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Olympus [mju] mini DIGITAL S Digital Camera Review

Olympus [mju] mini DIGITAL S Digital Camera Review - 

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Olympus [mju] mini DIGITAL S
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Olympus [mju] mini DIGITAL S For those of you that never have a camera when you need one, this little gem from Olympus may be just the thing you need! Small enough to go in a pocket or handbag and robust enough to survive in there, it produces surprisingly good pictures for it’s size. Ian Andrews sees how it performs.

As you will see from the specifications, the MJU Mini S packs a lot into a small, but robust little case, a case made of aluminium that is splash proof from all directions. To say it will fit in a pocket in this case means a trouser or shirt pocket with ease, and with no awkward bits protruding, it is comfortable in there. I had to look for it a couple of times!

Handling
The camera is surprisingly easy to use with the minimum number of controls making life easy. Despite the small size of the buttons, I found them easy to operate even with my large fingers. Of the six control points, only the on/off button is recessed and a little more deliberating in it’s use, but this is a plus point in as much as it won’t get accidentally turned on in that pocket. A neat thumb dial on the right side of the top controls the mode, selectable from still pictures, movie pictures and playback. The third control on top of the camera is the shutter release.

The back of the camera has a rocker switch for the zoom control, a for way selector with central OK button and another button on the far side of the screen for a ‘Quick view’ while using the camera in picture taking mode. The remainder of the rear of the camera is taken up by the huge (in comparison) ‘Hyper crystal’ LCD screen. There is no viewfinder on this camera, which I personally found very odd, and composition is performed entirely on screen.

From pressing the on button, the camera was ready to use inside a second with the lens popping out of the front and the LCD screen fully awake. Again, the zoom took less than a second to go from one end to the other and although only a 2x zoom, it was adequate for a camera of this type and size.

Optical quality
It was an Olympus pocket digital camera that has to take the blame, a few years ago, for getting me into digital photography. That was a two-megapixel model and things have come on a fair stretch since then. This one is less than half the size and has more than twice the resolution! Although the pictures came out a little over sharp for someone who always shoots RAW, the results were nice for a straight out Jpeg.


Tests showed that the files produced for this little marvel would stretch well above A4 size and in good light would even go to A3. The sharpness fell of a little towards the edges of the frame, as you would expect, but was still not noticeable to the eye at A4 size. Chromatic aberration is well controlled at the centre (0.212pxls), again falling off at the peripheries (1.33pxls) but still just inside the acceptable limits (1.5pxls).


Close up ability of this little camera is good

In the box

  • Camera
  • Strap
  • LI-30B Lithium ion battery
  • LI-30C Battery charger
  • 16MB xD-Picture Card
  • USB cable
  • AV cable
  • Software CD-ROM (OLYMPUS Master)
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card

The one addition I would like to have seen would have been a soft case for the camera, although the enamel finish does seem hard wearing.

Verdict
For anyone who would like to carry a camera wherever they go, this offering from Olympus should certainly be looked at. It is small, stylish (I like the look of it and my wife loves it!), comfortable to carry and produces the goods. The flash is a little lacking in power on party nights but is ample for small group photos. If I didn’t already carry an SLR everywhere, it would be on myshopping list!

Pros
Small size
Splash-proofing
Metal body
Good picture quality


Cons
Lack of conventional viewfinder ( I can’t help it, I consistently put this camera up to my face and anyway, two hands and nose equal a tripod!)
Lack of soft case (available separately)
Price (SRP although well discounted in ePHOTOzine shop)

Specifications of mju mini DIGITAL S

Type

Digital camera with 4.6cm/1.8” HyperCrystal LCD monitor.

Colours

Lagoon Blue, Enamel Black, Gloss Beige.

Image sensor

Image sensor

1/2.5’’ CCD with 5.4 million pixels.

Effective pixel number

5.0 million pixels. (The actual number of pixels used in image
processing.)

Filter array

Primary colour filter (RGB).

