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WHY THE RACE FOR WIDE ISO AND MEGAPIXEL
Before going into the main review of Olympus u[MJU:]SW 1050 let us first try to understand what is ISO settings and its relation to noise, shutter speed and size of image sensors.
ISO sensitivity expresses the speed of photographic negative material, it is the ISO equivalent that is given since digital cameras do not use films but image sensors. In fact ISO denotes the sensitivity of the image sensor to the amount of light it is exposed to. Which gives a fair idea of the quality of pictures at low light. It affects the shutter speed/aperture combination that can be use to get the right exposer.
It is quite possible that that digital camera light meter gives you a warning signal that the light is not good enough for correct exposer of the scene, you will more often than not grope for the flash but there are situations where you can not use the flash. What do you do? Use a higher ISO, put the camera on "ISO Auto" mode it will automatically select the best ISO settings.
If the camera shutter speed is low say 1/60 secs or less it is necessary for the camera to be kept still but without a proper method it becomes difficult, then a higher ISO will give higher shutter speed options.
In order to achieve greater sensitivity you expose your images to greater noise. Increase ISO means increased sensitivy of the camera and hence the capability to recognizing and recording faintest of light signal resulting in recording of lowest of noises. What is nose? Noise is signal of any kind that is not a part or attribute of the light from the object. Every analog device generates its own noise so does the digital camera. Increase in sensitivity leads to increase in noise. The amount of resulting noise is recorded in terms of Signal to Noise Ratio (S/N).
In modern days the image sensor is calibrated so that it gives the best image quality at the lowest possible ISO speed. The most common calibrations are ISO 50, ISO 64, ISO 100 and for some ISO 200.
Noise in an image is similar to grains in films, it is always detrimental to the image. Now what is the significance of the size of the Image sensor? It determines the capability of digital camera to have a range of ISO speed that it can use without acquiring unnecessary noise. This is where the rat race for higher pixel begins! Because a larger image sensor can have more pixels on it, which means reception of more light, producing greater noise.
The most commonly used size of image sensor is 1/1.8 in or lesser and naturally noise at higher ISO becomes a big deal.
ABOUT OLYMPUS µ [MJU:] 1050 SW.
The Olympus µ 1050 SW is lovely little camera. It claims to absorb the shock of fall from a 1.5 meter height, capable of withstanding the pressusre of water at a depth of 3 meters. Goddamn sturdy.
It has got a superb TruPicIII processor,a ½.33" live 10.7 megapixel CCD sensor, with a resolution of 3648 x 2736 pixels, excellent senitivity upto ISO 1600, a high precision 3x optical zoom plus 5x digital zoom and icludes a fabulous face detection mode detecting upto 16 different faces in the camera shot.
10.7 mega pixel CCD sensor is definitely capable of capturing minutest of detail and brightest of colors, and it does too. The 3x zoom allows great focus.
It has got an excellent 2.7" LCD display. The built in Flash with red eye reduction is reasonably good. More or less good internal memory at 41.6 MB although does not have memory card included. AVI Motion JPEG video mode with Wave sound works without a big fuss. Supports JPEG format and NTSC or PAL video output. Excellent compatibility with PC and Mac and the software that it comes out with is the Olympus Master.
The accessories that it carries is excellent with micro SD adapter, strap, LI-42B lithium-ion battery, charger, CD, USB cable, video cable.
Excellent features such as scene modes: portrait, landscape, landscape with portrait, etc but most of them are prone to errors. Better trust yourself while using them.
I think being an advantage the size is also natural disadvantage at 93 x 62 x 22.6 mm with an weight of 152 grams, be careful number of people rued losing it.
Olympus is a brand which enjoys a great degree of reputation and trust. They have carried this trust producing excellent and professional digital SLR cameras.
The biggest disadvantage is that it does not have a viewfinder. All though it has got a range of ISO 100-ISO 1600, like most cameras it has also got noise problems. Like it has its problems at ISO 200 and beyond. Now the flash range is 0.2-5.3 in wide angle is a disadvantage because you can not use a an external flash with a compact camera. For telephoto from 0.3-3.7 m is okay.
The design is professional and the choice of colors is wide and you can choose from a variety of rainbow colors. But I adore the Black.
