Olympus MJU 1060

Stylish compact camera with 7x optical zoom.

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Olympus MJU 1060
  • Olympus MJU 1060
  • Olympus MJU 1060
  • Olympus MJU 1060

Pros

  • 7x optical zoom with stabilisation, intuitive beginner modes, 3in display

Cons

  • High noise levels, slow shot-to-shot time, missing several key manual features

Bottom Line

Olympus' MJU 1060 is a pretty decent beginner camera with its large screen and bevy of novice modes, but its images have some issues and it can be slow at times.

Would you buy this?

Olympus has long been in the habit of creating well-rounded cameras. The combination of style, features and image quality has always been a selling point. However, while its latest compact, the MJU 1060, ticks several of these boxes, it is also a bit of a let-down in some areas, with some noise and speed issues marring what would otherwise be a strong product.

The biggest issue we had was during our noise tests. The unit performed extremely poorly above ISO 200, with even ISO 400 producing a noticeable grain. Once you hit ISO 800 things become almost unusable. While the inclusion of sensitivities all the way up to ISO 6400 is impressive, we can’t really see the point since they’re all total write-offs. The speckling was pretty minimal at ISO 100 and 200, as you’d expect, and ISO 400 is usable in a pinch but for larger prints, fast-paced shooting or night shots you best steer clear of this model.

In the rest of our image quality tests performance was better. Our shots were crisp and sharp, with a decent amount of detail for a 10-megapixel sensor. Our test software picked up a little over-sharpening, but it didn’t look too bad in our real-world shots. There was a reasonable amount of chromatic aberration, evidenced by some purple fringing outdoors, but corner softening was minimal.

Colour balance was decent, with a typically oversaturated, compact-camera style. This look won’t be for everyone, but it definitely produces lively, vibrant prints.

We were a little hampered in our ability to tweak the colour balance due to the lack of onboard features. There is no custom white balance, which, while not essential, is becoming more and more popular on even mid-range compacts. Similarly, there are no colour modes like Vibrant or Natural, so any alterations you want to make will have to be done in post processing.

The features list does have a few nifty inclusions, such as face detection for up to 16 faces. It also has shadow adjust, which does a pretty good job of bringing out details in dark areas. What this unit does really well is hand-hold new users, thanks to its impressive bevy of scene modes and the intelligent auto feature. More experienced photographers will probably want to adjust the settings themselves and using the iAuto runs the risk of the camera defaulting to a high ISO, but it does a pretty good job overall.

The other cool thing about this unit is the 7x optical zoom, which is impressive considering the fairly slim build. Optical image stabilisation is also included, which means you can take full advantage of the lens. We would have liked it to be wide-angle, but you can’t have everything.

In terms of speed the MJU 1060 was a mixed bag. Its shutter lag was a pretty minimal 0.09 seconds and it started up in 2.1 seconds, but shot-to-shot time was slow at between three and four seconds. The burst mode is similarly sluggish, capturing just 1.8 frames per second at full resolution, although there is a much faster mode that sacrifices resolution. We also found the menu to be sluggish at times, often taking a second or two to load.

Aesthetically this unit resembles other MJUs. It has a glossy piano black finish and a slightly wedge-shaped design that looks fantastic. There is also a 3in screen which many users will appreciate and it definitely makes framing shots easier.

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