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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.