Home | Reviews | Q&A | Links | Gallery | Free Photo Hosting
Vivitar Vivicam 3760 Digital Camera Review
Introduction: The Vivitar Vivicam 3760 is a 3MP digital camera with a 3x Optical zoom lens (4.6 - 13.8mm 1:2.7 - 4.8), and a 1.4" Colour TFT screen. The camera comes with 6mb of memory built into the camera, and can be upgraded with SD cards. The camera takes 2 AA batteries. The camera also records 320x240 videos at 25fps without sound. The camera has 6 scene modes to make it easier to use. The camera seems to be exclusively available through Boots in the UK, and is priced very competitively at £86.99. The camera is quite compact with a size and weight as follows: Dimensions: 85 x 65 x 30 mm (3.3 x 2.6 x 1.2 in) . Weight: 150 g (without batteries or recording media).

The camera offers very good value for money - it is probably one of the cheapest 3mp digital camera with a 3x optical zoom lens available.

Vivitar have this to say about the camera: (From the supplied manual)

"Your new ViviCam 3760 delivers good quality, 2032 x 1520 resolution images using a 3.0 Megapixel CCD sensor. An auto-flash sensor automatically detects the shooting (lighting) condition and determines whether the flash should be used. This feature helps ensure that your images turn out right. 6mb internal (built-in) memory allows you to capture and store images without the immediate need for an additional memory card. However you may wish to expand capacity by using a Secure Digital (SD) memory card."

The only other website that appears to have any information on this camera is the Boots website.

The Camera: It's compact and made out of shiney silver plastic.


Front - Camera off. Built in lens-cover - Flash, self-time led on the left.


Front - Camera on, lens extended.


Back - the 1.4" TFT, 4-way controller, OK button in the middle, playback button, menu button, and zoom control. Green (orange/red) status light.


Top - On/off switch, shutter release.


Bottom, under the camera is the tripod mount which is under the lens. On the left is the battery / memory card compartment.


Left Side (from back) - nothing to see here.


On this side is the strap holder, and a small cover for the USB / DC in.

Size Comparison: Compared to a Pentax PC-550 35mm automatic, this camera is fairly compact.


There is no optical viewfinder, as the camera uses the TFT screen.


Size comparison

Specifications / Features:

  • 3 Mega pixels CCD sensor (2032x1520)
  • 3x Optical zoom
  • 2x Digital zoom
  • 1.4" LCD Display (TFT)
  • Date Imprint
  • 6mb Internal memory (upgradable with SD cards)
  • 2 & 10 second self timer
  • 4 mode auto-flash with red-eye reduction

Full Specifications can't be found on the Vivitar site (unless they've updated it since I wrote this review).

Box Contents:

  • Digital Camera
  • Strap
  • USB cable
  • Instruction manual
  • Software CD-Rom
  • Camera case
  • Warranty card
  • 2 AA Alkaline batteries

Average box contents - it's good to see a case is included, but a large memory card would have been nice.

Features / Options: The camera mode is selected using M button on the back of the camera:

The modes are: Play, Photo, Video and Scene (playback mode is discussed later)

The buttons on the back of the camera quickly give you access to: Zoom in/out, Playback mode, Menu, Mode button (up on the 4-way controller), Flash button, Macro/Delete button, Self-timer button, OK.

In Photo / Scene mode, the menu options are: Image size, image quality, EV (+/- 2.0), White balance, ISO, Date Imprint.

In Video mode, the menu options are: White balance.

In Scene mode, the scenes available are: Landscape, Sports, Portrait, Pan (apparently a "quick mode"), Night, Backlight.

There is also a setup menu with the following options: Beeper (on/off), Reset, Lanaguage, Date&Time, Power off.

Picture Size / Quality: The camera takes the following size pictures / and the following number of images will fit in the 6mb provided memory: (an extra memory card is recommended if you intend to go on holiday or are going to be away from a computer for more than a day!)

Size: Number of Photos Stored / Quality / (Average file size)
Super FINE Fine Normal
2032 x 1520 8 (600kb) 12 16
1600 x 1200 9 (300kb) 13 18
1280 x 960 13 (200kb) 20 27
640 x 480 54 (60kb) 81 109
Movie 320x240/25fps 28 seconds

You can fit an average amount of images on the provided 6mb, depending on the size and amount of compressions used - a larger memory card is definitely recommended. There is a fairly good choice of image size and compression levels available, although no RAW or TIFF mode.

