The DVR-510 is one of Vivitar’s digital video cameras. This camera can do more than just video and still images it can also be used as a voice recorder, MP3 player, and a PC camera. If you’re going for a light-weight, all-in-one device, this could be a bonus for you. It also supports PictBridge printing, so if you have a PictBridge printer you can print directly from the camera.
This is a digital zoom camera not an optical zoom. So the more you zoom in the fuzzier the image will get. I recommend you never use the zoom option. Always shoot at the widest setting for the least distortion.
The camera’s native resolution for still images is 2560 x 1920 pixels (5 megapixels) you have the option to increase the photo resolution to 3264 x 2448 pixels (8 megapixels). I would not recommend this, since the camera then uses software to interpolate the extra 3 megapixels, often resulting in images that are not as clear and sharp as they could be. (This goes for any digital camera with interpolation.)
The flash is located directly under the lens. Since the camera is so small, I found that if I gripped it with four fingers, I accidentally covered the flash. I ended up with many dark photos where I had mistakenly covered the flash. I had to remind myself to slide my hand down a bit when shooting photos.
One minor, potentially annoying, issue is that the view screen when unfolded is tilted slightly down to the left. This means that if you hold the camera for a level look at the LCD screen, your video and photos will be tilted to the left. It’s not a problem if you’re taking video of something with straight vertical reference points, but if you have nothing to line the LCD screen edge up with you may end up with some tilted video and photos.
The LCD screen is nice and clear, and fairly bright in interior settings. It can also be adjusted to suit room lighting. Outside, though, bright sunlight reflected off the screen, and it couldn’t be made bright enough to overcome the reflections. Also keep in mind the brighter you set the LCD screen, the faster your batteries will wear down.
The instructions are clear and straight forward. The only problem I had in operation was that the button for selecting flash mode didn’t work all the time, making flash control difficult. However it did work with all of the other menus.
The camera has a Photo Frame mode, which puts a generated image around your photos and video, such as “Happy Birthday,” none of which I liked. Fortunately you can turn this feature off; however you can also accidentally turn it on. In that event you need to flip through each one until you are back to a frameless shot.