I have had my little Olympus Mju mini for 5 years now and I have to say it is an excellent little point and shoot digital camera. My husband bought it for me as a present way back in 2006 and to date, it is my one and only digital camera (I probably seem like an utter dinosaur now!).
As far as I can remember, it cost approx £150 for the camera and we purchased it from our local Jessops store. We also purchased a spare battery, a leather case and a 128mb XD card to replace the rather paltry 16mb manufacturer supplied XD card. I have since gone on to purchase further XD cards as I have been known to go a bit mad taking pictures when I get started (I once took over 200 pictures of fungi whilst on holiday in the Lake District once!). A 128mb XD card stores around 135 pictures (dependant on the settings you use).
My mju is silver in colour, however Olympus did produce it in 6 different colours - silver, black, gold, red, blue and white. It is a very compact little camera and easily fits in the palm of my small hands. It feels solidly built predominantly due to it's metal case and though it has a certain reassuring weight to it, it is not heavy. The metal case has also been rather resilient to the odd drop, knock and scrape over the years, whereas I expect a plastic bodied camera would have cracked or split at some point. It's rounded shape is unusual and feels almost ergonomic when you are using it. It is a stylish little camera and it's size is a big bonus, meaning you can carry it in almost any pocket or bag with ease. The Mju mini is also 'weatherproof' which basically means it will withstand water spray. I have used this camera in the rain, general damp conditions and often around swimming pools when taking pictures of my children and it has never shown any problems with any of these situations.
So, onto a bit more technical stuff . . . Just to inform you, I am not a photographer in any shape or form, I am a snap happy type who does almost everything on an automatic setting. So I will not be going to exhaustive lengths to describe all the technical features to you. I have managed to find a full spec for the camera still active on the Olympus website and would ask you consult their information if you are looking for a full list of specifications. I will however cover what I would describe as the 'main' features of the Mju mini.
It is a 4 mega-pixel camera with a 2 x optical zoom and 4 x digital zoom - rather rubbish on both counts by today's standards but at the time, this was relatively good. It has a 1.8 inch LCD viewer and a motorised sliding cover to protect the lens. There are only a few buttons and dials on the camera which aid the simplicity of its use. There are 2 buttons on the top of the camera - one is the power switch (and is clearly marked as such) and the other is the trigger switch for taking your pictures. Also on the top surface is a rotating dial/barrel with 3 symbols on it signifying modes for taking pictures, video and reviewing your pitcures. You just move/roll the barrel forwards and backwards to access the appropriate mode.
On the rear of the camera and situated around the viewing screen there is a quick view button - for you to review shots quickly on the viewer whilst still in picture mode, a rocker switch to use to zoom in and out and a functions button with symbols on it and an OK button in the centre for navigating around the Mju mini's menu system.
As well as taking your holiday snaps, the Mju mini is also able to take video - I have taken video with mine but only very short bursts of up to 3 minutes, so am not able to comment on how much memory etc is uses. I would say however that this is predominantly a stills camera and you would be better purchasing a dedicated video camera if you wanted really good video. The microphone isn't brilliant, so sound is a bit muffled when in video mode.
The Mju mini has an self timer aswell as 12 other programmes - Portrait, Night Scene, Self Portrait, Beach and Snow, Cuisine, Indoor, Landscape, Landscape with Portrait, Behind Glass, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks. It also has a range of effects which you can apply to your pictures, however I haven't used any of these so can't really comment. The macro mode is good for close ups and I have used this many times. You can also manually change the flash settings to select auto, no flash, permanent flash and red eye reduction. There are further manual settings you can change but I have never used them, so I cannot give a review of these features.
When I bought the camera, the box contained a strap, 1 x 16 MB xD-Picture Card, a USB cable, an audio/video cable, 1 x rechargeable battery and charger and an OLYMPUS Master 1.0 disc from which you could print off a manual and other information regarding setting up the camera. The Mju mini is no longer in production by Olympus, but you can find them on e-bay and other selling sites for only a few pounds - I've seen them for anything between £5 and £20.
So in sumary, this pocket snapper has been a reliable, faithful and stylish little camera for 5 years. It looks good, it feels good. It has been bashed about a bit without sustaining any damage and I have used it ALOT. It's features are good and simple to use for even the most 'bog standard' of amatuer photographers (and I should know!). I am only now starting to look for the Mju's successor and this is mainly due to my wanting a camera with a larger zoom. However, the Mju won't be going anywhere for a while yet as I still think I may use it occassionally. I love this little camera and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone wanting a simple basic point and shoot camera you can probably now pick up for next to nothing.
This is an amazing little camera, I received my Olympus mju mini for a Christmas present a few years ago now when it first hit the shops and I have been totally impressed with it since.
I was immediately drawn to its cute, compact, curvy design and the availability of it in a variety of colours. I have the baby pink camera and it still looks great today. It is a very sturdy design even though it is tiny as the case is made of metal and not plastic as with some of the cheaper cameras. My camera has been dropped a couple of time but has never broken.
The only thing this camera lacks is features as technology now improves so quickly that many cameras on sale now have many more features than this. But in my opinion what this camera lacks in features it makes up for in its looks and quality. It is only 4 mega pixels but always gives crisp clear images. Its functions are also extremely easy to use and has a large display screen on the back of the camera. The wheel scroll function at the top of the camera quickly and easily allows you to flip between the camera, video and photo viewing functions. Other great functions of the camera include a quick view button, flash, timer and scene selection.
The camera also came with two rechargeable batteries and charger, this means when taking the camera out you can charge both batteries and swap them over when one runs out. This also saves you having to buy batteries all the time which can become expensive if you are a happy snapper.
