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I've wanted a digital camera for a while but find that they're all around the £50 mark in most shops. I decided to have a quick look on Amazon and saw the Vivitar Vivicam at just under £35 including free delivery. Now in my opinion £35 is alot of money but a good price for a digital camera and i bought it after reading a few positive reviews and reading about the features of the camera etc.
The Technical Details (Source: Amazon.com), are as follows:
* Product Description: Vivitar ViviCam 8018 - digital camera
* Product Type: Digital camera - compact
* Dimensions (WxDxH): 8.7 cm x 2.4 cm x 5.4 cm
* Weight: 100 g
* Colour: Pink
* Supported Flash Memory: SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card
* Integrated Memory: 16 MB
* Sensor Resolution: 8.1 Megapixel
* Shooting Modes: Frame movie mode
* Lens System: Lens - 7.23 mm - f/2.8
* Focus Adjustment: Automatic
* Digital Zoom: 8 x
* Image Stabiliser: Electronic
* Camera Flash: Built-in flash
* Red Eye Reduction: Yes
* Display: LCD display - TFT active matrix - 1.8" - colour
* Supported Battery: 3 x AAA
I also bought a sandisk digital card to store the photos on as it was not included with the camera and also 3 x AAA batteries as these also weren't included.
As you can see it states on the product description that the camera has an 8.1 megapixel resolution. I'll move onto this later.
My camera arrived from Amazon within 5 days and i eagerly opened it up. The camera was securely packaged and i carefully unwrapped it. It was a lovely elegant black colour with a neat silver lens ring and the name of the camera clearly written in neat silver font on the front of it. Size wise it's nice and neat and very light. It'd be the sort of camera to just slip into your bag or pocket.
I followed the instructions of the manual and inserted my batteries/memory card and turned it on. It was very simple to figure out and i decided to take a few new pictures of myself for my Facebook account. I put on a nice outfit and took 30/40 pictures of myself, aiming to pick out 4 or 5 good ones. The flash of the camera wasn't working so i checked the instruction book and followed the instructions to no avail! Neither does the zoom which i was gutted about! The LCD screen display of the picture was great and helped with the accuracy of getting my posing to perfection, lol.. although it's not huge it's easy to see clearly.
I then used the USB lead that was included with my camera and attached it to my laptop, then used the installation CD (also included), to install the drivers onto my computer, which took 2-3 minutes. I then could view the pictures i'd taken. They were all nice and clear, but i noticed a few were blurry from even the slightest of movements. Now to the claim that it's 8.1 megapixel. My blackberry takes clearer pictures and it's only around 6 megapixel. I highly doubt that this camera is truely 8.1 megapixels due to the grainy effect it sometimes gets aswell as bein unable to handle the brightness of the pictures which isn't great when you're on the beach and want some nice pictures!
It's a cheap camera and you can tell. It's okay for a few pictures of yourself to stick onto facebook or similar but if you want a reliable camera that takes sharp, clear pictures i'd reccomend spending an extra £50 or so and getting a better quality camera. I do use mine alot but always have to delete a majority of pictures as they have too much light exposure etc. The fact that it doesn't zoom and the flash refuses to work is a huge let down and for the amount of money i paid not acceptable. If i'd of know the lacking of quality of the product i'd of not paid £15 for it, let alone the £35 i paid!
I was given this camera as a gift a few years back and to be honest was not that impressed. The picture quality was poor, the batteries drained very quickly and the batteries are so hard to get at the battery casing cracked.
Although the camera is easy to use (one of those you can use without reading the instructions), it really does look and feel cheap. Quite bulky for a so called compact camera and twice the width of a Samsung (which I own now)
This camera to be fair served me for about three years, and although priced at the lower end of the market hasnt let me down.
Okay so the picture quality is poor, the batteries drained very quickly and it's a little bulkier than its competitors, but if you dont want to spend a lot and you just want something to take on holiday for example (I take a cheaper camera incase I lose my "good" one) then give it a go.
I know I havent been very positive about this camera, but as a cheap alternative to better products I think the price is amazing for an 8MP. The worst thing about this camera though is that it has a night vision function which just doesnt work. Any loss of light will affect the images you try to capture. You will basically get a photo of "blackness".
I wouldnt recommend to the photo enthusiast, but for a kids first camera or a cheap holiday camera this really isnt that bad.
I'm not going to bore you with all the specs and get straight to the point, I agree with the others who have reviewed this camera and think it is very poor quality.
This camera looks like it will be quite useful but don't let those sweet looks fool you. It states 8.1 megapixels but the quality of the pictures and videos produced from it would suggest otherwise. Also, the viewing screen is quite small and hard to make out when reviewing your shots and the menu settings are difficult to navigate - infact I tried to delete some files off the memory card through this camera and after spending a good 30 mins with no avail - I handed over to a friend and he couldn't do it either. So I'm still none the wiser!
I guess this camera could be useful in certain situations, for example on a night out with friends (ie. nightclub, festivals, gigs) - the picture quality wouldn't be as good as a more expensive camera but it wouldn't be a great loss if it went missing through drunken behaviour. But then again, many people have camera phones or buy disposables ones. So if your after a cheap reliable, easy to use camera - don't buy this one. I would very much recommend you look elsewhere as there are plenty of better quality/value camera's out there.
