Olympus Mju 7020 digital camera

The Olympus Mju 7020 is a compact digital camera with a 7x optical zoom

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 7
Olympus Mju 7020
  • Olympus Mju 7020
  • Olympus Mju 7020

Pros

  • 7x optical zoom, fun filter effects, great LCD screen

Cons

  • Picture quality could be better, annoying user interface, not swanky enough

Bottom Line

The Olympus Mju 7020 is a decent point-and-shoot camera with some fun tricks up its sleeve. On the downside, its image quality isn't the best we've seen from a camera in this price range. Nevertheless, it remains a reasonable option for casual photographers.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 7 stores)

  • OM-D E-M10 + 14-42mm PZ Kit - Ltd Edition Orange 999.95
  • Sounds by Hinkler Books Pty Ltd 6.44
  • The Collector - Roadshow Entertainment Pty Ltd... 20.35
See all prices

The Olympus Mju 7020 is a 12-megapixel digital compact camera designed with the creative point-and-shooter in mind. It distinguishes itself from other compact cameras courtesy of a 3in LCD and 7x optical zoom lens (most cameras in this price range offer a 2.7in screen and 5x optical zoom or lower). However, so-so image quality and a lack of high-end features keep the Mju 7020 swamped by the herd. It’s not a bad compact camera, but we've seen better options elsewhere.

Despite carrying a relatively hefty $399 price tag, the Olympus Mju 7020’s styling can only be described as entry-level. Perhaps we’re being a bit harsh, but it certainly lacks the fashion accessory verve of many of its rivals (step up and shake your thang, Canon IXUS 120 IS, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 and Samsung ST50).

By comparison, the Mju 7020 looks woefully pedestrian — but at least it’s reasonably small. Measuring 97x56x26mm and weighing 133g, it will fit pretty much anywhere you care to squeeze it, despite the plus-sized lens (this protrudes slightly from the camera’s body, but not to any detrimental degree). The Mju 7020 also sports dinky backlit buttons — a useful, if gaudy touch.

The Olympus Mju 7020 has a fairly complicated interface for a point-and-shoot compact camera: a scroll wheel, a directional pad and five separate buttons (not including the zoom, power and shutter release). We continue to dream of an age when all cameras sport gesture- or touch-based interfaces, but for the time being we’ll just have to make do with the Mju 7020.

If you have perpetually sweaty hands (like us) or callous-free fingertips (er, like us), the scroll wheel can be a real pain to navigate. And we mean that literally — our finger regularly slipped against the scroll wheel’s edge, which caused minor chafing. On the plus side, it does rotate 360 degrees, unlike some scroll wheels that force you to run the gauntlet from one end to the other.

The Olympus Mju 7020’s claim to fame is its 7x optical zoom lens. This opens up a whole new range of photographic opportunities that most regular compact cameras lack. For example, it will allow you to capture a close-up shot of a gorilla posing majestically at Taronga Zoo — without getting your arms torn off in the process. It’s also 28mm at the wide end, which ain’t too shabby. It took the Olympus Mju 7020 one-and-a-half seconds to take a photo from start-up, which is pretty standard for a point-and-shoot camera.

The Olympus Mju 7020 comes with some interesting consumer-friendly features, including the unimaginatively named Magic Filters. These are digital effects that replicate the look of SLR lens filters. If you like to go all avant-garde with your photos, then these four filter effects are sure to come in handy (the fish-eye filter is particularly effective). Other modes and features on offer include face detection, 15 scene modes, an assortment of white balance presets and in-camera editing tools — all the usual suspects, in other words.

Unfortunately, when it comes to image quality the Olympus Mju 7020 failed to impress. Barrel distortion was evident in our panorama shots, while colours appeared slightly muted. This led to some dull looking photos that were crying out for a splash of vibrancy — it’s nothing Photoshop can’t fix, but why go through the hassle? On the plus side, images were sharp for the most part and noise wasn’t too problematic; we barely noticed it even at ISO 400.

It’s worth noting that the Olympus Mju 7020 uses xD picture cards rather than the more common SD/SDHC format. If you already own an SD card–based camera and are looking to upgrade, this is something to be mindful of.

Curiously, despite the inclusion of an HDMI port, the Olympus Mju 7020 lacks HD video recording. This is something that has almost become de rigueur amongst midrange compacts and its omission is somewhat baffling. It’s doubtful you would use this mode with any regularity, but it would’ve been nice to have the option nonetheless.

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Read more on these topics: digital cameras, photography, Olympus

Recommended

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?