You also receive a USB cable and full manual on CD ROM that you can download onto you computer to understand the full capabilities of your camera. The USB cable allows you to quickly and easily download all your pictures and videos onto your computer.
I have never had any problems with this camera and will be rather upset when it does finally break. It is a great little stylish camera that does everything I need it to do as a novice camera user.
The Olympus mju mini camera has to be one of the best camera I have ever owned. I have had it for years now and it may be a little behind the times when it comes to features and mega pixels but it could still beat some other new cameras that are on the market.
First of all the mju mini is in my opinion the best looking camera that has ever been available. I got it out today to have a look at it before writing this review and it still looks ultra modern and the design is better than any other camera that is out in the shops at the minute.
This is one stylish little camera. I have the silver one and there is no coloured plastic to be found here as the mju has a metal casing. It looks and feels like a quality camera yet it only weighs 115 grams so is really light and portable.
The shape of the camera also makes it stand out as it is curvy and leans to the side, It is an unusual shape but it makes it so comfortable to hold and with dimensions of 95 x 55.5 x 27.5mm it is small enough to slip into any pocket.
The mju is an extremely easy camera to use. There is a click wheel on the top of the camera where you can choose which mode to use and it makes it extremely easy to switch between taking pictures and viewing them.
There I a nice large push down button for taking the picture and there are zoom buttons on the back of the camera beside the lcd screen. Talking of the screen it is 1.8 inches and is a nice size for viewing the pictures you have taken.
There are a few other buttons on the back of the camera for things like turning the flash off and the auto option.
There isn't a great amount of features with the mini mju so not a camera for those who make use of them but for people like me who just want to point and shoot without fiddling with settings then the mju might just be the camera for you.
The mju is only 4 million mega pixels which is absolutely nothing compared with the cameras of today but as I have been told countless times the megapixels does not affect the picture quality and this is evident with the mju. The pictures are of a decent standard and look nice and clear when printed out. Colours show up well and all the details of the shot can be seen. The picture quality on the mju is better than that of my casio camera which is 9 million megapixels. For those looking for professional standards then the mju is not the choice but for an older camera with only 4 million mega pixels the quality is impressive especially when you change the picture quality to the highest setting.
Shooting video is equally easy and of a good quality. Just move the click wheel to video mode then press down on the shoot button to start and again when you are finished. The quality is about the same as a mid range phone, Not as good as a dedicated video camera but perfectly fine for spur of the moment videos.
The mju uses xd cards for memory and it came with a 16mb one which could hold a pitiful amount of pictures. You will need a much higher memory one to hold the pictures especially if you have the camera on the highest quality setting.
Sending the pictures to your computer is easy with the usb cable, there are no complicated software to install and you can just connect the cable to your computer and its simply a case of pressing a button.
The mju is weather proof meaning that it will not get damaged with a spot of rain but I wouldn't recommend trying to go swimming with it. A lithium battery is included and mine still works perfectly well even after all these years.
The mju is a stunning little camera that takes good pictures and is a quality product. I have had mine for about 5 years and though no longer in mint condition as it has suffered many bumps and falls there are only a few scratches on it which is great as it has never had a case.
I can't remember how much I paid for my mju when new but it was expensive at the time so if someone can pick one up on ebay for a cheap price then I definitely recommend it as it will be a bargain and the perfect camera for someone looking for a small good looking camera that is easy to use.
First and foremost, I originally asked my Dad to buy this camera for me because it was PINK! He then looked at the picture quality, and agreed that it would be a good camera for me.
He bought it from Jessops for around £190, for my 18th birthday 3 years ago. He also bought me a nifty little case that is padded. The reason for the padded case was that I would be taking it first to Europe for work, and then to University where it would no doubt be going out clubbing with me.
Now the camera is 4 mega pixels, which in the scheme of todays pixels is not a lot. However the pictures come out really clear, and have a lot of detail in them which Im happy with.
Another feature that I really like about this camera is that it takes great night time pictures, there are a huge range of settings that are easily chosen through a picture oriented menu. You can choose a candle setting, firework setting, dark backdrop setting. The list is huge! It helps you amateur photographers to get a good picture.
These dark features are excellent for what I have used the camera most in: Clubbing. I have 3 years worth of going out pictures from university, and they all look great. I have also got some arty type ones of lighting in the clubs and really enjoy taking photos when Im out. I am official camera woman in my group of friends, and they all rely on me to upload them to facebook straight away the next day after a night out!
The camera has a zoom button on the back which is very easy to use, it doesnt zoom that far, but then I didnt buy it for that. The flash is very bright and definately can light up a dark area.
The design of the camera is great, its small enough to go in your handbag, the buttons are big and very durable. I have had this camera for 3 years and its still working perfectly. Its very small and you can hold it in one hand which is great for taking pictures of yourself and others.
The battery life lasts now about 5 hours, but it will stay on the red bit of the battery for ages before conking out. When I first got it it was a lot longer.
The battery is a rechargable block that you put into the camera charger that they give you. Its easily removable, and that and the memory card slot into place very neatly.
There is a video function with sound that I sometimes use. The camera switches between video, pictures and playback with a rolling switch in the dipped part you can see on the photo. Again this is great when your out as many people want to look at the picture straight away, you can just flick between for them, and then go back to taking pictures. Theres almost no delay in the switch.
I am not very good with technology, but uploading the photos to your computer is so easy. You just plug the usb in which comes with the camera, and it just pops up, you dont need to upload any software.
This camera comes in a range of colours, but I obviously went for baby pink, and the colour has not faded at all.