Speed, ease of use: The camera is easy to use, but a bit slow to switch on, the play button on the back of the camera makes it very easy to switch between playback mode and photo mode. The screen updates are quick and smooth in good lighting conditions, inside or in dark conditions the screen updates are much slower. The camera speed in use, seems fairly average, taking a while to charge the flash when needed. The camera is a good size, and easily fits into pockets. The menus are easy to pick up and use, but very basic in the number of options, for example there is no custom white balance. There is no optical viewfinder, but this hasn't been a problem so far, but could be a problem in very sunny conditions or in dark places.

Battery usage: Seems okay - I managed to get about 40 photos from the alkaline batteries that came with the camera, the user manual says that these are just temporary and recommends that you buy high power rechargable Ni-Mh batteries immediately.


LCD display in photo mode: Mode, Picture size / quality, remaining pictures, zoom setting, battery life. The camera does not show you the shutter or aperture speed.

LCD display in photo mode: The screen is fairly clear, and updates quite smoothly - the colours appear accurate, although the screen does seem a little low-res. The screen shows how many remaining photos you can take with the available memory, it also shows the picture size and compression quality, the battery level, current mode, plus other things - there is no live histofram.

Playback mode: Scrolling through the photos is fairly quick. The zoom can be used up to 6.0x, there are in between steps in multiples of 2, eg 2x, 4x, 8x, and 16x, this feature is fairly quick.

Playback Menu lets you: Delete, copy to card, slideshow, save as logo, protect.

Image Quality: Here are some sample photos/video(s) taken in various settings, such as Inside, Noise, Outside, Zoom, Macro, Movie to demonstrate the quality of pictures taken and also show different features of the camera. Full size (and medium size) versions of these photos, plus more photos are available in the gallery!

Inside:

Sylvestor the cat, camera box and case Mmmm food (steak + bacon + cheese) Heather

Inside: The camera has quite a powerful flash. Red eye was noticable on most photos of people. Average colours and details. When using flash - if the subject is too close to the camera (or too light), the camera tends to wash out highlight detail - for example the picture of Elmo our kitten in the gallery.

Noise: Noise generally is a bad thing - it removes detail, and gives a grainy effect over the image - this can be seen in the series of photos below. With digital cameras noise can be a real problem as digital camera noise is often made out of blue, red or green dots. As the ISO setting increases, pictures tend to have more noise.

The camera has 3 modes for ISO: Auto, 100 or 200. When in auto mode the camera also uses ISO50. To choose the ISO setting, you simply go into the menu - I struggled to take the usual noise photo, as with flash off, the camera seemed to ignore my choice, and instead of using ISO100, it decided to use ISO200 for all the photos. With flash the photos were all washed out / over exposed and out of focus. Instead of the usual frog, I have used other photos that turned out okay. The full size versions of these photos are in the gallery.

ISO50 - 100% (Picton Clock) ISO100 - 100% (Florist window) ISO200 - 100% (Watch macro)

Noise levels at ISO50/100, are quite low - which means you get quite smooth images. ISO200 still displays fairly acceptable noise levels in the picture above - in other pictures I've taken the noise is worse, and as such ISO200 should probably be avoided.

Outside:

Road sign Red Post box Picton Clock

Average colour, low noise, highlight detail tends to be lost / overexposed. Pictures taken on the 'Super FINE' setting - this creates a 3mp image which is around 500kb in size - I didn't notice jpeg artifacts in the images. Images are a tiny bit soft and could do with a sharpen.

Zoom: This camera has a 3x Optical zoom and a built in 2x Digital zoom - the digital zoom basically takes a smaller area of the photo and usually enlarges it using software to blur the image so that it does not look pixellated - in the case of this camera, the digital zoom is AWFUL, it doesn't even attempt to blur the image to make it look smoother, it simply makes it look pixellated and noisy, and in the case of the picture shown below, it left a black border around the bottom and right of the picture! Generally it's best to avoid using digital zoom as it degrades the quality of the image - in the case of this camera you should never ever use the digital zoom. If you need to crop an area of your image, or enlarge an area, you can get much better results using an image manipulation program on your computer. I've included examples below simply to show what these features do - and whilst the digital zoom looks vaguely acceptable at the size shown (the last photo), if you printed the images out or viewed the full size versions in the gallery you would easily notice the negative effect digital zoom has on image quality.

