Olympus VG-170: New flagship for VG-series


posted Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM EDT

Olympus' VG-170 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Corp.Next up in Olympus CES announcements is Olympus VG-170, which assumes the top spot in the VG-series for European-market buyers; in the US that honor falls on the VG-160.

The VG-170 is a 14 megapixel camera with a 5x optical zoom lens that offers up a 26mm wide angle, in a slim 0.9-inch thick body. The VG-170 is notable for what Olympus is describing as "roughly four times more powerful than its nearest rival", with a guide number of 8.8. A few other key features include a 3.0-inch LCD display, 720p movie capture, shadow adjustment technology, a Beauty mode that smooths skin tones, and an anaglyph (red/cyan) 3D photo mode.

In Europe, the Olympus VG-170 ships from mid-February, priced at around €100. More details are in our Olympus VG-170 preview.

Olympus VG-170
Olympus' VG-170 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Corp. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Ultra Compact
Manufacturer Olympus
Model Number North America: VG-170
Dimensions 4.1 x 2.5 x 0.9 in.
(104 x 63 x 22 mm)
Weight 5.2 oz (147 g)
Planned Availability February 2012
Image Capture
Sensor Type CCD
1/2.3" (approx. 0.43 in. diagonal)
14.50 megapixels (total)
14.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
Image Dimensions 4288 x 3216 (13.8 megapixels)
3264 x 2448 (8.0 megapixels)
2560 x 1920 (4.9 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 960 (1.2 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 0.6 frames per second for 200 frames
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder No
LCD 3.0 in. diagonal
230,000 dots (approx. 77,000 pixels)
Playback Zoom 10.0x max
Lens Type Olympus lens; 7 elements in 5 groups, with 5 aspherical elements
5x optical zoom
Focal Length 4.7 - 23.5mm (actual)
26 - 130mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Range f/2.8 or 8 (wide) / f/6.5 or 18 (tele) - ???
Focusing System CCD contrast detection; iESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, AF Tracking
Focusing Range Normal: 24" - infinity (60 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.9" - 4,082" (7 cm - 10,000 cm)
ISO Sensitivity Auto, High Auto, 80, 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, One-touch
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: ISO 800: 8.8 m (W), 3.8m (T)
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 0.0EV
Scene Modes Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Scene with portrait, Sports, Indoor, Candle, Self-portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Beach and Snow, Pet, 3D), Magic Filter (Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Water color, Reflection), Panorama, Movie, Beauty & Make-up
Digital Zoom Up to 4x
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 12 seconds
Movie Format AVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Max. clip length: 1,740 seconds ()
Recording Medium SD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC, Built-in
File Format JPEG
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other Multi-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output)
Battery Type Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary LI-50B
Product Bundle
Software OLYMPUS [ib] software CD-ROM
Battery / Charger 1 x Proprietary LI-50B Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory 34.9MB Internal
Internal Microphone Yes
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Notes Digital Image Stabilization, 720p HD Video, Magic Art Filters, AF Tracking. Available in silver, black, red and orange.
More Photos
Olympus' VG-170 digital camera. Photo provided by Olympus Corp. Click for a bigger picture!


Press Release

New Smart Series compact excels with fantastic flash

Olympus VG-170 puts rivals in the shade
Easy-to-use VG flagship features best-in-class flash

Hamburg, 10 January 2012 – Plenty of compact cameras promise to make your world brighter, but only the Olympus VG-170 has the best-in-class flash to back up that claim. The flash on the new VG Series flagship has nearly twice the range of a regular compact camera, which means it can light up faces and objects up to fully 15 metres away. In Long Flash Mode, it'll even automatically adjust ISO sensitivity to make sure your camera is set up just right for low light. It's this sort of practical, user-friendly feature that makes the VG Series a pleasure to use on a day-to-day basis, no matter how little you know about cameras. Compact, convenient and fantastic value for money, the top-of-the-range VG-170 is the perfect choice for anyone who just wants to point and shoot – and let their camera do the rest. With 14 Megapixels, a 5x wide optical zoom, big 3" LCD and a host of automatic features and effects, you can be sure you'll get a quality photo or movie every time. With its slim, stylish body and sturdy retro design, the VG-170 could be mistaken for a high-end camera, but there's nothing high-end about the price. It's available for a mouth-watering €99 and it'll be in the shops from the middle of February.

Matchless flash
The flash is the most commonly used function on compact cameras*, so it's surprising how little attention it gets. A great flash can make a huge difference to the quality of your photos – in low light, it's often the difference between getting the shot you want and getting no shot at all. The flash on the new Olympus VG-170 is massive, especially for an inexpensive camera. It's roughly four times more powerful than its nearest rival, which means it has twice the range (the VG-170's guide number is 8.8 compared to 4 to 5.6 for regular digital compacts). The VG-170 can light up people or buildings fully 15 metres away on the wide-angle setting. What's more, in Long Flash Mode, the camera automatically trades off Megapixels against ISO sensitivity to give you the perfect light setting. At five Megapixels instead of the usual 14, you can still blow up your photo to A4 size without losing that trademark Olympus picture quality.

Effortless imaging
The VG-170 comes with a 5x wide optical zoom lens (26mm-130mm**) that gives you the flexibility you need in a variety of everyday situations. Whether you're zooming in for a close-up or taking a wider, more expansive scene, you can frame your shot quickly and easily on the big 3" LCD. If you have wobbly hands, Digital Image Stabilisation steadies the camera while a host of automatic aids like i-Auto, Face Detection and AF Tracking make sure you have the ideal settings for the conditions. You don't have to do a thing. Your photos come out bright and sharp and your movies are recorded in High Definition, which makes for great viewing on a big HD TV. You can even display 3D photos on regular TVs, computers or digital photo frames – simply by turning on the new Red & Cyan 3D feature before you take the picture. If you want to get creative on-camera, there's a choice of nine Magic Filter effects that work at the touch of a button. And if you like sharing your images online with family and friends, that's just as easy as everything else on the VG-170. Thanks to wireless Eye-Fi card compatibility, it's also cable-free.

The VG-170 is available for €99 from mid-February in black, white or red.

Outstanding features:
Image Quality:

  • 5x wide optical zoom lens (26-130mm**) for effortless close-ups and wide-angle shots

  • 720p HD Movie with sound for capturing movies in excellent quality

  • 14 Megapixels for high-quality full-size movies, stills and prints

  • Digital Image Stabilisation for reducing blur


  • Eye-Fi Card compatibility for automatic wireless uploading of images to a website or PC

  • 3" colour LCD (460,000 dots) for easily framing, reviewing and sharing shots

  • 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

  • Beauty Mode for hiding unwanted blemishes

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

Creativity & Flexibility:

  • Magic Filters for adding creative effects to HD movies and/or stills: Punk, Pop Art, Pin Hole, Drawing, Fish Eye, Soft Focus, Sparkle (photos only), Watercolour, Reflection

  • 3D photo shooting mode (Red & Cyan) for striking stills you can share on 2D devices

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, with automatic adjustment in Long Flash Mode

  • SDHC and SDXC memory card compatible***

  • Built-in smart flash

  • In-camera help guide

  • USB battery charging

* In Europe and the United States, according to Olympus research.
** 35mm camera equivalent.
*** SD is a trademark of SD Card Association. UHS Speed Class is not supported.