Here it is – the hottest camera in a very long time, the hippest camera for an even longer time, the camera that could quite easily pay for your mortgage if you have a few stockpiled!
The Olympus mju ii has sent people crazy and I don’t know exactly what started it but at the moment they are going for insane prices, particularly considering at the end of the day it’s a compact point and shoot. I got mine for $5 at the local op shop (thrift store), shot a roll through it then sold it for $245! For that kind of money I could get multiple lenses for my Canon AE1, such as the fantastic FD 50 1.4, and I know what I’d rather have. But anyhow I digress, so the quick rundown is that this is a very compact, easily pocketable camera that’s also splash proof, features a 35mm f2.8 lens with 4 elements in 4 groups as well as the usual auto focus and other auto settings etc.
I decided to give it a go as my everyday point and shoot for family shots and anywhere else I happened to go in my day to day life as this was what it was intended for. A lot of people also swear by them as the be all and end all for street shooting and believe that if they purchase one then a membership to Magnum photography will soon be forthcoming.
In practical use I found it to be very easy to carry around, it has a very quiet shutter and its shape makes it fit nicely into the palm of your hand. The 35mm f2.8 lens on the mju ii is also nice and sharp and capable of really pleasant results. Its small size and light weight also means that its possible to shoot in quite low light due to being able to still get good shots at much lower shutter speeds than is possible with a bigger heavier camera. Focus missed a bit on occasion but this is always to be expected with point and shoots however in most cases it did really well. I used Kodak Pro Image 100 for this so all shots were taken with a 100 speed film which is also an illustration of its slow shutter speed capabilities. All in all I found it a fun camera to use with a lot of things going in its favour, including a good lens, however I also have a couple of other point and shoots – a Canon Sureshot and Konica Lexio – reviews soon – that also give similar results and can be found for literally 1/10 the price of this camera! It’s just sheer insanity at the moment and unfortunately this is overshadowing the fact that this is a genuinely good, fun and likeable everyday camera.