Olympus VG-150: Entry-level ultracompact revealed


posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 9:42 PM EDT

Olympus' VG-150 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Corp.Another model from Olympus Europe that's not currently intended for the US market--although it's quite closely-related to the US-market VG-160--is the Olympus VG-150.

Unveiled alongside the CES show, the VG-150 is a 12 megapixel camera with a 4x optical zoom range in a slim 0.8-inch thick body. A couple of areas where the VG-150 has a downgraded specification compared to the VG-160--which will also be available in Europe--are the LCD display and video capture capabilities. The VG-150 saves a little cost by opting for a 2.7-inch LCD display, and also lacks high-def video capabilities, instead providing only standard-def VGA capture.

In Europe, the Olympus SH-21 ships from March, priced at around €70. More details are in our Olympus VG-150 preview.

Olympus VG-150
Olympus' VG-150 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Corp. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Ultra Compact
Manufacturer Olympus
Model Number North America: VG-150
Dimensions 3.6 x 2.1 x 0.8 in.
(92 x 54 x 20 mm)
Weight 3.7 oz (105 g)
Planned Availability March 2012
Image Capture
Sensor Type CCD
1/2.3" (approx. 0.43 in. diagonal)
12.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Dimensions 3968 x 2976 (11.8 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
8.9 megapixels
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 2.7 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom 10.0x max
Lens Type Olympus lens; 6 elements in 5 groups, 4 aspherical elements
4x optical zoom
Focal Length 4.8 - 19.2mm (actual)
27 - 108mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.9 (wide) / f/6.5 (tele) - ???
Focusing System CCD contrast detection; iESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, AF Tracking
Does not have AF assist lamp
Focusing Range Normal: 24" - 4,081" (60 cm - 9,999 cm)
Macro: 2.0" - 4,081" (5 cm - 9,999 cm)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speed 4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure Modes Program
Metering Modes Digital ESP Metering, Face Detection AE
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: ISO 800: Wide: 0.66ft (0.2m) - 15.4ft (4.7m), Tele: 1.97ft (0.6m) - 6.9ft (2.1m)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 0.0EV
Scene Modes Scene Modes (1. PORTRAIT, 2. LANDSCAPE, 3. NIGHT, 4. NIGHT+PORTRAIT, 5. SPORT, 6. INDOOR, 7. CANDLE, 8. SELF PORTRAIT, 9. SUNSET, 10. FIREWORKS, 11. CUISINE, 12. BEACH & SNOW, 13. DOCUMENTS, 14. PET); Magic Filter (Pop Art, Pinhole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle)
Digital Zoom Up to 4x
Self Timer Yes, 12 or 2 seconds
Movie Format AVI with audio
Recording Medium SD/MMC including SDHC, Built-in
File Format JPEG
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Battery Type Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary
Product Bundle
Software OLYMPUS [ib] software
Battery / Charger 1 x Proprietary Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory Built-in
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Notes Magic Filters, AF Tracking, Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology, USB Charging, In-camera manual. Available in silver or black.
More Photos
Olympus' VG-150 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Corp. Click for a bigger picture!


Press Release

New entry level VG Series cameras offer superb value-for-money

Olympus keeps the quality but cuts the cost
VG-160 & VG-150 launch at ultra-competitive price

Hamburg, 10 January 2012 – Whatever the state of the economy, Olympus' new VG Series compact cameras mean everyone can enjoy the simple pleasures of capturing and sharing memories in excellent quality. Even for entry-level models, the super-slender Olympus VG-160 and VG-150 offer outstanding value for money. Like all Olympus cameras, they make it quick and easy to record high-quality still photos and movies in everyday situations. Both come with a wide optical zoom lens, powerful Digital Image Stabilisation and all the megapixels you could need. They also feature a full array of automatic imaging aids like i-Auto, Shadow Adjustment Technology and a range of Magic Filters for adding special effects to still photos. The VG-160 even has an instant Movie Rec button so whenever you see something that you want to record, you can switch straight to HD Movie mode with just one touch. The VG-160 is available from early February for €79 and the VG-150 from early March for just €69.

High on quality, low on cost
The new Olympus VG Series has a lot to be proud of, not least the unbeatable price. The super-compact VG-160 and VG-150 make Olympus' renowned optics available to everyone browsing the shelves on a budget. In this price bracket, the spec is extremely impressive. The 12-Megapixel VG-150 comes with a versatile 4x wide optical zoom lens (27-108mm*). The 14-Megapixel VG-160 goes one better, sporting a superb 5x optical zoom and a wide 26-130mm* lens packed into its super-slim body. At just 19.3mm deep, the VG-160 slips easily into a coat pocket, as does the VG-150, which measures just 19.8mm.

High on creativity, low on hassle
Despite the attractive price tag, VG Series are packed with features that make it easy to take beautiful shots at the drop of a hat. A large 2.7" colour LCD (3" on the VG-160) gives a clear overview of tried-and-tested automatic aids like AF Tracking and Intelligent Auto Mode (i-Auto), plus some of the same on-camera Magic Filters found on Olympus high-end cameras. On the VG-160, the separate red Movie Rec button ensures instant access to movie mode, so you can start recording in 720p High Definition quality without even entering the menu.

When you want to capture your memories, with either VG Series camera in your hand all you have to do is point and shoot.

The Olympus VG-160 is available in silver, black, red or orange for €79. The VG-150 comes in silver or black for €69.

Outstanding features:
Image Quality:

  • 5x wide optical zoom lens (26-130mm*) for effortless close-ups and wide-angle shots (VG-150: 4x wide optical zoom lens and 27-108mm*)

  • 720p HD Movie with sound for capturing movies effortlessly in excellent quality (VG-150: VGA Movie)

  • 14 Megapixels for high-quality full-size movies, stills and prints (VG-150: 12 Megapixels)

  • Digital Image Stabilisation for reducing blur


  • 3" colour LCD (230,000 dots) for easily framing, reviewing and sharing shots (VG-150: 2.7" colour LCD)

  • Face Detection and Shadow Adjustment Technology for capturing people's faces just as you want them

  • Intelligent Auto Mode (i-Auto) and AF Tracking for easy setting and focussing

  • Scene Mode for automatic settings that suit specific conditions (e.g., Landscape, Night)

Creativity & Flexibility:

  • Magic Filters for adding creative effects to still photos: Punk, Pop Art, Pin Hole, Drawing, Fish Eye, Soft Focus and Sparkle

Other key features:

  • Super-slim body for an attractive, highly portable design

  • [ib] software for browsing, organising and viewing images by person, place, location or event.

  • ISO 80 to 1600 (VG-150: 100 to 1600)

  • SDHC memory card compatible**

  • Built-in flash

  • In-camera manual

  • USB battery charging

* 35mm camera equivalent.
** SD is a trademark of SD Card Association. UHS Speed Class is not supported.