The Olympus MJU 820 is one of the few weatherproof digital cameras on the market. It can stand up to most conditions and you should have no problem using the MJU 820 in the rain. At a shade under 25mm wide it will squeeze into most pockets. Inside its metal body is a fairly typical snapshot digital camera. The emphasis is placed more on ease of use than advanced features.
96.4 x 56.4 x 24.3 m
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light
Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom):
The first thing that strikes me about this camera is the fact the MJU 820 has a problem with bright sunlight reflecting from light coloured objects. This can be seen on the side of the boats. Putting this issue aside focusing is good. The brickwork on the building stands out well and focusing remains fairly strong as you move out away from the centre of the photo.
Outdoor 2 (No Zoom): This is quite an extreme test, with parts of the scene very distant. The MJU 820 handles it well enough. As with most digital cameras focusing does start to drift as you move towards the edges of the photo.
Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom): Looking at this picture I can see the same problem with sun glare as in the first photo. This could be a problem if there are a lot of light areas in the photos you are planning to take and the sun is shining down. Focusing is again quite good and you can see the extra length of lens helps to get you in a little closer than a typical 3x zoom does.
The colours produced with this shot are softer than the majority of other digital cameras produce. This may or may not be to your own personal taste, but I am quite happy with the result. I have used face detection focusing to increase sharpness and white balance has been adjusted to cloudy to suit the weather conditions. This helps to give a bit of boost to the colours.
Indoor Portrait with Flash: Moving indoors and turning on the flash produces a decent indoor portrait. There is plenty of detail in the shot and the camera managed to avoid red eye on this occasion.
Indoor Portrait without Flash: This is my favourite photo out of this set of test shots. The lighting may not be overly challenging, but even so the MJU 820 does a better job with it than most cameras I have tested. The photo has a very natural look to it when compared to the portrait taken with flash.
Macro, Colours and Noise
The macro shot is a little disappointing. It does not have the same clarity a lot of other cameras manage. Even so the MJU 820 should be good enough to take the occasional macro shot, especially if you are using more natural light than in my test.
Olympus digital cameras produce more gentle colours than most other brands (especially Panasonic, Kodak and Samsung). There is a tendency for some blues to take on a purple tinge under bright sunlight.
Compared with other cameras the MJU 400 stands up pretty well when the light is less than perfect and flash is not used. Noise inevitably does creep in, but it stays within reasonable bounds and there is still plenty of detail showing.
As ever picture quality has fallen away at ISO 1600. Even so the MJU 820 produces a better photo than many cameras I have tested. I can't see this setting be using all that often though.
I am happy with the test photos I have taken with the MJU 820. They are not the best set I have ever taken, but the camera holds up well in most cases. Shame about the sun glare!
With a sloping front the Olympus MJU range has a slightly different look to most pocket cameras. This camera is just about small enough to fit into a pocket. It is available in four colours, Midnight Black, Starry Silver, Ruby Red and Crystal Blue.
Shutter Lag Times
Ease of Use
With not too many features to get used to the camera is easy enough to use. The menu system is quite straightforward, but some items are a bit tucked away.
Points I Like
Weatherproof - neat design
Where it Could Improve
There are not many weatherproof digital cameras to choose form. So if this is important to you then the Olympus MJU 820 is probably as good as any. Picture quality holds up until you really start to push the camera. Shutter lag times fall well within what is acceptable and the camera is also easy enough to pick up and get started with.
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