Olympus MJU 1040 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Olympus MJU 1040 Ease of Use 9
Features 7
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 7
Photo Quality 7
Style 9
Lowlight 8
Macro 7
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
3x Zoom
2.7 inch LCD Screen
89 x 55.5 x 20.3 mm
108g

Overview

The Olympus MJU 1040 is a pocket digital camera. It has 10 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom lens. It comes in four colours: black, silver, red and yellow.

Why Buy The Olympus MJU 1040

The MJU 1040 is relatively cheap when compared to some pocket sized cameras. I also like the way the camera looks. It is one of the most stylish cameras you will find in this price bracket.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

10
3x
2.7 inches
89 x 55.5 x 20.3 mm
108g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

7cm
No
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
xD Micro SD

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): With a 10 megapixel digital camera you can make some very large prints. Looking at all my test shots with the MJU 1040 I would suggest keeping to 8 x 11 inches or under. There are issues with the images as illustrated in my first test shot.

The biggest problem I noticed for my outdoor shots is the amount of detail lost in dark and light areas. Sun glare is a problem at this time of year (autumn), but the level of loss with the MJU 1040 is high.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): As the scene gets more distant focusing gets softer. Although this is a common occurrence the softness is quite noticeable with the MJU 1040. Perhaps I'm asking too much here when taking the price of the camera into account.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): In this photo the loss of detail in lighter areas is quite pronounced. I would also have expected to see more colour in the sky. This would have helped to increase the impact of the photo.

Outdoor 4 (Building): There is a touch of blue fringing where the sun catches the edge of bright parts of the photo. Focusing is o.k. without being pin sharp. There is also a loss of sharpness as you move towards the edge of the photo.

Portraits

Outdoor Portrait: For a snapshot camera the outdoor portrait is good. There are no problems with sharpness. A touch more light and a touch more colour may have helped the photo, but compared to other similar cameras the MJU 1040 does well here.

Indoor Portrait with Flash: The built in flash unit is able to produce the power needed to light the photo. Sharpness is in line with expectations. The MJU 1040 does not have an especially powerful flash and you will need to make sure you are not too far away from subjects in poor light in order to illuminate the scene.

Indoor Portrait without Flash: Noise shows up in this photo. This takes the edge of the definition and if blown up into larger prints you are likely to see this problem quite clearly. The MJU 1040 captures more light and creates a brighter picture than many cameras manage.

Macro, Colours and Noise

My macro test shot produced a bright and well focused shot. It may not be absolutely top drawer, but it is better than many cameras at this level are able to produce.

Colours are a matter of personal taste, but looking at my tests shots I would like to have seen a bit of extra colour here and there.

Noise does creep in quickly when the light is low. Even at ISO 400 noise is quite noticeable. Although you will still be able to produce snapshots this is not really a camera for taking photos in lowlight.

Summary

Well, the MJU 1040 is not fantastic, but picture quality is inline with what I would expect from one of the cheaper pocket cameras. The distance involved in sweeping landscapes are a bit much for the camera's tiny lens to handle, but the camera works much better for closer in shots.

See sample images link arrow

Style

This is one of the most stylish Olympus Digital Cameras I can recall reviewing. It has an unfussy design with a sliding lens cover. It is available in black, silver, red and yellow.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.35 seconds
18.88 seconds
0.47 seconds
19.64 seconds
2.47 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Easy This really is a point and shoot camera. There are not too many features to get you lost and it"s simply a case of turning the camera on and clicking away.

Points I Like

Style - ease of use

Where it Could Improve

Loss of detail in light areas on sunny days

Verdict

A fantastic camera? No, but the Olympus MJU 1040 puts up a solid showing. The camera is one of the best looking at this price point and will slip easily into a pocket. Picture quality could go up a notch or two here and there, but I think this camera offers fair value for money.

Product Shots

Front View

Olympus MJU 1040 Front View

Back View

Olympus MJU 1040 Back View

Top View

Olympus MJU 1040 Top View

Sample Menus

camera menu menu

setup iso

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Read Review: Sony DSC TX55 Review

Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating 79/100

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Panasonic DMC FX70 Rating 79/100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 does not quite match up to the picture quality I am used to seeing from Panasonic digital cameras. It does have a lot of other plus points, but if you are looking for true clarity in your photos there are better pocket cameras around.

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Related Pages

Olympus MJU 1040 Review Olympus MJU 1040 Specification Olympus MJU 1040 Sample Images Olympus MJU 1040 Features Olympus Digital Cameras

Review Date

October 2008

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