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I like to have a camera for all situations. I have the expensive Nikon D series for sports photography for my summer job and an old carry around 35mm in my bag as a bad habit, there for the immediate photo op, out and about, the picture that rarely comes and nobody else gets because they didn't have a camera handy. Today, of course, everyone has a camera phone handy and the quality good enough from the public and their phones to be displayed in newspapers and websites as eye witness accounts. In essence we have all become reporters because we have these digital eyes. I don't know why I still have a 35mm habit (like having an E-Cigarette instead of a fag) but the old Olympus still takes good shots and I still enjoy having photos developed. But I had to get real and now I have a new little digital carry around Olympus camera for social occasions like concerts and parties and its doing the job. No messing about with putting film in and developing and simply press the button and shoot and let the chip do the rest.
The Olympus VR range is around £60-80 and reasonably new models and design. They are ranged in funky colors and very much marketed to younger people who are out and about, the pitch being that you can have a cool little camera in your bag as well as your posy camera phone. Most people on a night out seem to use their cell phones to take pictures of themselves and their friends to reassure themselves they are still attractive, or hoping to point them at celebrities, and so no REAL photography actually taking place with either if we are honest. The days of the awkward balancing of the old Pentax on a rock as the timer is set and you have run to get in the shot with your friends seem to have long gone. Leisure time cameras have been reduced to documenting Saturday night with a 'selfie' and a cocktail or two.
The 310 VR range has a healthy 10 x zoom that can do decent macro and panorama stuff through both video and camera with the 24 mm wide-angle lens. Big and sharp LCD window measures around 3 inches square to inspect your images - taken, or about to be. It's a 16 Megapixel job, which I'm told is quite good for this type of small hand sized camera. It's a solid composite build quality with a strap and decent case coming with to protect it when you drop it. The Lithium battery doesn't come cheap to replace so keep it away from liquids in your bag.
It's not ideal for action shots as there is a lengthy shutter lag and auto - zoom. Rooney will have taken the penalty by the time the lens whirs into focus and the settings in place. It's more for parties and get-together than the more creative stuff. I found slight detail loss at higher ISO settings and so I would keep the ISO setting below 400 to keep it sharp and avoid grainy crap. The video option is not top end and also a little grainy, especially if your hand is not steady, perhaps that of mobile phone standard. You can a good minute though without the levels dropping too low. Greta for filming naughty girlfriends.
There's a USB port, of course, which doubles as a charging point from the supplied charger. Other VR models don't included USB chargers so pick your model carefully. You can save photos and videos in the various standards on the likewise memory cards.... SD, SDHC, or SDXC...through the likewise slot. You do not get a memory-card with the camera, or, at least, I didn't. They are about a tenner in the shops and a standard for most cameras. Another cable is supplied to move data from the camera to your laptop or tablet. You can download a lot of stuff on the cards. One annoying thing is you can't zoom while you are filming, or zoom the recording. There is no Bluetooth with this model either.
It's light at 6 ounces and a compact size. Happily there is an Intelligent Auto shooting mode that controls almost every discipline on the camera's settings. You can set the flash, resolution, a Self Timer, and zoom and the lens manually if you so chose. That's reassuring for older folks. As I have said before, women in general prefer to leave technical tasks to men and so things quickly become complicated. With this you can just point and press the shutter. You do have to hold that shutter down to center and focus the picture so that two second wait takes time to get used to. You have all tried to take pictures with other peoples phones and cameras and bungled the shot.
I have been wanting a new digital camera for a very long time, well since the start of this year but I have had other things to buy that I have been slowly saving. I saw this one in January but the price was a lot higher than what it is now, it wasn't until the other day on Amazon the price dropped and I decided that this was the time to finally buy it. I needed a camera that was rechargeable as my previous needed batteries and it's annoying always having to buy batteries. Also I wanted a purple camera and this has the nicest colour as well as good features, I couldn't have been anymore swayed.
This camera really is lovely to look at and very girly like me, it is 100.6mm x 58.2 mm x 28.5mm and weighs 158g with the battery and the memory card. It is a lovely metallic purple colour and the lens is silver and the Olympus logo is on the front along with the zoom details and megapixels. It is very light to hold and has an LCD screen on the back as well as coming with a wrist strap to make it easier to hold the camera. It is really pretty and all buttons are very clear to see what their functions are.