If you are quite girly, like pink accessories, want good quality photos, and dont want to spend loads then this is the camera for you. Its lasted well for 3 years, is still going strong, and Im constantly using it. Its the best handbag accessory alongside my pink phone, diary, keys and ds. I also coincidentally have pink nails this week, so I am completely pink!
The Olympus 4.0 megapixel Mini mju digital camera is something to admire. I've have previously owned two other digital cameras and neither of them were quite as impressive. The graphics were terrible, the memory was disappointing and they didn't look to stylish either.
So how does it look?
The mini mju is small, sleek (95 x 55.5 x 27.5mm) and available in a selection of colours, these are:
I own the Jewellery Silver mini mju. Not only does the camera look good and feel good, it's also easy to use and only weighs 115g(s).
Easy? How easy?
The top of the camera has two buttons and also a wheel switch. The small button turns the camera power on; the larger button takes your photos. To determine if you want to view photos stored on the camera, record some video footage or take some pictures you move the wheel (which has symbols on it) to the indented line next to the wheel.
When you turn the power on (the small button) you have allocated the setting on the wheel and are now ready to carry out your task.
The camera has a 1.8 inch LCD (134,000 pixels) screen and to the right of this screen is a circular button with four points.
So if you have decided to view your pictures, to scroll through them you just press the right hand side of the circle or the left if you want to go in reverse order. Simple huh?
In the center of the four points is another circle this is the 'OK' button if you press this whilst you're viewing photos it will bring up a menu on screen and give you the option to delete the present photo, to change the mode (you can make the image black and white for example). Or you can simply view information about the photo (the size etc.).
So lets move on to the video option; this is the middle selection on the wheel. I will be honest I have not had much experience with this feature and so hope the following information is correct.
With the OK button pressed you will have the following options appear
You can apparently record (in simplistic terms) fifteen frames per second in a frame size of 320x240. Please feel free to correct me, if I am making no sense!
The camera has a built in lens cover which springs to action when you turn the power button on. When you press the OK button the options available are;
White balance (Auto, Sun, Cloud, Lightbulb, Flourescent),
How to explore these menus are as previously mentioned, using the circle and the OK button to select the option you require (this does take a little getting use to).
The camera comes with a 16mb XD memory card, I'd recommend upgrading this. It's a shame I don't take my own advice at times. If I did, I'd no longer be moaning about only fitting 16 photos onto the camera at parties or other events and having to save them onto my computer so often!
Try these places to buy additional memory:
The Mju has a 2x Optical zoom and a built in 4x Digital zoom, it is advised to use the optical zoom because of the poor quality when the zoom is used digitally.
The zoom function can be allocated on the camera, above the circular button, it features as a small rectangular shape and includes two letters, these are; W - T. There is also a picture of a magnifier under the T.
I'm quite pleased with the battery, it's a rechargeable lithium-ion battery LI-30B. You just sit the battery into the charger, plug the adapter into the wall and away it goes. Don't worry the charger comes with the camera when you buy it. The AC adapter is a D-7AC connected via power coupler. AC 100V - 240V, 50 - 60Hz; DC 4.8V. (I hope that makes more sense to you than it does to me!!).
You have probably already gathered my delight with this camera.
I like it because:
It's easy to use (really it is!!);
Navigation in a description/review can sound complicated unless you have the equipment in front of you.
The amount of features available:
I've had this camera for six months, perhaps longer and I'm still not competent with all the special things you can do with the Mju. Not because it's complicated (I'd be contradicting myself if that was the case) purely because I'm lazy. To be honest doing this review for Dooyoo has been an eye opener for me. It is not until you sit down and evaluate the device you are about to write about and realise how much detail as a consumer you miss out on because you just use the basic features. Most people buy a camera to take photos, going beyond that possibly means reading the manual (I don't do reading - not manuals any way!).
It looks good:
This is true, just as people buy the smallest, funkiest mobile phone. Digital cameras play an important role in street cred. When I went looking for camera I wanted something small, something 'different' and if I'm to be perfectly frank the actual specs of the camera was some thing I didn't even consider until the checkout process.
Viewing pictures is simple:
If I want to view/upload my pictures to my PC I just take the XD card out of the Camera and slot it into my Epson R300 printer. The printer picks the card up straight away (as long as it's switched on!) and will display the images on screen. However if you do not have one of these wonderful printers (Jots down next idea for a review) then you can use the usb cable supplied and upload your photos that way. You can install the enclosed software but this is not necessary as your computer should still recognize the hardware and allow you to view the photos (or perhaps I am just lucky?).
So finally, if you want a camera (that's digital) look no further. You may wonder why the price follows my conclusion, but in the whole scheme of things I consider the price to be quite reasonable - pictures of friends, family and memories are priceless!
Uh Oh the price!
Carmera Centre Cardiff
There are accessories available for the Mini Mju, so in case you are interested I have listed some of these below.
Tripod (the tripod mount is on the bottom of the camera).
Power Coupler BPC-01
Sandisk ImageMate 5-in-1 Reader
N.B In reference to my review I should have really called the 'wheel' a rotating dial. It would have made the description process a little less painful but I'm sure you'll forgive me (eventually!).
When I first saw this camera, admittedly on the advert, I instantly thought; 'Wow that looks really cool!' I later ventured into an electronics store, in search for a digital camera and once again stumbled across the mju mini digital. Seeing it close up, rather than just on images on computer and TV screens showed me the true beauty of this gadget.
Admittedly it is only 4 megapixels (a 5 megapixel version is also available now) and it only has 2x optical zoom but when it looks so good and is also so small and light it is perfect for me! I mainly use it for taking photos or videos of friends or family and its always on hand. In my opinion if you are looking for a camera for quick snaps for fun, that is also small and light enough to take anywhere then this is the camera for you.
