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Olympus VG-110 Overview

Posted: 02/08/2011

The VG-110 features a the combination of a 1/2.3"-type, twelve effective megapixel CCD image sensor and an Olympus-branded 4x optical zoom lens, which offers a 35mm-equivalent range from a useful 27mm wide-angle to a modest 108mm telephoto. Sadly, the Olympus VG-110 lacks true mechanical image stabilization, instead opting only for what Olympus calls "Digital Image Stabilization", which increases the ISO sensitivity (and along with it, both the shutter speed and image noise levels) to try and freeze motion. ISO sensitivity ranges from a low of ISO 100 to a maximum of ISO 1,600 equivalent. A 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution -- roughly equating to a 320 x 240 pixel array, with each pixel comprising separate red, green and blue dots -- offers the Olympus VG-110's only option for framing and reviewing images, as there's no optical viewfinder on this model.

The Olympus VG-110 employs a contrast-detection autofocus system operating off data streaming from the camera's image sensor, and the VG-110 also includes face detection capability, able to detect up to 16 faces in a scene simultaneously. Olympus' Face Detection function is linked to both the autoexposure and autofocus systems, ensuring that your subjects' faces are taken into account when determining both these variables. AF tracking technology continually adjusts focus and exposure to keep fast-moving subjects in focus.

As well as still image shooting, the Olympus VG-110 offers standard definition movie capture at VGA or QVGA resolution, with selectable 15 / 30 frames per second recording rate, and AVI Motion JPEG compression. A rechargeable LI-70B Lithium Ion battery with charger is included with the VG-110, and has a CIPA rating of 170 shots per charge. Images are stored in a not-so-generous 18MB of available internal memory, as well as on Secure Digital memory cards, including the newer SDHC types, but not the latest generation SDXC cards. Images and videos can be transferred to a PC over a USB 2.0 High-Speed connection, and there's also a standard-definition video output.

The VG-110 includes a variety of what the company terms Magic Art Filters, which are similar to the in-camera Art Filters first introduced in Olympus digital SLRs in 2009. Two 2011 model-year Magic Filters -- Sparkle, and Punk -- are included, in addition to the Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish-Eye, Soft Focus, and Drawing filters seen in previous models. A generous 14 scene modes are offered in the Olympus VG-110, plus a Program Auto mode, allowing users some degree of control over their images without needing to understand the subtleties of shutter speeds and apertures. There's also an Intelligent Auto mode which can automatically select from a subset of scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Night + Portrait, Macro or Sports).

The Olympus VG-110 ships in the USA from February 2011, with pricing of about US$100. Available body colors include black, silver, and red.