OLYMPUS VR-310 CAMERA
To start with it is best to cover what exactly this camera can do. It came in a compact box with all of the necessary bits but I did really want a camera case which it doesn't include. You get your USB/plug, discs for software and you get a wrist strap and that is pretty much it. The camera is 14 Megapixels which is really sharp as my last camera was only 8 so it is almost that which is very impressive. The camera is also a 10 x zoom wide which again is very good as most these days do 6 maximum so to get 10 is what also made me want this camera as it was pretty and good quality.
The monitor size on the back is 3" and at first when I got the camera it took me a while to understand why exactly the camera would not work. I then realised I had put the battery in the wrong way, but after a few hours of realising this the camera turned on, I set the date and time and then left it charging for a couple of hours, you can charge it in the wall or through the USB. I do it usually at the wall and I put in my memory card from my last camera too and instantly all of the photos appeared.
When you plug the USB into your laptop/PC it will search for drivers and then it will begin to set the camera up. This won't take long at all then it will give you the option to import the files from the camera. As I had files from the other camera and the new one it had made a new Olympus folder which was really good. It was also handy with this camera that I didn't need to use an installation disc for setting it up which just made the whole process that much quicker and saved the time consuming event.
Once my camera was charged, I was ready to start exploring what features my camera had to offer. I normally use the automatic feature which is best but if you are quite good with photography you can set it manually meaning that you can set the flash, macro mode, timers, exposure, and the ISO but I tend to just use automatic to be safe rather than missing the perfect moment. However, a few times I have manually set it and had really good results. It has a 1600 ISO for those who know their photography.
Now, not only do you have manual setting but you also have SCN mode which allows you to change the settings according to the scene you are shooting. You can put it on portrait or landscape and also on pet mode. Again, you can set the timer for this and you can also change the flash to suit the lighting. I do find this is a nice feature but I rarely find myself changing this mode as it is a lot of hassle if you want a few quick snaps.
One of my favourite settings on this camera, is the Panoramic feature. It is great if you are abroad and want to take really great full length landscape photos as you take 4 or so images and it merges them into the one. Now not only do you have this but lastly there is the 'Magic Filter' which I have had the most fun with. It has 7 different magic settings which I will list:
Pop Art: Enhances the colour in the photos to fit this artistic period, nice for vibrant colourings.
Pin Hole: Creates a circle shaded out for a different kind of scene.
Fish Eye: This makes everything go bloated in the middle and a lot more rounded.
Drawing: I like this, it makes everything black and white and the black bits are the outlines of the scene, almost like a sketch.
Soft Focus: I'm not really sure about this one, I think it softens the colour etc.
Punk: This makes everything purple and black, it's ok but after a few photos it gets boring.
Sparkly: I think this enhances the light but I never see it in my photos.
Not only can you take photos with this camera but you can do videos as well which come out really good. You only press the red button on the back and watch through the LCD screen and you can see clearly what is being recorded and then press the red button again to stop recording. Playing back the video is great it is really sharp the picture and you can raise the volume to hear it properly. I can't fault the video option, you also have a timer in the corner telling you how long you have been filming and how long you have left.
When you want to view your photos and see them by zooming in just hit the circle button with the play button next to it and it will show you the images or videos you have just taken. Like when you are taking photos, you can zoom in and out and it is very clear. There is an info button which tells you where the image is stored e.g SD card and it tells you the date and time taken. To delete photos you can clcik the button with the bin symbol and it asks if you want to delete.
To edit photos you can use the editing software discs that you get with the camera or you can click the menu button and edit on the camera. You can crop, add voice recordings, change the dimensions and select perfect fix. You can also view a slideshow or print order. The menu also has power settings, and many others such as storeage etc.
With this camera, so far I am very pleased with it. The photos are very high quality and the lighting is great on it as is the colour really vibrant. The photos look good and the zoom is fantastic even on detailed items like jewellery close ups. I have taken nature photos, landscapes and portraits and all look really good and the camera is easy to navigate around. The battery is easy to charge and the battery life is really good too and you can see how many photos you can take in terms of memory card space.
I really do recommend this camera it is easy to use and has a lot going for it. It is modern, reliable and offers good features for the price and compared to its competitors it offers a lot.
If you want this camera, you can buy it from Amazon for £88.49 at the minute with an RRP of £119.99. I got mine from here and it arrived quick and in good condition. All I recommend if you do not have them is to get a good sized SD card and a camera case.
The official website is http://www.olympus.co.uk