Olympus Mju 790 SW digital compact camera
The Olympus Mju 790 SW is a handy camera to always carry with you. The camera's shockproof and waterproof features make the camera stand out from the crowd. When you are aware of these features you tend to use the camera in a casual manner. Place it on a table with the risk of it dropping? No problem. Put it in a glass of water just for fun, no problem either. The Olympus Mju 790 SW isn't likely to fail you!
Olympus Stylus 790 SW - Handy Guide function
But success needs a lot more than the above mentioned features. The compact camera should be user-friendly and easy to carry with you. And on these subjects the Mju 790 SW passes with flying colours. The menu is well-structured and offers fast navigation. The built-in Guide function is a blessing for those who haven't the faintest idea of photography or anything related to shooting. You just tell the camera the end result you want to obtain and the camera adjusts automatically, very handy!
Olympus 790 SW - Zoom & Image quality
Still there are some minus points after the extensive testing I did. The Olympus Mju 790 SW is scarcely equipped with a 3x optical zoom without wide angle mode. The competition uses a 3.6 and higher zoom factor, mostly starting from 28mm. For me, the lack of a good wide angle is unacceptable. It is not done nowadays. Also the strongly apparent signal/noise ratio when using ISO 400 and up is a pity. I cannot believe Olympus couldn't do better here.
Olympus 790 SW - Recommended for a specific target group
Looking at the Mju 790 SW overall performance we are satisfied. I can imagine that the Olympus Mju 790 SW will do perfect for an active target group. This group highly appreciates the typical features that distinguish the Mju 790SW from the competition. And to be honest, I can quite understand that. For me a compact camera means: ease, usefulness and effortlessly taking snapshots. The Olympus Mju 790 SW will take on this role without a problem. I would recommend the Olympus Mju 790 SW for this specific target group. If however you want to dive deeper into photography you might want to take a look at the SP560 that Olympus offer.
Olympus Mju 790 SW - xD picture memory card
Since we're at it anyway, the upcoming period seems to become a very difficult one for the xD card. Almost every compact camera, with the exception of Sony and shortly Fujifilm, are using the SD platform. Even Fujifilm have equipped some of their cameras with a dual card slot to support SD and xD cards. Officially to make the switch from one brand to an xD camera flawless but it makes you wonder. The xD Picture Card is available with many speeds and capacities. Up to 2GB is on hand now and even capacities up to 8GB are possible. I am curious to see if such a capacity will come available in 2008. In any case you will need an additional card to shoot with the Mju 790 SW and let's say 3 roll films for 36 pictures (who would still remember them?) would require 512MB of storage capacity at the minimum. Personally I'd go for a capacity of 1GB.
Considering 1GB storage capacity:
Resolution 3072x2304 pixels - SHQ - JPEG - with sound - 292 pictures
Resolution 3072x2304 - SHQ - JPEG - without sound - 294 pictures
Resolution 3072x2304 pixels - HQ - JPEG - with sound - 576 pictures
Resolution 3072x2304 pixels - HQ - JPEG - without sound - 586 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 pixels - SQ1 - JPEG - with sound - 820 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 pixels - SQ1 - JPEG - without sound - 841 pictures
Resolution 2304x1728 pixels - SQ1 - JPEG - with sound - 999 pictures
Resolution 2304x1728 - SQ1 - JPEG - without sound - 1031 pictures
Resolution 2048x1536 pixels - SQ1 - JPEG - with sound - 1254 pictures
Resolution 2048x1536 - SQ1 - JPEG - without sound - 1305 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 pixels - SQ2 - JPEG - with sound - 1487 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 - SQ2 - JPEG - without sound - 1560 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 pixels - SQ2 - JPEG - with sound - 2284 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 pixels - SQ2 - JPEG - without sound - 2460 pictures
Resolution 1024x768 pixels - SQ2 - JPEG - with sound - 3366 pictures
Resolution 1024x768 pixels - SQ2 - JPEG - without sound - 3762 pictures
Resolution 640x480 pixels - SQ2 - JPEG - with sound - 4920 pictures
Resolution 640x480 pixels - SQ2 - JPEG - without sound - 5815 pictures
Resolution 1920x1080 pixels - 16:9 - JPEG - with sound - 1827 pictures
Resolution 1920x1080 - 16:9 - JPEG - without sound - 1938 pictures
Video resolution 640x480 pixels - SHQ - 30fps - 10 sec
Video resolution 320x240 pixels - HQ - 15fps - 29 min
Video resolution 160x120 pixels - SQ - 15fps - 29 min