Using time- and angle-resolved hemispherical elastic light scattering technique we reveal complex pathways of photoinduced nonlinear optical dynamics in VO2, V2O3 and V3O5 thin films. The structural dynamics was monitored by using an ultrafast diffraction conoscopy technique. The evolution of phases in these correlated oxides is substantially different and significantly depends on optical excitation, temperature and size of grains and domains. Strong optical nonlinearity along with its complex transient dynamics makes vanadium oxides attractive for high-contrast all-optical switches, high-speed optical data storage and holographic devices. The characteristic time of optical nonlinearity can be tuned from several femtoseconds to picoseconds by altering the excitation fluence and size of grains and domains. Additional control of ultrafast phase transition dynamics can be achieved by photoacoustical generation of strain waves. Depending on material morphology and level of optical excitation, the optical signal shows coherent oscillations caused by photoacoustic wave at picosecond and nanosecond time scales. Complex nonlinear dynamics of correlated vanadium oxides can provide a way for precise tuning of transient optical and electronic properties in photonic devices.