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have realised that I have owned my Olympus Stylus digital camera for about 8 years now and it is perfect still, obviously it has been surpassed by newer models ( I do have a newer model myself) but I cannot fault my Olympus at all.
The camera cost £250 8 years ago, it is 3.2 megapixels, which has been superceeded by even the most basic models, even mobile phones often have more megapixels these days, but having said that the clarity and sharpness of the photos are superb.
I had owned a digital camera before the Olympus, but quite honestly there was no comparison, the quality of the Olympus really speaks for itself. It has a metal case, with a sliding front, which covers the flash and the lense, protecting it from general wear and tear when carrying it round. When you slide the metal cover across the lense automatically extends, ready for use.
There is a viewfinder as well as the 1.5 inch screen, which is clear and straightforward to line up your picture.
There is a 4 x zoom facility, which is very useful
The time and date can be set so that the photos show up with this information on it.
The flash can be set to on, off or automatic - personally I keep it on automatic mode. There is also a "red eye reduction" flash setting too.
When viewing the pictures via the camera, you can edit them, delete them, even change them to black and white or sepia, which is a nice touch.
The camera came with a 16mb XD memory card, which has a panoramic setting, we vtook some amazing photos with this setting, of local beauty spots. We did have to buy another memory card though, as the one that came as standard did not store more than about 20 pictures, if that. These are easily available though, at the time we bought it at Jessops, but Ebay, Amazon etc sell these memory cards at very reasonable prices, under £8 these days.
The camera has a short movie mode, about 20 seconds I believe, although I have never used this setting - I think I should though
The Olympus comes with its own software, Camedia, which is easily installed onto the computer, once the camera is connected to the computer via USB, Camedia opens automatically and the photos upload, without any need for intervention, then you can rearrange the photos, edit them, crop them, delete them if required. You do not have to use the software though, if you connect the camera to the computer via USB, then you can open up the photos from the "My computer" section.
The memory card comes out of its slot easily and can be placed into slots in certain computers for immediate transfer onto the computer, or taken into Tesco/Asda or anywhere that develops photos and the machine in these shops transfers all the photos from the card for you.
All in all, this camera was expensive in its day, however its quality has well and truly stood the test of time, it does not look particularly dated even now, it takes perfect and wonderful photos - I love it still 10/10
We have owned this olmpus camera for 2 years and not once has it had to be taken to any shop to be fixed or to find out how it works. The instructions are easy to understand and you'll be taking picture and movies in no time. They also include a remote control which is very useful as then you can be in the picture too but it is quite hard to align it so that you're all in without the use of a tripod.
There are a lot of options of how you want your picture to be some of which we have never used which may be a bit too much to choose from. The symbols to tell you what buttons does what are a bit unclear but we soon got used to them. The camera comes in a nice leather case that has a pocket for storing spare memory cards in which is handy and helps protect the camera should you drop it.
The movie option is a bit disapointing as you can only film for a maximum of 16 seconds and there is no sound although i know the camera was not designed for movies if they were going to include them at all they should have at least made them last for a fair amount of time and give it sound.
On this front the camera is very good it had a simple computer program that is very clear and gives you the option of making calenders, postcard etc with your photos.
Transfering the images is so easy i'm sure anyone could do it you just select the tranfer images from camera option and click tranfer and there you go, done! You can then go on to using your pictures as desktop backgrounds and screensavers, it is a really well thought out and desgined program.
I think that dispite the movie feature the camera performs well all round and we have had no problem using it and I think is a good camera to have if you have never owned a digital camera before.
I purchased this camera 4 months ago mainly to take photos of items for uploading onto Ebay, and general album photos. I did a little bit of research before purchasing and for the cost it appeared to be good value for money. I should mention that Ive never owned or used a digital camera previous to this one. It is a very rugged, compact and weatherproof unit which was proven on a recent stag weekend in Berlin, it spent the whole weekend in my pocket and came away unscathed (not an easy task for anything).