Not only does this camera look cool, its also water resistant, a useful feature for anyome who likes the outdoors!
This camera comes supplied with a battery, charger, Olympus master cd (the program used to upload photos) and a 16mb xd memory card (very small but xd memory cards are easy to find)
Pros: it looks really cool, its really small, it has a hard cover for the lens, it has lots of pre-defined scene settings,easy to transfer files to pc, good quality screen.
Cons: no viewfinder, only 2x optical zoom, only 4 megapixels
I love this camera to bits and its one of the gadgets i always have on me.
I was given this camera, second hand, as a birthday present and I've been happy with it. It has a few faults, but then what camera doesn't? I'm not a great photographer. I take pictures of my friends at parties and events or different places when I go somewhere new. I imagine my style of photography is very similar to a large number of people; you point the camera, press a button and expect to get a decent photo out of it.
I'd had my previous camera ages and it was also second hand. That was one of the early digital cameras. While the Olympus mju Mini has its drawbacks, I still prefer to use it than the old one.
~~~ Appearance ~~~
The camera is pretty small and fits easily into my handbag, or even my jeans' pocket! I think the main point in its favour is its size, since its so much easier to carry around than the brick I used to use. It's not too heavy and it doesn't get in the way. Its shaped is very rounded, which helps when I shoved it in my pocket because it doesn't dig in at all. The shape is slightly non-rectangular. The right hand side, looking at the front of the camera, leans slightly, which is a little weird but not too ugly.
Most of the back is taken up with the camera's screen, so you can get a good look at all your photos.
I don't go for a camera because of its aesthetics, but I have no complaints about the appearance of the Olympus mju. Mine's a nice, silver colour, but there are other colours available, including black, blue and gold.
~~~ Ease of Use ~~~
I've found this camera to be very easy to use. The power button is labelled "power" in nice, clear letters. The button for taking photos is obvious. There's a little wheel on the top left (again, looking at the camera from the front) which you use to switch between modes: photo, film and view. The icons on the wheel are clear, there's a picture of a camera for photos, a film camera for taking films and a green play symbol to look at what you've taken. I picked up the camera and started using it without even a glance in the direction of the manual.
The zoom in and out buttons are on the back of the camera, again obviously labelled with little magnifying glass icons. It's a 2x zoom, which is pretty standard. To the left of the screen is the quick view button. This lets you see several photos on the screen at once, instead of having to scroll through all of them.
On the bottom right, at the back of the camera, are most of the controls for options. There's a little, circular "OK" button, with another circle of buttons around it, which can be clicked left, right, up and down. Right, labelled with a lightning bolt, gives you flash options: on, off, auto or red-eye. Down gives you the timer, shown by a circle that might, just about, resemble a clock. The timer only has two settings, on and off. If you turn the timer on and then press the photo button you have about ten seconds until the camera starts beeping, at which point you have about two seconds before the picture gets taken. The button the left, labelled with a flower, gives you something. I'm not certain what it does. The top button lets you select what type of photo you're taking, night scene, portrait etc. and changes the settings automatically to suit.
Taking films is as easy as pictures. If the camera's on film mode, press the photo button to start and press it again to finish. Simple as that. You can play films back on the camera, complete with sound.
~~~ What it comes with ~~~
A Wrist strap. Mine's white, I don't know if the colour's standard. It's smooth, so it doesn't hurt your wrist and it's nice and sturdy.
An Olympus 16Mb xD Card. This really isn't a great deal of memory. I got a new memory card for it, because the one that came with the camera doesn't hold many pictures, not if you want high quality ones at any rate.
An Olympus Li-30B Li-Ion Rechargeable battery and battery charger. The camera only works with the standard battery that comes with it. I imagine this could cause problems if the battery is lost or broken, unlike other cameras where normal AA will suffice. Still, I've not had a problem so far. The charger is pretty efficient, with an LED to show you when it's charging and when it's finished.
A USB Cable and an AV Cable so the camera can be connected to a computer or TV. I've not tried linking it to the TV, but I've not had any problems with computer connection.
A Software CD-ROM (Olympus Master 1.1). I've not used this at all. I just plugged the camera in and could get the photos straight off it.
Manual. Maybe I should have a look at this. I might actually find out what the flower button does
I think, if you buy it new, you get a warranty with it. That may depend on the shop. As I said, mine was second hand as a present, so I didn't get a warranty.
~~~ Downloading photos ~~~
Downloading photos to the computer was easy. You flip open one side of the camera (it's the only bit that opens, you can't go wrong) and stick one end of the cable into the only slot that's the right size. Actually, if the battery's in, there's only one place you can stick the cable. The other end goes into the USB port on your computer.
At this point, the screen on the camera lights up and asks if you're connecting to a PC or a printer. I frequently forget this happens and wonder why my computer's not detecting the camera. Oops.
If you have a photo printer, you should be able to print the pictures straight off without an intermediate computer. I don't have a photo printer, so I can't comment on how easy this is. I imagine it would depend on what printer you have.
Once the camera is connected to the computer, I can open up a folder and just copy the pictures and videos straight into My Pictures, or anywhere else on the computer. I don't know what's in the software, since I can do everything I want with my camera without installing anything on the computer whatsoever.
~~~ Improvements on my Old Camera ~~~
The size. It's up there in the title of the product: this camera is mini. It's about 9cm x 6cm x 3 cm. These sizes are approximate, since the shape isn't cuboid and the edges are all rounded. It fits nicely in one hand, can go in a pocket and doesn't weight too much in a bag, 115g. This is really the major plus as far as I'm concerned.