Media

Storage media type

Removable xD-Picture Card (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB and 1GB).

Lens


Optical zoom

2x.

Structure

5 lenses in 3 groups, 3 aspherical lenses.

Focal length

5.8 – 11.6mm (equivalent to 35 – 70mm lens in 35mm format).

Maximum aperture

1:3.5 (wide) – 4.9 (tele).

Digital zoom

1x – 4x (8x seamless zoom when combined with optical zoom).

LCD monitor

1.8’’ /4.1 cm HyperCrystal TFT LCD monitor with 134,000 pixels offering 160° wide viewing angle.

Focusing

System

TTL autofocus with contrast detection.

Mode

Auto

iESP autofocus, spot autofocus, AF lock.

Working range

Standard mode

0.5m – infinity.

Macro mode

0.2m – infinity.

Super Macro mode

From as close as 8cm, shooting size 44.3 x 33.2mm.

Light metering

Mode

Digital ESP metering, spot metering.

Function

Histogram in playback and shooting mode.

Exposure

Exposure control

Programme AE.

Scene programmes (Portrait, Night Scene, Night Scene with Portrait, Self Portrait, Self Portrait and Self Timer, Beach and Snow, Cuisine, Indoor, Landscape, Landscape with Portrait, Behind Glass, Candle, Sunset, Fireworks).

Shutter speed

1/2 – 1/1000 sec (night scene 4 sec).

Compensation

Yes, up to +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps.

Sensitivity


Auto

ISO 64 – 400 (640 for indoor and candle shooting).


Manual

ISO 64, 100, 200, 400.

White balance

Mode

Auto

Full-auto TTL ESP.

Pre-set

Tungsten, overcast, sunlight, fluorescent light 1,2,3.

Flash

Built-in flash
(Built-in)

Modes

Auto (automatic activation in low and backlight), red-eye reduction,
fill-in (forced activation), off (no flash).

Working range

0.2 to 2.2m (tele ) / 3.0m (wide).

Guide Number

5.4.

Sequence shooting

Approx. 1.1 frames per second up to 4 images in HQ mode.

Processing

Image processing

TruePic TURBO, pixel mapping, noise reduction.

Function shooting

2 in 1 function, panorama function.

Editing

Still image edit

Re-size, rotation, trimming, black & white, sepia, fisheye, softfocus.

Motion picture edit

Index.

Recording system

Still image

JPEG (DCF: “Design rule for Camera File system”), Exif 2.2 support, DPS, Print Image Matching III support, DPOF support.

Motion picture

QuickTime Motion JPEG®* with sound.

Voice recording

WAVE format.

Number of storable frames (approx., with 16MB xD-Picture Card)

Still picture mode

2,560 x 1,920

SHQ: 4

HQ: 13

2,048 x 1,536

SQ1: 20

1,600 x 1,200

SQ2: 24

1,280 x 960

SQ2: 38

1,024 x 768

SQ2: 58

640 x 480

SQ2: 90

Motion picture mode

Up to memory card capacity (15 frames/sec.) With 16 MB xD-Picture Card this is approx. 41 sec. in HQ (320 x 240 pixels) 1 min 35 sec. in SQ (160 x 120 pixels).

Power supply


Rechargeable battery

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery LI-30B.

AC Adapter

Optional AC adapter: D-7AC connected via power coupler. AC 100V – 240V, 50 – 60Hz; DC 4.8V.

Interface

DC input terminal via power coupler,
USB and audio/video multi terminal.

Other features

DPOF setting

Single-frame print reservation, all print reservation, number of prints, date/time display.

Direct printing (DPS)

PictBridge support allows direct printing with compatible printers.

Multilingual menu

English / French / German / Spanish. Additional languages can be downloaded through OLYMPUS Master software from the Internet.

Weatherproof body

Camera is not damaged by water spray from any direction.

Self-timer

Yes.

Date/time/calendar system

Up to year 2099.

Size



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