Olympus VG-120

Olympus VG-120 front
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 1600
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 26-130mm (F2.8-6.5) lens
  • 120g - 96 x 57 x 19mm
  • Announced January 2011
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus VG-120 overview

Olympus VG-120 is Olympus's Ultracompact camera initially revealed on January of 2011. The camera has a 14MP, CCD 1/2.3" size sensor with a maximum resolution of 4288 x 3216.

The VG-120 comes in at #86 out of 151 in Ultracompact cameras and all-around #1072 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to test our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your personal requirements.

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Below is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Olympus VG-120 family

The Olympus VG-120 is part of a family of cameras. You can read the detailed list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Olympus-VG-145 front thumbnailOlympus VG-145
VG-120 vs VG-145
Olympus-VG-110 front thumbnailOlympus VG-110
VG-120 vs VG-110
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Olympus-VG-120 front thumbnailOlympus VG-12026-130mm

Olympus VG-120 Pros and Cons

Here is a collection of pros and cons of the Olympus VG-120 based on features which are oftentimes viewed as necessary in a camera.

built-in flash
good megapixels (14 megapixels)
has face detect focusing
in built zoom lens (26-130mm 5.0 x zoom)
pretty good screen size (3")
relatively wide (26mm)
very good min ISO (80)
cannot use external flash
doesn't contain selfie friendly display
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
lack of image stabilization
lack of manual focus
lack of manual mode
lack of phase detect AF
lack of RAW format
low battery (160 CIPA)
no aperture priority
no HDMI port
no headphone port
no mic port
no moving screen
no shutter priority
no Time Lapse mode
screen has low resolution (230 k dot)
sluggish at full zoom (f6.5)
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.8)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pixels)
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Olympus VG-120 Sensor specs

The Olympus VG-120 features the TruePic III processor chip. The sensor size on the Olympus VG-120 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can resolve 4288 x 3216 pixels using aspect ratios of 4:3.

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The CCD sensor boasts 14 megapixels and has a native ISO range of 80 to 1600. Unfortunately, RAW files are not saved which means that you have less room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath displays the VG-120's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The VG-120 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is displayed in green.

Olympus VG-120 sensor size Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus VG-120 dimensions

Olympus VG-120 weighs around 0.26 lbs (120 grams or 4.23 oz) and features exterior proportions of 96mm x 57mm x 19mm (3.8" x 2.2" x 0.7"). The weight of normal Ultracompact camera is 121 grams and the Olympus VG-120 is on par as compared with its rivals.

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Underneath is a image of the Olympus VG-120 next to a soft drink to help you to have a feel for its size.

Olympus VG-120 dimensions scale

The top view underneath will highlight the button design on the VG-120.

Olympus VG-120 topview buttons dials

Olympus VG-120 Lens details

The VG-120 offers an inbuilt lens offering a focal range of 26-130mm making it a 5.0 x zoom which may not be perfect nevertheless it might be helpful in a few conditions.

At it's widest 26mm, it offers an aperture of f2.8 which is somewhat sluggish and not very good in low light occasions and you will likely find it hard to capture a shallow depth of field. You could also have to increase your ISO setting leading to noisy photographs. Towards the long end, 130mm comes at f6.5 making it fairly sluggish and you will have to go with slow shutter speeds.

Photography Glossary

Olympus VG-120 Connectivity

The VG-120 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Cameras that have NFC or Bluetooth connectivity can easily be controlled wirelessly through smartphones. You will be able to transfer pictures and in some cases adjust settings without the hassle of connecting directly with the camera.

Several apps also enable a Liveview and click the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it could be attached to an external display. Virtually all cameras enable you to charge the battery through the USB socket.

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Olympus VG-120 Video details

The maximum video quality on the Olympus VG-120 is 1280 x 720 and it can record in Motion JPEG format. 720p is terrible by today's requirements. You should really go for at least 1080p quality for video recording. The body doesn't feature a mic or headphone port which means you get absolutely no control over your audio. It is probably best to buy a different model in case you require better audio in your video clips.

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Olympus VG-120 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing for the Olympus VG-120 so you have to be cautious in wet and dusty conditions.

Olympus VG-120 Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus VG-120 has a 3" fixed screen having a resolution of 230k dots.

Please note that the screen offers no touch support.

Olympus VG-120 screen and viewfinder Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The ViewFinder details regarding Olympus VG-120 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are rather handy for sunny outdoor conditions which might make the camera display washed out and very difficult to view.

