Olympus µ[mju:] 410 Digital
(Also known as the Olympus Stylus 410)
Review Date: 31st May 2004
The Olympus µ[mju:] 410 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 shutter speed range is 1/2 – 1/1000 sec, with the longest available shutter speed being 4 seconds in the Night Scene exposure mode.
The µ[mju:] 410 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) and weigh very little (159g without battery and memory card). The µ[mju:] 410 Digital has a weatherproof full-metal body, which means that the camera is not damaged by water spray from any direction.
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, Night Scene, Landscape, Self Portrait, Beach and Snow, Cuisine, Indoor and Landscape with Portrait. The µ[mju:] 410 Digital also has a panoramic mode, 2 in 1 mode sepia mode, black & white mode and it allows you to record short movies with sound in the QuickTime Motion JPEG format. There are two movie modes: HQ (320 x 240 pixels): up to 20 sec. (15 frames/sec.) and HQ (160 x 120 pixels): up to 90 sec. (15 frames/sec.).
Surprisingly for a compact camera, the µ[mju:] 410 Digital has a spot metering mode (something that my Canon EOS 10D DSLR lacks!), or you can use the Digital ESP metering system which takes an average reading from the scene. ISO speeds range from 64 to 500 (this was 64-250 on the µ[mju:] 400 Digital), 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 focusing system used is TTL autofocus with contrast detection. The working range in Standard mode is 0.5m – infinity. There are also two different macro modes available - Macro mode alllows you to focus as close as 0.2m, and Super macro mode as close as 9cm. 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 new 1.5 inch sunshine colour TFT LCD monitor which has 134,000 pixels. The µ[mju:] 410 Digital features Olympus' new TruePic Turbo technology, which delivers more image clarity, contrast and brilliant colour and also increases the camera's processing speed by up to 30%.
The µ[mju:] 410 Digital is powered by a proprietary rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which takes a couple of hours to fully charge. PictBridge support allows direct printing with compatible printers, and there is a USB 2.0 Full Speed Auto Connect interface to connect the camera to your computer.
Finally, the box kit includes a camera strap, 32 MB xD-Picture Card, USB cable, audio/video cable, one lithium-ion rechargeable battery (Li-10B), battery charger, remote controller RM-2, instruction manual and the CAMEDIA Master 4.2 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.