Back when I shot film, I made 8x10 prints and hung them on my walls. And that was a lot of fun. But now my photos go on my blog if I want someone to be able to view a decent resolution image, and also on facebook, where a decent resolution image is an impossibility and irrelevant. So for those uses, how does a sub $200.00 point and shoot camera perform? The answer is really well.
Here are some examples of what I want in a camera like this, and how this one does in making those type of photos:
1. I want decent documentary photos, unmanipulated, right out of the camera. No adjusting exposure, contrast, any of that. This camera does that well most of the time, so I shoot a few pictures of each scene like this one to make sure I get a usable shot. No hardship there, storage is virtually infinite.
|Shot on P, no post processing. Perfectly serviceable |
image of a dog and her fans.
2. Ability to make a photo indoors without flash. Flash on point and shoot cameras ruins most indoor photos because of the very low guide number on most on-camera flash. So I don't use it on point and shoot cameras, except for fill light outside. I prefer to use available light indoors.
|No flash, handheld by me.|
|Pushed the ISO to 1600 for this, but got a photo that|
shows what I wanted to show. Sometimes the the technical
quality of the image is less important than actually
getting a usable image.
Then again, flash indoors can work, and this little Olympus actually shines in that department. It prefires the flash a lot, usually when it should, and it seems to quench it when it should, like in this photo which should have been ruined by flash, but somehow wasn't. Nice going Olympus.
3. The ability to trick the camera into doing what you want it to do instead of what it wants to do. My first great lens was on a $150.00 film point and shoot, a Yashica T4. with a brilliant real Zeiss Tessar fixed 35mm lens, but no manual control over anything. I learned a lot about tricking a full auto camera into the exposures I wanted with that T4. This Olympus is just as willing to be led by the nose if you know how.
|Driving in Elk City. Olympus VR 340. Mis-using one of the 'scene' modes to good, or some, effect.|
|Route 40, New Mexico|
5. Nice to have, but I've never seen it work well on any camera, the gimmicky "Scene" settings on this camera actually do work sometimes. This is not something I need, but would not have got this sunset unless I used the "Sunset" scene mode. If I had manual control over shutter speed and ISO, I could have got this shot in a few seconds. Navigating to sunset mode took a lot longer, and I had to know that such a mode existed, but I got the shot as an exercise in seeing if it would work. It did. This camera is also good in the mode where it selects the scene automatically based on what it "sees", but this cannot be trusted is if you really have to get a usable image. You'd be shooting a pro rig if that were the case anyway.
Bottom line: This is a perfectly usable point and shoot, with a good wide 24mm lens. Not the sharpest lens, but still better than some that cost more. For blogs and other online uses the photos you can make with this camera are just fine. For carrying around in your pocket all the time this is a great little camera.