The lens cap. The lens cap is built into the camera. When you turn it on, the cap whizzes to one side inside the machine. My old camera, the cap was something you put on manually, which meant it was forever falling off when my camera was in the bag.
The screen is a little bit bigger, 3.8cm x 2.9cm. This is also makes it possible to look at multiple pictures at once and still work out what's going on. Actually, my old camera didn't have the multi-picture view option anyway.
Films. My old camera was strictly a photo only camera. I don't take many films, but I have a couple of short ones and it's nice for the option to be there.
~~~ Downsides to the Camera ~~~
The viewer. There isn't one. I like having a viewer to look through when using a camera. There are two reasons. The first is that using a viewer instead of the screen means that the battery lasts longer. The second is that it's much easier to hold a camera steady if it's up against your face than if it's held somewhere out in front of you while you try to see the screen. Most of the time, this isn't a problem, but if you want to take night shots or pictures with a long exposure time, they're going to get a bit fuzzy and shaky.
You can't get the memory card out without taking the battery out. This isn't much of an issue, since I connect to my computer with the cable, but if you use a card-reader I imagine this would get very annoying quite quickly.
~~~ Durability ~~~
I mentioned right at the start that this camera was second hand. I can't comment on how well the previous owner looked after it, but it's still in perfect condition. I don't go around dropping the camera onto concrete to test how well a camera lasts, but it's survived me as an owner for several months, so that must say something about its reliability. I've climbed trees with this camera in my pocket, I've shoved it in my handbag that then dumped the bag around the place, I've taken part in a photo scavenger hunt that involved lots of racing around, and the camera is still in perfect working order.
I know a couple of people with Nikon cameras (different cameras, but similar), where the bit that holds the battery in snapped off for no reason in barely any time at all. You can be pretty certain that the Olympus will last better than those.
I have not a single word to say against the durability of the Olympus mju mini.
~~~ Photo Quality ~~~
The only complaint about the quality of my photos would be the skill of the person behind the lens!
I take photos in high quality, and think they live up to that description. Nice, clear images, except for night shots. If you expect to take photos in low lighting, I would seriously recommend getting a tripod. There's a hole at the bottom of the camera where you can attach a tripod (I think most cameras have this). I find it hard to hold the camera steady enough to get a good photo at night.
In good lighting, or if the camera's on a steady surface, the pictures come out brilliantly.
~~~ Price ~~~
I got this camera without paying a penny for it, but that's not helpful to you, so I've had a browse round to find out prices. While, this is the section of the review that will go out of date quickest, at least you can see whereabouts it is compared to other cameras.
The Olympus is available from the Apple Store at £199. Pricerunner.co.uk has it for £136.52 from Infotech Systems. Looking at pricerunner.co.uk, most other cameras from Olympus comes between about £145 and £300, but there is one for £89.89.
Compared to cameras of other makes, it doesn't do too badly. It's certainly not the cheapest out there, but it's good qualities should make up for that. Considering there are cameras out there with only 1x zoom that are a lot bulkier and heavier selling for £699, I think the Olympus mju mini is pretty reasonable. You will be able to find cheaper cameras, but they probably wouldn't last as long as this one.
~~~ Overall ~~~
I would absolutely recommend it. Really, the only drawback to this camera is the lack of a viewer, but I know some people always use the screen anyway when they have a digital camera. If you're looking for a digital camera, you could do an awful lot worse than this one.
Great pictures, easy to use and a long-lasting camera. What more do you need?
What can I say? Its individual design, small price tag and great picture quality have all made this the camera of my dreams!
The design itself is so unique that it has won awards (not sure which, read it on Olympus' site) and the full metal body were two requirements that needed to be met before I purchased a camera recently. I like the fact that it is black and not the standard silver that is smart, but too familiar. The full metal body and 'weatherproof' casing make this digital device suitable for use in all conditions (nearly).
The price, when I bought it in March, was about £130, a bargain for 5MP and optical zoom. Cameras of a similar calibre could have set me back almost £250!! However, now the price may have risen, I don't know.
The 5MP camera really does live up to expectation. Although not providing pictures as crystal clear as those from a higher standard 7 or 8 megapixel camera, this little gadget gives pictures of the highest quality that can be expected from a 5MP camera. Now you may say "Well of course" but this is not the case. Some cameras claim themselves as say 4MP but the standard it takes pictures at could be 3MP.
The zoom on this camera is excellent for my needs. True, it doesn't zoom in so far you can see someones nose-hair, but in all honesty why would you want to??? it only goes to 2x optical zoom, when most cameras go to 3x, but this isn't a drawback at all, as I find it OK to use like this anyway.
The size!! The size is something that originally drew my attention to it! It's so small!!! Now, this could be good or bad depending on who you are, but its so small it could fit in your back pocket! On the other hand it's not that small that it could be easily lost, like some mobile phones invented in the past.
The only disadvantage that springs to mind is the fact that the quality of picture is much lower in low lighting. NOT BEING A VERY TECHNICAL PERSON this is probably because there is some kind of setting I haven't gotten around to discovering for this situation yet.
The other settings, like flash/ no flash etc. are easy to find and adjust, even for those of us who have more than once gone within 5 feet of a computer just to watch it explode in front of you! (only joking, but it really is a miracle I managed to navigate the computer enough to find this website AND manage to find a way to sign up and get to this point without something going seriously wrong or me banging my head against the desk...) So really, THIS CAMERA IS SUITABLE FOR BEGINNERS AND EXPERTS ALIKE as if both myself and my brother (a self-proclaimed tekkie) can use it without finding it exasperatingly too difficult/ easy to use, then it really is suitable for anyone.
