Customer Review

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good features in a small package, 30 Aug 2008
This review is from: Vivitar V8370 Digital Camera - Black (8.0 MP,3x Optical Zoom) 2.4"Colour TFT Screen (Electronics)
Get real. This is a full 8 mega-pixel camera for under 45, so it can't be great, can it? Well, it's not bad. There are compromises, but they're few and well thought out. If the compromises don't matter too much to you, this camera really isn't bad at all.

The ViviCam 8370 comes with a fabric case, wrist strap, and software and a cable to transfer images to your computer or printer, although picture transfer is quicker using an SD card directly via an SD slot or USB adaptor.

The first thing to note is its plastic rather than metal body - but it's nicely made, robust enough, and certainly doesn't look 'cheap'. In the hand, the 8370 physically is more compact than most, and yet has all the automatic and manual settings and features you'd normally expect - including 3 x optical and 5 x digital zoom and features such as face recognition. Even an `auction' setting for capturing those crucial ebay product shots without resizing is included. As far as I could see, the only useful feature omitted is the ability to stabilise a fast moving image or shaky hand on slower shutter speeds in less than perfect light conditions where longer exposure times are necessary.

What differentiates this model from most - making it smaller and cheaper than many of similar capability - is that it uses the lower cost, more compact, more power efficient yet slightly inferior image quality of a CMOS sensor rather than the slightly better CCD imaging technology. But it's only a marginal drop in quality (it's still an 8MP image after all), and, aside from the LCD screen not being equal to the very best either, it's still more than good enough for virtually all applications and a well judged cost-saving trade-off in my view.

The ViviCam 8370 uses 2 standard AA batteries (rather than a rechargeable Lithium battery), and so the first complaint you'll usually get is "poor battery life" from the minority who expect miracles. As with any AA battery powered camera, a pair of high-power Ni-MH rechargeable batteries will be essential. Of course, if you do suddenly run short of power away from home, a couple of fresh AA batteries are never far away to get you out of trouble - although a spare set of Ni-MH are cheap and small enough to allow you to keep shooting the action whilst your friends are frantically trying to find a socket to recharge their Lithiums. So the limitations are, in everyday use, not really limiting at all, and may actually be a benefit.

And it gets better. The real bonuses with this Vivicam are the software and media options. The supplied software does work with Windows Vista (some don't), and the SD slot supports a full 4GB SDHC card giving more than 1600 shots in full 8MP high-resolution mode. Many far more expensive and more recent pocket-sized cameras won't accommodate a full 4GB card, and even fewer an "HC" (high capacity) one, which can also offer faster write speeds so you're on to your next shot quicker.

If you can live with the `slightly less than the best' image and LCD screen quality, you're prepared to invest a couple of pounds in a set or two of high-power rechargeable Ni-MH AA batteries, and can take full advantage of the superior storage and speed of a full 4GB high capacity card (now under 8), this ViviCam 8370 really is a pretty good buy for the money: You'll be able to keep shooting long after your friends' bulkier, more expensive, similarly specified, yet ultimately less able cameras' SD cards are full and their rechargeable Lithium batteries have died. Nice one Vivitar!
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Review Details

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Reviewer

K. BURTON
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 534