Olympus Mju-I: Mmmmmjeah I Don't Know


On paper, the Olympus Mju-I is a pretty sweet camera: it handles 50-3200 iso film; has shutter times of 1/15 to 1/500 sec.; a minimum focusing distance of only 35 cm; a 3 element, 3 group lens, and maximum f3,5. It has autofocus, a motor drive, and an automatic flash, and it’s powered by a CR123 (A) battery, which I still had lying around from testing the Olympus AF-10 Twin. Oh, and did I mention its sleek, sexy looks? The rounded forms and clamshell lens cover make it slip easily into any pocket. It looked delicious, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I quickly shot the first roll, and before I had a chance to developed that one, I even shot a second roll.

Credits: stratski

You can imagine my disappointment when I saw my first pictures. Sure, I kind of botched the processing on the black and white film (I was in a hurry because I was in a Lomo race), but the unsharp pictures were a big let down for me. And when I developed the other roll, there were quite some blurry pics as well.

Credits: stratski

To be fair, there were some good (well, sharp) pictures as well. Close-ups, either with or without flash have turned out pretty good. As with most Olympus lenses I’ve tried until now, these pictures are nice and sharp. The flash is a bit strong to my taste, but on the whole, close-ups are okay.

Credits: stratski

So what happened with those other pictures? My theory is that it has to do with the auto flash. I usually forget to turn it off, and it usually fires, even outside in daylight. I’m guessing that when it fires, the autofocus gets stuck at close-up. It would explain why most of the wide shots are out of focus and most of the close-ups are in focus. A bug in the camera design? Not likely. The Mju/stylus gets pretty good reviews on the internet. So I guess my particular Mju is just broken. Or maybe I´m just a lousy photographer… I don’t know. For now, I’ll just consider this a camera for indoor parties and close-ups.

Credits: stratski

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written by stratski on 2013-01-28 #gear #review #camera #blurry #olympus #stylus #new-camera #thrift-store #mju-i #mju


  1. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    You win some, you lose some. At least you found a purpose for it.

  2. michaelahendriks
    michaelahendriks ·

    I know this was years ago, but I would bet on the camera just having issues focusing because of either smudges or perhaps it ever had a beating and it's just damaged. - I have this camera (from my parents who haven't used it since the late '90s and it seems to have a good few lights and sensors around the lens. Now, I don't know what exactly it uses to auto-focus, but I'd give the lens and plastic around it a good polish with like a Lens Pen or something. If it still doesn't get things right, the algorith in whatever (a chip or something) just can't figure out what it sees because of light or contrast or what have you, and that's just dated technology. (Well, I say that, but the 2010 Canon 1000D I have is just as bad at focusing, even when I clearly aim at what I want to be in focus. But anyway...)

    Myself I'm going to put this camera up against another p&s Olympus and see how image quality compares.

  3. spiritvisionphotography
    spiritvisionphotography ·

    I have and use this camera. It consistently delivers sharp images.

  4. spaceghost33
    spaceghost33 ·

    Are you doing the half-press to lock the focus?

  5. edwardolive
    edwardolive ·

    Maybe blurry is artistic

  6. kerecash
    kerecash ·

    My guess is that the lens is originally in the close-up position, and the autofocus would move it so that it focuses farther away. Maybe the flash images are sharp because it has more light therefore allowing a smaller aperture making the depth of field wider and so the images sharper.

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