Price (RRP): $499
Reviewer: Byer Gair
The Olympus Mju 740 (pronounced ‘mew’) can shoot a 7.1 million pixel image, captured by a 5x optical zoom lens. Pocket-friendly, and less than 25 mm thin, the camera is a go-anywhere, shoot anything device that is splash-proof and can be used in all weather conditions. But don’t even think about taking it underwater!
The Mju 740 is user-friendly, with a newly configured viewfinder system that helps with onscreen hints on how to improve your photographic skills.
This is a camera for the beginner who needs a simple-to-operate piece of equipment. It could also please the more skilled photographer who wants an easy lifeÂ – but still wants a quality imageÂ – without the complex operation.
The Mju 740 operates in auto, so you cannot access the lens aperture or alter the shutter speed, features that the more expert may need.
The Olympus Mju 740 is reasonably quick on its feet, catching the first shot just three seconds after power up. More shots can be made about one to two seconds apart.
Seven megapixels is a good size image and the Mju 740 is capable of making excellent prints up to 35 x 26 cm in size. If you need to exploit the camera’s skills even further, it will shoot full frame movies at 30 fps.
The camera has a maximum sensitivity of ISO 1600, which will make ‘light work’ of low light shots, but watch out for image noise. It is possible to shoot in dark conditions at ISO 80 and later lighten the shot with image editing software. If you have the know-how to follow this path, the benefit can be seen in less image noise.
Another extra is the useful Nightproof feature, which will also help you to frame the shot in dark situations, like night portraits, macro shots underwater and more.
The camera is easy to use, with auto operation and access to 23 scene modes for the trickier situations. When selecting any of these scene modes helpful text appears on the LCD.
An Olympus exclusive is its clever panorama mode; using an Olympus xD-Picture Card it provides screen previews of the sections you have already captured, helping to line up subsequent sections.
The camera’s pixel mapping feature is used by the camera to check and adjust the CCD and image processing functions. It is not necessary to operate this function frequently, but it is a handy bit of housekeeping.
We found the shots made with this camera to be well above average, with natural colour and sharpness sufficient to make big prints. The camera has no image stabilising system so you need to be careful when the zoom lens is stretched out to its full 35 SLR equivalent of 180 mm.
The lens by the way, needs a special mention, showing no signs of distortion at either end of the zoom range, the bane of many lesser-priced cameras.
This is an ideal camera for photographers who want no fuss in their picture making activities. It will withstand damp and rain – take it anywhere.