Simplicity itself to operate, you open the lens cover and the lens comes out automatically, there is a two-stage shutter button, you press the shutter button gently (halfway) which auto focuses and determines automatically if the flash is required, when the lamp on the viewfinder lights (approx 1 second) its ready to take the photo, which is done by fully pressing the shutter button.
Various modes are available but I have found the auto program to be adequate for most situations. The other options are Portrait, Landscape + Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Self Portrait And Movie. Its a simple case of pressing one of the 6 control buttons on the rear of the unit to select the mode you require; there is no sound with the movie option.
The unit comes with a 16MB picture card, which takes 12 16 photos. I upgraded to a 256 MB card, which enables you to take approx 326 photos in normal mode. I also purchased a spare battery in case I was caught short, however the battery seams to last forever, but its nice to have a backup. I also purchased a case separately as it came without one. On hindsight I should have purchased the larger picture card, battery and case with the camera and saved on postage, and could have maybe struck a better deal.
The macro (close-up) setting is handy and again operated by one of the six control buttons; you can use the manual focus-rocking button to zoom in or out.
The 3.2 Mega pixels are enough to produce nice quality photos and the 3X optical zoom is adequate. I could copy all the specs into my review but for the people who require and understand them, the Olympus site is the place to visit.
The software that was supplied was simple enough to setup on my PC and was just
about adequate for basic needs, I upgraded to the Pro bundle, which takes approx 20 minutes and is just a case of downloading the upgrade after paying for it, and the link to carry out the upgrade is emblazoned on the original software. Once installed you can cut, crop, rotate, edit, change background, In fact the original picture can be changed to almost anything you might require.
To download from your camera to the PC is just a simple case of connecting the USB lead and the program starts automatically, follow the on screen directions, its as simple as that.
The only problem Ive had is when Im operating the camera and my thumb (which rests on the battery compartment cover) has accidentally released the battery cover. This has happened a couple of times but now that Im aware its just a case of taking more care. If the battery should drop out, all the photos on the picture card could be lost.
It comes complete with the following: wrist strap, LI 10B lithium ion battery, battery charger and cable, software, USB cable, xD picture card.
This camera is a very versatile and resilient piece of equipment, which is easy to operate, and should cover the needs of most budding photographers.
The MJU range from Olympus is a series of stylish ultra-compact film cameras which has been so hugely successful that they have launched the same line in a digital range to give the user all the advantages of the MJU cameras but with digital capabilities rather than film. The film v digital debate is something I could talk about for hours but I wont, at the end of the day its down to what you personally prefer and for what you need. With so much overlap nowadays e.g. the option to have your photos put on a CD ROM if you have a film developed and also the option to get print outs of your digital images it really is a matter of personal preference on what type of camera you go for. Olympus currently has the MJU 300 digital and the MJU 400 digital, with the main difference being, of course, the extra megapixel. I am reviewing the Olympus MJU 300 digital.
The first point to note is the stylish appearance of the camera, when handled it has a sturdy metallic feel about the body but despite the solid feel it is still a light camera. It also has a very compact design; its a lot smaller than similar digital cameras and has a nice shape to it. The overall appearance is very high quality, the lens cover slides across with a reassuringly robust feel about it, the lens comes out quickly and within about 2 seconds the camera is ready to be used, fortunately the camera body doesnt mark easily either so if its likely to get knocked about a bit theres no need to worry. Turning the camera over you see the control panel on the back along with the screen, the controls are so simple, Id go as far as saying theyre fool-proof. It also ensures that the camera has an uncluttered appearance. The top of the camera has only one button on it; the shutter release button, which ensures that the process of taking photos is as simple as it possibly can be.
