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Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera Review

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera Review - Daniel Bell reviews the Olympus VR-310, a compact, budget high-zoom digital camera.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Olympus VR-310
Price : £108
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera front lens

The Olympus VR-310 is a slim high-zoom compact camera, launched in January 2011 with an RRP of £129.99, available in silver, black, red and purple. With the price now having fallen to £107.99, Daniel Bell investigates whether the camera is quite the bargain it seems...

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera front

Olympus VR-310: Features

The VR-310 has a wide 10x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24 - 240mm. Along with its 14 megapixel sensor, it is armed with Dual Image Stabilisation to guard against camera shake to eliminate blur.

Intelligent Auto Mode sets the camera settings automatically, selecting from the 5 most commonly used scenes. The scene modes available include: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Text, Beach & Snow and Pet. For added creativity there are also a range of Magic Filters. There are: Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk and Sparkle.

The Olympus VR-310 shoots videos in 720p HD, with a maximum file size of 2Gb.

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera rear

Key Features

  • 10x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 24-240mm)
  • Dual Image Stabilisation
  • 720p HD Movies
  • 14 megapixel sensor
  • 3.0 inch 230,400 dot colour LCD screen
  • ISO80 - 1600
  • Intelligent Auto Mode
  • Advanced Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Magic Filters
Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera top

Olympus VR-310: Handling

The camera feels solid and although made of plastic, doesn't feel cheap and is remarkably small considering it has a 10x optical zoom lens. The buttons are well laid out and very easy to press, with the cameras menus clear and simple to navigate. There is a dedicated button which takes you straight to video recording and a help button which can be held down when accessing the menus to aid you if there is anything you don't understand. On the rear of the camera is a 3 inch LCD which is easily viewed in all lighting conditions.

Using continuous mode, the camera shots at 0.6fps. The camera also has two more continuous shooting modes - High Speed 1 and High Speed 2. High Speed 2 yields the highest rate, in testing it was capable of 7.5fps, but at a maximum of 3 megapixels and shoots at a higher ISO than High Speed 1, which managed 2.9fps, also at 3 megapixels.

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera battery

Olympus VR-310: Performance

Pictures taken by the VR-310 are generally well exposed with good colour reproduction. At its widest, images retained more detail towards the centre of the images, with the corners looking very blurred. In the wide-angle image below there is a hint of purple fringing, but nothing too drastic. When using the full optical zoom, detail appears to be consistent throughout. With a minimum focus distance of just 1cm, the camera takes excellent macro images when in Super Macro mode.

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera wide-angle   Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera full optical zoom
Wide-angle, ISO80, 1/80, f/7.9, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm)   Full optical zoom, ISO80, 1/250, f/5.7, 42mm (35mm equiv: 240mm)
Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera digital zoom   Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera macro
Digital zoom, ISO80, 1/200, f/5.7, 42mm (35mm equiv: 240mm)   Macro, ISO80, 1/40, f/3.9, 7mm (35mm equiv: 37mm)

Sadly noise is evident in images even at ISO80 and is clearly worse at ISO100. Noise continues to increase quite aggressively through ISO200 and ISO400. ISO800 and ISO1600 produces images which are going to best for small size prints or for sharing on the web.

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera ISO80 Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera ISO100 Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera ISO200
ISO80, 1/3, f/5.8, 24mm (35mm equiv: 138mm) ISO100, 1/5, f/5.8, 24mm (35mm equiv: 138mm) ISO200, 1/10, f/5.8, 24mm (35mm equiv: 138mm)
Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera ISO400 Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera ISO800 Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera ISO1600
ISO400, 1/15, f/5.8, 24mm (35mm equiv: 138mm) ISO800, 1/30, f/5.8, 24mm (35mm equiv: 138mm) ISO1600, 1/60, f/5.8, 24mm (35mm equiv: 138mm)

Below are examples using some of the scene modes available.

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera portrait   Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera landscape with building
Portrait, ISO320, 1/80, f/5.5, 20mm (35mm equiv: 111mm)   Landscape with building, ISO80, 1/100, f/7.9, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm)
Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera sport   Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera text
Sport, ISO250, 1/500, f/4.5, 10mm (35mm equiv: 57mm)   Text, ISO80, 1/1250, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm)

Under our incandescent studio lights, auto white-balance has struggled a touch, with the incandescent preset giving a much more pleasant picture. When switching to the fluorescent lights, auto white-balance takes the better shot, rather than using the fluorescent preset.