The Vivitar Vivicam 8018 is a budget camera, it is what it is, cheap and cheerful. If you are on a budget and need a camera to take a photo you wouldn't be able to get one much cheaper than this I don't think, it was about £30 at Asda. The photos are of the quality you would expect at this price, nothing special. The camera says 8.1 mega pixels but this does not equate to a photo that is any better than the 5 megapixel camera on my phone to be honest. The 1.8 inch LCD monitor is very grainy and very small and not ideal for viewing the images you have taken. The Vivitar Vivicam has an annoying feature where the camera turns off not very long after having taken a photo, there may be a way of changing this in the menu but it is quite confusing and not very simple to use. Take note if you are planning on buying this camera for something that needs a cheap cheerful camera such as for a night out etc. you will need to buy a SD card as well as 3 AAA batteries as the camera needs these but comes with neither.
Don't worry, this won't be as long as my other camera reviews. You should be able to read it without falling asleep this time ;-)
As a lot of you will know I do have quite a few cameras, however the two smaller ones are beginning to develop a few problems. I missed a lot of brilliant pictures at University due to the silver Samsung playing up to high heaven. Not only did it take a lot of space in my little bag, but it also kept on crashing every time I pressed the shutter button. I decided to change to my more expensive black Kodak camera, and have found that one is now developing problems. On Saturday night I was taking pictures and it took about 10 seconds for the camera to register the fact that I had pressed the shutter button.
So when we were in Currys today, I started looking at the cameras as always and started to ask questions and found this little Vivitar camera which I thought looked brilliant and which the saleswoman said was brilliant for the price. Looking on the Internet now, even in hindsight I would have probably have brought the camera anyway, due to the fact there was a lack of reviews on this product, one or two bad ones, but a line long review, but for the most part I can't seem to find anything.
Buying the Camera
This will be my 5th camera review; however it is my first negative camera review. I am planning on taking the camera back to the shop, because I brought an 8 million mega pixel camera, and the picture quality that this camera produces is not what I paid for.
Like always I went in with a specification, this time it was very different than what I usually ask for. I wanted a camera which was lightweight enough that I could take out with me in a little bag, and a camera which wasn't too expensive that it didn't really matter too much if it got broke on a night out. I went in asking for this, and I was directed to the third cheapest camera on the market as it was supposed to be good.
It was within my price range of £50 easily, and it seemed to look like a good camera, however I realise now in hindsight I should have stayed away from a brand I know nothing about.
The Boring Specifications
8.1 Megapixel Resolution
8 x Digital Zoom
What Comes In The Box?
Quick Start Guide
Weight & Size
At just a 100g the weight of this camera is the thing that made me buy it to be honest. I wanted a light camera, one that would fit into my palm and be easy to slip into a small little bag so I could take it clubbing or to the pub with me. It fit these requirements perfectly, I found that when the camera was fitted out with the 3x AAA it got a little bit heavier but it was still quite light weight.
I wouldn't say the camera is very stylish, I did prefer the £10 cheaper one to this one in style but I thought by paying £10 extra I would be getting a better camera, I am not too sure now. It looks a bit ugly if I say so myself, but it is small and a sleek, but not very stylish.
I was sat here messing around with the buttons earlier on, the buttons felt so cheap and the power button even moves, I don't think this is what you expect on a £40 camera. Everything looks cheap and the even click and creak when you push them. Not very good and it's not like £40 is that cheap.
If you pop in the CD you will find the best bit of the camera, the CD allows you to a lot of things. It is called Vivitar Experience Image Manager and it allows you to do anything from getting the images from the camera, to sending the pictures via email and even uploading the pictures to sites like facebook and photobucket.
This is a great little addition, however it does not make up for lack of a good camera. It would have made my life easier and if the camera had been good it would have been an amazing extra addition however at the moment it does not help at all and it really can't make up for a poor camera.
I would expect a camera like this out of a cheap little magazine or something like that, as soon as I got it home and began to take pictures, then I realised I had made a big mistake. I was not allowed to try it in the shop, and in hindsight I think that might have been a bit of a trick, if I had seen how poor the LCD screen display was and how bad the picture quality was I would not have brought the camera. It's a bloody electrical store and they couldn't pop three AAA batteries into the camera for me. The next time I go to get a camera, I will take AA or AAA batteries with me and an SD card. That way if they deny letting me use the camera or try it out, I will know it's for a reason.
I'm currently holding the camera in my hand at the moment and I am wondering what came through my mind when I brought the camera. It feels cheap; I should have known it would turn out to be a disappointment.
The camera is supposedly 8.1million mega pixels; I jokily wrote on my facebook earlier that if this camera is 8.1million pixels then I am Santa Claus. I was comparing the camera to all of my other ones, and the picture quality on this is worse than my silver Samsung which is only 5.1 mp. I don't know if they have lied or something like that but after taking the same picture with two different cameras I noticed a complete difference and a difference that I will hopefully show you later on.
