Currently viewing the tag: "Vivitar"

Vivitar Vivicam X225
John Lewis, and other stores, are selling the Vivitar Vivicam X225, an updated version of the Vivitar Vivicam 8225, the only camera we’ve ever rated here as “Do Not Buy!” Our lowest rating ever, simply because we found that the camera had no optical zoom. After a brief look at the X225, it appears as though the same still applies to the new camera! (insert *for shame* here).

“Take pleasure in using this sleek, elegant, and feature rich camera. With its impressive 10.1 megapixel resolution, as well as anti-shake and red eye reduction tools, you’ll be astonished at just how easy it is taking crisp and smooth photos” Source: Vivitar.

The Vivitar Vivicam X225 features: 10 megapixels, “2x optical zoom”, 4x digital zoom, 2.4″ screen, face and smile detection, red eye reduction, image stabiliser (digital), self timer, auto focus, lithium ion batter, and xenon flash. Click below to see the store / camera details.
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Vivitar T327 Front
Vivitar has announced the new Vivitar Vivicam T327, Retro style digital camera, an update to the 8027, it features “upto” 12 megapixel resolution (8mp CMOS sensor according to the manual?), 3x optical zoom lens, 2.7″ screen, optical viewfinder, SD/SDHC support, face and smile detection, VGA video at 30fps, built in flash, and Lithium Ion battery (a Nokia BL-5B), and should be available in a number of colours. Via DCViews.

“This designer camera is clearly inspired by 70 years of Vivitar heritage. Old fashioned on the outside, it’s packed with all the modern features, optical and digital zoom, flash with red eye reduction, and a rechargeable battery.”

Vivitar Vivicam T327 Back

The Vivitar Vivicam 8027 Retro styled digital camera with optical viewfinder, is now available from Amazon UK for £49 in Black. The camera features an 8 megapixel sensor, 3x optical zoom lens, 2.4″ screen, VGA video, lithium ion battery, and may be available in red, yellow and black.

“This designer camera is clearly inspired by 70 years of Vivitar heritage. Old fashioned on the outside, it’s packed with all the modern features, optical and digitar zoom, flash with red eye reduction, and rechargeable battery.”

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Vivitar are selling the Vivitar Vivicam 8225 – the camera specification looks quite promising, especially as the camera is available from £40-£50, it features an 8 megapixel sensor, 2x optical zoom lens (apparently), 2.4″ screen, lithium ion battery, SD/SDHC support, and VGA video mode (without sound), but is it any good? Found out below. The camera is available for £49

The camera uses a CMOS sensor and promises an “optical zoom lens” – the image quality from the 2x “optical zoom” photos looked more like digital zoom to me, and you would expect to be able to see MORE detail in the optical zoom photos, but I could not – in fact the movement of the “zoom” lens looks suspicious – it was fully extended when on wide-angle, then would zoom in and out while zooming in in a somewhat meaningless way. Then when I noticed hot pixels from the CMOS sensor that MOVED when using the “optical” zoom I had to investigate further. I removed the front plastic element from the lens (this improved image quality as ghosting issues disappeared) then I removed the glass lens element from the moving “optical zoom”.* Yet AMAZINGLY the “Optical zoom” still worked!! How can that be? Oh yeah, it’s not real optical zoom, it’s simply digital zoom.

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Press shots show “2x Optical Zoom” (and a completely different lens design) yet the box says simply “Optical Zoom” while the real product says: “Optical zoom” and “Auto Focus Zoom Lens” and “36-72mm f2.8” which appears to be blatant lying – apart from the Auto Focus part, which does appear to be true.

Continue reading our Vivitar Vivicam 8225 Review.
View our Vivitar Vivicam 8225 Sample Photo Gallery.

It’s been a LONG time since I last reviewed a Vivitar camera – a lot has happened since then – they’ve gone bankrupt, been bought, and recently relaunched with a whole new range of cameras – near the bottom of the range is the new Vivitar Vivicam V8225 or 8225 – priced from £40, it features something somewhat unique in this day and age, a 2x “optical” zoom lens. Most cameras tend to have either no optical zoom, or at least a 3x optical zoom lens. It’s price and features meant that I was interested enough to give it a try. It’s cheap, but is it cheerful?

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Front on – the zoom lens is a rather strange setup twisting out when switched on – and the front lens element looks so reflective I immediately thought that there was something stuck on that should be taken off. Unfortunately not – the front element is always this reflective and therefore creates some interesting lens flare.

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Top – power button, shutter release, and microphone? Unfortunately not – it’s just a speaker hole for the annoying beep that can’t be switched off.

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Bottom – SD/SDHC memory card slot, tripod socket, and battery compartment – it uses the Nokia BL-5B Battery rated at 700mah, 3.7v, (a clone, not a genuine Nokia battery) – probably because Nokia use this battery in a number of phones, and they’ve no doubt sold millions of mobile phones, making this battery one of the cheapest available?

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Back – 2.4″ screen, Mode button switches between Photo / Video and Playback modes.

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Size – quite small – quite slim. Weighs 100g, and measures: 92.00mm x 58.0mm x 19.0 mm

Video – It has a VGA video mode, without sound.

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Shown above – side by side – on the left a normal photo, on the right a photo taken with “2x optical zoom”, the photos have been adjusted (levels and saturation) so that you can see the hot pixels and noise more easily, I wasn’t expecting the clear round circle, but this just makes it all the more obvious that the camera is using digital zoom. I’ve uploaded full size images into the photo gallery if you want to view or compare them yourself. (Image 229, 230)

Conclusion: Considering a standard 8mp Vivitar with no optical zoom costs around £30-£35 (eg the Vivitar 8025) – this 8mp Vivitar with “pretend 2x optical zoom” aka no optical zoom costs £40-£50 – then this camera is not good value for money. In fact, I wonder whether they are breaking advertising standards by claiming to have “Optical zoom” when in fact it’s simply digital zoom? In my opinion this camera should be pulled from shelves, and all shops that sell it (Asda, Tesco, Amazon etc) should send it back, and offer any current customers a full refund!

