Please excuse the poor quality of these screen captures. The VR-350 kit does not include an AV output cable, therefore we had to photograph the display screen.
You have three options for displaying information on the shooting screen with the Olympus VR-350. Press the Info button (top of the four-way button) to change the look of the shooting screen, selecting from basic information, basic information with grid lines, and no information on the screen, other than the current shooting mode in the upper right corner.
The main shooting screen has basic information about the camera's settings, including the battery charge remaining and the number of photos that can be shot in the lower left corner. In the lower right corner, you'll see the movie settings, including the amount of video time remaining, based on the amount of space remaining on the memory card. When you switch to the grid view, you'll see the shutter speed and the aperture along the bottom of the screen. Both views have the shortcut menu icons along the right side of the screen.
Along the right side of the screen, you'll see a variety of information about the current settings. These settings can be changed through a shortcut menu, which can be accessed by pressing the left or right buttons on the four-way button or the OK button. (You cannot open the shortcut menu with the Menu button.) The current shooting mode is at the top of the screen and the rest of the information you'll see depends on the shooting mode you're using. You'll see the most information when shooting in Program mode.
The options on the shortcut menu are:
- Shooting Mode - (discussed below)
- Beauty - Recommended, Set 1, Set 2, Set 3
- Scene Mode - (discussed below)
- Magic - (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, One Touch 1, One Touch 2
- ISO - Auto, High, 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)
The shooting modes available with the VR-350 are about what you'd expect for a point-n-shoot camera in this price range. As you open the shooting mode shortcut menu, you'll be able to scroll through the list using the right and left buttons on the four-way button. As each one is centered in the scrolling list, you'll see an explanation of its features along the bottom of the screen.
The VR-350's shooting modes are:
- Program Auto (P)
- Scene Mode (SCN)
- Panorama (marked with curved rectangle icon)
You can access the VR-350's various scene modes through the shortcut menu in the same manner, by using the four-way button. The scene modes are:
- Night Scene
- Night + Portrait
- Self Portrait
- Beach & Snow
- 3D Photo
Olympus has included a few special effect modes with the VR-350, all of which are, again, available through the shortcut menu. The special effects that you can apply to your photos -- called Magic Art Effects -- are:
- Pop Art
- Pin Hole
- Fish Eye
- Soft Focus
Olympus has included an extensive help system with the VR-350. The help section, which is available by pressing the help button in the lower right corner of the back panel of the camera, gives you the ability to search help topics by category and by keyword. You'll find tips for using the VR-350 better, for shooting better photos generally, and for understanding camera jargon.
To access the VR-350's main menus, just press the Menu button. Olympus has combined all of the VR-350's menus on one screen. What this means is that no menu has more than one page, which is nice. You'll see the list of the various menus along the left side of the screen, with the main shooting menus first in the list. Use the left-side four-way button to access the list of menus.
The still image shooting menus are labeled Camera Menu. You control the camera's settings through the Settings Menu screens. The functions of the Movie Menu and Playback Menu are easy to understand.
As you can see from this list, the shooting menus are very limited, with only eight command options. This is the least substantial menu for controlling the shooting that I've seen in quite a while. Keep in mind, though, that the shortcut menu handles quite a few aspects of controlling the camera for shooting. The options in Camera Menu 1 and 2 are:
- Reset - Yes, No
- Compression - Fine, Normal
- AF Mode - Face/iESP, Spot, AF Tracking
- Digital Zoom - On, Off
- Image Stabilizer - On, Off
- AF Illuminat. - On, Off
- Icon Guide - On, Off
- Date Stamp - On, Off
As with the other menus on the Olympus VR-350, there just aren't a lot of options in the Settings menu. Some of the options in the Settings Menu screens may be grayed out, depending on the mode you're using. The options on Settings Menu 1, 2, and 3 are:
- Format - Yes, No
- Backup - Yes, No
- Eye-Fi - All, Sel. Image, Off
- USB Connection - Auto, Storage, MTP, Print
- Playback Power On - Yes, No
- Keep Camera Settings - 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
- NTSC/PAL - NTSC, PAL
- Power Save - On, Off
- Date and Time - M/D/Y, D/M/Y, Y/M/D
- World Time - Home, Alternate
- Beauty Settings - Set 1, Set 2, Set 3
Olympus also keeps things pretty simple with the movie recording screen on the VR-350. After you press the video button to begin recording, you'll see the current amount of time of the recording in the middle of the bottom of the screen. The amount of time you can continue shooting, based on available memory card space, is in the lower right, along with the movie resolution setting.
The movie settings menu included with the VR-350 is sparse, to put it bluntly. You simply won't have many options for controlling your movies. With only a few choices, at least it's pretty easy to shoot movies with this camera. The Movie Menu options are:
- Image Size - 720p (1280x720), VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240)
- Frame Rate - 30fps, 15fps
- IS Movie Mode - On, Off
- Sound - On, Off