The User Manual does not come in the box, you get a quick guide, but for a more detailed user manual, you have to go onto Vivitars website and download a PDF file. I actually prefer a electronic user manual, save the trees and all that, plus it means you can't lose it, like I seem to have done with my Fujifilm User Manual.
Even if it cost me a tener then this camera wouldn't be worth the money, it cost £39.99 from Curry's which I thought was a reasonable price however like I said in the review you are getting a piece of crap camera which isn't worth £10 let alone £40. I really thought I was going to get something good and I really hope that I can get a refund tomorrow, considering that the camera is not of the quality that it should have been. It was supposed to be 8.1 mega pixels but this camera can't be that at all, I think someone made a mistake down the line.
Ease Of Use
I don't think this is an easy camera at all, because it is so cheap, the buttons are quite hard to press, and it's not obvious about what to do straight off the bat. One thing I didn't like was the fact that when you took the picture, it didn't quickly show the picture you had took to see if it looked any good. You have to press the Mode button three times to see the picture, and then take another picture if it's not right and most of the time, the picture comes out blurred. Not what you really want from a digital camera.
One of the good things about the camera is the batteries, it takes 3 AAA batteries and from what I've heard the battery life is pretty good, I managed to get a whole pack of 24 AAA batteries for £5.99 when I brought the camera which was great.
Uploading the pictures to the computer couldn't be easier, the camera is very easy to use in this sense, just put the usb lead into the computer and into the camera, turn the camera on and then you should be able to get the pictures just like you usually would with a camera.
The zoom on the camera is supposed to be 8x, if the picture is blurred when you take it normally, what do you expect the picture to be like when it's zoomed in? Even more blurry. It's awful really; I don't think you'll be able to zoom in very far at all and when you do, you will just get a blurred picture anyway.
The camera does have some good points; it is quite cheap for a camera really. They all seem to be about £70 or more at the moment and this one cost me £39.99 which is relatively cheap, however it is not worth the price I paid for it. The software which comes with the camera seems really good and really does seem quite new and innovative and I would have loved to have played around on that if I was hoping to keep the camera.
I haven't had a camera before which took AAA batteries, it's usually a Lithium one or a AA battery that they require, and it probably is a lot cheaper this way. It is very easy to upload the pictures, but to be honest I am just picking at straws to find some good points about the camera.
Everything else about the camera seems to be a bad point, the first thing that I noticed when I sat with it in the car without any batteries or SD card, when I sat in the living room and began to take pictures of my sister who was standing in front of me, I noticed that it didn't show me the picture that I had just taken. I managed to have a look at the pictures I had just taken, and they looked quite poor. I thought this was down to a poor LCD screen, but when uploading the pictures to the computer I noticed that the picture quality did not get any better.
The buttons on the camera are so cheap, they look like they've been put on by a child, they are so cheap and they feel like they are about to fall off straight away. The LCD Screen is small, but I knew that when I brought it, so I can't really complain about that.
I would never want to use the zoom on this camera, as the picture quality disappears completely, it is truly awful and for a camera which is supposed to stop 'shake' it really shouldn't blur like that at all. I was very disappointed and the fact that I am still using my birthday money for this camera, and being on a gap year without a job at the moment means money is a little tight, and to get something as cheap as this for quite a bit of money, really annoys me slightly.
I spent £48.99 (including the product support) on a piece of crap camera, which I will not be able to use on nights out. I can't see the pictures in the dark turning out very good and usually the pictures taken on a night out are done very quickly and need to be of good quality, I would never get these from this camera at all.
I really can't wrap my head around why the picture quality on this camera is worse than my Samsung camera. This camera is 8.1mp and the Samsung is 5.1mp. For me the difference should be obvious and Samsung should be the worse of the two, however the Vivitar on many occasions came out with the worse pictures. I will hopefully upload some pictures along with this review showing the difference.
All in all I would recommend NOT getting this camera at all; it is not worth the money you spend on it, when in reality to normal prices of cameras it is quite cheap. The camera is cheap looking and feeling and it is probably one of the worst cameras I have had the chance of using, and over the years I have messed around with a lot of my mate's cameras and none of them have been as crap as this one was.
I think you get the gist of the camera; it is very poor and wouldn't even be worth £10 in my opinion. I was expecting something half decent and I got nothing like what I was expecting at all. I have never used Vivitar before, and will never buy that brand again, however by saying this it means I will probably not be able to get a new camera under £50 now as they seem to be the only brand which does it that cheaply, I now see why.
I understand that if you buy something for a cheap price you should expect something cheap, but to be honest, for me £40 is a lot of money, and a 8.1mp camera really should have good picture quality and this one did not deliver.
Hope you enjoyed this review and sorry for my excessive repeat of one word. It was the best way to describe this camera.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review, it's not my usual length, but hopefully that means you have not fallen asleep by the end of the review. Please take the time to rate and if you have any little extra time, comment, as these always make me smile.
(C) Kirsty 2009
Additional Note: I managed to take the camera back with no real problems in Curry's. The woman this time said she would have never have sold me this Vivitar camera, and directed me in the direction of a Fujifilm camera, which I am currently in the process of writing the review for, it will hopefully be up tomorrow.