Olympus VG-170 review

New 14MP compact camera offers premium features at bargain price

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  • Packed with features
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Large, high resolution screen
  • Wide 26mm lens


  • Basic image quality isn't great
  • Many images have cold colour cast
  • Few Magic Filters add value
  • Needs fewer features but better execution

The new Olympus VG-170 packs a host of features into an affordable, compact camera body. With a recommended UK price of £100 and available to buy for just £80 if you shop around, this camera falls firmly into budget compact territory - but comes with many more premium functions.

These include the ability to take 3D photos and HD videos, plus a 5x optical zoom that starts from a usefully wide 26mm.

Olympus is marketing the VG-170 as a small and simple point and shoot camera for novice photographers, and its price puts it at the same sort of level as rivals such as the Nikon Coolpix S6200, Nikon Coolpix S3100, Samsung MV800 and Canon PowerShot SX150 IS.

But the Olympus VG-170 has a standout feature: a flash that's around twice as powerful as most rivals' units. The company claims that in long flash mode you can even light up objects 15m away from the camera.

Olympus vg 170 review

This 14 megapixel camera also boasts a 3-inch 460,000 dot LCD screen, a textured finger grip on the front and a retro, if slightly plain, design.

Other features include an intelligent auto mode, face detection, 15 Scene Modes and Magic Filters such as Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fisheye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Water Color and Reflection.

It also features digital image stabilisation and a Beauty mode, where an individual's skin can be smoothed, brightened, make up effects can be added and teeth can be whitened.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution14 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilySmart
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedEye-Fi Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationDigital
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, 3D Panorama
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)147 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4288 x 3216
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height62.5 mm
Width103.7 mm
Depth22.2 mm
Focal Length4.70 mm to 23.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelVG-170
Product NameSmart VG-170 Compact Camera
Product LineSmart
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV106090BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Experience a compact and convenient point-and-shoot camera - but with a truly brilliant extra: Besides being absolutely easy to handle, the new VG-170 provides a flash nearly twice as powerful as on a regular compact camera. The Guide Number is approx. 8.8, in contrast to 4 to 5.6 with comparable cameras. Thanks to the long flash mode you can even light up faces and objects up to fully 15 meters away, as it automatically selects higher ISO sensitivity. 14 Megapixels and a 5x wide optical zoom (26-130mm*) enable effortless close-ups and wide-angle shots. In addition to the big 3" LCD, 720p HD Movie with sound and lots of automatic features and effects, be sure to get a high 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 - until you learn about the fantastic low-budget price!

Package Contents
  • Smart VG-170 Compact Camera
  • LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery
  • F-2AC AC Adapter
  • CB-USB7 USB Cable
  • CB-AVC5 Audio / Video Cable
  • 3D Glasses (Red / Cyan)
  • Hand Strap
  • World Wide Warranty Card
  • Instruction Manual
  • Software Media
Limited Warranty2 Year