Olympus VH-410 Review

December 12, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Olympus VH-410 is a dinky digital compact camera that features a 5x optical zoom ranging from 26-130mm, a 16 megapixel sensor, Eye-fi card compatibility and a metal body. Most notable is it's "Touch to shoot" feature that enables the photographer to take pictures just by touching the part of the screen they'd like in focus. Priced at around £120, the Olympus VH-410 is available in blue, black, pink and silver.

Ease of Use

It's really not because of the pink colour coding that we think that the Olympus Stylus VH-410 is perfectly suited to women. The whole design of the camera seems to be appropriated towards them. From the elegant front face to the sleek and glossy back, it's apparent that this isn't a masculine camera.

The lens sports a 5x optical zoom which stretches from a respectable 26mm to 130mm in 35mm terms. It sinks fully into the body so that the Olympus VH-410 is completely flat when not in use. This makes it ideal for slipping into a pocket or bag. On the top of the camera, the power button and shutter release are both black plastic and the only thing to differentiate them is the size. It could be difficult to see them in the dark, say on a night out. To incorporate the flush shutter release button, the zoom has been switched from a wrap around style seen on most digital compact cameras to a less used rocker switch.

To keep up the stylish design, the back of the Olympus VH-410 has a 3-inch LCD screen that seems to extend itself around the few buttons on the right side of the camera. The only three buttons are to start video recording, which is in the top right corner; playback images taken and access the Main menu. The ring also has two other options. Pressing up will scroll through Information options. That is, it'll show you various options of information on screen. The standard view is a clear screen with the Quick menu options down the right side and a Touch-to-Shoot button to the left. Pressing it once brings up a grid overlay which will help framing and composing photographs. Press it a second time and all information disappears. After that, it scrolls back to the beginning.

Olympus VH-410 Olympus VH-410
Front Rear

On the surface, the Olympus VH-410 has the approach of being a camera that is easy to use and nice to look at. At this point in the review, we're inclined to agree. It seems to be ideal for the target audience.

While the design has been well thought out, the Olympus VH-410's build quality isn't the highest calibre. The front is shiny – as is the back - and it gives the camera a sexiness that's ideal for the target audience. However, the top plate leaves a lot to be desired for. Well, just the section with the buttons on really. For some reason, Olympus have decided to use a rough plastic on this part which simply feels lacklustre. The buttons are well built, they're firm and responsive.

The main element of the marketing campaign for the VH-410 is it's Touch-to-Shoot system. It works well; the screen is sensitive enough to obey commands without being too over zealous. The performance of the screen is great. It's bright and clear although there's a hint of motion blur. With a bright spot, such as a window, the screen does suffer from purple banding. The lithium ion battery is located on the bottom of the camera in a compartment that it shares with the memory card. You can use any format SD card up to SDXC and including Eye-Fi. For the uninitiated, Eye-Fi is a wifi enabled memory card. You can program it to upload your pictures when you enter a wifi enabled hot-spot.

Olympus VH-410 Olympus VH-410
Side Front

There are two menus available on the VH-410. The most accessible is the Quick menu. It's the one you see sitting down the right side of your screen when taking pictures and is by and large the most used. It allows you to change shooting functions such as the mode, flash options, self-timer, ISO, white-balance, drive modes, resolution and exposure compensation. These will change depending on the shoot mode you select. If you choose Magic (Magic Filters – digital effects), you'll see a small number in a circle. This is to select the type of effect you want to use. You can choose from Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish Eye, Drawing, Soft Focus, Punk, Sparkle, Watercolour, Reflection and Miniature.

The Main menu is more involved and makes more definite changes such as a full reset of functions, formatting the card, backing up images, Eye-Fi settings, Pixel mapping, NTSC/PAL and Power save. There's seven pages of menus so it would be exhausting to go through them all. The menu is certainly easy to use though and despite the vast amount of features and options in there, it's surprisingly clear to understand.

From a cold start (camera switched off), we managed to get a picture focused and taken in just over 2.5sec. This is perfectly acceptable, there's not a lot of cameras that will go faster than that. Although they are around. The VH-410 has three continuous shooting modes. The standard version will take photos continuously while you hold down the button. This is slower than the others but is also at full resolution and file sizing.  In this mode, we managed to get seven pictures in a ten second period. This equates to 0.7fps (frames per second). It took a further four seconds to download the remaining data.

