Olympus Mju 1020

      Photo Review 8.3

      In summary

      A stylish, high-resolution, slimline digicam with a good feature set for snapshooters.Packed inside the stylish black metal body of the Mju 1020 is a 10-megapixel CCD imager that is only marginally larger than the sensors in the 8-megapixel Mju 840 and Mju 850 SW models, although we don’t have its actual dimensions. While the difference in maximum output file sizes between the Mju 1020 and its ‘sisters’ is relatively small (3648 x 2736 pixels in the 1020 vs 3248 x 2436 pixels in the other models) Olympus is asking a lot from this tiny imaging chip. . . [more]

      Full review


      Packed inside the stylish black metal body of the Mju 1020 is a 10-megapixel CCD imager that is only marginally larger than the sensors in the 8-megapixel Mju 840 and Mju 850 SW models, although we don’t have its actual dimensions. While the difference in maximum output file sizes between the Mju 1020 and its ‘sisters’ is relatively small (3648 x 2736 pixels in the 1020 vs 3248 x 2436 pixels in the other models) Olympus is asking a lot from this tiny imaging chip.

      The Mju 1020 is claimed as the smallest compact camera with 7x optical zoom and its body weighs only 135 grams and measures only 25.2 mm thick. Its lens tucks into the camera body and has a focal length range of 6.6mm to 46.2 mm, which equates to 37-260mm in 35mm format. Its maximum aperture is f/3.5 at the wide setting and f/5.3 at the tele end, which isn’t particularly fast. A Dual Super Aspherical (DSA) lens element allows such a small lens to cover such a long zoom range.


      Front view with lens extended.


      Rear view.

      In virtually all other respects, the Mju 1020 offers the same feature set as the Mju 840 model. It has the same 2.7-inch LCD, TruePic III image processor and Dual Shakeproof sensor-shift image stabilisation system plus a high-sensitivity Digital Image Stabilisation system that allows shots to be taken at 10-megapixel resolution with ISO 1600 sensitivity. The menu systems in both cameras are almost identical, although the Mju 1020 includes three extra scene mode settings, Under Water Wide 1, Under Water Wide 2 and Under Water Macro, which are designed for use with the optional PT-042 underwater housing.
      Shutter speed ranges are the same and long exposures (up to four seconds) are only available in the night mode. No custom white balance function is provided. There’s also no viewfinder. The same Face Detect & Shadow Adjust Technology is found in both cameras and both offer identical panorama shooting capabilities. White balance settings, post-capture adjustments for images and flash and playback modes are identical.
      Interestingly, video options are slightly different, with the Mju 1020 offering VGA or QVGA quality at 15 or 30 frames/second, while the Mju 840 adds 160 x 120 pixels at 15fps. The batteries in the two models are also different and, unlike the Mju 840, the Mju 1020 is not supplied with a MASD-1 miniSD adaptor. Like all Olympus digicams, the Mju 1020 comes with a copy of Olympus Master, the proprietary downloader and file manager application. For details of functions shared with other Mju digicams, click here to access the review of the Mju 840.
      In many respects, the overall performance of the Mju 1020 was very similar to the Mju 840 (which isn’t surprising as they have the same image processor). The LCD was just as susceptible to finger marks and offered similar viewing characteristics. Imatest showed resolution to be slightly below expectations and revealed a slight edge softening in shots. However, lateral chromatic aberration was generally higher, sitting at the ‘high’ end of the ‘moderate’ scale. We also detected noticeable coloured fringing at the edges of several shots (an example is provided below).


      Imatest plots for colour accuracy and colour reproduction were almost identical for the two cameras and colour accuracy was good with saturation very close to natural levels. Resolution near the centre of the frame remained relatively high throughout the ISO range but edge resolution (which was lower to start with) declined sharply after the ISO 400 point, as shown in the graph below.


      White balance performance was almost identical to the Mju 840 but, because of the greater magnification achieved with the digital zoom setting, digital zoom shots were flatter and slightly artefact-affected. The performance of the face detection and panorama functions was the same as the Mju 840 – click here and see Full Review tab for results.
      The test camera took just over a second to power-up and shut down. We measured an average capture lag of 0.34 seconds, which reduced to less than 0.1 second with pre-focusing. Shot to shot times averaged approximately 3.2 seconds, extending to 5.3 seconds with flash. It took approximately 2.6 seconds to process each image file.
      In the standard continuous shooting mode, the camera recorded four high-resolution shots at 0.9 second intervals before slowing down. With the high-speed burst mode, shots were recorded at 3-megapixel size with an interval of just over 0.1 second between frames. It took 3.3 seconds to process a burst of 10 shots and just 15 seconds to format a memory card that was 40% filled.



      Centre-of-field resolution.


      Edge resolution.



      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.


      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.


      Macro setting.


      Super macro setting.


      Digital zoom.


      Night mode setting.


      The same subject photographed in P mode with sensitivity set to ISO 1600.


      Short exposure time at ISO 80.


      Short exposure time at ISO 1600.




      Image sensor: “1/2.33-inch” type CCD with 10.7 million photosites (10.1 megapixels effective)
      Lens: 6.6-46.2 mm f/3.5-5.3 zoom (37-260mm in 35mm format)
      Zoom ratio: 7x optical, up to 5x digital
      Image formats: Stills ““ JPEG (Exif 2.21); Movies ““ AVI Motion JPEG with sound
      Image Sizes: Stills – 3648×2736, 2560×1920, 2304×1728, 2048×1536, 1920 x 1080, 1600×1200, 1280 x 960, 640 x 480; Movies – 640 x 480 at 15/30 fps, 320 x 240 at 15/30 fps
      Shutter speed range: 1/2 sec. – 1/2000 sec. (up to 4 sec. in night mode)
      Image Stabilisation: CCD-shift plus ISO boost
      Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 EV in 1/3 step increments
      Focus system/range: TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection; range 70 cm to infinity; macro to 2 cm
      Exposure metering/control: ESP/Spot metering; Program AE plus 23 scene mode settings
      ISO range: Auto, ISO 80-1600
      White balance: Auto, Overcast, Sunlight, Tungsten, Fluorescent (x3)
      Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, red-eye reduction. Fill-in, off; range 0.2-4.8 metres
      Sequence shooting: 0.7 fps for 7 frames (4.9 fps for 11 frames at 3MP in high-speed mode)
      Storage Media: 16MB internal memory plus xD-Picture Card slot
      Viewfinder: n.a.
      LCD monitor: 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD Screen (230,000 pixels)
      Power supply: Li-50B rechargeable lithium-ion battery
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 99.0 x 56.3 x 25.2 mm
      Weight: Approx. 135 grams (without battery and card)






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