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Home arrow Digital Camera Reviews arrow Olympus > arrow Olympus Mju 1040 Digital Camera Review
Olympus Mju 1040 Digital Camera Review

olympus080825b.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Michael Gazzola


Lets just say, that at $299 what should you expect in a digital camera? Especially one that carries a well known brand? Will it be stylish? Will it have many features? Will it have a big LCD screen? Will the images be any good? All the usual questions could be asked and most people would not expect the whole suite – but somehow Olympus has pretty much crammed a large portion of these features into the new Olympus Mju 1040. So the answer is… yes, yes and well, yes again.

The model reviewed was the silver ‘Mirror’ version (also available in ‘Phantom’ black and ‘Hot Chilli’ red). And let me tell you for a camera priced under $300 the unit’s design, paintwork and styling is very cool, enough to catch the eye of many potential buyers browsing the shelves at their local camera store for something a little different.

The body appears to have a hard plastic outer with a slight metal feel due to the clever pearl paint finish on most of the body and a perfect mirror finish on a unique vertically sliding panel that conceals the lens beautifully when closed and exposes it only when in operation.

There is no On/Off button as the sliding cover activates the camera, so there is one less button cluttering the limited space. The buttons on the back are not like any previous styled Olympus compact, as all are flat and with backlit cold white line work – reminding me of the old ‘Tron’ movie… for those that can actually remember it… and those who don’t it’s now a cult classic!

Back to the review – the top has just two buttons, one to press and capture images, the other to zoom. It’s simple and how most compact cameras should be. The buttons for the main functions on the back are squeezed into a slice down the right, around a fifth of the total space which is all that is left over by the 2.7 inch edge to edge LCD screen.

There are six regularly used general functions accessible via six buttons, coupled with an additional criss-cross button layout that introduces four quick adjustments convenient while shoot.

The on screen navigation is very user friendly and has a type of ‘landing page’ where there are just 8 simple icons with text running through them, sub menu like, making it easier for the photographer to quickly decide what they want to find. Once you click on an icon you are then presented with a drilled down list to select the option you’re after.

The Mju 1040 also comes with ‘Face Detection’ and ‘Shadow Adjust’ technologies, which are a very handy features that can recognise up to 16 individual faces. Even when trying to trick the camera by pointing it at a TV screen with moving two-dimensional people the camera amazingly was still able  to pick up a number of faces, lock on and track them across the screen. What made this more impressive is that during live view the screen was rolling/flicker, (which is to be expected when filming a screen) with the tracking still working through all the noise and distraction.

There is also ‘Smile Shot’ technology, where the Olympus Mju 1040 automatically detects when someone is smiling once a shot is composed and takes three quick shots for you – so the photographer will never miss a child smiling again!

With a feature rich package, there is also a 10.1 mega-pixel capture and a 3x optical zoom lens providing a focal range of 38mm - 114mm (35mm equivalent). Plus a digital image stabiliser, super close macro allowing focus down to just 7cm, 9 scene modes and 48MB of internal memory to get you going before you add a memor card.

The built-in flash is quite small and as a result is not overly powerful – but this is the case with most small, energy efficient compacts. As long as you have good light indoor for shots taken 4 meters or more away from the subject, or you’re outdoor in daylight the images produced will give the photographer more than satisfactory results.

This camera also comes with the Olympus TruePic III image-processing engine, which was originally designed for their medal-gold-r.jpgDSLR range. So like most good technology it eventually ends up in their junior counterparts. The standard colour and skin tone reproduction in daylight shots are mostly accurate but seem on the cooler side when using flash. The sharpness of images taken in bright light hit the mark on most occasions but was tested in low light, even when the camera signalled it had locked it’s focus it was not always accurate. But I guess the beauty with digital cameras these days is that you can keep shooting until you get your desired result at no extra cost.  This simply was not an option in the days of film.

Overall, I found the Olympus Mju1040 to be great value, feature rich and very high in resolution for the relatively cheap price tag. Most people will find the camera’s styling quite appealing whilst also having a little fun when using the mirror finish on the front sliding panel as a handy help for framing for party headshots or just whacking on a little bit of lippy in the reflection



Appearance rating 5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
4 stars
Value for money 4.5 stars
RRP (AUD) $299
Effective Pixels 10.1 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 7 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 38mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 114mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 3x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 3648 x 2736
Shooting Modes 9 Scene options
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 20cm to infinity
Aperture Range F3.5 - F5.0
Aperture Priority No
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 7cm (Super Macro Mode)
Shutter Speeds 4s - 1/1000s (up to 4 sec. in night mode)
Shutter Priority No
ISO ISO 50 - 3200 (3MP above ISO1600)
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 2.7" HyperCrystal LCD Screen
Viewfinder No
Flash 3 mode options plus auto
Hot Shoe No
White balance Auto, Overcast, Sunlight, Tungsten, Fluorescent 1-3
Self Timer Yes, 12 seconds
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes
Storage Type 512MB ~ 2GB xD, Micro SD via MASD-1 Micro SD adapter (included)
Storage Included [Mb] Onboard memory, 48Mb
Image / Audio Formats JPEG, EXIF v 2.21, PIM III, DPOFAVI Motion JPEG with sound
Connectivity USB
Power Source D-7ACA AC Adapter with CB-MA1 Power coupler
Battery Options Li-Ion Battery ( Li-42B )
Dimensions 89mm x 55.5mm x 20.3mm
Weight 108g without battery or card



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In Greek mythology, Mt.Olympus is the home of the twelve supreme gods and goddesses. Olympus was named after this mountain to reflect its strong aspiration to create high quality, world famous products.

"Olympus" has been used as a trademark since the time of Takachiho Seisakusho, the predecessor of Olympus Corporation.

In Japanese mythology, it is said that eight million gods and goddesses live in Takamagahara, the peak of Mt.Takachiho. The name "Olympus" was selected as the trademark because Mt.Olympus, like Mt.Takachiho, was the home of gods and goddesses. This trademark is also imbued with the aspiration of Olympus to illuminate the world with its optical devices, just like Takamagahara brought light to the world.

Takachiho Seisakusho was renamed Takachiho Optical Co., Ltd. in 1942 when optical products became the mainstay of the company. In 1947, the name was changed again to Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. in an attempt to enhance its corporate image.

And in 2003, the company made a fresh start as Olympus Corporation, to show its willingness to establish a dynamic corporate brand by unifying the corporate name and the well-known brand.

In recent years, Olympus Corporation has focused on "Opto-Digital Technology" as its core competence, technological strengths that competitors cannot easily imitate, to maximize corporate value and to become one of the top optical instrument manufactures.

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