Olympus VH-410 Olympus VH-410
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

There are two burst modes. Hi1 will switch the Olympus VH-410 to a low 3 megapixel resolution in order to increase speed. If speed is more important than image quality then this is the one to use. It took 18 images in the same ten second period which is around 1.8fps. It also downloaded the information and was ready to shoot three seconds later. Hi2 also took 18 images and at first we thought it was a bit of a faux pas putting the same feature in twice. Then we rechecked the times on the stopwatch we used. The 18 images had all been taken in one second. The reason we got a little confused was because it froze the screen while it downloaded and wouldn't reset until we'd removed our finger from the shutter release.

Press the blue arrow on the back of the Olympus VH-410 and the screen will start to display all the pictures you've already taken. You can scroll through these using the ring on the back of the camera. The images you're looking at can be made smaller to see more on the screen by toggling the zoom rocker on the top of the camera. Alternatively you can also zoom into a picture to see if it's focused correctly. Playback doesn't have its own menu system like other cameras, but it does have a section within the main menu. In here you can create a slide-show, edit pictures, erase them, designate them for printing, lock them and designate them for uploading through Eye-Fi.

In the box, there's the Olympus VH-410, lithium ion battery, wrist strap, charger and USB cable. The booklet is simply a start up guide. The full manual is situated on the CD that comes in the box. There's also an editing suite called Olympus Viewer 2 on the same CD.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

Image quality from the Olympus VH-410 looks quite good at first glance. Pictures are sharp, well exposed and have decent colouring with not too much saturation. Pixel peeping (viewing at full magnification) throws up some interesting information. The VH-410 seems to love sharpening those pictures. Some of our pictures were sharpened to such a degree that they looked as though they'd been painted. Of course, noise plays its part and this painted look won't be exclusively down to the sharpening. Noise reduction software will smudge out problem areas and that's exactly what it does.


Low ISO pictures look great with loads of detail, no noise whatsoever and a lovely sharp contrasty line on edges. Fine detail definition is great. We had our suspicions that the smooth look of the picture at this rating could be due to the noise reduction software which would mean that noise is affecting the pictures even at this setting. Checking ISO 200 results does show some noise poking through in the darker areas of the photographs. We found salt & pepper noise and green colour in shadows and black colouring. There are also a few blue artefacts found in certain areas of our test shot such as the winding stem area of the pocket watch.

At ISO 400 it's as though the noise reduction system has realised what's going on. The noise that was apparent in the ISO 200 image isn't visible in the ISO 400 image. No colour noise and no blue spots. There's an amount of black artefacts scattered all over the darker areas of the image.

At ISO 800 the image quality starts to drop as noise reduction software sacrifices it to remove noise. Edges become less defined and areas with fine detail become smoother. Red blobs of colour start to creep into shadow areas. By ISO 1600 digital colour noise is becoming too strong for the processor to cope with and is overwhelming the picture. Still, for a camera at this price point, the results aren't at all bad.  We expect the ISO 3200 image to be bad and we're not surprised in the slightest. The camera has dropped colour out of the image in order to try and control colour noise. This means colourful areas of the picture look lacklustre. Edges are smooth and fine detail is all but eradicated. This is a setting to use as a last resort though. With flash technology today, it's be easier to keep the ISO low and use flash.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)


ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)


ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

Focal Range

The Olympus VH-410 has a 5x optical zoom. The focal length is 4.7 – 273.5mm. That equates to around 26-130mm in 35mm terms (numbers we can understand).




As we've already discovered, the Olympus VH-410's pictures have already had a dose of sharpening from the processor in-camera. We added our own sharpening after loading the pictures into Adobe Photoshop and the pictures didn't benefit in the slightest.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

We managed to get a sample of chromatic aberration on our macro test shot. That picture is riddled with it. However, in the real life sample shots, we weren't so lucky. It seems that chroma only appears in bright light, on high contrast areas and only at the far edges of the frame.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)


The Olympus VH-410 has two close focusing options. The best to choose for getting really close up is the Supermacro. It has a close focus of 5cm but the camera has to remain wide-angle so suffers from all the lens distortions associated with a wide lens. The normal macro mode has a close focusing of 20cm.


