Olympus Mju 700 - Compact design digital camera
With the Olympus Mju 700, Olympus offers high resolution to consumers in search of a user friendly, compact design camera. 7.1 Megapixels is a lot for the average consumer and I suspect this has more to do with 'the more pixels, the better the picture' feeling than with the number of pixels that are actually necessary. Of course, you can say this about most compact digital cameras. Occasionally, I see a manufacturer heading in a different direction and improving the quality of the pixels. Strangely enough some of these are not traditional camera manufacturers!
Olympus Mju 700 - 7,1 Megapixels & ISO values
The image resolution of 7.1 Megapixels is more than enough to allow users to make photo realistic prints. In addition to this, creative photographers will soon see the added value and start working with enlargements of a crop and other finishing processes. The high image resolution on a small format image sensor has consequences for pixel size; they keep getting smaller which results in constant pressure on the quality of the noise ratio. Olympus clearly sees added value in the 800 ISO and higher values, even if only to provide a foundation for digital image stabilisation. Throughout the test, I was happy with pictures up to 400 ISO, but the 800 ISO and above could have been chucked in the bin as far as I was concerned.
Olympus Mju 700 camera - Image stabilisation
Image stabilisation is always welcome, but when you compare this to the competing cameras on the market, you see that models with optical image stabilisation have a big advantage. This system works the best, something that works to the Olympus Mju 700's disadvantage. Olympus has taken the first step by recognising the added value of image stabilisation in a compact digital camera. If the next generation of compact digital cameras from Olympus have optical image stabilisation, the journey will be complete.
Olympus Mju 700 camera - Image quality
The Olympus Mju 700 gives you good image quality, the colour reproduction is fine and the user friendly operation is a joy to experience. The quality of the automatic white balance pictures is very good and hardly need to be corrected. The integrated pre-programmed scène modes make it much easier to take complicated pictures. The built-in Help function in particular is a welcome alternative to ploughing through an instruction manual.
Olympus Mju 700 - Fantastic snapshot digital camera
Anyone with an eye for design looking for a digital camera that will let them take high resolution snapshots with ease will be able to get along with the Olympus Mju 700. It's an attractive looking camera and I've got sweet memories of the user friendly operation, but I expect more from Olympus. I expect more innovation from a manufacturer that has been at the forefront of photography for many years. A lot of time and money has been put into Olympus's digital reflex series, but the compact camera division seems to be lagging behind. The competition has shown that there are many more innovative possibilities for standing out in this large market. However, the Olympus Mju 700 does what it is good at. It is a stylish looking camera, easy to use and gives good picture quality; a fantastic camera for taking snapshots!
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xD Picture flash memory card
Different versions of the xD Picture flash memory card have come on the market recently. Not only the storage capacity is different, but the speeds with which the card can store or read data also vary. Take the M and H version of SanDisk where the speeds are 10 and 20MB/sec respectively. Olympus has since introduced the Hi-Speed 1GB version, equivalent to that of the fast SanDisk H variety. In practice the 256MB and larger storage capacities from, for example, Fujifilm were all quicker than standard, although little was said about this. The Olympus xD Picture memory card also gives you the exclusive Olympus panorama function. In short, there's confusion all around and so it is time to formulate a standard list of speeds for this small card.
Considering a storage capacity of 512MB:
Resolution SHQ - 3072 x 2304 pixels - 144 pictures
Resolution SHQ - 3072 x 2304 pixels - with sound - 144 pictures
Resolution HQ - 3072 x 2304 pixels - 292 pictures
Resolution HQ - 3072 x 2304 pixels - with sound - 284 pictures
Resolution SQ1 - 2560 x 1920 pixels - 420 pictures
Resolution SQ1 - 2560 x 1920 pixels - with sound - 408 pictures
Resolution SQ1 - 2304 x 1728 pixels - 512 pictures
Resolution SQ1 - 2304 x 1728 pixels - with sound - 496 pictures
Resolution SQ1 - 2048 x 1536 pixels - 652 pictures
Resolution SQ1 - 2048 x 1536 pixels - with sound - 624 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 1600 x 1200 pixels - 786 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 1600 x 1200 pixels - with sound - 740 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 1280 x 960 pixels - 1228 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 1280 x 960 pixels - with sound - 1140 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 1024 x 768 pixels - 1876 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 1024 x 768 pixels - with sound - 1680 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 640 x 480 pixels - 2904 pictures
Resolution SQ2 - 640 x 480 pixels - with sound - 2456 pictures
Video resolution - SHQ - 640 x 480 pixels - 15fps - 448 min
Video resolution - HQ - 320 x 240 pixels - 15fps - 1332 min
Video resolution - SQ - 160 x 120 pixels - 15fps - 3392 min