Olympus VG-170 review

New 14MP compact camera offers premium features at bargain price

Olympus VG-170
This £99 compact with oversized flash is available in red, black and white

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Olympus vg-170 review

The Olympus VG-170 packs a huge number of features into its small body and boasts a very attractive price. With headline figures of a 26mm lens, HD video, 3D image capability, a large flash and ease of use, this compact camera will appeal to many new photographers.

We liked

The easy to use Olympus VG-170 boasts a wide range of features for a bargain basement price. The camera's many features are all logically set out and enable even beginners to get the most of the camera.

We disliked

Despite all the impressive headline statistics, the camera doesn't produce the highest quality images, and anyone wanting any manual control will be disappointed. Build quality could be better, and some functions feel slow in use.


For those starting out in photography who want an undemanding, simple to use camera, the Olympus VG-170 fits the bill. In the main, exposure, metering, white balance and speed are all good enough for casual photographers for whom ease of use and features outweigh absolute image quality.

However, anyone who wants any form of manual camera control or has exacting image quality standards would do better to look elsewhere.

While many of the Olympus VG-170's novel features are fun to experiment with, the camera would be improved if it covered the basics better, rather than trying to do everything.

It's great that the camera offers a high resolution, large flash, HD video and 3D images, but these are all compromised by the sometimes indecisive autofocus, the smearing of detail, noise levels and imperfect overall image quality.

For beginners who want a raft of quirky features and ease of use and aren't concerned about ultimate image quality, the Olympus VG-170 is a great choice. For everyone else, the slightly flawed image quality means that other similarly priced cameras might make a better choice.