictures to become sharp. The 14 megapixels is enough for me and only when using full zoom (optical and digital) of 14x the images get a bit fuzzy. To judge the quality for yourself I added some pictures I took in the picture preview.

Video quality decreases fast when zooming in, for an example see the video with goats running in front of our car below.


Conclusion

This camera gives great value for its money. When you don't want to spend too much on a camera or your budget does not allow it, the Olympus VR-310 with its 10x optical zoom and lots of easy to use features will not disappoint you. There won't be any cheaper camera with 10x optical zoom and the batteries lasted pretty long with mine. I never had any problem while using it, the features are easy to use and scrolling through the memory card's contents works fine. By far the best budget digital camera I have ever had!


Olympus VR-310 strong points:

  • Cheap in comparison to its features
  • Easy to use
  • Good quality pictures

Olympus VR-310 weak points:

  • When zooming while recording video it stops recording sound
  • Pictures taken outside at night tend to be darker when compared to other camera's

Summary:

Usage: 5/5

Price: 4/5

Quality: 3.5/5

Features: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Specifications:

Optical zoom             10x optical zoom, 4.2 - 42mm 
                          (35mm equiv: 24 - 240mm), f/3.0 - 5.7
Resolution               14.0 megapixel
Sensor size-             1/2.3 inch
Max image size           4288 x 3216
Sensor type              CCD
Aspect ratio             4:3
Focusing system          TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection
Focus points             iESP, Face Detection AF, Spot, AF Tracking
Focus distance           1cm
File types               JPEG, AVI Motion JPEG, WAV
ISO sensitivity          ISO80 - 1600
Metering system          ESP light metering
Metering types           i-Auto, Programme automatic, Scene Modes 
                         Magic Filter, Panorama, Movie
Exposure compensation    +/- 2 EV / 1/3 steps
Shutter speed range      4 - 1/2000 sec
Image stabilisation      Dual Image Stabilisation
Movie mode               720p HD
Monitor                  3 inch TFT LCD screen
Media type               SD, SDHC Memory Card
Interface                USB 2.0 & AV Cable
Power                    LI-42B Lithium-Ion Battery
Size                     100.6 x 58.2 x 28.5mm
Weight                   158g (including battery and memory card)

Picture previews

Close up
Close up
Moving object
Moving object
Fully zoomed in (taken from big distance)
Fully zoomed in (taken from big distance)
Picture of my cat made while using the drawing filter
Picture of my cat made while using the drawing filter

Preview of a video

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