It costs somewhere around £155 which quite reasonable for its performance
This review is also available at ciao.co.uk under the same username
This camera has been an excellent replacement for my old casio and has been faultless (with the exception of the XD card which burnt out). I have been very impressed, especially with the multiple functions and the ease with which it is possible to transfer photos onto my computer, i believe this is owing both to the usb connection as well as the computer program which comes free with the camera which allows you to alter many aspects of the photos, in my view, the most useful of these functions is the red eye reduction aspect of the program as well as the brightness contrast tool. I believe it offers very good value for money and I was impressed with the 10+ megapixel however if i was to have one major fault, it would be that the sliding opening function which also turns the camera on can occur without you realizing which wastes a great deal of battery.
This is a typical point and shoot camera but with the added twist of being shockproof and waterproof (a few metres). this means it can be taken into a swimming pool or out on a wet day increasing the opertunities to take photos. This is a really great feature and for me was the main draw of the camera.
The screen is of high quality and is a good size. The camera also has tap control which means it can be operated with one hand, a very useful feature on a cold day.
the picture quality is good, not as good as some similar camera however if you are looking for truely high resolution images, buy a profsional camera.
one major criticism is the speed. It is often slow and this can occasionally mean you miss the odd picture which is annoying. but this is only one fault in what is an excellent all round camera.
However, on the whole, I have only good things to say about this item which proved to be a perfect gift, although at times, has a habit of being slow, especially in start up.
Olympus µ[MJU:] 1050 SW
Olympus is a very reputed brand in digital cameras in every field with Professional digital SLR cameras, middle range compact cameras and ultra compact pocket cameras.
Here I am going to share some of my experience with ultra compact Olympus µ[MJU:] 1050 SW, a very slim and beautiful compact camera.
This camera is very light with ultra compact body and the thickness of the body is about 2.3 cm, very slim like mobile phones.
Camera has a total resolution of about 10.1 megapixel CCD and there is about 5 X optical zoom. Now have some discussion about this lens.
10.1 megapixel resolution is an average at present time, some time before 5 megapixel camera were considered as good or best resolution cameras. There are many reasons of having good resolution cameras at the moment and there were average resolution cameras at about 2 years ago. First I bought a digital camera of canon, with canon powershot A-400. The price of the camera was something about 150 pounds. But we can get excellent resolution camera with larger features at present time. Mine old camera is still working and it is gold for me. The tell of 'old is gold' is true for me about my camera.
Now have a look of other features of this camera, it has almost all features of digital compact camera with ultra compact body. 5x zoom in such a slim body is really appreciable and I really like it. I have reviewed a camera before of Sony in T series, Sony DSC T-500, that camera also have 5x zoom in slim body just like this one.
Screen size of the camera is very attractive and large with TFT active matrix 2.7" color display but the Sony camera, T-500 has something about 3.5" of TFT display. But the main differences in both screens are its functionality. This camera doesn't have touch screen but Sony camera has large touch screen. I personally don't like touch screen camera as it is very bulky feeling.
I really appreciate this display screen with bright and clear pixel display. If you want high resolution screen than it will be good choice for you to go for Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ-5, that camera has very high resolution display screen.
Next feature to discuss about the camera is its ISO speed and its results. As like many other cameras this also have problem with high ISO setting and there are range of ISO 100, to ISO 1600. But I am unable to understand that why all camera manufacturers are trying to provide more and more ISO speed in digital cameras as they give very noisy and unacceptable results at all. I don't know why, but this camera also produces noisy details after ISO 200 and higher. There are no mean of having photographs as higher ISO setting but in emergency condition where you are not allowed to use flash or you don't have appropriate flash range than you can increase ISO setting.
This camera is completely meant for point and shoot purpose so there are enough scene modes available in it, like Landscape, portrait mode, beach or snow, landscape-portrait, self-portrait, fireworks, panorama assist, night scene, sports mode, sunset, indoor, cuisine, candle, behind glass, night scene with portrait, auction, snow, available light portrait, anti shake, underwater snapshot etc.
You will see that after taking of picture with one of these scene mode, there will be very disappointing results. The problem is in almost all cameras and we need to put some settings in manual mode to capture these scene. For setting manual mode you require little bit knowledge of photography like ISO setting, exposure, flash use etc.
The camera has average flash with range about 0.2 m - 5.3 m, we can't use external flash in compact or ultra compact camera so that keep satisfy with an average flash.
Over all this is a good compact camera with an average feature. There is no any camera with perfect result, so that don't worry about the result as almost all cameras in compact and ultra compact category have similar problems.