In my opinion the Olympus µ[MJU:] 400 is a fantastic little camera, and just because it's small doesn't mean it isn't packed with features.
I bought this when I was looking for a small camera to carry around while on my hols. I’ve had an Olympus MJU 35mm camera for years and it’s never let me down so this was the obvious choice when I wanted to go digital. It has all the normal features that you would expect, and none of the gimmicky ones that you never use.
What particularly attracted me to this one was the metal body, which although makes it a little heavy means that it’s very sturdy. Also, it uses the new XD picture cards, specifically designed by Olympus and Fuji for digi camera use. You can get up to 512Mb cards, which can store over 150 pics even in the largest resolution! And finally, the price…. most of the high-street shops were selling this for £350+ but a bit of searching on the internet and I found Amazon, Dixons and PC World all selling it for £260 and at that price you really can’t go wrong.
Other little extras make this a great package… in the box you also get a remote control, a Li-Ion rechargeable battery with a separate charger (so if you’ve got 2 batteries you can charge one and still use the camera), USB and video cables, and the Camedia Master 4 software for transferring/storing/editing your pics.
So what’s it like to use…? Well it’s so easy even my Dad could use it. The menus are viewed on the LCD screen and navigated using buttons on the back of the camera. The menus are very intuitive and once you’ve got your preferred setting stored you can basically just point and click, and changing flash/picture modes couldn’t be easier; you just toggle through from one to the next.
Downloading the pics to your PC is also a doddle. Just connect the camera to the PC using the supplied USB cable and you can use the supplied software to transfer and catalogue you images. When you connect the camera it appears as a new drive on the PC so if you don’t fancy using the software you can just copy them off use Windows Explorer instead.
I found the picture quality to be excellent, even in the HQ mode (one down from top) the picture was very clear. However if you’re ultimately going to be printing your pictures the highest mode is obviously the best one to use.
My only criticisms of this camera are that the full manuals are only provided on CD, which is fine while you’re sitting at you PC but not so good when you’re out and about. Also, it doesn’t come with a case, which I think really should come as standard to help protect from scratching etc.
Summary of features:
- Compact design
- Weather-proof metal body
- 4.0 million pixels
- 3x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom
- 1.5 “ colour LCD screen
- 5 scene programs
- 4 flash modes
- Movie recording function (but no audio)
- Video out and USB outputs
Olympus µ[MJU:] 400
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22 April 2006
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