Review: Olympus Mju 750

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The propaganda

The Mju (or μ) 750 is Olympus’ top end all weather compact, capable of snapping 7.1 megapixel images. Quite uniquely for a compact it also offers a 5x optical zoom, and it features dual image stabilisation (which is the main difference between it and the cheaper Mju 740) and BrightCapture technology.

The tapered, wedge-shaped chassis, which reminds me of an Imperial Star Destroyer, is a little disconcerting at first, but despite looking quirky, it is still easy to hold. The camera has a 6.4cm (2.5”), 215,000 pixel LCD and a choice of 23 scene modes.

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The good

The combination of the pretty huge zoom, which few other digital compacts can boast, with the weather proof, metal chassis immediately made me think of this as a suitable camera for sports and outdoorsy shots. The picture quality backs this up because the camera produces some nice outdoor pics.

I took some fast moving snaps outside and found that the auto focus was pretty quick and a great help for getting action shots. The boot-up time for the camera was similarly good, taking approximately four seconds on average to load up and take its first shot. Colours are pretty true-to-life, although perhaps not quite vivid enough for some tastes, and skin tones seem to be well defined.

Aside from the competitive picture quality and big zoom, the Mju 750 has another interesting trick up its sleeve. This is the Shooting Guide mode, which is basically designed for those who want something a little more explanatory than the Scene Mode.

The Shooting Guide presents you with a list of shot types, such as “Shooting into backlight” and selecting one gives you further options to choose from that adjust the various settings automatically and then let you take the shot. It is an interesting idea to help you learn more about what type of shot to use and when, but it might still prove a little confusing for real newbies.

The bad

There a few minor failings in here. Firstly, despite a reasonably high ISO setting of 1600 and the BrightCapture technology, indoor, low-light shots were not that impressive. Shots taken with the ISO setting set to full suffered from a fair amount of digital noise and colours from indoor shots tend to look a bit too bland.

Menu navigation can also feel a bit clunky. For a start there seems to be a lot more buttons on the 750 than other cameras manage with. This also leads to the problem of having several different ways of doing any one task. Whether or not this is a problem really boils down to how your mind works, but it certainly detracts from the over-all user friendliness of the device.

My other gripes are that the LCD view finder is a little grainy and may not be quite bright enough for easy use in bright sunlight. The battery also ran down pretty quickly while sat doing nothing in the camera, which was a bit annoying. But in its defence, when charged it does seem to last for a healthy number of shots.

Geek Sheet

Weatherproof metal body

5x optical zoom (equiv. 36-180mm)

Dual Image Stabilisation

7.1 million pixels

BrightCapture Technology

6.4cm LCD with 215,000 pixels

23 scene modes

Overview

The Olympus Mju 750 is a pretty versatile little camera and the large zoom sets it aside from most of its competitors. The weatherproofing and BrightCapture features could make this the ideal camera for catching your kid’s sports day on dull, winter afternoons. The price is perhaps a little steep at around £260 (although this varies a lot depending on where you shop) as this puts it higher than some more technologically exciting offerings from the likes of Kodak and FujiFilm, but that is about the only thing holding it back.

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