Vivitar Vivicam 8225

Some of the online material (site screenshot shown above, spec sheet, and official manual!) say it has a 3x optical zoom lens – please – make up your mind! What else are they not telling us? Could it be using a 5 megapixels sensor and interpolating the images to 8 megapixels?

Lithium-Ion Battery

No optical zoom – only digital zoom!
Difficult to remove / put in memory card
Excessive barrel distortion on wide-angle
Says it’s in Focus when it’s not (and vice versa)
Beep can’t be switched off
Lens flare
Poor quality screen – difficult to see what the photos will look like
Over-exposes bright areas on default settings (-1, or -2 exposure compensation needed)
Very Weak flash – red-eye reduction pre-flash is brighter than the actual flash!
Auto-focus hit and miss.
Flash defaults to off.

* You can also find out by gently holding in the lens when switching the camera on, take a photo, now hold it in whilst using the zoom, notice how the image on the screen gets larger, yet the lens doesn’t even move! (I realise too that I could have done this without having to remove the lens pieces)

Photos of the camera taken with an Olympus E-600 DSLR.

Vivitar F540

Vivitar has announced the new Vivitar Vivicam VF540 – it features a 14.1 megapixel sensor, 3.0″ touch screen, 5x optical zoom, face detection, GPS tagging, and takes lithium ion battieres:

“Vivitar’s innovative VF540 camera incorporates 14.1 Megapixels and GPS capabilities that link to Vivitar geo-tagging software. The model is loaded with a 3.0″ full touch panel screen, 5X optical zoom, face detection and anti-shake with a USB connection. With lithium ion battery included, the VF530 has an SRP of $199.”

“Additional new models include the ViviCam V5016, V7022, V7024, VX025, VX029, VT027, VT030, VT324N, VT528, VT529, a variety of 5-14 megapixel cameras. Cameras are available in a new range of colors including: Graphite, Strawberry, Gold, Cranberry, Black, Beautyberry, Silver, Blueberry, Kiwi and Grape.”

Vivitar VT026

Vivitar has announced the new Vivitar Vivicam VT026 – it features a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 2.4″ screen, no optical zoom, face detection, and takes lithium ion battieres:

“The underwater, all-weather ViviCam VT026 is 12.1 Megapixels with a 2.4” preview screen. Bring this camera on all underwater adventures and take advantage of its 4x digital zoom, face detection and anti-shake capabilities. The camera operates off rechargable lithium batteries, has a USB connection and SRP is $199.”

Vivitar VX018

Vivitar has announced the new Vivitar Vivicam VX018 – it features a 10.1 megapixel sensor, 1.8″ screen, no optical zoom, face detection, and takes 3 AAA battieres. The “Vivitar iTwist X018” is available from Amazon UK:

“Vivitar’s ViviCam VX018 camera offers 10.1 Megapixels in a sleek design. The high definition device features a 1.8” preview screen with 4x digital zoom, face detection, anti-shake and a USB connection. The camera uses 3 AAA batteries and SRP is $99.”

Vivitar V5028

Vivitar has announced the new Vivitar Vivicam V5028 – it features a 5.1 megapixel sensor, 1.8″ screen, no optical zoom, face detection, and takes 3 AAA battieres:

“The ViviCam V5028 is a twin-view, 5.1 Megapixel camera. The 1.8” preview screen enables easy self-portrait shots and viewing. The compact device has 4x digital zoom, face detection and anti-shake capabilities, with a USB connection. This camera uses 3 AAA batteries and will capture loads of memories at an SRP of just $69.”

Panasonic Lumix G1

Photokina 2008 happened last week, in Cologne Germany, where all the latest digital cameras and products were on display to see, including several new announcements and prototypes from various manufacturers. We were there to bring daily coverage of the show – here are some of the highlights of the show:

The new Panasonic Lumix G1 Digital SLR is the smallest Digital SLR currently available – have a look at our Panasonic Lumix G1 Preview

The new Nikon D90 is the world’s first Digital SLR to provide High Definition video recording – we had a look at it here

Fujifilm are developing the world’s first 3D digital camera – with two lenses, and a 3D screen! Have a look here. They also announced their new Fujifilm Super CCD EXR Sensor – this promises to give excellent low light performance (like the “classic” Fuji F30 loved by many), excellent dynamic range, and high resolution shots as well.

Lomography were showing that analogue film cameras can still be fun with several cameras on display

Minox announced a mini spy camera with seperate flash and screen.

Sigma announced 2 new cameras – the Sigma SD15 and DP2 – both use the 14 megapixel foveon sensor.

Leica surprised almost everyone by announcing a new 37 megapixel (!) Digital SLR – the S2. They also mentioned a new camera under development, the Leica R10.

Olympus showed two new prototypes – a compact micro four thirds camera, and a new Digital SLR

There was also a lot of interest in the new Canon Powershot cameras, including the new Canon Powershot G10.

Lows of Photokina 2008: Being stranded in Cologne / London as flights were cancelled! The Canon Powershot A1000 IS and A2000 IS have lost manual controls, meaning you will need to spend more money if you want manual controls on a Canon camera. The decline of Vivitar.

To see all the Photokina 2008 content including lots of photos view the full Photokina 2008 report here.