Macro (100% Crop)


At wide-angle, the Olympus VH-410 has a little amount of vignetting which remains even when the flash is fired. At full zoom the vignette disappears. We didn't get any problems with red-eye even without the red-eye reduction system working.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (26mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (26mm)

Flash Off - Telephoto (130mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (130mm)

We didn't get any issues with red-eye either but there's a red-eye reduction flash option if you decide you want to use it. The red-eye system uses a strobing flash to reduce the size of the pupil and reduce the amount of red-eye in the picture. The remaining colour can be removed in post processing if desired.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)


In Night mode, the Olympus VH-410 selects a long shutter speed to ensure enough light hits the sensor. In our test, the camera over exposed the image and burnt out some street lights. It also failed to get the correct white-balance. While digital cameras don't have a setting for street light colour, the closest is incandescent (tungsten) which leaves a soft yellow cast. We used that in Program mode for the comparison shot. The colour looks much nicer but Program mode isn't privy to the longer exposures enjoyed by the Night mode. The two second exposure was too long and the 1/4 second exposure was too short. We think one second would have been perfect. However, image quality does suffer with the Program mode.

Night Program

Night Program (100% Crop)


Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Olympus VH-410 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1280x720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 28 second movie is 92.2Mb in size.

Product Images

Olympus VH-410

Front of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Front of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Front of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Front of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Rear of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Rear of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Rear of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Rear of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Top of the Camera


Olympus VH-410

Bottom of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Side of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Side of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Front of the Camera

Olympus VH-410

Memory Card Slot

Olympus VH-410

Battery Compartment


The Olympus VH-410 is a nifty little camera to use. We had fun playing with all the different filters and seeing how they reacted to various situations. That's what it's all about with a camera such as this. It has lots to do to keep you entertained and thinking about how you can make the picture better. It's a nice camera to look at and we like the glossy back even if it does get smothered in fingerprints. However, throughout the test, we found that the paint scratched off the ring on the back.

The VH-410 is built to a standard that you'd expect from a camera in this classification. The smooth back adds to the feel of being more expensive than it should, but we think that's brought crashing down to Earth with the inclusion of some rough plastic on the top where the buttons are. It's a shame the ring on the back isn't also a wheel, that would be great. However, the buttons are responsive and fast enough. The touch AF is maybe a little bit too fast. We never thought we'd think this but it's true. We touched the screen and before we'd taken our hand away to recheck composition, the picture was taken. The screen is definitely responsive enough though.

If you're the type of person that simply picks up a camera, takes a picture and looks at the pictures on the computer monitor or – at a push – as a small print, the image quality of the VH-410 will astound you. Images are actually very nicely processed by the camera with good noise control (albeit erratically), nice colour rendition and excellent edge definition.

For £120, the Olympus VH-410 is a great camera for the style conscious fashionista that wants a good looking unit to take decent pictures on days out, at after-parties and when on holidays. It's packed with features and filters to keep you busy, trying to work out which will look best for that particular scene. If this is you, then take a look at this camera.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Olympus VH-410 from around the web.

ephotozine.com »

The Olympus VH-410 was announced in August 2012 and designed to be fun to use with a 3 inch touchscreen. The metal bodied camera is available in pink, blue, silver and black for £119.00.
Read the full review »


Image Sensor

  • Effective pixels

    16 Megapixels

  • Filter array

    Primary colour filter (RGB)

  • Full resolution

    16.5 Megapixels

  • Type

    1/2.3'' CCD sensor


  • Optical zoom

    5x (WIDE)

  • Focal length

    4.7 - 23.5mm

  • Focal length (equiv. 35mm)

    26 - 130mm

  • Maximum aperture

    2.8 - 6.5

  • Structure

    7 lenses / 5 groups

  • Aspherical glass elements


Digital Zoom

  • Enlargement factor

    4x / 20x combined with optical zoom


  • Resolution

    460000 dots

  • Monitor size

    7.6cm / 3.0''

  • Monitor type

    LCD - Touch Panel

  • Frame assistance


  • Brightness adjustment

    2 levels

  • Protection panel


Focusing System

  • Method

    TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection

  • Modes

    • iESP
    • Face Detection AF
    • Spot
    • AF Tracking
  • Standard mode

    0.2m - ∞ (wide) / 0.6m - ∞ (tele)