Olympus VG-120 Shutter details

The max shutter speed is 1/2000 sec.

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Olympus VG-120 Flash and Hot shoe details

Olympus VG-120 includes just inbuilt flash without external flash ability.

Olympus VG-120 Autofocus details

Olympus VG-120 includes only Contrast Detect Autofocus and is missing Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more quicker and accurate as compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera has Face detect which makes it helpful for people photography.

Olympus VG-120 has not got manual focus. Manual focus can be good for low light or you need to have more exact focus control.

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Olympus VG-120 Battery life

The battery (LI-70B) for the Olympus VG-120 is designed to last for 160 shutters based on the CIPA requirements which is less in comparison with its competition. The general Ultracompact camera battery life is 214. Nikon L32 offers the highest possible (320) battery life for this kind of cameras.

Here is a list of Ultracompact cameras that come with the strongest battery life:

Olympus VG-120 for specific forms of photography

The following diagram displays a analysis of the Olympus VG-120 for specific forms of photography. To understand more, browse to the specific section underneath.

Portrait photography with Olympus VG-120

The Olympus VG-120 receives a points total of 33 which is really bad, and means the camera is not suitable for portrait photography. Shooting portrait images favors greatly towards sensor dimension, RAW support along with the capability to use external flash.

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decent megapixels (14 megapixels)
has face detection focus
lack of manual focus
no manual control
can't use external flash
very small sensor size (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format

Olympus VG-120 Street photography highlights

Coming in at a reasonable points tally of 48, the Olympus VG-120 is reasonably suited to use in street photography. A decent street photography camera provides a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

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screen does not articulate
lack of image stabilization
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
has no RAW files

Olympus VG-120 Sports photography information

A really bad sports photography points tally of 26 means the Olympus VG-120 is not suitable for taking photos of sports. A camera needs fantastic autofocus plus shutter speeds for sports photography.

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decent MP (14 megapixels)
no shutter priority mode
lack of image stabilization
very small sensor (1/2.3")
terrible battery life (160 per charge)
has no phase detect autofocus

Olympus VG-120 Travel photography info

Size is really crucial when selecting a camera for travel. Overall, the Olympus VG-120 gets a nice 62 as a travel camera which is a respectable pick for your journeys.

Photography Glossary
decent sensor resolution (14MP)
flash built-in
rather wide (26mm)
does not have Time Lapse mode
bad battery life (160 CIPA)
screen is not selfie friendly
somewhat slow max aperture (f2.8)

Landscape photography with Olympus VG-120

If you find yourself looking to choose a camera for landscape photography, the most critical aspect will no doubt be image quality. The Olympus VG-120 at it's really bad rating of 36 as a landscape camera is not suitable in the current market.

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relatively wide (26mm)
screen is a good size (3 inch)
MP count good (14MP)
focusing manually not possible
cannot switch lens (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
no manual mode
no image stabilization
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW support
bad battery pack (160 CIPA)
doesn't have Time Lapse recording

Vlogging with Olympus VG-120

A camera for vlogging ought to offer a articulating display, microphone input and if possible image stabilization. Considering all the details, the Olympus VG-120 is not suitable for vlogging as it gets a really bad score of 28.

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fairly wide (26mm)
supports face detection focus
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
display isn't selfie friendly
no image stabilization
video resolution low (1280 x 720 pixels)
no external microphone socket

Olympus VG-120 Alternatives

If you are interested in alternatives to the VG-120, below is a range of the highest scored cameras which fall in to the class of Ultracompact.

The line chart below shows you an overview of the VG-120 versus it's top scoring rivals suggested previously.

These are various other cameras you might look at as alternatives. To look at a comprehensive comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Olympus VG-120
Body design
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
TruePic III
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
14 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Maximum resolution
4288 x 3216
RAW format
Maximum native ISO
Lowest native ISO
Manual focus
Touch focus
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
AF live view
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
26-130mm (5.0x)
Maximal aperture
Macro focus range
Crop factor
Range of display
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
Display resolution
230k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Display technology
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO All around score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Slowest shutter speed
Maximum shutter speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
4.40 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30, 15fps), 640 x 480 (30, 15 fps), 320 x 240 (30, 15fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video file format
Motion JPEG
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
120 gr (0.26 lbs)
Physical dimensions
96 x 57 x 19mm (3.8" x 2.2" x 0.7")
Battery life
160 images
Battery form
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
Storage slots
Retail price