As a serious amateur who has used a variety of digital cameras from point-and-shoots (PaS) up to pro DSLRs, I can confidently assert that this is a very poor camera that is not worthy of anyone''s hard-earned money. I don''t believe the problem is one that can be rectified...
As a serious amateur who has used a variety of digital cameras from point-and-shoots (PaS) up to pro DSLRs, I can confidently assert that this is a very poor camera that is not worthy of anyone''s hard-earned money. I don''t believe the problem is one that can be rectified via the warranty process since I''m convinced the problem is simply one of poor design.
Someone with little to no prior experience with PaS cameras might be fooled into thinking that this is a decent device simply because they have no basis for comparison. If you are such a person, do yourself a favor and avoid this camera. Further, given the engineering competence doubts this raises in my mind regarding the manufacturer, I would strongly suggest you avoid buying any Vivitar camera.
First are the irritating design flaws that can be worked around but no user should have to deal with. For example, the flash is off by default (which is fine) and while you can manually turn it on, it reverts back to the off setting following any interaction with the menu system. For example, if you want to review the picture you just took and possibly delete it, it reverts back. Taking pictures indoors, you''ll need the flash on, period. I found myself having to constantly turn it back on due to this irritating device behavior. Secondly, the camera does not automatically engage shooting mode when the shutter button is half-pressed, unlike every other camera I have ever used. This means there is no quick, easy way out of the menus which in and of itself is not a big deal other than the lack of attention to design it implies on the part of Vivitar. If they can''t include such a basic usability feature, we''re left to wonder just how competent the engineers working on this design were.
Lest you think this camera''s limitations end with poor usability, let me assure you that the performance of this device is abysmal. In short, this is by far the worst performing camera I''ve ever used. Photos are plagued by noise, exposure and white balance problems. While no one in their right mind would expect perfection from a PaS camera, this device performs at a level well below that of its cost peers. I had initially hoped that the problem was simply one of poor default settings, i.e. perhaps I could find the right combination of settings to provide decent results. Alas, no ... I could not get acceptable results no matter what settings I tried. This stands in stark contrast to other PaS cameras that provide acceptable results right out of the box. The most glaring problem with this device is the horrible white balance. Nearly 100% of my test shots had serious color balance problems *even with the flash!!* It simply amazes me that the designers who presumably knew the characteristics of the flash they chose, couldn''t get a passable white balance result.
Sadly for me, I bought this as a Christmas present in October and didn''t test it before Christmas (because I didn''t want to destroy the packaging which I would have had to do in order to open it). Consequently, I can''t return it and so I have to eat the cost. I ended up replacing it with a Kodak M530 at very similar cost and guess what? The Kodak worked just fine out of the box.