With the travelling that I do these days I would not be without my trusty camera to record the events of everyday moments in time. To keep a record of all those colourful images that the minds album, even through my ageing eyes, stores up but lets them slowly fade away over time. Ugly, cumbersome, heavy, large and quite fragile are just some of the words I would use to describe cameras in general use at one time in the past but not anymore, they have come a long way forward since then. The new µ [mju:]-mini Digital S from Olympus is the one that I will review at this time, I bought it for the wife but I'm the one that uses it most of the time. Firstly I will give you a brief history of the Olympus company, they formed in 1919 and they started by making microscopes and thermometers. In 1936 the first Olympus camera called Semi-Olympus I was unveiled and then again in 1948 when Japan's first 35mm camera with a lens shutter system was introduced called the Olympus 35 I. In the 1950's saw the introduction of a Gastrocamera, a biological microscope and the Olympus Pen half-frame camera.
They have been involved in dozens of groundbreaking innovations since then, especially in the medical world, but have become well known world wide for the design, production and supply of top quality cameras. I have always had an Olympus camera, and others as well, but this latest one seems to have it all even though it is small it is packed with so much you just wonder where they put it all. In 1991 the first µ [mju:] (Stylus) camera became available this was designed to fit cosily into one hand, be lightweight and be fully automatic. It was not long before this type of camera became a best seller and then in 2004 the µ mini Digital, at 4.0 million pixels, was launched closely followed by the µ [mju:]-mini Digital S, at 5.0 million pixels, which won the TIPA 'Best Innovative Design' award for 2005. The µ [mju:]-mini Digital S from Olympus comes in five shiny colours which are Lagoon Blue, Enamel Black, Liquid Silver, Gloss Beige and Pearl Pink the latter being the one we have. The price is £139.99 delivery free from Cameras2u.com as of the third week of February 2006.
It's sleek, slim and stylish design fits snugly into the palm of your hand and only weighs 115g (without the battery) it has a weather-proof compact designed body and they boast that it is crafted from a single sheet of metal, a process that is exclusive to them. The lens itself retracts into the camera and hides behind a fully automated lens barrier thats slides across the hole which then lies flush with the face of this very smooth lined camera. The box contents include a wrist strap that is easily fitted to the camera, you get a LI-30B Lithium ion battery and a LI-30C Battery Charger the charger usually is an extra but not in this kit, a 16MB xD-Picture Card, USB Cable, AV Cable, Software CD-ROM (Olympus Master) this is a really good program to put on your PC, the Instruction Manual and a 2 year warranty card normally you only get one years warranty. You will find that the xD Picture memory card supplied will not be big enough if you are taking lots of pictures so my advice would be to buy larger memory formats of say 512MB priced at £27 approximately from Amazon ASIN: (B00012KBVK).
We also bought a spare battery from Amazon (ASIN: B0007LFU70) at £26 that we keep charged up and ready. When you get your new camera the battery will need to be charged up and this will take three and a half to four hours initially and then only two and a half hours to three all the times after that. The battery does not need to be fully discharged before you recharge you can charge it up anytime and as many as 300-500 times. Any custom camera settings that you have made and saved, and if you have set the onboard clock, will be safe for up to one day after removing the battery so you have plenty of time to charge your battery and replace it. You can always check the power left in your battery by watching out for the battery symbol on the display at the back of the camera. The battery compartment is at one end of the camera and is accessible by pressing and holding a button whilst lifting the compartment cover upwards, the battery snaps into place only when inserted properly. In this compartment you will find the memory card holder.
Fold back the hinged memory card cover towards you and then slide in the memory card the right way up until it clicks into place then fold the cover back and close the compartment cover. I must mention that you can record videos with sound on this camera, which is a brilliant extra feature that we have had a lot of fun with, the length of the video you take is really determined by the size of your xD-Picture memory card, so obviously the bigger the better. Every time you take a picture you will see a memory gauge on the LCD display this tells you that it is being recorded onto your picture card, the gauge will be fully lit if you have just taken several pictures fairly quick this means you should wait until the indicator turns off again before taking anymore. The number of pictures that you can store on a 16 MB xD-Picture Card depends on your settings, the lowest being (image size) 640x480 =90 frames, 1024x 768=58 frames, 1280x960=38 frames, 1600x1200=24 frames, 2048x1536 20 frames and 2560x1920=13 frames in HQ Mode or 4 frames in SHQ Mode.
Recording a movie with sound in HQ Mode, with an image size of 320x240= (15 frames/sec.), is 41 seconds on a 16MB Picture card or 1 minute 45 seconds in SQ Mode with an image size of 160x120= (15 frames/sec.). So if you do decide to get a larger memory card these figures do go up significantly. Turning on the camera is a doddle, on top of the camera there is a multi function mode dial you will need to set this to the picture of a camera and then press the power switch, thats it now the lens pops out and the screen/monitor lights up. The screen will show the battery check indicator and what shooting mode you are set on and it will display the amount of pictures you have left to take depending on what image size setting you are on. There is a sleep mode that automatically puts the camera to sleep after three minutes of inactivity and can be reactivates as soon as you press the shutter button. After fifteen minutes in the sleep mode the lens retracts and the camera turns off, you will need to turn the camera on again to use it.
