Olympus VR-310 Review

December 30, 2011 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 14 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

Although with plenty of light we were able to chance upon some sharp and warm, colour-rich results from the VR-310, which anyone would be happy with from an outwardly unassuming point and shoot, generally we felt these came about more by accident than design.

Like the VR-320 we were testing alongside this model, shots from the VR-310 are something of a mixed bag. At maximum 24mm equivalent wide angle we were getting a softening in definition towards the corners, while at maximum telephoto camera shake meant that our best efforts to get a sharp shot were often thwarted, though to a lesser degree than the 12.5x VR-320.

Some quite alarming purple fringing made itself evident between areas of high contrast, and at its worst images from the VR-310 resembled those from a camera phone, with burnt out highlights. We persevered however and among the selection displayed here believe there are at least a few keepers. Generally iAuto gets it right, but not all the time, so be prepared to sift through a few blurred shots to get to the sharp ones. As we say, performance can be hit and miss, but the cheap asking price goes someway to deflecting our critical barbs.

As for low light performance without flash, again it's a similar story to the VR-320: be prepared to disregard ISO 800 and ISO 1600 settings unless you're really desperate. Above ISO 400 noise levels do become very noticeable. Still, there's always the option to turn on the flash and most point and shooters will be happy to do just that.


The Olympus VR-310 has six sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 1600. The 100% crops below show what the quality is like at each setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little bit soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Olympus VR-310 handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Example 2 (100% Crop)


The Olympus VR-310 offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


The flash settings on the Olympus VR-310 are Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (240mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (240mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Both the Flash On and the Auto/Red-eye Reduction settings caused a small amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)


The Olympus VR-310's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds in the Candle scene mode, which is not great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 0.5 seconds at ISO 400.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)