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Don't Buy a Vivitar Mini Digital Camera

Updated on March 10, 2010

Vivitar Mini Camera

The Vivitar mini digital camera is a conversation piece, all right - it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand with room to spare, and it's literally a keychain gadget that you can carry around with you anywhere. It's cute, comes in one of four stylish colors, and it is said to perform three functions - digital photos, videos, and a webcam. 

Too bad it really falls down on the job on the latter two, and as far as picture quality, it's barely passable. Video length is limited to a few seconds - who really needs to just take a 3-second video, and a photo wouldn't work? Every review I've seen of the Vivitar mini digital camera enumerated multiple issues getting the web cam functionality to work properly, and the few users who found success reported that its use as a webcam was, quite honestly, a joke.

But...But...It's So Cheap!

Ah, yes, that I do grant you. The price of the Vivitar mini camera fluctuates a bit, but it's usually less than $15 on Amazon, and others have reported seeing it in their local pharmacy/drug store for as little as $9.99. And it's pretty small. But here's a hint for you - if you can find a digital camera in your local Walgreens, along with the same other cheap, gimmicky items they've always hoisted off on unsuspecting customers, you probably should pass until you do your research.

But here's my point - for less than twice the price of this camera, you can get a mini digital camera with actual use as a legitimate digital camera that takes decent pictures with little effort. Did you hear that? For about $15 more, you can get a decent compact digital camera, instead of a slightly cheaper one that offers almost no practical functionality (I'm looking at you, keychain digital cameras.)

My 2 Suggestions....Yes, They Are Much Better than the Vivitar Mini Digital Camera

Okay Smarty, What's YOUR Brilliant Idea, Then?

 I'm so glad you asked! I've actually got a couple suggestions.

The Aiptek PenCam, for example, is a 3-inch x 1-inch mini camera that takes 1248 x 960 resolution, and they are actual good quality pictures. No, you're not going to find a zoom or flash on this baby (you're not going to find it on any sub-$75 camera), but it nobly performs a simple task well for less than $30.

Or take the Coby CAM3000, which is a bit perplexing at first, because it looks nothing so much as an old-style iPod Nano, but nope, it has camera and camcorder capabilities, and it, too, hovers just under $30. Several reviewers mentioned that the video recording quality isn't on par with a normal video recorder, but it's good enough for YouTube. And if it's good enough for YouTube, it's good enough for me.


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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      We got rid of all our cameras. We just use our phones.

    • profile image

      Jerry Wilkinson 7 years ago

      The Vivitar mini camera is a joke - better word is 'scam', and a horrible joke at that! It did function, a farce of a viewfinder, included battery had to be replaced, and totally unusable 25 dpi bmp images.


    • stevbike profile image

      stevbike 7 years ago from Newbury, Ontario, Canada

      I own one of these cameras as well. They make a great tool to get back to the basics of picture taking. I agree with Jimmy K. The simple camera really pushes you to think around the limits of the camera being used, ones like the Vivitar or other models that use the same design set-up. I like the design of these cameras. Very simple.

    • profile image

      Jimmy K. 7 years ago

      i am a photo freak and use many cameras all the time, from the 640 X 480 webcamera to my kodak z710 7 MP to a SLR canon rebel, and the vivtar mini is a decent low rez (i.e. small photo) camera. i have bought many other low res cameras, but the old crappy vivitar mini has the best color ballance. its a hobby to get good pictures out of this camera. it makes you a better photographer when you have to squeeze every last bit of use out of a limited camera.

      just my .10

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      Thanks - good to know about camera.