Expert Review of Olympus VG 130
Olympus VG-130 is an affordable compact digi-cam with an all metal body capable of taking good quality color photograph. Featuring a 14 megapixel sensor and 5x wide zoom lens, together that lets you take some very interestingly nice photographs. Though the purple fringing at times and the inconsistent white balancing makes one think twice about buying it, there are other features that make it shine. Like the set of Magic filters, an impressive 3 inch LCD screen, the ability to take decent close up macro shots, a handy panorama assist mode and not forgetting the HD movie recording ability, that is with an easy access to the dedicated movie button. It’s a camera you can carry around in your hand and not be bothered about a camera bag whatsoever, very ideal for new buyers that are monitoring the market for a camera that’s pocket friendly. The camera is available in a ravishing color palate choice: Silver, Black, Red and Pink.
Design and Build Quality
The camera is designed rather on a minimalistic scale, thus is very simple. With an eloquent full metal body, so impressive for the budget it comes with, Olympus VG 130 is a very small compact camera that will fit with ease in your pockets. To be exact it weighs only 125 grams and dimensions are as followed: 96mm x 56.5mm x 19.3mm. The buttons are soft to the fingers and easy to press with some dedicated ones, like movie recording and the zoom controls that lie on the back of the camera rather than mostly found around the shutter button, which has been put along with a on/off button. The lens sits on the front, with two pinpricks showing a built-in microphone, a flash and AF assist lamp. The rear comprises of a 3-inch LCD screen too.
Focus and Face Detection
There are three major focusing modes: Auto focus, Face Detection and Spot Focusing. Zooming to focus does take a little time but the result is satisfactory. The lens can minimally focus as close as 7cm, which is not as remarkable as one would think. The face detection feature makes it possible to have the subject of the picture be the highlight, so take your portraits or call in a group, the camera will definitely keep an eye to make sure your faces look the most vibrant in any picture.
Lens and Image Stabilization
The lens to Olympus VG 130 almost occupies all the right half of the face plate of the camera. It zooms a good 5X that spans 35mm in its equivalent focal range of 26 mm – 130 mm, going wider than most compact camera lenses you’d find, setting it thus apart and giving its buyer an impressive appeal. The maximum aperture goes to a swift speed of f/2.8 at the wide end but a little sluggish at full telephoto f/6.5. The camera does have a Digital Image Stabilization mode, DIS for short. When you work with the camera you’ll see the camera picks up on a high ISO speed and attempts to eliminate motion blur caused by handshaking, especially in low light situations. Critically thought there is no optical or mechanical image stabilization.
Screen and Menus
On the back of the camera you’ll find a 3 inch LCD screen with a 230k dot resolution gracing it. The resolution is on bit of a low side of the display but it works feasibly well for us to complain. As for the menu system, Olympus camera shares the easy to use menu and Olympus VG 130 is no different. When you switch the camera on you find yourself cycling left or right into the shooting menus. Once in your acquired mode you change the settings by the up and down button. The menu’s features are well labeled and easy to understand. Though the camera glitches if you move too quickly around the menu.
The camera starts up within a few seconds once its turned on and is also fairly quick in terms of focusing, though there is no CIPA rating given for the battery life. Once in your hand you’ll last an estimate of 220 shots on a full charge. The camera is powered by replaceable LI-70B lithium ion battery which is to be charged by an in camera via the USB and a given USB-AC adapter that plugs in a wall. The camera is compatible with SD and SDHC cards and shares its compartment with the battery itself.
With the red Movie Record button you can record at any given time. The camera can record movies at different resolutions of 1280 x 720 (HD) at 30 and 15 fps, 640 x 480 (VGA) or 320 x 240 pixels (OGVA). The ability to optically zoom in is available but you have to turn the audio off prior to recording. If you desire audio within video, you’ll have to rely on digital zoom. Videos are compressed by the use of Motion JPEG codec and saved on a AVI container, no matter what the capacity of the memory card the maximum size you can save is 2 gigabytes.
Operating with a 1/2.3 inch 14 megapixel CCD sensor,the camera takes well exposed images with a vibrant color efficiency. A little lack shows when you take photos from the wide angle and purple fringes may appear but that does not affect a great the overall sharpness of a picture. Mixing a highly unusual and tremendously versatile 5x lens zoom to a high-resolution sensor housed in a metal body, the Olympus VG-130 is one of the more interesting credit card sized cameras around. Add to this the seven entertaining "magic filters" that can add some creative flair to your photos, and you have in your hands a very net little digicam that by the looks of it, looks highly attractive to anyone who is considering to trade up from a simple basic 3x zoom compact. On the other hand, the VG-130 isn't exactly a speed demon, especially when it comes to focusing, This now means that it is not neccessarily well suited for mods of shooting moving subjects or for capturing the fleeting moments. It is however very unfortunate that it is not really the best in image quality too, 14 Megapixels sure does sound like a hell lot of resolution, but the actual images taken by the camera tend to lack the kind of fine detail you would expect from a sensor with so many pixels. More so despite with a minimum focusing distant of 7 cm the macro pictures you get are pleasing. In al with the budget friendly camera like this, all this add up to being a very nice buy.
Excellent value for money
Full metal body
Good colour reproduction
Well detailed images
Purple fringing quite common
Inconsistent white-balance performance
Close focusing distance is 7cm
March 2, 2011 - On this date, at this price, there are not many competitors who can even think of offering the same feature set as Olympus VG 130. The specifications of the device are listed below:
• 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26-130mm)
• 720p HD movie recording
• 14 megapixel sensor
• 3.0 inch 230,000 dot colour LCD screen
• Magic filters
• Digital Image Stabilisation
• Intelligent Auto Mode
• Advanced Face Detection
• Battery charging via USB-cable