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting   Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera Preset Incandescent WB - Incandescent Light
Auto White Balance - Incandescent Lighting, ISO100, 1/10, f/4.5, 10mm (35mm equiv: 57mm)   Preset Incandescent WB - Incandescent Light, ISO100, 1/10, f/4.5, 10mm (35mm equiv: 57mm)
Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera Auto White Balance - Fluorescent Light   Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera Fluorescent White Balance - Fluorescent Light
Auto White Balance - Fluorescent Light, ISO100, 1/3, f/4.5, 10mm (35mm equiv: 57mm)   Fluorescent White Balance - Fluorescent Light, ISO100, 1/10, f/4.5, 10mm (35mm equiv: 57mm)

Below are examples using each of the seven Magic Filters available.

Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera pop art Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera pin hole Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera fish eye Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera drawing
Pop art, ISO80, 1/1000, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm) Pin hole, ISO80, 1/1000, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm) Fish eye, ISO80, 1/1000, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm) Drawing, ISO80, 1/1000, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm)
Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera soft focus Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera punk Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera sparkle  
Soft focus, ISO80, 1/1000, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm) Punk, ISO80, 1/1250, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm) Sparkle, ISO80, 1/1250, f/3, 4.2mm (35mm equiv: 24mm)  

Video Mode

The VR-310 records videos at 720p HD and 640 x 480, both at 30fps with no time limit, although file size is limited to 2Gb. You can use optical zoom when shooting videos, but without sound, although digital zoom can be used with sound.



Value For Money

The Olympus VR-310 is available for £107.99. If you are looking for a 10x optical zoom camera there are plenty of options dependent on your budget. Cheaper than the VR-310, the Pentax Optio RZ10, also with a 14 megapixel sensor, costs £93.99. If you have a bigger budget to spend, the Samsung PL210 is available for around £148 and Fuji FinePix T200 cost £124.99, all with 14 megapixel sensors.

The Sony Cyber-shot H70 also has a 10x optical zoom lens, 16.1 megapixel sensor and costs £178.99. The Canon Digital IXUS 1000 HS is a premium compact with 10x optical zoom lens, 10 megapixel sensor and costs £256.99.

Other cameras to consider... with even more zoom are the Canon PowerShot SX130 IS with 12x optical zoom, 12.1 megapixel sensor and costs £138.99. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ8 has a 12x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel sensor and costs £169.99. Lastly, the Canon PowerShot SX220 HS has a 14x optical zoom lens, 12.1 megapixel sensor and costs £220.99.

Olympus VR-310: Verdict

The VR-310 is a compact 10x zoom optical camera, capable of taking pictures which are perfectly acceptable when considering the price it is available for. If you are on a budget and would like a point and shoot with more zoom than you normally find on a camera at this price then you can't go wrong with the VR-310.

Olympus VR-310: Pros

Extremely cheap for 10x optical zoom
Focus distance of just 1cm allows for great macro images
Good range of Scene Modes and Magic Filters

Olympus VR-310: Cons

Noise levels even at lowest ISO
No optical zoom with sound on videos

FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY
OVERALL

Olympus VR-310: Specification

Price £107.99
Contact www.olympus.co.uk
Optical zoom 10x optical zoom, 4.2 - 42mm (35mm equiv: 24 - 240mm), f/3.0 - 5.7
Resolution 14.0 megapixel
Sensor size 1/2.3 inch
Sensor type CCD
Max image size 4288 x 3216
Aspect ratio 4:3
Focusing system TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection
Focus points iESP, Face Detection AF, Spot, AF Tracking
Focus distance 1cm
File types JPEG, AVI Motion JPEG, WAV
ISO sensitivity ISO80 - 1600
Metering system ESP light metering
Metering types i-Auto, Programme automatic, Scene Modes, Magic Filter, Panorama, Movie
Exposure compensation +/- 2 EV / 1/3 steps
Shutter speed range 4 - 1/2000 sec
Image stabilisation Dual Image Stabilisation
Movie mode 720p HD
Monitor 3 inch TFT LCD screen
Media type SD, SDHC Memory Card
Interface USB 2.0 & AV Cable
Power LI-42B Lithium-Ion Battery
Box Contents LI-42B Lithium-Ion Battery
F-2AC AC Adapter
CB-USB7 USB Cable
CB-AVC5 AV cable
Handstrap
World Wide Warranty Card
Instruction Manual
Image Management Software
Size 100.6 x 58.2 x 28.5mm
Weight 158g (including battery and memory card)

Explore More

Photographs taken using the Olympus Olympus VR-310

The Cliff - La Scogliera - AmanteaCheck my Clawssunset over the Great Ormeclimber takes a breakSunny WoodsYes?Stand StrongDaydreamReflectionBright LightsThe WoodsSurpriseStareGolden DayLittle Birdie
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Comments


27 Aug 2011 2:11PM
i've got an Olympus VR-310 Digital Compact Camera but i can't take PANORAMA photos properly. is there someone who can help me?

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