Wide-angle 3x Optical zoom Full 3x Optical + 2x Digital

The digital zoom is seperated from the optical zoom with a line - When using the digital zoom the magnification level appears on screen numerically.

When using the optical zoom, it's fairly quiet, and fairly quick, it has about 7 steps between wide and telephoto. The amount of optical zoom is not displayed on screen numerically.

Other Image Quality issues: Chromatic Aberrations / Purple Fringing doesn't appear to be a problem on this camera.

Macro: When this camera is in macro mode, the lens is at full wide angle, and you can zoom in - you can also use the digital zoom - The camera can focus down to 5cm in macro mode.

Macro - Timex Watch Actual Pixels (100%)

The macro mode is good, the photo above was taken at ISO200. You can not use the flash in macro mode. Considering the fairly poor lighting (just one lamp) the macro photo is quite good.

Movie: 320x240 - around 25fps without sound - you can't use the digital or optical zoom whilst recording a video, but you can zoom in using the optical zoom before you start recording. The movie is recorded as an .MPG file. Length is only limited by the memory card size.


Dangermouse - Download 320x240/25fps movie - Click here. (1.40mb MPG) (saved as Zip file)

The quality of the movie(s) is okay - 320x240 is a bit small compared to other digital cameras, 25fps is quite good, but the lack of sound is annoying.

Conclusion

Image: Image quality is average - the images have okay colour, okay detail (although they could do with a sharpen), low noise, and there is very little purple fringing. Image compression seems quite high based on the file sizes, but it doesn't seem to cause jpeg artifacts. The macro mode is good (a bit better than average). The flash did cause problems when the subject was too close, causing highlight detail to be lost, and occassional colour problems. Auto white balance and metering seemed to be okay. The movie mode is good although a bit low-res compared to other cameras, and unfortunately lacks sound. The digital zoom is easily the worst I have ever seen, and should not be used on this camera.

Everything else (the camera as a whole): The camera is quite compact, and vaguely stylish, it has a small 1.4" screen that updates fairly smoothly depending on lighting conditions. The camera is easy to use, the menu systems easy to use, but basic. The 3x optical zoom is a useful feature to have (especially as the digital zoom is useless on this camera). Camera handling and design are good. The camera speed is average in use and has a fairly quick and fairly quiet zoom. The camera may be a bit basic for some as it lacks shutter / aperture control / custom white balance etc, but for someone looking for a basic and cheap point and shoot camera this one might just fit the bill.

Alternative compact 3mp / 3x Optical zoom digital cameras: Yakumo Mega Image 37 (£85), Pentax Optio 33LF (£100), Olympus C-310 (£100), C-360 (£130), Nikon Coolpix 3200 (£125), Canon Powershot A75 (£150), Kodak Easyshare DX6340 (4x Optical zoom, £135), CX7330 (£118), Konica Minolta Dimage X31 (£117), Fuji Finepix A330 (£119). Check amazon.co.uk / kelkoo.co.uk or amazon.com for the latest prices.

Summary: This is one of the cheapest 3mp / 3x optical zoom digital cameras currently available. It has a small 1.4" colour screen, and records videos without sound. The camera is quite compact and easy to use. Unfortunately image quality is fairly average, with average detail, okay colours, and a tendancy to over-expose highlight detail. The movie mode is slightly better than average recording 320 x 240, 25fps movies without sound. For around £86.99 from Boots the camera offers very good value for money, but unfortunately doesn't deliver very high quality images. For a little bit more money, by spending around £100, you could get a much better camera such as the Pentax Optio 33LF, or the Olympus C-310 etc. Overall, for the price, this is an 'OK' camera.

What I like:

  • 3mp / 3x optical zoom.
  • Low price.
  • Good macro mode.
  • Quite small.
  • Comes with a free case.
  • Easy to use.

What I don't like:

  • 2x Digital zoom is the worst I have EVER seen! Never ever use it!
  • No sound on videos.
  • Only 6mb memory included.
  • Average image quality.
  • A bit slow.
  • Small screen.

Remember to have a look at the full size (and medium size) versions of these photos in the gallery!