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I see that other Dooyooers have given this camera just 1 star, and I can understand where they're coming from. If you were looking at this camera for adult use, for taking proper photographs with, then look again elsewhere. This is a 5mp camera, but really the quality of the photographs doesn't even look that good! The functions are limited to literally just taking pictures and reviewing them, and there are no extra features on this camera to make it stand out or even compete with others in the under £100 price range. This is a point and shoot camera which takes quite childish images. Those images are easily blurred and you have to hold the button down for a second or two for each image as well. There's hardly any internal memory, so you'll have to buy a seperate SD card for this, and you might not be willing to do that when you realise you can pay an extra £20 - £30 and get a decent one included with a better camera from a different manufacturer. However, there is one redeeming feature here, and that's that this camera is extremely simple to use. So simple a four year old could do it. With that in mind, it's no wonder we found this camera in Toys R Us really! It was reduced to £29.99, and that's about the price you can expect to pay for this from most retailers. We were looking at it for the grandson, as he wanted a digital camera and we didn't want him to have one which was overly complicated, or overly expensive. I don't mind the grandson having technological items, but I always keep the price down as I don't think it's fair to give little kids expensive fragile items then complain when they get broken! So this fitted the bill of requirements for what we wanted it for, and being extremely thin and lightweight were other good features for a child's camera. The grandson was able to use this camera easily with just a minute's instructions from us, and he found the camera easy to hold, operate, and view pictures on. There was a fair bit of blurring on the earlier pictures he took, but as he learned to keep his hand stiller for longer, this was reduced. The picture quality, as already mentioned, wasn't very good, and the internal memory is practically non-existant as well. This takes disposable batteries, though you can use your rechargables in it if you want to, and the battery life doesn't strike me as differing from other digital cameras I've used. I would not recommend this for adults at all, but for a cheap kid's camera - I actually would. It's very small and light, it's got hardly any functions on it and it's really easy to use too. The problems are of course the processing and picture quality, and the limited internal capacity. An older photographer would be stuck without a flash, close up and zoom function as well I think - it's surprising just how much even the most amateur photographer has called to use those kinds of basic additional functions (which of course, this camera lacks).
Well, it had to happen sooner or later. I've held off reviewing a Vivitar digital camera for a long time, partly because I just couldn't face it. Back in the days of film, Vivitar made a name for themselves by churning out large quantities of cheap, simple but at least halfway decent compact cameras that were ideal for taking on holiday as backups or for giving to children as first cameras. If only they could have kept that up in the digital era, they could have done very well for themselves. Sadly, nothing of the sort has happened. This is, apparently, a five-megapixel camera. I have no idea what all those pixels are doing in there, because they don't seem to be contributing much to the photo quality. If I were being charitable, I'd say that it was poor. If I were being honest, I'd say that it was appalling. To pick a camera I have experience of, the Fujifilm A203, which is by no means a remarkable camera, has better photo quality than this Vivitar - and its resolution is *two* megapixels. Chinese no-name models excepted, I find it hard to think of a 5mp camera that produces worse photos than the 5018, and frankly it wouldn't have deserved a second glance five years ago, let alone now. So, what's wrong with them? Where do I start...? Firstly, they're staggeringly blurry. They might, just about, look all right when reduced to 640x480, but blow one up to full size (2592x1944) and I defy you not to be deeply, deeply unimpressed with the lack of sharpness. There's very noticeable softness in the corners, the bottom left in particular being terrible. Colours look faded and uninspiring - except, for some reason, shades of pink and brown, which are quite nice! Taking photos in anything less than bright daylight is basically a waste of time, flash or no flash. And perhaps because it's so light, the camera is horribly sensitive to camera shake, even with the rudimentary anti-shake option selected. It's an ugly-looking beast, too. For no apparent reason the lens is way up top next to the flash, leaving a vast expanse of (cheap-feeling) plastic beneath. On the back is the 1.8-inch LCD; this manages the remarkable feat of being dingier than the screen on my Kodak DC120, a camera that is *thirteen years old*. Also on the back are a vertically-oriented zoom rocker switch - which is misleading, as this camera has only a near-useless 8x digital zoom - and a mighty three control buttons beneath the screen. Four-way pads? What are those? To give Vivitar credit (well, I've got to find *something* to praise) the grip is fairly secure. On top are the power button and the smallish and rather uncomfortable shutter button. This camera has no internal memory, which isn't a big problem in itself but is slightly surprising as most cheaper models have a little. It takes SD cards, and though clicking them in and out of their slot is a little bit fiddly, it's by no means the worst camera I've encountered in that department. Battery power is provided by a pair of AAA cells. Triple-As are generally bad news when it comes to cameras, partly since they don't last as long as the much more common AAs (though in this camera battery life is a relatively minor consideration when set alongside all the other problems) and