Vivicam 20

I’ve played about a little with my new camera a Vivitar Vivicam 20. For it’s price (sub £40), it’s not too bad.

The image quality seems to be very light dependent. It has four different exposure settings: Outdoor dull (the default), outdoor sunny, indoor bright, and indoor dark. I could find very little difference between them in my initial experiments. It also has a built in automatic flash. The flash is extremely bright over the distance it covers; 0.8 to 1.5 metres with 1.0 – 1.2 metres described as ‘best’. The flash doesn’t function in macro mode.

Macro mode didn’t seem to make any difference in my simple tests. The manual claims it only works over 25 to 30 cm, thats a very small range!. I’ll have to do some more formal tests, most of the pictures I took in macro mode were out of focus. However my judgement of distances is quite poor so I’ll have to try some with a tape measure ๐Ÿ™‚

The controls are a little strange; you press the mode button which then cycles through, VGA, CIF, outdoor dull, outdoor sunny, indoor bright, indoor dark, flash on, flash off, continous capture, delete all pictures, delete last picture, self timer. Each press is accompanied by a loud beep. When you get to the mode you want, you press the select button for a short while, this beeps twice and the mode is selected. If you don’t press select for long enough it cancels the mode selection and you have to start again.

Annoyingly, when it switches itself off (after 60 seconds of inactivity) it forgets your settings ๐Ÿ™

The 8MB of internal memory seems to be plenty. I’ve managed to get 71 VGA pictures before it filled. At which point the camera beeps about once per second until it switches itself off.

I’ve also tried the webcam mode which worked OK, but again suffers from low light conditions. I’ve not tried the self timer or the continuous mode. When I’ve had a play with these two functions, I’ll report some more.

I’ve uploaded an album of test images (nothing special) to the gallery. Click on the image to go there.
vivcam test

I’ve not used the supplied software other than very briefly. It uses a non-standard interface, that I couldn’t really figure out. I’ve only used it to download pictures from the camera. I’ve not tried any of the image editing functions. I’m quite happy using Paintshop Pro to download the images. As I mentioned before, I think I’m getting them uncompressed that way.

140 thoughts on “Vivicam 20


  2. Have a problem getting the pictures from camera to PC- TWAIn error- scanner not connected. I see the drivers, but in the device manager- when I click on Still cam- the section at the bottom Status- says device not connected. I have uninstalled the software and reinstalled, and used a sec PC, and downloaded the drivers fronm the web- any work arounds?

  3. Hi Meredith,
    I’m not really sure. I don’tknow whether the s/ware is the same for the 10 as for the 20. I’ve never tried to make an AVI with mine.

  4. To Meredith —
    If you keep hitting the mode button, you get to a picture that looks like a stack of picture frames. That puts you into AVI mode. The camera will take a 320 x 240 picture, about 3 per second. If you pull up the results with the AVI software, it will convert it to a movie.

  5. I purchased a Vivicam 20 $49.00 at Wal Mart,
    The pictures are pretty light dependant but after about six months of using the cam I can get some nice snaps, the web-cam feature is a little less enjoyable, the camera’s short field of view makes it difficult to be seen unless you are sitting directly in front of the camera, or; place it on a tri-pod and about six feet (2m) away.
    The flash seems to be way too much or not enough, natural light is the best, but the purchase of “this” camera was due to the flash feature that seems to be much less of a value in the long run.
    The batteries last a long time, and it’s small size and generaly good picture quality makes it a great cam to carry in the jaket pocket, push the power button and take the pic..I like that feature a lot.
    The mini tri-pod is not heavy enough to overcome the stiffness of the USB cable that comes with the camera, and the cable should be longer for web cam users.

  6. I own a vivcam 20, pruchased at Walmart for $0 USD. Up till now i have been happy with the quality vs the price. I just put in a fresh pair of batteries, Energizer E2, that replaced standard duracell. Now i can get the flash to charge up under any of the light settings. Could it be the batteries? Or could there be a worse problem at hand?

