Olympus Stylus Verve S (mju mini Digital S) review
Received a 'champagne gold' (I think) one for my birthday. For a really compact digital camera, I have to say that I am quite pleased with it. Pictures are sharp and not often underexposed when in the camera is in full automatic. The selection of scene modes is quite comprehensive, although a mode that could help compensate for strong backlighting (such as some of the consumer-level Nikons) would be a nice addition.
Construction is 4.0 as while it is small and fragile-looking, it is quite sturdy (Mine has survived a few drops from about a metre off the floor as it slipped while trying to take a close-up shot).
Features are average as because it's a 'stylish' (I do like the looks ALOT) consumer model, it lacks any true manual settings or shutter/aperture priority settings. The optical zoom could be better as there are cameras smaller than this that manage a 3x optical zoom.
Image quality is a high 4.5, with good reason. In the right hands photographs can be taken that can be blown up to greater than 8x10 (or am I thinking a minimum of 16x20, will try sometime).
Tremendously easy to use and considering it's size and feature-set, quite good value for money. It is the perfect pocket camera for those odd snaps on the fly or sudden inspiration moments and definitely excellent for parties.
That being said the camera suffers by lacking a 3x optical zoom which other cameras in this class/size/price range do offer.
Construction is solid on the most part, but the LCD screen area seems prone to scratching. Even when placed in the supplied pouch and in a pocket with nothing else in it. Not really a major fault, but an aesthetic one. The lack of an optical viewfinder is a bit dissapointing, but more and more cameras in this range are coming without those which is a shame as it LCD displays just don't cut it sometimes especially in bright light or when you need to use your nose as an extra stabiliser.
Battery life isn't terrible, but it isn't excellent; you definitely need to take a 2nd or even 3rd fully charged battery with you if you want to spend a full day taking snaps. Having only taken 40 photos and 3 videos while at Hong Kong Disneyland, the battery died midway through the parade and so I had to do without any photos of it. Having an optical viewfinder and being allowed to switch off the screen would go a long way in saving battery life.
Like rustedborg has commented, it is an excellent take everywhere camera, and until I save up enough to get a d-slr, it'll do me great.
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