The lens is a bit more complicated and technical to describe so for this reason I shall be brief. It has a 2x optical zoom and 1x - 4x Digital zoom or when these two are combined then this will be 8x. Focal length ranges from 5.8 - 11.6mm with a maximum aperture of 1:35 (wide) - 4.9 (tele). Focusing is auto with contrast detection and the scale of focusing in the Standard mode is 0.5m - infinity and 0.2m - infinity in Macro mode, in Super Macro mode you can take very close up pictures from 8cm away. Shutter speed 1/2 - 1/1000 sec (night scene 4 sec), Sensitivity in auto ISO 64 - 400 (640 for indoor and candle shooting), in Manual ISO 64, 100, 200, 400. There are fourteen scene programmes, Portrait, Night Scene, Night scene with Portrait, Self Portrait, Self Portrait with Self Timer, Beach and Snow, Cuisine, Indoor, Landscape, Landscape with Portrait, Behind Glass, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks). Image processing is TruePic TURBO, pixel mapping, noise reduction. Function shooting 2 in 1 function, panorama function.
On the back of the camera is the very impressive 4.6cm / 1.8" TFT colour LCD screen (134,000 pixels), this one is not an ordinary LCD screen but one that uses HyperCrystal LCT technology. This display allows you to view the image that you are wanting to capture from almost any angle within 160 degrees and without having to move the camera about, up and down and side to side, you can see the perfect image even in really bad conditions like sunshine and bright snowy or icy conditions. When you turn on the camera for the very first time you will be prompted to set the time and date and the option of changing the language settings, by default this was already set to English. Also on the back cover is a quick view button for viewing your last picture taken or for viewing any that are on your memory card all this is achieved by using the arrows on the Scene Key button, the up and down arrows give you ten pictures back or forward, and the left and right arrows gives you the previous or next picture in the display.
The fourteen scene programmes do make taking your snaps a cinch under all differing conditions from ski-ing to water sports or from romantic meals to snowboarding or even surfing. They even make snorkelling possible by using the Outdoor Case that they sell as an optional extra this protects the camera to a depth of three metres. What I like about the μ-mini Digital S camera is that many of the functions can be operated or adjusted manually, this making you believe that you are in total control. One of the many functions allows you to edit your images directly in the camera letting you choose from different effects such as Fish Eye or Soft Focus. The Exposure compensation function lets you make fine changes to the exposure setting in the range of plus or minus 2.0 in one third steps. Once you have made these changes you can check out the results on the monitor. I will give you a brief example, bright subjects like snow sometimes turns out darker but by adjusting the exposure towards the plus sign this will bring the subject closer to their real shades.
They even suggest that adjusting the exposure in this manual manner may give you better results in some instances. The Calendar Display function is very handy indeed it puts all your images in order of date taken and displays them by monthly calendar format. Other settings on the Scene menu consist of setting the flash mode, taking close-up pictures or using the self-timer. Printing off your images can be done easily either by taking your memory card to a photo processing shop or one of the new self printing booths that are popping up around the country in shopping malls, by pc, using the supplied software that comes with the camera or by PictBridge. This method uses the camera as a USB device by connecting it to a remote or portable photo printer that acts as the host via a USB cable. I like to put all my pictures on my computer and then burn them to CD first and then print them out so I have always got plenty of copies. Installing the Olympus Manual and Master Software that comes with the camera is a must do.
This software helps you organise and manage all of your images downloaded from your camera, by selecting slideshow you can browse through your images or movies and playback the sound as well. You can make Panoramic images that you have taken in panorama mode, and the software lets you edit your images either by rotating, trimming or changing the size before you print them out. The Olympus Master software also contains the user registration which allows you to register the camera online if you so wish, you will then receive information on software and firmware updates as and when available from Olympus. Overall I give this camera a ten out of ten I would definitely recommend it to you all. You may prefer a different colour, as I do even though it's not mine, but be assured different colours work just the same. Sometimes you may find that this camera comes under the heading of Stylus Verve S rather than the µ [mju:]-mini Digital S this is because they use that name in America the Stylus Verve S that is.
This sleek designed camera is one of those gadgets that you want to have, like the iPod. Although it has a fairly small number of pixels, the quality is almost unbeatable.
For a small price, this camera packs a large 8x digital zoom and a 2x optical zoom which maintain the quality when enlarged.The LCD is cool, and the menu is incredibly simple to use. Even as a beginner like me you will find no trouble using it. When lightly pressing down the button, the picture focuses untill you press it harder and it will then capture it.
Not only has it got a stunning design and a wide variety of modes (portrait, night scene, cuisine, behind glass, indoor, sunset firework and about 10 more)it also records videos. Unfortunately this a weak feature for the "Olympus µ[MJU:] mini " because its capability at saving is around 15 minutes on my 512mb xD picture card, the good news is, this is only one of about two disadvantages this camera carries. The other being the incapibility of taking picture fast.
After taking the photo, you are able to apply modes like, fish eye, sepia and red eye reduction which failed to impress me.
The camera is light and despite its odd, but original shape, the Olympus µ[MJU:] mini is easy to hold.
Overall the camera has a decent picture quality, complex but easy to use menu, great accessiblity to the computer, helpful software, fair price, but in places it is glitchy.
I recommend this camera to beginners and people who just want to get the feel of photography.
O.K. I admit it...I'm a technophobe, so you can imagine how I felt when told that my beloved Olympus camera had gone to the great camera heaven forever but that I could buy the same camera
only in digital format. Wahoo (I don't think) but as I needed a camera for my holiday which is only 2 weeks away WAHOO (and I really mean it this time) I felt I had no choice and, with that in mind, I hot-footed it back home.
Firstly, I set about getting as much information as I could from the net, so I smurfed and smurfed and after a long deliberation homed in on the Olympus mini mju (pronounced mew) which is the Greek symbol for 'small'. I found that these cameras could be found in most of the High Street shops at varying prices from £174.99 at Dixons to £199.89 at Currys and a range of other prices around the same mark.