  7. Hi,
    You can quickly determine whether it is the batteries by swapping in another fresh pair of Duracel’s. If the flash works with those, then your Energizer’s aren’t strong enough. If it still doesn’t, then I do think you have a more serious problem. ๐Ÿ™

  8. I have a vivicam.10, and when I try to use it it comes up with no CIF image to create AVI maker. I have the insallation cd and that does’nt even work. The AVI maker has no compatibility for Windows XP. I’m not to impressed about the whole thing, So I would like some imfo on what to do. Thank You, Clara Leonard

  9. Clara,
    I’m sorry but I do not know how to fix your problem. Someone else had an earlier comment with a similar problem. Perhaps their answer will help you.

    By the way, I do not make or sell Vivacam cameras, nor support them in any way; I happened to own a Vivicam 20 and write about it here.

  10. Hi Juan, no, I’m sorry I don’t have any suggestions. You may have to take it back to the store and get them to look at it.

  11. Updated my OS to XP Pro. Downloaded XP drivers from When I plug in my vivicam 20 the PC restarts! If I find an answer to the XP driver problem, I will post another note.

  12. I’ve had this camera for a few months now. You really have to play around with the settings to figure out how to get the best picture. I have to say, I think my recent photos came out a lot better than the ones in the gallery. I really like the feature that lets you take close-up pictures. It worked great when photographing my dad’s antique bottles. This camera is well wortht the price in my opinion.

  13. I cna’t get mine to connect I don’t know where to find an adapter I hate this camera! Just kidding I wish I could see my daugthers cheerleading debout..but it’s locked in this thing HELP

  14. i bought this camera and i dont have ANY software for it, i never got any of it, so yeah email me if you got the software for it por favor

  15. i have a problem! when i try to install the driver for my vivicam 20, i always get an error. it says “This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.” i tried downloading the driver from the internet but the same thing happens, i get the same error. anyone know what i can do to get my driver to install??

  16. I have misplaced my software for my camera and I have just redid my harddrive, how and where can i find software to install my camera again to my computer

  17. Hi, Im brazilian and I was reading your site “blog” and see that you have the vivicam, My vivicam was bought in Germany and I cant install in my computer because cdrom was broken…
    Can you send me a driver (install) of Vivicam – Vivitar? Please.
    Sorry my english, I learning…
    I liked so much of your “blog” Visit my blog too:

  18. I’m having trouble getting the photos from cam to PC…keep getting “TWAIN driver error..scanner may not be connected.” I tried uninstalling the entire software and reinstalling with no luck. I noticed someone had the same problem back in Dec. of 2002 but did not find an answer to his problem. Can anyone help?

  19. I too have the same problem as Julie,loaded drivers and every time You try to access the camera acdsee says there is a twain driver error…I have noticed however that when the camera is plugged to the computer it shows up as a removable media and can be navigated to from My Computer and the files manipulated from there.Open to suggestions but why won’t the camera be recognized by the twain driver?

  20. Thanks for your quick response, Mat. Actually, i am not having the problem with my camera at home. The photos transfer fine. But i have a friend who has the same camera and we keep getting that TWAIN driver error message on his PC. I just don’t understand it. Hopefully someone will come up with the resolution.

  21. By the way, Mat. I brought my friend’s camera and interface cord home with me and downloaded his images with no problem on my PC. It’s definitely software related.

  22. Every time I take pics with my vivicam 20, I upload them to the pc and the colors are all wrong, almost like blurred or something. I even went to vivitars website and redownloaded drivers and still the same crapppy pics.

  23. I purchased vivicam20 when trying to install software comes up with error on kernel32.dll and computer freezes. any suggestions why this occurs? pc operates on windows me

  24. Seems as if I might have the same problems some others have had, Once batteries were changed flash quit working,
    and I have purchase a new pc and cannot for the life of
    me find the software, can you help please.

  25. Mike,
    I have the same problem as some others, Once new batteries were put in the flash quit, and I need to find software, purchased a new pc and cannot find software. Appreciate any help you can give.

  26. Mike,
    I downloaded the driver from vivicam website. They have only the driver, but no Arcsoft utility there. Is there a way to transfer pictures to PC without the utilities?

  27. Pingback: Mike Little’s Journalized :: Old Stories Never Die

  28. i changed the batteries in my vivicam 50 and now it wont work. ive tried to find a solution everywhere. can someone here help.

