Olympus µ Digital 800

Although we demonstrated last month how well today's technology handles rough treatment, getting your digicam wet isn't smart. Unless, of course, it's specifically designed to be splashproof, like Olympus' µ Digital 800. Conventionally known as the Mju Digital 800, it has a fairly standard appearance, but has rubber gaskets, seals and linings to protect it from rain, sand, dirt or snow (but not immersion). This makes it ideal for holidays, particularly as it provides an 8.3Mp image sensor (8Mp effective) for shots up to 3264x2488 pixels, a 3x optical zoom, and a robust, compact chassis.

It's clearly a consumer camera, and features a built-in user guide and clear on-screen descriptions of many of the camera settings - including the 19 capture presets. The 2.5in HyperCrystal LCD viewfinder is crisp, offering wide viewing angles and high contrast levels that make it more usable in strong daylight - which is good, as there's no optical viewfinder. The more confident photographer will be happy to see both aperture- and shutter-priority modes alongside ISO settings and a 3cm macro mode, but disappointed by the absence of manual focus.

Olympus has tried to overcome common shooting mistakes with features like Bright Capture, which increases sensitivity in poor lighting (equivalent to ISO 1600), allowing you to capture darker scenes without having to resort to flash. This feature also reduces camera blur in high-speed motion by allowing faster shutter speeds. There's also a separate "blur reduction" mode that cuts camera shake - though this digital image stabiliser function drops the maximum resolution down to 2048x1536 pixels.

The Mju Digital 800 proved to be a very responsive camera. It can take under two seconds to get from power on to shot taken (not including flash), and shutter lag is barely noticeable. The high-quality burst mode takes four shots a second (again, at a resolution of 2048x1536), and the best movie mode provides 640x480-pixel frames at 15fps (with audio). Image quality is very good, avoiding the unnaturally vivid colours and over-sharpening of some of its rivals, and demonstrating only marginal colour fringing in our tests.

Irritatingly, Olympus doesn't include an xD-Picture card in the price, so you'll initially be dependent upon the camera's internal 19MB for storage - which is only good for five shots at the highest setting.

Verdict Advanced photographers will want more, but holiday makers and outdoor types will find this the perfect companion for point-and-shoot stills, regardless of the weather.

Olympus µ Digital 800
Price: $699
Vendor: Olympus
Phone: 1300 659 678
URL: www.olympusimaging.com.au
Specs: 8.3Mp 1/1.8in CCD; 3264x2448 max. resolution; 3x optical zoom; F2.8-4.9, 38-114mm lens; 19MB internal RAM; xD-Picture card slot (no card provided); 2.5in LCD viewfinder; 3cm-infinity focal range; 64-1600 ISO settings; 4s-1/2000s shutter speed; internal flash; 1230mAh Li-Ion battery; USB; Exif II/PictBridge support; 181g; 103x58x33mm.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Laurence Grayson

PC World
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?