I then decided to do my shopping online and hoped for a better discount. Again, I found quite a broad spectrum of prices with reconditioned mju's on E-bay for £120.00 to Empire stores offering new at £299.89 and a lot of prices in between, again. I settled on the best price I could get which was FotoSENCE Ltd in Bolton. Although they are an internet shop you can actually go to their premises and pick up your camera thereby saving postage. I bought my Olympus mini mju 5 mega-pixel Pink Camera for £154.99 and was very pleased.
(On the internet FotoSENCE can be found under their trade name.)
A gorgeous, pearly, metallic PINK Olympus mini mju.
A Wrist strap.
An Olympus 16Mb xD Card
An Olympus Li-30B Li-Ion Rechargeable battery
An Olympus Battery Charger Li-30C
A USB Cable and an AV Cable (for connection to a computer and TV respectively)
A Software CD-ROM (Olympus Master 1.1)
UK Manuals & A 2 year Warranty
Excellent question. As I have already said, I am a technophobe, but I was pleasantly surprised, because instead of having to plead with one of the offspring not to get annoyed because "I JUST DONT GET IT!!!" I actually found it was easy. Did Olympus know they were dealing with a blonde or am I getting better? I wondered!
The basic manual is only 30 pages long and is easy peasy to read. After charging the battery up, which only took an amazing 120 minutes, I loaded the xD card which is woefully small at only 16Mb. I bought a 256Mb card on line for £19.99 + £1.50 p&p from Digiprint UK. I also purchased another battery for £12.95 at the same time but, for the purpose of trying out the camera, I used the 16Mb one.
As you may or may not know, the higher the resolution (or quality) of the picture the fewer photographs can be stored. On this camera using the included 16Mb card High Quality is 13 pictures or 41 seconds of movie with sound. Low Quality is 90 pictures and 1 minute 45 seconds of movie with sound.
On a fully charged battery you should get around 90 minutes of normal use but if you use flash, zoom or repeatedly view your pictures it will run out more quickly which is why I purchased a spare battery.
I pressed the power button, which is located on the top, and immediately the little round door at the front shot open and out came the lens. The screen at the back, which is 4.6cm, and is a special crystal on which you can see subjects even in strong sunlight, lit up and I focused on the dog and got a lovely picture which is now my screensaver. On the top of the camera there is also a wheel. When this is turned it sets the camera up to take stills or movie clips WITH SOUND!! (How cool!!) When this is turned all the way round you can view all your photos and if you are not happy with any then they can be deleted quite easily by pressing the OK button. This is in the middle of the large round button situated at the bottom of the camera on the right. It has four symbols on it with OK in the middle. Uppermost is "Scene" which lets you select the best setting for the photo you want to take. On the left is the macro setting. On the right is flash and red eye. At the bottom is the menu navigation button. Above this is a small circle of holes, which is the speaker. Above this is the zoom. Press right for zoom in and left to zoom out. On the left of the screen is Quick view, which allows you to see the photo you have just taken without going into the menu. This camera is also Pictbridge compatible... which means with a compatible printer you can print photographs directly from your camera.
I have tried to make this easy to understand but for those of you with a good knowledge of cameras I will give the technical information.
(Those of a nervous disposition skip this next bit...)
The camera measures 9cm by 5.5cm by 2.3cm.
2x optical zoom (equiv. 35 - 70mm on 35mm camera), 1:3.5-4.9 plus 4x digital zoom for combined magnification power of 8x zoom
4.6cm/1.8'' HyperCrystal LCD (134,000 pixels) with 160° viewing angles on both the vertical and horizontal axis
14 scene programmes including portrait, beach & snow, sunset
Still image editing functions including fish-eye and soft focus modes
Movie recording function with sound
Super Macro mode from as close as 8cm
ISO adjustable (64, 100, 200 & 400)
PictBridge support and TruePic TURBO image processor
Shipped with 16MB xD-Picture Card, rechargeable lithium-ion battery (Li-30B) and charger, USB/AV cable and Olympus Master 1.1 software
I would recommend this camera to anyone, who, like me, is still finding his or her way around digital imagery. I love this neat attractive little piece of kit and whilst I am not going to win any awards for my photography it will give some wonderful memories to treasure. After all, isn't that what we all want
Great pocket rocket.
This camera fits snugly into a handbag, or pocket, and can pulled out, switched on, used and back into the bag almost unnoticed. It is built into what the manufacturer claims to be a weatherproof case which we have found makes it very durable when fighting for space in the bottom of my wifes handbag with the mobile phone, the car keys and a number of other sharp hard objects.
When used at more formal functions its colour, there are around five nice colours to choose from, and stylish shape makes it far less obtrusive and people dont seem to mind having the photograph taken with it, in fact its shape and colour becomes a talking point. Further, the rounded shape allows easier retrieval and storage from and into its supplied black pouch, it just slips out and back in without corners snagging.
The ease of operation is very favourable especially the twist control from still to movie then to view modes. This control can be easily felt without the need to visible search for it. The 2xoptical zoom is good for such a small camera but the digital zoom, like most is not worthy of note, better to take a good shot with optical zoom and enlarge after downloading. Four megapixel is a good balanced size and the software is excellent.
Features are probably the same as most modern digital cameras at this price, I particularly like to panorama-mode which allows for shots to be stitched together using the software. Downloads are placed into a calendar format which makes filing and retrieval a breeze. The software also permits keywords to be added for various forms of retrieval.
A very easy user-friendly camera for all round family/holiday photography. For best viewing on a computer I have found Windows Picture and Fax Viewer a little more satisfactory than the provided software, but that may be just a personal preference of mine.
A great birthday/christmas present for spouse/child.