  29. I downloaded the Twain driver for the vivicam 10 and 20 from the vivitar web site and I doesn’t seem to work, if anyone could give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated, thanks. I have also contacted Vivitar,and am awaiting a reply.

  30. Dear,
    I’ve vivicam-20 but I lost its software a few months ago.Now I can’t get it in local market.But I need it very soon.So I need help from anybody who has vivicam-20 software.


    Topon Tigga

  31. Salut j’ai acheté le vivicam 20 mais je n’arrive pas à installer les drivers on me dit
    numero d’erreur 0*80070725
    version incompatible de la RPC
    installation va maintenant se terminer

  32. If you’re making an AVI, the images in the camera have to be in CIF format, which is 352×288 pixels. If you are making an AVI using single shots you’ve taken, then be sure to switch the format to CIF before you shoot the pics: switch on, press Mode twice and then Select. This could be why some people are getting the ‘no CIF’ message.

    If you select the multiple image setting (press Mode nine times then Select) the camera shoots them in CIF mode automatically.

  33. here is aproblem i havent ever heard of. i got my camera one year and one month ago. it worked great till this month. then i went to put batteries in and it acts like i never put them in it doesnt power up at all. i checked for erotion or any other visual problems and nothing. i plug it in to the pc and i can work it from there but only so many functions are possible with the utilities on pc. what could cause this? i havent missused this camera at all. i have tried 3 different brands of batteries so far. still nothing.

  34. i just got the vivacam 20 and i cant erase the photos on it, the memory if full with an amazing 83 pics, i like the camera, good pictures and ok quality but the instructions are in french and i cant figure out how to erase the photos…help please!!!

  35. i lost the soft ware that came with my vivicam20.where can i find a replacement is there some where to down load it thanks ,please help

  36. The XP Twain driver from the website for the Vivicam 10 does not work under Windows XP. While the camera is detected as a Plug and Play USB mass storage device (Sunplus SPCA533) and can be accessed as a drive by XP, the Twain driver does not load or run in any application. Further, the installation the device in “Imaging Devices” as both a single mode and dual mode DSC camera, as stated in the documentation, never occurs after software installation.

    The broken XP drivers need to be fixed by Vivitar. I have worked with 5 other digital cameras extensively and have never, ever had the kind of software problems I have with this one. The software is junk.

  37. We just got a Vivicam 10 for our youth group. Took pictures fine but made the mistake of waiting overnight to upload. The camera didn’t turn on when I went to upload. The only solution was to take the batteries out and reinsert which caused me to loose pictures that can’t be replaced. Is anyone else having this problem?

  38. Dave, I think this is a consequence of the Vivcam 10 (and 20) not having flash memory to store the pictures. They need a battery supply to continue to store them. I guess the lesson learned is to upload your pictures at the first opportunity.

  39. (vivitar vivicam 20) i do not have software to install my camera need some H E L P any info. u have will be greatly appreciated,thanks.

  40. I purchased a Vivicam 20 several months back and have been so disappointed with it…I think that is a piece of junk.
    The pictures are weird looking – anything “red” comes out green and they are so grainy looking no matter what mode it’s in. The flash is so bright it literally washes out the subject to a “white blobb”. How many mega pixels is this camera.
    For example: I am looking at one that is a Canon 300 series with 3.2 megs marked on the front. What would this Vivicam 20 compare to ??? .2 megs???

  41. does anybody know where i can get a copy of the software for vivicam 20,as i lost mine moving house but cant go retrieve it due to ex,shes probbably thrown it noe anyhow.any help on this would be much appreciated.thanks

  42. is there anyway to be able to download the whole program again?..I no longer have the disc..& now it says that the usb port can not be found..any help would be appreciated

  43. bought a vivicam 20 a year ago and am pleased with it so far but one of my kids lost the software disc for it so i can no longer retrieve the pics is the someway i can download s/ware from a site??

  44. i have a vivicam 10, and I lost my software and have downloaded AVI maker but it says there is no cif image…I just want to upload my pictures to look at them, what program should I go onto/or download to upload pictures from a vivicam 10?

  45. Hi
    I need to install the software into my computer so that I can view my pictures that I took with my Vivi Cam 10, but the thing is I do not have the cd to install. PLese Help!

