Olympus mju mini Digital | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
The Olympus Mju mini Digital is a camera with the emphasis on simplicity of operation. Turning the command dial on top of the camera to the Record mode, more settings become available. The record mode, as the word implicates, is the setting in which one can take pictures. In general a fine result is achieved by the camera's automatic white balance. The colour rendition in the automatic mode is warm and of such good quality you don't get the feeling that you have to switch over to the manual mode. This is perfect while the camera's target group is the photographer who wants to use as less settings as possible and who wants to take pictures in a carefree way. However, one who wants to control the white balance by himself can make a choice from auto, daylight, clouds, fluorescent or incandescent. The exposure of the camera is also completely automatic and can be set by choosing Digital ESP or spot metering. In general the first mentioned functions excellent. It is possible to carry out a manual exposure correction in 1/3 step with a value of 2EV plus and minus.
It is possible to choose a resolution from a number of them through the menu on the back of the camera. Personally I don't see why to avoid the high resolutions, unless you absolutely don't want to make any prints. The image quality can be adjusted through the level of compression (SHQ Super High Quality and HQ High Quality) and the resolution (2272x1704, 2048x1536 en 640x480). The MJU-mini performs well in the resolution test. The camera doesn't belong to the best amongst the 4 Megapixel cameras as for detail on the amount of lines per mm, but still performs well. At the same time we detect a distortion in wide-angle, something we would not expect to find. By zooming in a little it disappears and the optical zoom performs excellent.
The Olympus Mju mini Digital can't be called a speed monster, but to be honest we don't expect that from such a camera. However, capturing the first image and storing happens rather fast. Also activating the camera in less then 2 seconds is quicker than average. The built-in large buffer (7 images) needs a rather long time span to get completely emptied, around 10 seconds. You have to wait while it's emptying it, before the lens can be completely covered. Reproduction of a stored image happens quickly, around 1.5 second, on the other hand we find the time the camera needs to show a just captured picture on the display rather slow, 5,5 seconds. The speed the camera needs to capture a series of images with a maximum of 7 images per second, is approximately 1.2 images per second. The Mju-mini may not be an outstanding speed monster, but on other points it scores surprisingly high.
ISO values can be set to a sensitivity of ISO64, 100, 200, or 400. Striking is the perfect noise ratio at ISO100 and 200, less perfect at ISO64, and rather annoying at ISO400. The high ISO rates are comfortable to use, but at images with large areas one can recognise the noise immediately. Still one must realise that the reproduction of an ISO400 image on a screen or the same image on a print on paper can be completely different. The print will deliver surprisingly good results and will show a different image than the reproduction on a screen!
Very nice is the possibility to take panoramic images. It's a shame Olympus still hasn't changed the fact that this function is only possible when using an xD Picture memory card. At this moment it's no big deal, only Fujifilm and Olympus deliver these memory cards, however, once other manufacturers are allowed to deliver these memory cards, it might be beneficial to the price. In any way it remains a very interesting function with which superb results can be achieved. Activating the function lets the user take 10 images on a row and have them glued together through this panorama function.
Although the settings of the Olympus might seem restricted to the demanding photographer, they are in perfect balance for those photographers who want ease and user friendliness from a camera.