Product Type: Olympus cameras
Newest Review: ... it was the huge screen size. The size of the screen stretches out to the very edges of the camera and only leaves about a millimeter of c... more
Good looking but it`s what`s inside that counts!
Member Name: thebigc1690
Advantages: It does look good and it is fairly well made .
Disadvantages: Poor image quality, lack of features and functions, face detection that deosnt work . . . . . .
Ok so the first of many cameras I have lined up for review is the Olympus VG-130. At first glance this camera with its sleek mostly metal body is very eye catching and leads you to expect good things from it, my only issue with it is the silly stickers advertising that it has HD movie capability and a 5 times zoom lens, these seem so unnecessary and certainly ruin slightly the look of the unit.
As well as this looking like it should perform well it also on reading the manual, sounds like it should perform well but in truth there are many limitations to the camera and although inexpensive it still might actually not be worth its price tag.
When it was first released it cost as much as a whopping £157, let me tell you right here and now at that price it was way, way overpriced. It has now universally dropped below £70 and can be found for as little as £56 if you shop around, at £56 it may just be value for money but do not pay a penny more for it.
Ok let`s start by saying a few words about what is good about the camera, well as mentioned it has a metal body which is always good in my opinion, plastic feels cheap and in most cases looks cheap, this metal bodied camera feels good and looks good and that is definitely a plus point.
Another plus it has to be said is that the camera is easy to use, this could be largely due to the lack of functions and features but never the less if you like things simple then that's what you get here. Thirdly there is the large three inch screen which offers very good resolution previews of the photos you have taken.
Although I find it hardly worth mentioning I will say that this little camera uses a lithium ion rechargeable battery which offers good long lasting power and recharges very quickly, I guess that is sort of a good point too.
With the three main good points out the way let`s move on to the many less than good points that really let this camera down. The biggest annoyance for me with this camera was the fact that it is a 14 megapixel camera which will have people drooling and thinking they are getting something special but sadly it really is not all about mega pixels and with a lens and sensor as poor as this camera has then the 14 megapixels count for absolutely nothing.
The lack of features and functions for such a modern camera is also a worry and the fact that most of the features and functions it does have work very poorly or perhaps even not at all means you are buying a very basic unit indeed. Take for instance the face detection, there is no noticeable difference to photo's taken using it and not using it. I took several single person portraits and group portraits with it off and then exactly the same shots with it on and found nothing to separate the images at all.
Ok so if the camera has to be used as a basic unit does it take good enough auto photos to make it worth the £56 it can be found for? Well here the answers depends on light, in bright sunlight this camera produces over exposed images, in poor light it produces under exposed images and when you use the flash the results are appalling. The flash is quite weak and seems to only light one half of the image properly, it causes horrific red eye and leaves a bright hot spot on ever image it is used in.
In all honestly I found the only time the automatic modes on this camera could produce a decent image was in outdoor daylight with no sun so if you are ok to limiting your photography to suit the weather conditions then perhaps this camera might be ok for you but if you like to take pictures when YOU want then this camera will frustrate the life out of you. It really would be so easy for me to slate this camera, it has a slow start up time it is slow to be ready between taking photos, the automatic functions seem to fight between allowing enough light in and image noise, there is no built in anti shake system so if you are zooming in poor light then good luck getting an image with no blur without using a tripod. I really could go on and on but there is something about this little camera that makes me want to say good things about it as hard as that might be to do.
I think how I will end my opinions on this camera is to say that Olympus have let themselves down, they built a good looking robust little camera but they have ruined its looks with silly stickers. They have given the camera a lot of megapixels and a decent sized zoom, made it easy to use and given it a perfect rear screen but they have ruined all this with a poor lens and a real lack of features and functions so what could have been a very good camera I am sadly forced to say is a very bad one.
Also on a final note I really should speak of the HD video function as they have seen fit to put a sticker half the size of the camera on the front to remind us it`s there. Anyone who has read my previous compact camera reviews will know my opinion on them having video functions at all and that is that video should be done using a video camera only..... the clue is in the name!
The video function in this is like every other compact, decent results in bright light and pretty much unusable results in poorer light, you can add to this though on the Olympus VG-130 a very poor built in mic that makes everything sound tinny and quiet except the wind which sounds like a hurricane even if there was only a light breeze!
THE OLYMPUS VG-130 SPECS
CCD effective megapixels 14.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 230,400 pixels
Articulated screen NO
Live view YES
Optical zoom 5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 26-130mm
Image stabilisation none
Maximum image resolution 4,288x3,216
Maximum movie resolution 1280x720
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)
TO SUM UP
Sadly I have to summarise by suggesting that this camera even at only £56 should be avoided, the bad points heavily outweigh the good and with most compact cameras offering tons of features and functions these days, this one seems to be left way behind, good looking enough but sadly unless you are very shallow it`s what's inside that should count.
BUILD QUALITY 7/10
EASE OF USE 7/10
IMAGE QUALITY 1/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES 2/10
VALUE FOR MONEY 2/10
Thanks for reading.
Summary: Beauty is only skin deep. This looks great but inside it is just....... well, not!!
|Ease of use:|