  46. I need to install the software into my computer so that I can view my pictures that I took with my Vivi Cam 10, but the thing is I do not have the cd to install. PLese Help!

  47. So is there a software download out there or not. Most cameras you can just connect and view via the internet. But not vivicam. Please R.S.V.P.

  48. got one of these vivicam 20 myself it was a good picture quality good enough for me anyway but !!!! i lost the disc wot you get with it to enable you to put your pics on pc ive looked for one on the vivitar site and other places and none seen to work im trying to get hold of a original disc but having no luck hope you or someone can help thanks and kind regards neil

  49. OK, I have had the same problem where the computer is complaining about not having a “CIF image to create AVI”. On the CD that comes with the camera is the AVI maker software which is not in the driver download page. THis is what you need to do

    1) Download both drivers from the vivicar website for the vivicam.

    2) Install a second photo processing software. I used Studioline Photo Basic which was a free download from

    3) Go to File –> Import –> Vivicam

    That will allow you to pull the pics even in XP. Took me a while to figure out so I hope I have saved you some time.


  50. Hi Joe:
    Your advice was timely, I am having the XP/no CIF File problem — but I do not understand Step 3, go to File Import Vivicam. Do you have any more specific advice on how to make this work after installing both the downloads? I am getting ready to give up on the camera.

  51. Hi,
    Thanks for the 411 on these vivcam 10 dig cams.The one about wasted batteries and then not being able to get them on the computer is a lesson I would have found out the hard way. Thanks to some of you out there I won’t have to loose any shots. But I do have a problem maybe you can help..”how do you get the mem icon to stop flashing?”..I know it’s probably real easy but I can’t find my instructions duh!! I can’t remember how the mem even works LOL. Thanks for any input! Lady Willow Dragon

  52. The battery bay keeps popping open and losing all of my work……I’m holdong it together with surgical tape. It’s not that big a deal but $49 is $49.

  53. I lost my software and have downloaded AVI maker but it says there is no cif imageโ€ฆI just want to upload my pictures to look at them, what program should I go onto/or download to upload pictures from a vivicam 10?

  54. Hey, just boaght a vivitar 3826 I can’t use it with my Windows xp because the software provided with the unit does not provide a driver for xp and my xp will not provide one. We are in Fort Lauderdale FL and there is no way of correcting this problem at
    point of purchase because we are in the throws of a powerfull hericane as I write you this.We need to use this camora, Thanks.

  55. Hey,
    I bought vivicam-20 about 1 year ago and i got a new comp and I lost my CD :(, and now i don`t know what to do, could someone send me some files for the instalation please,
    Thank you

  56. Here’s some help for most of you:
    1. The AVI download is an application that converts a file created on the V10 or V20 to an AVI file. The website no longer has the ArcSoft software used for off-loading images from the camera.

    2. To take movies (short clips) you need to set the camera into movie mode. (The manual on the website DOES include instructions for setting the camera in the verious modes.)

    3. Although the off-load (and image viewing) software is not available on the website, you CAN use just about any other photo editing software that imports from TWAIN devices. Photoshop, Coral Draw, are examples. You DO need to have the driver installed for them to function in download mode. That driver IS available on the site. Also, you have to reboot after running the driver install program in order that the image software will recognize the camera.

    4. To download, plug the cable into the camera and the computer’s USB port. The cable is just an “A” to “A” USB cable. They are a little hard to find, but they are NOT proprietary. I bought one on the internet for $6. They have the same connector on both ends; the same connector that you plug into the back of your computer in the USB port. You ALSO need to set the camera into download mode as I recall.

  57. just bought a vivitar 3350vvicam for 19.97 @walmart
    cant get a picture to take read all the instructions
    have all software download and drivers all working ok
    usb and all. 26 pic showing lighting all ok batteries all
    ok but pic wont take dong everh=ything I can think of to do
    even changing batteries that came with unit. still did not help
    the camerea even beeps all modes working following all instructions got
    it to take on pic but had to shot it directly at the lamp at diret light.
    inside the house at a lampshade why is this? read your website lites?

