Price (RRP): $599
Another good looker, small and slim in stainless steel, the Mju 810 (pronounced ‘mew’) is equipped with a 3x zoom lens, 8.0 megapixels on the CCD and a useable 6.4 cm LCD screen – but no optical viewfinder.
If you’re into action sports, camera tagging along, the Mju will appeal because it’s weatherproof – not waterproof – so you can shoot in the rain, the snow, splosh a drink on it (accidentally, I hope!) – or take it under the shower. However, it’s not proofed for underwater picture making.
As befits its pocketable, go-anywhere proportions, the Mju 810 is simply configured, with no mind-blowing operational features – the perfect picture taker for the newcomer.
Exposure-wise, you have two choices: full auto or Program AE. In auto mode the camera sets the shutter speed, lens aperture and white balance; in Program AE only the shutter speed and lens aperture are controlled automatically. You set the ISO sensitivity and the white balance. There is one disadvantage with the Mju 810: when selecting either auto or Program AE you have to do it by dipping into the menu display on the LCD screen – and not via the mode dial; it slows down your picture taking speed.
In all respects the camera is not at all daunting in operation or use.
An unusual blur reduction method is installed in the camera. At the moment you take a shot an internal gyro sensor detects any blur in the image and the camera’s microprocessor sharpens the picture. The blurry original is saved and the steadier – and sharper – one is saved as well. Take your pick. However, this is not the most ideal way to ensure a sharp photograph – a better approach is to ensure the camera is held steady at the moment of original capture.
With a fat 8.0 megapixel CCD tally you can enjoy final prints of 37 x 28 cm dimensions, or crop an image that will still leave you with adequate dimensions to make a good-sized print. Video is OK, shooting at full frame resolution and 30 fps.
Another attraction for digital newbies is an enhanced Shooting Guide. All you do is to scroll the mode dial, then select the options: brighten the subject, shoot in a backlight, blur the background for portraits, and so on.
The scene selections are found via menu icons to help with portraits at night, sport shots, sunsets, fireworks and other tricky conditions.
If you’re crazy about shooting in low light, the Mju 810 has a mode which kicks up the ISO rating, giving you a higher, blur-reducing shutter speed – without the need for ‘picture-bleaching’ flash that destroys any mood in the scene. It’s a neat idea, and enables you to capture more natural-looking photos.
The 810 is a very powerful camera for a compact model, and with 8.0 million pixels aboard the image quality was well above average.
The Mju 810 sits in a very competitive sector of the market and is a fine piece of technology. Hassle to get a good price.
Reviewer: Byer Gair