Olympus Mju 1030 SW Review

Review Date: April 11th 2008
Author: Gavin Stoker

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3.5Mb.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Olympus Mju 1030 SW which you can select at any time if the camera is in the normal shooting mode. There is virtually no discernible noise at the slowest settings of ISO 80, 100 and 200, with some noise and slight loss of detail apparent at ISO 400, particularly in the shadow areas. As hoped for though, image noise doesn't start to noticeably intrude until ISO 800 and even at ISO 1600 its appearance isn't a deal breaker (the results however looking better if converted to black and white), though you are losing overall definition. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level if you don't like the default results.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   
   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Olympus Mju 1030 SW handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with only small levels of coloured fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)
Example 2 (100% Crop)
   

Macro

The Olympus Mju 1030 SW offers a Suprer Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is just 2cms away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject in Super Macro mode (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

   

Flash

The flash settings on the Olympus Mju 1030 SW are Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-in and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Auto - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (102mm)

Auto - Telephoto (102mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64
   

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Auto or the Red-eye reduction modes caused any amount of red-eye.

Auto

Auto (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye reduction

Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)
   

Night Shot

The Olympus Mju 1030 SW's maximum shutter speed is 4 seconds, which is not great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/8th second, aperture of f/4.3 at ISO 1600. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)
   

Overall Image Quality

Like we've found on previous generation Mjus, images straight out of the camera are a little flat, and, left on full auto, the Olympus mju 1030SW tends to err on the side of underexposure. So, colours are best described as naturalistic rather than vivid. Unadulterated JPEGs also benefit from some judicious application of unsharp mask in Photoshop to enable them to really zing, and even under seemingly ideal conditions (bright sunshine) they're generally a little soft. None of the above gives real cause for concern though and in truth we're being picky as each can be adjusted easily in the image editor of your choice. Similarly, though purple fringing pops up between areas of contrast, it's barely noticeable unless you're zooming right in to actively look for it. Since you don't get true image stabilization however, just the digital variety, and the higher sensitivity settings start to strip away detail, this isn't really a camera for those naturalistic low light shots. As hoped for though, image noise doesn't start to noticeably intrude until ISO 800 and even at ISO 1600 its appearance isn't a deal breaker (the results however looking better if converted to black and white), though you are losing overall definition. Thanks to super macro mode you can also get impressively close to your subject whilst maintaining some semblance of sharpness, as our memory card test shots show, whilst selecting regular flash causes a barely noticeable amount of red eye. So, overall, good results can be achieved with a little work. While it's no star performance, it's a perfectly acceptable one.

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Olympus Mju 1030 SW have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

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