  58. i need your help. i have a vivicam 20 that my husband forgot to take with him when he left me, and i have no software, how can i get it.. i also need the manual.. tried to dowenload it, but was in computer jargon, but i really need the soft ware.. thanks.. is there anyone who could email it to me.. at or,

  59. Bought vivicam 10 and get viaicam…. has caused an error and will now shut dow rundll34…. and it wont click off, reloaded my windows me and still the software wont load, I even dowloaded from the vivtar site and still same problem, dont know what to do. any help would be great, running on windows me and on a pentium 2 compaq deskpro computer. thank-you, Duane.

  60. I Got a Vivicam 20 at a flee market. There was nothing with it. I dopwnloaded a driver and got a USB cord from a dealel. If you don’t know USB cables ask for an A to A. I didn’t know this. All of my regular picture software works well with it. I don’t know anything about it. Only what I have picked up here. I am having the same battery problems. Changed batterys and no flash. You must use the long life kind.
    Sonny Patty
    Jacksonville, Arkansas.

  61. hi all

    i have a vivcam 20 and i got the drivers for it too but i dont think it works on XP, i cant get
    it to work on it anyway anyone that needs the drivers for it please e-mail me i might be able
    help you i dont know yet if you got yahoo i am lady_jaynne_ga and my e-mail is good luck to you all i got to buy mine back from a freind that i sold
    it too because it wont work on Xp but if i found something on this i will let everyone here know.

    take care all and have a great day

  62. WOW I have this camera Vivitar 3301 1.3 megapixle- and I gotta say it SUUUUCKS
    really bad. In this day and age you should at least be able to simply plug the camera in and at least
    have one program open the pictures. Not the case. The CD that Vivitar sent with the camera has
    a big hole in it. Great! Of course it doesn’t work. Again this camera sucks the backside of
    of a goffer.

  63. I have Vivicam 20 camera. I have a scratched up cd, so I need the twain drivers for it. I downloaded from Vivtar site and others but it doesn’t to work. It say “Invalid page fault in kernel386.exe . . ” So, can anyone send me the drivers for vivcam 10 and 20? V1.90 or V1.92. And then tell me where and how to install it?
    Thank You so much!
    Mary Green

  64. Thanks, but where did you download it to on your pc? which folder? and how did you install it? I tried driverguide.

  65. Well I have a vivitar.20 camera and I cant find the software i need to put it on my new pc so im unable to see the pictures i have taken on it …. Can someone email me the software or tell me where i can get it …. please thanx – shannon-

  66. I have the Vivicam.20 and I have downloaded the Photo impressions and I have finally figured out how to work everything on the camera, however, my problem is when I hook the camera up to the computer it says that there are no pictures to down load. It seems like the camera isn’t storing the pictures. I have tried every which way to take a picture and have changes out the batteries but nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?

  67. i have a Vivicam 20, and i can take up to 79 pictures as it’s been my
    limit i’ve reached once, but i took the camera around with me to see if
    it would take anymore. it went up to 69 and wouldnt take anymore.
    when i got home i tryed putting them on the computer,they would not save
    on it and they wouldnt delete off my camera. now i have a camera with 69
    pics on it and i cant take anymore and i cant delete them. i want to know
    how to fix this or do i need to get another one ?

  68. hey i’m looking for a software that support the webcam function for my vivicam.10
    because the software that I found is only for the image edition
    please if someone know a link or a internet page that provide this software send me
    to my e-mail

  69. it’s really sux
    the webcam have too close zoom
    i have to put in the the end of the room for ppl to see something…

  70. I got one of these (Cam 10) as a freebie in a trade. It took a little bit to figure out but the flash does still work when you change the batteries, just it resets to being off. Use the mode button to select the automatic flash symbol (A with a flash) and when it’s blinking press and hold down the select button until the camera beeps. The “busy” light will blink for a few seconds while the flash charges, and you’re ready to go. The drivers can be downloaded from Vivitar’s web site, just I wish they’d used a standard camera USB cable, the A-A male cables are uncommon.

  71. Dear Mike!
    I have bought an vivicam 20 camera, but I lost the CD installation, could help me telling me how can I download the instalation.

    Carlos Matamoros
    From Honduras.