  • Macro mode

    0.2m - ∞ (wide) / 0.6m - ∞ (tele)

  • Super Macro Mode

    Closest focusing distance: 5cm

  • AF illuminator


Light Metering

  • Modes

    ESP light metering

Exposure System

  • Modes

    • i-Auto
    • Programme automatic
    • Beauty & Make-up
    • Magic Filter
    • Scene Modes
    • Panorama
    • Movie
  • Enhancement function

    Mechanical Image Stabiliser

  • Shadow Adjustment Technology

  • Advanced Face Detection Technology

  • Shutter speed

    1/4 - 1/2000s / < 4s (Candle Scene)

  • Exposure compensation

    +/- 2EV / 1/3 steps

Scene Modes

  • Number of scene modes


  • Modes

    • Portrait
    • Landscape
    • Night Scene
    • Night Scene with portrait
    • Sports
    • Indoor
    • Candle
    • Self-portrait
    • Sunset
    • Fireworks
    • Cuisine
    • Beach and Snow
    • Documents
    • Pet

Magic Filter

  • Types

    • Pop Art
    • Pin Hole
    • Fisheye
    • Drawing
    • Soft Focus
    • Punk
    • Sparkle
    • Water colour
    • Reflection
    • Miniature


  • Auto

    AUTO / High AUTO

  • Manual

    ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

White Balance

  • AUTO WB system


  • Preset values

    • Overcast
    • Sunlight
    • Tungsten
    • Flourescent 3
  • One-touch white balance

    1 custom settings can be registered

Internal Flash

  • Modes

    • AUTO
    • Red-eye reduction
    • Fill-in
    • Off
  • Working range (wide)

    0.2 - 4.7m (ISO 800)

  • Working range (tele)

    0.6 - 2.0m (ISO 800)

Sequence Shooting

  • Sequential shooting mode (high speed)

    15fps / 20 frames (in 3MP mode)

  • Sequential shooting mode

    1.5fps / 200 frames (Full Image Size)

Image Processing

  • Engine

    TruePic III+

  • Pixel mapping


  • Noise reduction


  • Distortion compensation


  • Shading compensation


Image Editing

  • Resize


  • Trimming


  • Beauty Fix


  • Red-eye reduction


  • Shadow Adjustment


View Images

  • Modes

    • Single
    • Index
    • Zoom
    • Slide show
  • Index

    5 x 4 frames

  • Zoom

    Yes 1.1 - 10x

  • Auto rotation


  • Image protect mode


View Movie

  • Modes

    • Frame by frame
    • Fast forward
    • Reverse playback

Still Image Recording

  • DCF


  • EXIF


  • PIM


  • DPS


  • DPOF


Movie Recording System

  • Recording format

    AVI Motion JPEG®

  • Image Stabilisation Mode

    Digital Image Stabilisation

  • HD Movie quality

    720P Recording time: Up to card capacity

  • Movie quality

    640 x 480 / 30fps Recording time: Up to card capacity

  • Note: maximum file size 2GB

  • When shooting 720P movies use SDHC/SDXC class 6 or higher.

  • Magic Filter

    • Pop Art
    • Pin Hole
    • Fisheye
    • Drawing
    • Soft Focus
    • Punk
    • Water colour
    • Reflection
    • Miniature

Sound Recording System

  • Voice playback


  • Sound recording

    Yes , format: WAV

  • Image footage


  • Speaker



  • Removable Media

    SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS speed class not supported)

  • Internal memory


  • Eye-Fi Card compatible


Image Size

  • 16M

    4608 x 3456

  • 8M

    3264 x 2448

  • 5M

    2560 x 1920

  • 3M

    2048 x 1536

  • 2M

    1600 x 1200

  • 1M

    1280 x 960

  • VGA

    640 x 480

  • 16:9

    1920 x 1080


  • Menu languages in camera


Other Features

  • Panorama function

    Image marker (Software)

  • Self timer

    2 / 12s

  • Menu guide


  • Date imprint


Power Supply

  • Battery

    LI-50B Lithium-Ion Battery

  • Internal Charging



  • DC input


  • Combined A/V & USB output


  • USB 2.0 High Speed


  • SNS upload



  • Dimensions (W x H x D)

    101.3 x 60 x 20.8mm

  • Weight

    152g (including battery and memory card)


  • Material


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