Olympus µ[mju:] 400 Digital
(Also known as the Olympus Stylus 400 Digital)
Review Date: 6th October 2003
The Olympus µ[mju:] 400 Digital is the top-of-the-range camera in what Olympus call their "Stylish" category. It has a 4-megapixel CCD and a 3x optical zoom that is equivalent to a 35–105mm lens on a 35mm format camera. The lens has a respectable aperture range of f3.1 at the widest setting of 35mm and f5.2 at the longest setting of 105mm. The µ[mju:] 400 Digital uses the xD-Picture Card format, which is tiny and allows the camera to be physically small (99 (W) x 56 (H) 33.5 (D) mm to be precise).
This camera doesn't have conventional exposure modes like aperture-priority, shutter-speed priority or manual. Instead it offers a range of scene modes, starting with Programme AE (basically a full-auto mode), then Portrait, Self-portrait, Night Scene, Landscape and Landscape plus portrait. The µ[mju:] 400 Digital also has a panoramic mode, 2 in 1 mode and it allows you to record short movies.
Surprisingly for a compact camera, the µ[mju:] 400 Digital has a spot metering mode (something that my Canon EOS 10D lacks!), or you can use the Digital ESP metering system which takes an average reading from the scene. ISO speeds range from 64 to 250, but unfortunately you can't actually choose the speed - instead the camera selects the most suitable setting for you. White Balance can be set automatically by the camera, or you can choose from sunlight, overcast, tungsten light and fluorescent light presets.
The built-in flash has a guide number of 7.8 and offers a range of different modes; Auto (automatic activation in low and backlight), Red-eye Reduction, Fill-in (forced activation) and Off (no flash).
Images are recorded as JPEGs in a range of different quality and size settings; there are no TIFF or RAW formats. To compose your images, you can either use the small optical viewfinder or the 1.5 inch colour TFT LCD monitor which has 134,000 pixels. The µ[mju:] 400 Digital is powered by a proprietary rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which takes a couple of hours to fully charge.
Finally, the box kit includes a camera strap, 16 MB xD-Picture Card, USB cable, video cable, one lithium-ion rechargeable battery (Li-10B), battery charger, AC cable for charger, remote controller RM-2 and the CAMEDIA Master 4.1 software package. It's very nice to see the inclusion of the remote controller in the basic kit, but you will need to invest in a few more xD-Picture Cards to store your images on.