  72. How do I get this bloody vivcam 10 to work. XP says it installed, I ran the exe twice like it says on the vivtar website, bt the second time always uninstalls it. Usually USB cameras show up as an extra drive but when I go into my computer there is no extra drive, yet everything in device manager says unit works properly…so what the hell??

  73. I bought a vivicam20 almost a year ago never had a problem with it till now. I have 41 pictures on it but when i go to get my pics my computers doesn’t read the camera tell me to make sure it’s connected, even thou it is also i can web cam with it just can’t get my pics of it
    any ideas to help would be great thanks

  74. Hi Jon, and John,
    I have today emailed the webmaster at to let him know that the site is not working.
    I’ll let you know when I get a reply.


  75. How do I use the Vivicam 20 as a webcam? Do I have to have seperate webcam software? What steps do I take to do this? Thanks.

  76. hey i think I can help with the viv cam 10 and 20.I down loaded the latest drivers from and then it will upgrade the driver system .You need to use arcsoft to down load the pictures it is the prgram that comes with the install driver.

  77. Can someone please tell me if they have a copy of an instruction manual for a vivicam.10. The website has been down for so long I am beginning to wonder if its ever going to work again.. Thanks

  78. Please let me know the location , from where I can be able to download the driver ‘sunplus SPCA533’

  79. i recieved a vivitar – vivicam:10 B from some friends of mine awhile ago I’ve only taken pictures w/ it (long story) my problem???? inever rec’d the software or anything else iwas wondering if anyone has the software installer that i need to retrieve (or download) my pictures. i would appreciate the share or ????, info. thanks ron

  80. Ron, did you even bother to read any of the messages here? The one an inch above the form you typed into tells you exactly where to get the software.

  81. Mike, did you try that link? It apparently has been dead for some time! Send people to driverguide, and suggest they check earlier posts, such as #95.

  82. i just wasn’t sure if everyone notcied
    that the link for the software for the vivicam 20 doesn’t work
    not even directly off the site
    but you can download the software for the vivicam 10
    and it will work.
    someone else might have pointed this out, i didn’t check.
    but i hope everyone knows now.

  83. mike
    i have a vivitar vivicam .10 B when my friend gave it to me he forgot to give me the installer software, please help!Any suggestions? or can you hook me up?

  84. Can anyone help? I have been given a Vivicam 20 but NO instructions.Can I download them from anywhere? Thanks

  85. hey phil i found this site using google because i had trouble getting the pictures off the camera and into the computer. I was able to import them using TWAIN in Photoshop and XnView. However Google’s Picasa program worked the best.

  86. I need to return my VIVICAM 10, where can I get an RMA# to send in my camera. How long will it take you to fix?

    Can I still have my pictures after you fix it?

  87. Jose,

    Does this look like the Vivitar site? You even included a link to the Vivitar site so you presumably know of it.

    Why ask your questions here? Why not ask Vivitar?


  88. I sent my computer to be repaired , the 98 reinstalled and so lost the vivicam 20 software CD; I have pictures in the camera but can’t because I don’t have the CD .. is there somewhere where I can get a free dowload of that software?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  89. Hi, I have a vivitar (vivicam10) and I can’t find the drivers any where for it and it’s aggravating. Can you help me please?

  90. alri!!! i lost me disc 2 install d camera 2 my computer!!! nd now i cnt get d pictures on!!! is der ne otha way i can pu d pictures on wi ou d disc??? wb xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  91. When you find these links out of date you may get lucky and find they are still extant at Internet Archive DOT org. I was able to go back in one case to 2003.
    Just copy the link to the search box on the “Way Back Machine”. The content on the pages is often available too.
    My ViviCam 20 i got in a thrift store for $3 dollars but the flash doesn’t work and while it shows up on my system profiler neither iPhoto or MacCam recognize it so I can only see it’s baud, model and manufacturer number.
    Thanks for the links comments and help.

    Best Wishes

  92. Hi, weird question, but I have been trying to track this camera down for ages.. in a nutshell I used to have one aggess ago (I’m talking 2004)but there are some pictures on there that I really want but can’t get to because I can’t find the USB cable and the battery slot cover is broken ๐Ÿ™ so I need some spare parts from another vivicam 20
    Do you have an ebay account? If you do can, would you put it up for sale if u dont mind

Comments are closed.