It is also a big advantage that the camera has a weatherproof body, as I mentioned before it doesnt mark easily but there are specially designed seals which surround the buttons and covers of the camera internally to ensure it is protected from the elements. Ultra-durable rubber materials are used to protect the components of the camera from any form of weathering damage. I can vouch for the fact that the camera operates perfectly, even in the rain and it doesnt seem to have had any adverse effect on the camera; however they dont recommend that you drop the camera into water or take pictures underwater with the camera because the weatherproofing isnt designed to withstand total immersion. Inside the contoured metal body is a plastic inner providing double-chassis protection and therefore greater durability. With some cheaper cameras that have been waterproofed you often find that because they are so tightly sealed against the elements these is a lot of air pressure between the moving components and zoom lenses especially, are prone to buckling due to inadequate airflow control. This is where the design of the Olympus MJU 300 comes out on top. The design of their camera ensures that airflow is controlled and a smooth zooming action is achieved this is likely to extend the life of the camera considerably because there wont be such pressure on the internal components of the camera.
I love the design of the camera, aesthetically it scores very highly but I do have one tiny niggle with the layout and this is that when you are using the camera menus it is easy to accidentally push the lens cover while youre holding the camera. This causes the camera to change from record mode to playback mode so you then get cut off from the menu you were trying to access. This isnt a problem Ive repeated often though. Its irritating doing it once so you soon get used to holding the camera without pushing the lens cover in order to prevent this from happening.
~~~FEATURES AND OPERATION~~~
The technical features of the camera are as follows:
Image resolution: 2048x1536
LCD monitor (inches): 1.5"
Digital zoom: 1x-4x
Focal length: 5.8-17.4 mm
35mm Equivilent: 35-105 mm
Auto focus: Yes
Manual focus: No
USB, Video-out and power-in connections
Exposure Modes: Programmed AE, Scene Programs
Metering: Digital ESP metering, Spot metering
Shutter speeds (seconds): 1/2-1/1000s
Maximum Aperture: f3.1-f5.2
Flash modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Flash Off
Video capture: Yes
Memory card type: xD-Picture Card
Supplied card: 16MB
Dimensions (H x W x D) in mm: 99x56x33.5
Accessories included: Strap, 16 MB xD-Picture Card, USB cable, video cable, one lithium-ion rechargeable battery (Li-10B), battery charger, AC cable for charger, Remote controller
The menu system is simple and straightforward to use, some manufacturers seem to design their cameras so that the user has to spend hours religiously consulting the manual just to figure out how the thing works, thankfully Olympus are far more practical and you can get started taking photos almost straight away without trying to learn what every one of about a thousand buttons does as you do with some cameras. It is easy to change your desired settings too, you simply press the key corresponding to your chosen option and the camera reacts almost instantly to achieve your desired settings. Theres also a handy quick preview function which you activate by pressing the playback button twice in quick succession, alternatively you can switch to using playback mode by simply sliding the lens cover open a little.
When you are in picture-taking mode relatively little information is displayed on the screen which is good because unnecessary information only serves to complicate matters. The mode you are in is displayed as well as the number of shots you have remaining and a useful indicator which displays whether you have achieved a good focus lock.This particular camera doesnt have a histogram facility when youre in playback mode as many other compact digital cameras do, however it isnt something I ever use anyway so I dont miss having it but its worth noting anyway.
Upon pressing the menu button a number of options are displayed. You can change the image quality setting, exposure or mode. In the mode menu you can choose your desired mode or format the card, for example you can choose whether the camera remembers the settings you last used when you used the camera, there are also other options to change pixel mapping and LCD brightness settings.There are seven modes on this camera, firstly the Program Auto mode, which is the cameras default mode and a further six modes; Portrait, Landscape and Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Self Portrait and Movie. Movies can be filmed for up to 70 seconds (depending on what mode youre in) but they dont include sound.
