The Olympus VR-340 was announced in January 2012 alongside the VG-170 and is a compact camera with 10x optical zoom. It is available in silver, black, red and purple for £119.00.
Olympus VR-340 Features
The Olympus VR-340 has a 16 megapixel sensor with a 10x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-240mm. To help keep images blur free there is Dual Image Stabilisation. To make image taking easy there is iAuto mode as well as a range of scene modes and digital filters to add some creativity to your shots as well as beauty mode. If you are shooting a moving object you can use AF Tracking.
Videos are recorded at 720p HD with some of the magic filters available, as is the optical zoom when sound is switched off.
16 megapixel sensor
10x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-240mm)
720p HD movie recording
3.0 inch 460,000 dot colour LCD screen
Dual Image Stabilisation
Magic Filter Movie and/or Stills
Face Detection incl. Shadow Adjustment
iAuto and AF Tracking
Eye-Fi Card compatibility
Smart Grip Design
Olympus VR-340 Handling
The VR-340 is easy to grip thanks to the raised area on the front of the camera for your right hand fingers as well as a dotted area for your right thumb on the back. It is made from metal and is small enough for you to carry in your pocket. The rear hosts the 3 inch 460,000 dot LCD screen, which is bright, clear and easy to see in most lighting conditions. The buttons are typical for a compact camera with a dedicated movie record and ? buttons, the latter helping you to use the camera.
The menus are logical and well laid out, with most of the shooting settings set via a panel down the right hand side of the screen, which you amend using the d-pad. We tested the camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
Sequential shooting records at full 14 megapixel resolution, with high-speed 1 and 2 both restricted to 3 megapixels.
Olympus VR-340 Performance
Images produced by the VR-340 are well exposed with decent colour reproduction. Detail is OK in the centre of the images, with soft corners, as well as purple fringing in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm which allows a decent macro shot to be taken.
Olympus VR-340 Lens test images
There isn't any noise at ISO 100, with a touch coming in at ISO 200. ISO sees an increase in noise which is significant enough to cause the images to lose a touch of sharpness. At ISO 800 this loss of sharpness continues, with ISO 1600 producing an image with large amounts of noise, not ideal for large prints.
Olympus VR-340 ISO test images
Landscape mode produces images with good blues and greens, with portrait mode giving pleasant skin tones and no red-eye when shooting with the flash. Sport mode has been used in the fourth image below to capture the water movement.
Olympus VR-340 Scene modes
Under the incandescent lighting, the auto white-balance (AWB) preset has a slight orange cast with the incandescent preset taking the perfect picture. When switching to the fluorescent lights the AWB preset performs well, with the fluorescent preset having a magenta cast.
Olympus VR-340 White-balance test images
The VR-340 has a number of magic filters, with examples of each below. Some can be used during video recording as well.
Olympus VR-340 Digital filters
Below is a video shot at 720p HD, the camera also allows the use of optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel.
The Olympus VR-340 is a pocketable camera with a decent zoom range, making it an ideal choice for taking pictures on your holidays. Image quality is OK, but nothing to get excited about and video recording isn't full 1080p HD, although you can use the magic filters. Colour reproduction is decent and if you are a camera user who struggles to grip a camera, the VR-340 is easy to grip thanks to the groove at the front.
Olympus VR-340 Pros
Available for a reasonable price
Camera is easy to grip
Compact, metal body
Decent colour reproduction