Olympus Mju-mini Digital
Digital Cameras

Olympus Mju-mini Digital – The OTHER Mju – By Orkhan Abbasov

September 16, 2020

Many years ago when I was a child I saw a TV ad publicizing a very small and beautiful Olympus Mju-mini Digital. The design of this camera stuck somewhere deep inside my brain, but it was not until the end of 2019 that I saw this camera again.

2004 Mju-mini DIGITAL TV ad

Finding a Olympus Mju-mini Digital

One day I was looking for some filters at an old photography equipment store and suddenly saw a box with familiarly looking camera.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital box

Despite the original price of 345€ back in 2004, I have bought it for only 35€ in 2019.


It has never been opened, even the package of the camera battery and of a 16Mb xD card was intact. I did reserve the camera and gave myself a day to sleep on it. The very next day the Olympus Mju-mini Digital was mine.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital front

Small, lightweight, very ergonomic, gorgeous design. With the exception of a few plastic parts the general feeling from the Olympus Mju-mini Digital’s aluminium body is very pleasing. I’d say more pleasing than any mju series compact film cameras including the now legendary mju-II.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital front

All the buttons are small, but placed thoughtfully and I never felt a need for either bigger buttons or different button placement.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital back

The lens is a ~35-75mm in full frame equivalent, with x2 zoom, which is a nice option. Despite the lens being relatively slow, it produces beautiful images.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital silver

Twins

Less than a week after the purchase of my first Olympus Mju-mini Digital, I bought the second body. I like to use the cameras on a daily basis but at the same time I wanted to keep my Mju-mini in mint condition.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital blue and silver

The second camera cost me only 10€ and came in a beautiful blue color. Nevertheless it came with an issue, the lens cap would open properly only in one position, with the lens pointed to the sky. Soon this procedure became a routine. In use, I have found the small size is very rewarding, I have this camera everyday in my pocket.

Quick specs & example images

It’s a point & shoot camera, nevertheless it permits some personalization. You can select between Matrix, Center-weight and Spot metering. Several options for Color balance, ISO, exposure compensation, flash modes. That’s it I guess. Auto focus is relatively quick and focuses properly in 97% of cases. When I bought the first camera I was very skeptical about the potential image quality.


Like any old digital camera (and any CCD) Mju-mini’s sensor likes a lot of light.

In low light, the Olympus Mju-mini Digital automatically chooses slow shutter speeds.


To get a steady image in low light, I do usually use exposure compensation and Spot metering. The images are a little bit underexposed, but still quite beautiful.

And this camera Is perfect for snaps


And self portraits

It renders beautifully green cast of fluorescent lamps.


And blue color


Any color you point the camera at.


Images are quite noisy at max ISO (400) and are superb at the lowest (64).

Getting it wet

Additionally I’ve bought an underwater housing for my “original” (silver) Mju-mini, to give it the “maximum protection”.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital

It protects the camera for up to 3m.

I did try to make some nice underwater pictures and videos, but finally ended up with this:

Underwater videos converted to Gifs:

It was impossible to see anything on the camera screen due to its low brightness, reflections from the plastic housing and scattered light underwater. So I did press the shutter all the time in order to capture more pictures. Anyway I was not able to capture any interesting picture but videos came up much more fun.

Olympus Mju-mini Digital in housing
I would say that underwater housing for this camera is something I wouldn’t necessarily use underwater, but rather as a “second skin” to protect my precious camera from any unpredictable accident on the seashore.

I haven’t noticed any decline in image quality with the camera inside the housing. Here are some photos:

Final thoughts

Olympus Mju-mini Digital is one of the “dinosaurs” in my camera bag. It’s a very beautiful and pleasant camera to use. A little bit slow, no RAW capture, nevertheless excellent camera for quick snaps to share on social platforms.

If you have an opinion or a question, please comment below, let’s get in touch!

For more Photos сheck out my website and social media:
https://www.oabbasov.com/
https://www.instagram.com/oabbazov/
https://oabbazov.tumblr.com/
If you like some Techno: https://soundcloud.com/orhan-abbasov

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    Peggy
    September 17, 2020 at 7:58 am

    I bought one of these new, a spur of the moment purchase in an airport. I loved it, but eventually sold it and moved on…until last year. I thought the 5mp version. I always found it worked better on a scene, the auto not quite handling situations. It is just such a cool looking thing. I love it. Great article and super photos, it makes me want to use mine again.

    • Reply
      Orkhan Abbasov
      October 1, 2020 at 8:42 am

      Thank you Peggy!

      I do absolutely agree with you both body design and the image quality are gorgeous. I would say it so appealing that I want to buy more cameras in different colors 😂

      Thank you for

  • Reply
    Keith Tomlinson
    September 17, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Brilliant to read this. I had one as a gift in NYC years ago. I loved it. In fact I gave it to my parents and they still use it.

  • Reply
    Ben Garcia
    September 17, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Interesting little camera; those CCD sensors are pretty amazing when conditions are right. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Huss
    September 21, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    I also had a blue one! Gorgeous styling and really nice build. It does take sweet pics.
    Wonder where it went.

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