The speed of the camera when used in its normal shooting mode is impressive. Focussing speed is especially impressive and of course this is vital to the optimum operation of any digital camera. It only takes a couple of seconds to lock on and the length of time between shots is minimal. It only takes about a second for the camera to prepare to write the last shot to the memory card and then its ready to take another photo. However as this is an autofocus camera you have to wait for the focus to lock again but this isnt really a problem the overall performance speed is exceptionally good.
Theres even a mode for sequential shots so you dont have to wait for it to focus again every time.
The camera comes with one rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack and a special charger. I use the LCD screen a lot but Ive found that I get a lot of time from the batter. At least about 150-200 shots perhaps more. Of course the less you use the LCD screen the longer the battery will last between each recharging session because it is this which consumes most of the power, but I use my LCD a lot and Im really impressed with the battery power.
The viewfinder is similar to any camera its fairly simple but many users will probably prefer to use the LCD to get the subject of the photo in shot. Personally I do the latter because I find it easier, thought the viewfinder is just as accurate. The LCD has a strong metal surrounding with a scratch resistant plastic surface and gives an impressive output. Like most digital cameras there is a slight delay however, and when moved quickly or used to take a fast moving subject there is a slight ghosting effect but it is perfect on stationary or slow moving objects.
When people think of the ultra-compact models of digital camera they often think that they must compromise on quality in order to make them so small but Id like to reassure anyone who may have this doubt that this simply isnt the case with the Olympus MJU 300. Of course the number of setting is more restricted than with some digital cameras so you mainly have to reliant on the default settings to be good enough for normal usage. Colours are accurate and images are sharp, I cant sing its praises high enough; in all situations that Ive used the camera in (and Ive tested it out in all of the modes) Ive found the results to be especially impressive.
Ive also had prints made of photos taken this camera and I cant find fault with any of them, the results are as good as the image you see on the LCD screen.
A very impressive camera; the Olympus MJU not only looks stylish, it is also simple to use and yet doesnt compromise on image quality.
In summary this is what I think about the camera:
Stylish weatherproof exterior body
Simple to use
Accurate images both as digital images and as prints
Good battery life
Reasonable price (mine cost £250 but you may be able to find it cheaper)
Lack of manual modes may deter enthusiasts
Accidentally pushing lens cover changes mode (though this is mainly my cack-handedness!)
The camera is enjoyable to use and gives excellent results. The settings are enough to satisfy most peoples needs but some enthusiasts may fell limited by the options available. An all-round excellent camera that comes highly recommended.
I purchased this camera prior to going on holiday as I figured the digital camcorder was too cumbersome to carry and I didn't want to have to mess about with normal camera film. The camera is very stylish with a chrome look about it. The lens is covered by a slide at the front which protects it from the elements - in fact the whole camera is supposed to be 'weatherproof'! This is a 3.2 megapixel camera and the quality from it is superb. It really picks up colours fantastically. There is also a zoom function (both optical (3x) and digital (4x)) which is good. The cameras storage choice is xD cards which are made by Fuji and Olympus. However, only the Olympus cards provide the panorama function with the camera. It comes with a 16MB card but I got a 256MB to go with it too. This means I can take 326 pictures at 2048x1536 resolution no problem. The camera also comes with a Li-Ion battery and charger. The camera has a built-in flash and has a 1.5" TFT LCD monitor at the back which is also good quality - in bright light though it's still better to use the viewfinder instead. The camera is also nice and small and fits easily in a trouser pocket meaning you don't have to carry around a camera case everywhere. There are plenty of other features too, such as red eye reduction, no flash, picture in sepia/black and white and a timer. The best thing about the timer is a little one button remote control so you can activate it when you want! You also get a USB and video cable to play with too as well as some basic CD software. Very easy to connect and download to your PC. Value for money is also good. I got mine for around £300 from www.internetcamerasdirect.co.uk which from shopping around seemed the cheapest and most reliable from the reviews. At time of writing (8th July 2003), it's £277 including VAT and insured next day delivery! If you're considering this camera
then I highly recommend it. Had it 3 months now and not one problem.