Product Type: Olympus digital cameras
Newest Review: ... the screen is quite high quality. The 230,000 pixels can show a surprising amount of detail on the 2.5 inch LCD, which is bright e... more
Stylish, light and weatherproof camera
Olympus µ[MJU:] 760
Member Name: markos9
Olympus µ[MJU:] 760
Advantages: Small enough to take anywhere...
Disadvantages: ...but don't bother in low light.
The camera is very small (3.9x2.1x1.0 inches), at 120g it is light enough to slip into a shirt pocket (the lens folds flat into the body when switched off). The brushed metal body is weatherproof so does not need to be shielded from the elements.
The camera has a 7 megapixel sensor, and is fitted with internal stabilisation (IS) which compensates for shake when taking pictures, enabling sharp photographs to be taken at longer exposures than would normally be possible.
The 3x zoom covers a range of 37 - 111mm focal length (35mm equivalent). The 'long' end is a medium telephoto range that enables reasonable shots of distant objects to be taken. The range also covers the perfect portrait focal lengths, but the wide angle isn't very wide at all. A typical wide angle focal length for landscape shots would be 28mm; the Mju 760 is simply not wide enough to enable excellent landscapes.
As with most compact digital cameras, the screen is used to frame photographs. Fortunately, the screen is quite high quality. The 230,000 pixels can show a surprising amount of detail on the 2.5 inch LCD, which is bright enough to be used in sunlight with little difficulty.
Using a digital SLR as my main camera, I find the Mju 760 a little sluggish. Focusing is quick, but not instantly so. The focusing speed is not inadequate, merely not instantaneous. Focus accuracy is not brilliant, however. In good light, I find that a significant proportion of my shots are out of focus (I always, therefore, take several shots to ensure at least one is sharp).
Shutter lag is also noticeable. This is the delay between pressing the button and the camera firing. Again, it's not unacceptable, merely noticeable.
The camera is extremely easy to use. The controls are quite intuitive and there's enough information given to avoid resorting to reading the manual (well, I'm a man, manuals are meant to be ignored!).
The camera can be set to auto and used without further adjustments, but for those who like more control, the white balance, ISO settings, and continuous shooting settings can all be adjusted.
Picture quality, in decent light is quite good. The 7.1 megapixel sensor takes images of up to 3072 x 2074 pixels, more than enough for normal sized prints. The lens is of reasonable quality giving pictures of acceptable sharpness across the frame.
Like most compact cameras chromatic aberration is present. This is seen as coloured fringes at high contrast edges. In the Mju 760, it is reasonably well controlled and rarely intrusive, but examination of images at 100% resolution will often show this effect.
Taking pictures with the Mju 760 is a reasonably pleasant experience. The camera is ready for use very quickly and is always to hand being so small and light. The camera fits nicely inside the hand and the controls fall easily under the thumb. The quality of printed images is more than acceptable when taken in good light and the small size of the camera means that it's more likely to be carried than a more bulky one, ensuring pictures can always be taken (even the best camera is useless if left behind!).
There is, however, one major flaw with the Mju 760; low light performance. At ISO 80, the lowest setting, noise is almost completely absent. As the light levels drop, higher ISO settings are needed and the dreaded digital noise makes itself noticed.
At ISO 400, noise is really noticeable and will need the attentions of image manipulation software to remove it. At ISO 1600, image quality is laughable.
The other problem with low light photography is focusing accuracy. As explained above, in good light, focusing is a bit hit and miss. In poor light, the camera more than often gets it wrong resulting in frustratingly out of focus shots.
Because of these two problems, the camera should be avoided for low level photography if at all possible.
Despite the low light performance, this is a good camera. It takes reasonable quality pictures, is easy to use, and looks stylish and elegant. Being so small means that it can be packed away in a pocket or handbag for instant use, and its weatherproofing means that the user shouldn't be frightened of taking shots in the rain.
For me, as a backup to my DSLR, this is a good choice. I know that in bright conditions, I'll get good images in situations where I would not have considered bringing my DSLR. There are very few cameras that have the full range of features of the Mju 760, so this should be considered if a weatherproof camera is needed.
The Mju 760 cost £160 when bought 12 months ago from Argos. The camera is available for much less now, however.
Summary: Works well as a camera that can always be with you.
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