Olympus MJU 500
- New user friendly
- Blocky design, poor menu system
A fairly poor choice in this price point, especially compared to Olympus' other offerings. Only recommended for new users
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Olympus' MJU Digital 500 is a disappointing offering in the 5 megapixel digital camera category. We have come to expect great things from them, with cameras such as the MJU 800 performing exceptionally well for their price. The MJU 500 looks as though it was intended as a less powerful version of the 800, but falls down in a few key areas that make it a much less attractive purchase.
The first of these is design. The camera looks fairly blocky, with a build that looks like a modernised film camera rather than a stylish digital device. It is largely constructed of silver plastic, which feels solid enough, but the mounting of the controls is quite poor. The buttons felt loose and unresponsive and the function wheel had a very grainy feeling when manipulated.
This lead to a worse problem; trying to navigate the menu. We like the Olympus menu system. It is easy to understand and clearly set out, but the directional pad on this model is very awkward. In the space of thirty seconds, just while checking what functions the menu had to offer, we wound up at the wrong option no less than five times. It took us multiple tries to get anywhere and quickly became very frustrating.
Thankfully the camera is clearly designed as an entry level model and thus there are not many options that need to be tweaked regularly. The MJU 500 gives just the very basics in terms of exposure, ISO sensitivity and whitebalance manipulation. There is no sign of any more complicated options such as aperture or shutter priority modes. It does however grant twenty scene modes, which contain two continuous shooting modes for capturing multiple shots of moving targets. The range of scene modes is very impressive, and the explanations that accompany them clearly highlight what each one does (the Landscape mode for example has "vivid reproduction of blues and greens"). On a camera aimed at new users it is great to see more companies take the sort of approach Kodak has taken and incorporate self explanatory menus.
The MJU 500 produced quite reasonable images that sit somewhere in the middle of the pack. Colour is definitely its strong suit, with rich greens and blues that are at a good level of saturation, although there is a small yellowish tinge in lighter areas. Sharpness was good around the edges, but the camera seems to have trouble handling high detail, with areas such as foliage loosing a lot of definition in the centre.
Response time was slightly below average. Shutter speed was almost instant, but the lag after taking pictures was a little over three seconds in bright light, and a little under three seconds in low light, which is slightly above the average of about two seconds. Still quick enough for most average users.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
- GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- FTInsight / Customer / modelling - Analyst (Data Scientist)NSW
- CCLync/Skype EngineerNSW
- FTFraud AnalystVIC
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTIT Cyber Security Requirements ConsultantACT
- FTSystems Engineer / Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTImplementation Consultant, Enterprise SoftwareNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCiOS Developer - New AppNSW
- CCAEM DeveloperNSW
- CCSharePoint DeveloperACT
- CCMVC .Net Developer- Hurstville NSW 2220NSW
- CCProcurement Sourcing SpecialistQLD
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- CCMaster SchedulerVIC
- CCJava Developer - IOSNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystACT
- FTInfrastructure Project Manager - NV1 clearance mandatoryNSW
- FTSenior Unified Communications Consultant - National IT ServicesNSW
- CCCommercial Manager - Strategy / Big Data - Telecommunications -NSW
- FTServer EngineerNSW
- FTChange LeadNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - Superannuation FundVIC