26 of 38 people found the following review helpful
This camera is AWFUL!! PLEASE READ before you buy!!,
This review is from: Olympus VR-320 14 MP Digital Camera with 12.5x Optical Zoom and 3" LCD (Black) (Old Model) (Electronics)
I will start by saying that I am an amateur photog who often gets a lot of compliments on my photos on Flickr and other sites because of the angles, shot selections, etc. For many years, I used a Minolta DiMage, which captured AMAZING scenic shots that required little editing. I don't know if the standards are just very low these days or what, but it was very frustrating when I tried to find another camera to match the quality of photos of the Minolta earlier this year. I tried them all in the $150-250 range - Canon, Nikon, Sony, and yes, Olympus. But they all required significant editing and time in Photoshop and Picasa in order to make the pictures even baseline decent for anything more than sharing on Facebook or your phone. Eventually, I will upgrade to a D-SLR but I guess Minolta spoiled me into believing that you CAN get a quality picture without dropping a mortgage payment.
PRO'S: I did not find this camera too hard to set up, though it has some quirks with confirming settings. I HATE the 'magic' scenes because it's very difficult to figure out how to turn that nonsense off for folks who like semi-raw shots. Also, I do like the separate video button, and the zoom has its appeal (though not for long). The video is decent, though I didn't buy this camera to shoot movies, I bought it to take decent PICTURES.
CON'S: I don't have the time to go into all the CON'S of this camera - I will just say that I now understand why Staples sold it to me on sale and strictly enforced the 14-day final sale policy (with a disposable product like this, who can blame them!!) First, the picture quality is TERRIBLE. I haven't taken a single shot with this camera that did not require extensive editing in Photoshop and/or Picasa. It's almost like shooting a sketch!! While there isn't a lot of graininess, the pictures are almost water-color in nature. I'm not a nervous person so mind you, I'm not confusing picture sharpness with operator movement. No, this is something inherent in the design. Next, while this camera has an impressive zoom on the surface, it takes FOREVER to stabilize. No matter how steady your hands are, it shakes when trying to zoom in, requiring me at this point to literally shoot SEVERAL shots of the same picture so that I can select one when I view them at the end (I've learned from painful experience that this is NOT a camera that you can rely on for single-picture quality shots). Whether you use the pre-set modes or use their semi-raw modes, it's very difficult to get true colors or exposure, again, without extensive editing. I've played with the pre-sets and set the ISO levels on my own from previous photog experience, but nothing seems to work with this thing. The panoramic mode is "interesting", and that's NOT a good thing. I STILL haven't figured out how to use it (though it was straightforward on other brands like Sony).
Best use: work-related pictures (e.g. shooting real estate, cars, etc - anything that doesn't have a lot of personal value to you!)
All in all, there's no way I'd recommend this thing to anyone, in fact, I'm looking for a way to now sell it on ebay and buy another. Live and learn...