Olympus VR-340 Review
This camera stands out with 10x optical zoom and sturdy metal body. The 3-inch LCD monitor has a higher resolution than the screens on most budget cameras, so images look sharp on the display. Reviewers say the camera snaps good photos in adequate light.
A PC Mag expert judges this an excellent budget camera, giving it a 4 out of 5 rating in an Olympus VR-340 review. The analyst lauds the 10x optical zoom and reports that images look sharp up through ISO 400, at which point many cheap cameras already show graininess in photos. One drawback noted in this review: The camera suffers from pretty slow shutter lag -- about half a second from the time you press the shutter button to the time the camera records the photo. Still, the autofocus is fast enough to impress an expert from Digital Camera Info. That review also praises the menu layout and the wide viewing angles on the 3-inch LCD, which has a resolution of 460,000 dots, higher than you'll find on most budget cameras.
The Olympus VR-340 (starting at $89, Amazon) is a 16MP camera. Like its peers, it features optical image stabilization to help keep images blur-free and offers ISO settings from 100 to 1600. The camera uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards and connects to a PC via a USB 2.0 port. It also records high-definition video.
The weaknesses of the Olympus VR-340 (e.g., speed and image quality in low light) are nearly universal in the budget category, and this camera outdoes competitors in other ways. It has 10x optical zoom and a better LCD display than you'll find in most inexpensive cameras. It preserves detail quite well at low ISO settings, according to Olympus VR-340 reviews. A final bonus is the metal body, which makes the camera feel sturdier than plasticky models in the same price range.