Please excuse the poor quality of these screen captures. The VG-160 kit does not include an AV output cable, therefore we had to photograph the display screen.
You aren't going to find a lot of data on the shooting screen for the VG-160. On the basic shooting screen, you'll see the shortcut menu along the right side of the screen, topped by the current shooting mode. In the lower left corner, the VG-160 displays the number of photos that you have room to shoot or the amount of video time you could still shoot, based on the amount of free space remaining on your memory card.
If you press the Info button, which is at the top of the four-way button, you'll change the screen's look. It will add a 3x3 grid to the screen, designed to help you shoot using the Rule of Thirds. It also will add the current video resolution setting and the current still image compression setting to the data in the lower left corner.
Pressing the Info button a second time removes all data from the screen, other than the current shooting mode. Press Info again to return to the basic shooting screen for the VG-160.
The shortcut menu, discussed above, is shown in these images. This menu is the key to navigating through the Olympus VG-160's various shooting settings. The settings that are displayed in the shortcut menu will change, depending on which shooting mode you're using (displayed in the top right corner). The Program Auto (P) menu provides the most shooting setting options.
From the main shooting screen, just press the left or right four-way button or the OK button to gain access to the shortcut menu. Don't press the Menu button, as this will open a menu that gives you control over the camera's operation. Use the four-way button to navigate through the shortcut menu. As shown here, as you highlight various options in the shortcut menu, you'll see an explanation appear on the screen.
The options on the VG-160's shortcut menu are:
- Shooting Mode - Program Auto (P), iAuto, DIS (Digital Image Stabilization, marked with hand icon), SCN (Scene), Magic, Panorama (marked with rectangular icon with curved sides)
- Magic - (discussed below)
- Scene Mode - (discussed below)
- Flash - Auto, Redeye, Fill In, Flash Off
- Macro - Off, Macro, Super Macro
- Self-Timer - Off, 12 Sec, 2 Sec
- Exposure Comp. - Between -2 and +2 in 1/3 increments
- White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent
- ISO - Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
- Burst - Single, Sequential, High-Speed 1, High-Speed 2
- Resolution - 16M, 8M, 5M, 3M, 2M, 1M, VGA, 16:9S (2M)
One of the ways Olympus has tried to make the VG-160 a fun camera to use is through the special effect menu, also called Magic Art Effects. The effects are applied as you shoot the photos, and you can see what the effect will look like on the screen before you shoot the image. The special effects you can apply are:
- Pop Art
- Pin Hole
- Fish Eye
- Soft Focus
The VG-160's 14 scene modes are accessible through the shortcut menu, including:
- Night Scene
- Night + Portrait
- Self Portrait
- Beach & Snow
There's a limited Help system included with the VG-160, available through the Help button on the bottom right of the back panel. As you highlight certain options in the camera's primary menus (not the shortcut menu), pressing and holding the Help button will cause an explanation of the feature to appear on the screen. When you release the Help button, the explanation disappears, and the menu is visible again.
Press the Menu button to open the camera's primary menus. One thing you're sure to notice with the VG-160's primary menus is that they don't have a lot of options. Each menu contains only one page of commands, and you can access the different menus through the icons on the left side of the screen. The first two icons are called Camera Menus. The next icon is the Movie Menu, and the fourth icon is the Playback Menu. The last two icons are the Settings Menus.
Use the four-way button to move among the various menus and commands. The Camera Menu 1 and 2 screens contain the following commands:
- Reset - Yes, No
- Image Size - 14M, 8M, 5M, 3M, 2M, 1M, VGA, 16:9S (2M)
- Compression - Fine, Normal
- AF Mode - Face/iESP, Spot, AF Tracking
- Digital Zoom - On, Off
- AF Illuminat. - On, Off
- Icon Guide - On, Off
- Date Stamp - On, Off
Olympus included two screens for controlling the camera's settings, called Settings Menu 1 and 2. I felt like some of the options in these menus were a bit odd, especially considering Olympus didn't include a lot of commands here. It's odd to have no option for turning off the review function between photos, for example. The options for the Settings Menu screens are:
- Format - Yes, No
- Backup - Yes, No
- USB Connection - Auto, Storage, MTP, Print
- Playback Power On - Yes, No
- Keep Camera Settings - Yes, No
- Pw On Setup - Yes, No
- Sound Settings - Sound Type (1, 2, 3), Volume (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Playback Volume (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
- Pixel Mapping - Start
- LCD Brightness - Bright, Normal
- Video Out - NTSC, PAL
- Power Save - On, Off
- Date and Time - M/D/Y, D/M/Y, Y/M/D
- World Time - Home, Alternate
The VG-160's movie recording screen isn't going to give you a lot of information. You can see in the bottom left corner of the screen the amount of time for the current video recording in gray and, just above it, the amount of storage time remaining on the memory card in white. You cannot change the look of the movie recording screen by using the Info button.
The options you have for shooting and controlling movies are very limited, so it's no surprise to see a limited number of commands in the Movie menu, including:
- Image Size - 720p (1280x720), VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240)
- Frame Rate - 30fps, 15fps
- Sound - On, Off