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Olympus Stylus Verve (μ-mini) Digital Review

February 2005 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Olympus μ-mini Digital

Olympus unveiled the µ-mini Digital / Stylus Verve Digital at the Photokina trade show in Cologne (September 2004). The camera has soft rounded 'stylish' design, an all-metal body with a color coordinated sliding cover over its two times optical zoom lens. The Stylus Verve will is available in a range of colors. Specification wise it offers fairly basic fuss-free operation, 2x (35-70mm equiv.) zoom, four million pixels and a weatherproof design. The camera is known as the Stylus Verve Digital in the US, and the µ ('Mju') mini DIGITAL in Europe and SE Asia, so you can have a camera with a silly name wherever you live in the world. We'll use the Stylus Verve name in this review mainly because it's easier typing that than trying to remember the key combination for µ.

  • Revolutionary design
  • Six body color variations (Jewelry Silver, Pure White, Cosmic Black, Crystal Blue, Velvet Red and Copper Orange)
  • Weatherproof* metal body
  • 4.0 million pixels
  • 2x optical zoom (35 – 70mm equiv.), f3.5-4.9
  • 1.8 inch high-contrast LCD (134,000 pixels) with 160° viewing angles on both the vertical and horizontal axis
  • TruePic TURBO image processor
  • Still image editing functions including new fish-eye and soft focus modes
  • Movie recording function with sound
  • PictBridge support
  • 13 subject/scene modes

* weatherproof equivalent to the IEC standard publication 529 IPX4

Olympus Stylus Verve (μ-mini) Key specifications

Street price • US: $299
• UK: £180
Body Material Metal
Sensor • 1/2.5" CCD, 4.1 million pixels
• 4.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 2272 x 1704
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Movie clips • 320 x 480 pixels @ 15fps
• 160 x 120 pixels @ 15fps
• Motion JPEG
• Duration limited by card capacity (streaming)
Lens

• 35 - 70mm equiv. (2x optical zoom)
• F3.5-F4.9

Focus • TTL autofocus
• iESP multi point focus
• Spot AF
• 20cm closest focus (macro mode), 8cm (Super Macro mode)
Shooting mode

• Portrait
• Night Scene
• Self Portrait
• Self Portrait and Self Timer
• Beach and Snow
• Cuisine
• Indoor
• Landscape
• Landscape with Portrait
• Behind Glass
• Candle
• Sunset
• Fireworks
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 64
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
White balance • Auto
• 4 presets
Image parameters

• Saturation (3 levels)
Contrast (3 levels)
• Sharpness (3 levels)
• Color effects (Sepia, Black and White)

Continuous • 1.3 fps
• 7 images (SHQ mode)
Flash • Built-in
• Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Fill-In, Off
• Range: Wide 0.3 - 2.8 m (0.7 - 9.2 ft), Tele 0.2 - 2.0m (0.7 - 6.6 ft)
Storage • xD-Picture Card
• 16 MB card supplied
Viewfinder none
LCD monitor • 1.8" TFT LCD
• 134,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• A/V out
Power • Lithium-Ion LI-30B rechargeable battery
• Charger supplied
• Optional D-7AC AC adapter (dummy battery)
In the box*

Camera
Strap
• Lithium Ion battery
Charger
USB cable
A/V cable
16MB xD-Picture Card
CD-ROM (utility software and manuals)
Printed manual

Other features

• TruePic Turbo processor
• Pixel mapping and noise reduction
• In-camera picture effects (soft focus, fisheye, black and white, sepia)
• PictBridge compatible
• Digital ESP / Spot metering
• 4x digital zoom
• Weatherproof (splash resistant)

Weight (excl batt) 115 g (0.3 lb)
Dimensions 95 x 56 x 28 mm (3.7 x 2.2 x 1.1in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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