partly since the great majority of digicams which take them fall squarely into the "cheap and nasty" department. Just right for the 5018, then... There is a movie mode on this camera, which offers VGA resolution at 15 fps. Rather to my surprise, this is not actually unbearably awful, though I suppose my expectations were pretty low by this point. Although the frame rate makes the resulting videos pretty jerky, they're not quite as dreadful as the still pictures. Mind you, one use for the movie mode might be to take a quick video of the day's TV news, because - and this is absolutely unbelievable - you can't actually set the time and date. Seriously. There *is* an internal clock in fact, but since you can't set it, it's completely useless. Now isn't that just such a fantastic design decision? If by some miracle you manage to get some snaps with the 5018 that you actually want to keep, then for pity's sake don't use a USB cable to move them across to your computer. This may be the last camera in captivity still to use the ancient and slow USB 1.1 standard for file transfer, and considering that it can take up to 8 GB memory cards you could be there all night. (Though... 8 GB? What kind of masochist is going to endure this lump for that many pictures?) A card reader will save you an enormous amount of time, although as that will allow you to see your photos sooner I'm not sure it's necessarily a good idea... I'd call this a toy camera, but that would be misleading as it would imply that it was fun to use. Using it isn't *difficult*, but then neither is smacking yourself over the head repeatedly with a sledgehammer. This disaster cost me under a tenner second-hand, and I still feel I paid over the odds. When you consider that it only came out a year ago, the fact that it was available at all for that price should tell you something. New, it's currently being sold for under £25 at Argos, but don't be tempted. A decent second-hand camera for the same money will blow the 5018 out of the water. Its one-star rating is thoroughly deserved.
My daughter was desperate for a digital camera for Christmas and when I said no she did what every self respecting child of separated parents tries and went and asked dad who of course had to say yes. Trouble is that he is a bit of a cheapskate so the camera under the tree was a Vivitar 5018 which retails for the ridiculously low price of £29.99 for a 5.1 mega pixel camera. I had never heard of Vivitar before but a little bit of research shows that they were an established optical and photographic company based in California who went bust in 2008 and the photo division was bought over by a company called Sakar who plan to sell budget cameras. Certainly neither Vivitar or Sakar are names which would immediately spring to mind when thinking about cameras. The Vivitar Vivicam 5018 is a 5.1 megapixel camera with a 1.8 inch LCD monitor and 8*digital zoom. The specs are not the best available but the real test is how well it takes pictures. The first thing you will notice about the camera is that it is incredibly small and light, in fact flimsy is the word that springs to mind when it comes to build quality. The camera itself is attractive enough and available in both pink and black. The camera is powered by two AAA batteries, the battery life is surprisingly good and enough for a day out and you can insert a memory card up to 8 GB allowing you to save plenty of pictures. The screen itself is a decent size, the problem when you take pictures is that unless you hold the camera totally still then the image jumps around the screen. Forget taking any kind of picture of anything moving even very slowly as you will just end up with a blurry mess. There is a hole on the bottom of the camera to attach a tripod to hold the camera still but for a camera of this type it will be used on holidays to take snaps for the family album and I doubt if the average family has a tripod. There is an anti shake setting but it doesn't seem to make any difference. The camera has an 8X digital zoom and zoomed in pictures appear to be the same quality as they are unzoomed i.e. not brilliant but the zoom itself does not appear to lower the quality. It is not a good camera to take far away pictures preferring to take pics of things in the middle distance. The flash is reasonably powerful but is too close to the lens leading to red eye even with red eye reduction on. I tried to take some close up images of items to sell on Ebay but many of the images just appeared totally washed out by the flash. It takes about 10 seconds for the flash to fully charge between pictures, if you try to take the picture again too soon then a message flashes up on the screen saying it has not charged yet and those 10 seconds seem like forever when you want to take another pic. There are different settings for different light settings on the camera but the night mode pictures just look grainy. I found it fairly fiddly to mess around on the screen to change the settings and kept looking at a slideshow by accident. The display shows battery life, whether or not you have an SD card inserted and flash and other camera settings. The plastic screen cover is already fairly scratched despite the camera not being used much. It was easy to install the software and to transfer pictures from the camera to the PC. I don't know much about the technical aspects of a camera but am an average consumer who just wants to take some decent holiday pics and my view of this camera is that you very much get what you pay for. Spend £30 on a camera and you are going to get cheap specs and rubbish pictures. The camera performs well on battery life but takes poor pictures whether you are close up or far away from the subject and whether it is light or day, you can't get much worse than that. I actually have some experience of a 10MP Vivitar camera which is owned by a friend and it is far superior to this model. The temptation to buy the 5018 simply because it is cheap will be there for a lot of people perhaps thinking it will make a good starter camera for a child but if your budget is low then you should buy a better brand from Ebay or splash out a bit more to get a decent new camera.