My point and shoot digital camera was getting a little long in the tooth, so it was time to find a new one. I needed a camera that had a quick refresh between shots, was slim and light, had a good size screen, and most importantly took great shots. I decided on the 16 megapixel Olympus Stylus VG-190. Let's see how it did on satisfying my list of requirements.
First of all, I am not a professional photographer, so this review will tell you my impressions on using the camera as a novice and not about purple fringing, white balance and other technical details.
First of all, this camera looks cool. It is made of finger print resistant black plastic. It is also thin and easily fits into a pocket. It is also light at only 5.3 oz. The battery is a lithium ion pack that helps keep it lightweight. I usually prefer having AA batteries that I can change when I run out of juice, so this internal battery better last quite awhile (which after about 2 hours of use was still working). You charge it using the enclosed USB cable and adapter.
The LCD screen is 3 in and is very bright and clear. It has about 460,000 pixels, but that is probably too technical for this review. The camera powers on very quickly...press the power button and it is ready to go.
Pressing OK on the D-pad controller lets you customize your shooting modes and options. The available modes include Program, iAuto, DIS (digital image stabilization), Beauty, Super macro, Scene, Magic filters and Panorama assist. The scene mode includes 14 presets (Self portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach & Snow, Pet, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Portrait, Sport, Indoor & Candle). More than enough for all your picture needs. The Beauty mode allows you to edit your photo with various effects, such as blemishes and puffy eyes. It gives you a before and after screen to view your handiwork. Doubt I would use this a whole lot, but it was fun to play with.
The camera comes with a 5x optical zoom. The zoom buttons are located on the top and are within easy reach of your index finger. The flash on this camera is very large. It features a Long Flash mode for extended flash range. I tested this with a few group shots at about 15 ft and it seemed to work ok.
So how do the pictures come out? I took a series of outside and inside shots. The outside pics come out great. Colors were vivid and sharp. Inside pictures (with and without flash) came out okay. They did not come out as good in low light as my digital SLR, but I had to remind myself that this is a point and shoot camera.
It can record HD video with a record button easily accessed by your thumb on the back of the camera. Quality was okay, but during playback I heard a constant ticking sound. I made multiple recordings and it was on all the recordings. Weird.
Viewing of pictures is by pushing the view button above the D-pad. All the buttons on the camera are logically placed.
The manual is located on a CD that comes in the box. I would rather have a printed manual, but I realize that this is the way companies do it now. The enclosed quick start guide gives you plenty of information to get you started out of the box.
Overall, I am pleased with this camera. Would have liked a little better low light performance and the clicking during the videos was annoying. It has a lot of fun modes to experiment with which will give you many hours of fun.