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{Februari 3, 2009}  
Olympus mju 700 | Digital Camera Review | Camera
Olympus first introduced the digital version of the Mju in 2003. The former Olympus Mju Digital 300, a 3 Megapixel model, laid the basis for the current Olympus Mju 700 digital camera. Olympus has continued to develop every new series of Mju cameras further and it is noticeable that this design is drastically different to that of the first model. It remains to be seen whether Olympus has reached the definitive concept with the current series of Mju cameras which includes the Olympus 700. It is certain that in addition to the innovative use of software, Olympus’s design department has made the necessary refinements. Olympus is probably looking for the IXUS factor, something that you would have expected already when the digital version of the Mju was first introduced.
Olympus Mju 700 – Metal weather proof case
The Olympus Mju 700’s ultra-compact metal, weather proof case gives it a unique and stylish appearance. The exterior has an unusual slanted design and is not of equal thickness all over. The flattest part houses the optical zoom. The thickest part is the side where you hold the camera and this gives you a sort of hand grip. With measurements of 94.8 x 55.9 x 20.4 mm and a weight of approximately 140 grams, this camera is comfortable enough to carry around with you all the time. The design is extremely stylish and if you’ve set your sights on the orange or blue version, you will have a unique camera with the Olympus Mju 700.

Olympus Mju 700 – 3x optical zoom lens
The front of the Olympus Mju 700 is relatively sober with a 3x optical zoom lens to the mid right. The lens is attractively placed in the slanted front side. With a brightness of f/3.4 – f/5.7, the Olympus 700’s lens is of average brightness. The tiny microphone is diagonally opposite the zoom lens. To the mid left on the top, a small flash has been integrated practically beside a LED that serves as an indicator for the self timer. An auto focus illuminator is conspicuous by its absence seeing as it is something that you would expect to find in a camera like this.

Olympus Mju 700 – Battery & Memory compartment
There is not much to see on the top of the Olympus 700 digital camera. The shutter release and on/off switch are situated on a narrow recess which has just enough space for two buttons. This switch can be easily operated; the measurements of the shutter release are a bit too skimpy. Underneath the camera in the middle there is a universal (plastic) connection for a tripod. Directly beside it is the lid for the compartment in which the Lithium Ion battery and the flash memory card are inserted. The battery is kept in place by a safety bar which prevents it from falling out of the compartment when it is opened.

Due to the lack of space, it is not possible to open the lid of the compartment to change a memory card if the Olympus Mju 700 is placed on a tripod. The question is, of course, how often a compact digital camera will be placed on a tripod anyway. The compartment for memory and the battery has been sealed extra with rubber to make this part spray proof like the rest of the exterior.

Olympus Mju 700 – 2.5 inch LCD screen
The Mju 700’s control centre is at the rear of the camera. Compared to the rest of the body, there suddenly seems to be a multitude of buttons, but when you actually count them you will see that this is not the case: only four in addition to the zoom button, multi controller and command dial. In general, this last feature is nearly always on the top of the camera. Another essential feature is the 2.5 inch display. Although I welcomed the format, I thought that the resolution was a bit inadequate. At 125.000 pixels, it lags behind the competition. The camera does not have an optical viewfinder. I didn’t miss it myself, but the viewfinder’s measurements were already very skimpy and holding a camera to your eye has become “old-fashioned” within a very short space of time. Holding both arms half-bent in front of you and looking at the screen is the new way of doing things. The main programs, reproduction and record mode have been placed on the command dial. The multi controller has the well known concept of a mode on all four wind directions surrounded by four buttons to activate the menu, Direct Print mode and other modes.

Olympus Mju 700 digital camera – Unique design
The Olympus Mju 700 looks friendly and users will not be scared off by an overdose of buttons. The 2.5 inch screen is a good size to replace the optical viewfinder and the camera is easy to hold. The Olympus Mju 700’s light weight and measurements combine well, and this camera can justifiably be described as ultra compact. The Olympus Mju 700 has a unique design and has been made with the necessary attention to detail.


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