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Olympus MJU 1050SW Digital Camera Review

Olympus MJU 1050SW Digital Camera Review - The Olympus MJU 1050SW is a waterproof digital camera. It is able to keep out water to a depth of 3m. It is also shockproof to a height of 1.5m and freezeproof to -10 degrees centigrade. This is a 10Mp camera with a 3x optical zoom lens. Some of the functions can be controlled by tapping the camera body. David Tymon from Cameras.co.uk has reviewed.

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Olympus MJU 1050SW in Compact Cameras

Olympus Mju 1050SW FrontWhy Buy the Olympus MJU 1050SW?

If you are looking for a digital camera that can survive the odd bump and bruise then the MJU 1050SW is one of the few options on the market. With it being waterproof to a depth of 3m it can also be used by the swimming pool.

Image Quality

Olympus Mju 1050SW Outdoors 1
Olympus Mju 1050SW Outdoors 2
Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)
The MJU 1050SW gets off to a good start. The colours are about right and provide a pleasant contrast between the sky and the darker trees and foliage. As I would expect some detail is lost to the glare of the sun at this time of year, but it is within acceptable bounds. As I have seen with other Olympus digital cameras some of the blue lines on the boats take on a purple tinge where they are caught by the sun. 

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)
Compared with other digital cameras the picture is softer when it comes to focusing. This is the test that most digital cameras find hardest when it comes to focusing, but most do manage a wide angle shot with sharper detail. There is also purple fringing showing in places. The levels of fringing are not a major concern as they are only likely to show up in extra large prints, but it does suggest the lens is not of the highest quality. It may well be a case of overload for the miniature lens. 
Olympus Mju 1050SW Outdoors 3
Olympus Mju 1050SW Building
Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)
This is a better effort. Focusing is still not pin sharp, but the shot is sharp enough for snapshot sized prints. The colours are again well balanced, but as you may notice the colours produced by the MJU 1050SW and other Olympus cameras are not as vivid as you see with other brands.
Outdoor 4 (Building)
I like the look of this picture. The MJU 1050SW does not make the top rank when it comes to focusing, but it is still able to produce a reasonably sharp snapshot when the scene is not too distant.

Olympus Mju 1050SW Outdoor Portrait
Olympus Mju 1050SW Indoor Portrait
Outdoor Portrait
My outdoor portrait shot works well. Colour strength is a matter of personal taste, but I would have preferred a bit more colour. I think it would help to add more life to the photo.

Indoor Portrait with Flash
The burst of flash lights the shot well. I found that if you get too close in with the MJU 1050SW it doesn't really reduce the amount of light thrown out by the flash. This can lead to a number of reflective areas on the face and can create b shadows. By backing off a couple of feet you can achieve a much better result.
Olympus Mju 1050SW Indoor Portrait
Olympus Mju 1050SW Colours
Indoor Portrait without Flash
The MJU 1050SW uses the daylight to produce a pleasant shot. There is less noise than many cameras manage and this helps to increase the amount of detail in the photo.
Olympus digital cameras go for a very natural look when it comes to colours. This leads to paler colours than many other brands produce.

Olympus Mju 1050SW Macro
This is another good shot when taking into account you are far more likely to buy the MJU 1050SW for its waterproof qualities rather than its ability to take a decent macro photo. There are better digital cameras if macro photograph is something you really enjoy, but taking into account the main features of this camera I am happy with the quality produced.

ISO 400 and ISO 1600: Noise soon creeps into the photo as you increase the ISO setting. Despite this the MJU 1050SW does a better job than many cameras at retaining the correct colours in the shot.

If you are looking for a waterproof or shockproof camera then you do not have a lot of choice. The MJU 1050SW may not live with the very best models, but picture quality is good enough for most snapshot opportunities.

Shutter Lag and Recycling Times: The MJU 1050SW clocked some very slow times in my tests. It took 5.68 seconds to turn the camera on and take a photo. This is a painfully slow time. A single photo without flash was timed at 1.72 seconds and five photos at 23.03 seconds. With flash turned on times were similar at 1.83 seconds for one photo and 26.13 seconds for five shots.

Style: The MJU 1050SW looks good. In terms of design it is a simple rectangular shape. It has a sliding lens cover and a solid feel in the hand. The camera is available in black, blue, pink and silver.

Olympus Mju 1050SW TopDimensions: 93 x 62 x 22.6mm

Weight: 152g

Batteries: Lithium ion. Olympus supplies both a battery and charger.

Memory Cards: 42mb of memory has been built into the camera. It is also compatible with xD and Micro SD cards. I was able to take 19 pictures before the internal memory was full.

Olympus Mju 1050SW BackEase of Use Rating: Very good. The menu system is presented in a logical way. I find the letters of the menu system are larger than with some other brands and this helps to make the options easier to read.

Points I Like: Waterproof - shockproof

Where it Could Improve: Can be very slow to respond

Alternatives: There are not many waterproof and shockproof cameras out there. Other models in this series include the Olympus MJU 1030SW.

David Tymon's verdict: Without doubt the main attraction of the Olympus MJU 1050SW is its robustness. If you are looking for a family camera or just one you can use around the pool and on ski slopes then the picture quality is fine for snapshots. It is a concern that the camera is so slow to take a photo and this could certainly cause you to miss photo opportunities.

David Tymon works with Cameras.co.uk
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