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Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115
Point & Shoot

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Review – Elegant by Design – By Thang Nguyen

June 23, 2020

This Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 (also known as the Olympus Stylus mju Zoom 115) was not my camera of choice per se, I came across it in a thrift store with a price tag of $3, and it looks cool, so thought why not? Despite the many rolls I passed through this camera, I decided I wanted it off my shelf. The reasons being, it’s slow to use, has bad ergonomics and a very unintuitive zoom rocker.

Using this camera is a test of patience, every time I turn it on, I have to wait for the lens and the flash taking their sweet time to pop-out of the body. Did I mention zooming on this camera is also painfully slow? To turn it off, you have to slide the lens cover halfway in, wait for the lens to fully retract then close the lens cover to finally put it in your pocket.

Holding the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 by one hand is awkward, the grip is also the camera’s power switch, so every time I turn the camera on or off, I’ll have to readjust my hand to a new position. Using two hands is quite difficult due to the camera’s weird contour and small size.

Because of the handling nature of this design, I heard a lot of people have dropped theirs so if you have one of these, be careful not to drop yours. The zoom rocker on this camera makes no sense to me whatsoever, push forward to zoom out and pull it back to zoom in, quite counter-intuitive. Many times, I have wondered why the zoom switch does nothing until I realize my silly mistake.

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115
Even though the 3 negatives I mentioned above are a deal breaker for me, there’s a lot of things the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 has done right. For starters, the shutter button is big and responsive, one of the best I’ve seen on a compact – there’s a positive clicky half-click and another click when the shutter is fully depressed.

The build is solid, despite its all-plastic construction, the plastic used is thick and doesn’t flex. The weather-proofing is a nice bonus, and the flash is quite balanced and doesn’t have the tendency to overexpose images.

While I’m not a fan of sliding or should I say “clam-shell” design, the Olympus Stylus Zoom 115 is a very attractive camera. The intentional contour lines run across the champagne shell make the camera seem sophisticated, like something a celebrity would pull out of their purse.

Also, the control layout on the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 is really organized and blends well with the overall design of the camera. The mode/control buttons are decent to press, there aren’t any special shooting modes that you won’t find on other basic point and shoot. The shutter speed ranges from 1/600sec to 4 secs which is broad for a point & shoot.

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115

The Lens

Now, the important part that could make or break a camera: the lens! The lens on the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 the range from 38mm-115mm which should cover most occasions. Thankfully, the lens of this camera performs well across the board, but it won’t blow your mind either.

These pictures taken with the Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 may convince you one way or the other.

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Shot on Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 at longest focal length, I was impressed how this picture came out well exposed and the birds in the distance are blur-free, given the poor lightning during the rain.

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 115 Sample Picture

Overall, I wouldn’t say the Olympus Stylus Epic zoom 115 is a bad camera, it just didn’t leave much of a good impression on me. Or maybe it’s the fact that I didn’t appreciate it enough is because I didn’t know this camera is the zoom version of the highly sought after Mju II.

I had thought that because it’s not a prime lens camera that it would be going to be cheap on eBay, and nobody will be looking for it. Apparently, I was wrong, it’s quite pricey and sought after now. I let mine go when I found out that there are people looking for this zoom model…

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Lee
    June 23, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    I wonder if the Mju Zoom 115 is subject to the same random circular light halos that the lens on it’s cousin the Mju Zoom 80 is known to create? I recall a review of the Mju Zoom 80 on this site that laid out just this issue (https://www.35mmc.com/?s=zoom+80). For $3.00 it’s hard to argue with the performance of the Mju Zoom 115 though. Nice find.

    • Reply
      Thang Nguyen
      June 23, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      I’m sure all Mju camera are subject to have that light leak issue, This is a very nice camera to have for around ~$30 but the current market goes for triple solely for the name mju that which makes it hard to to recommend these.

      • Reply
        Lee
        June 24, 2020 at 5:38 pm

        I fully agree with you in terms of the hype of these Mju Zoom cameras. I personally have a Mju Zoom 80 and I have experienced the circular light halos on a few rolls. Because of them, I tend not to shoot the camera very often. I also found my Mju Zoom 80 for ludicrously low price of $1.00 at a garage sale last year, so I don’t feel like I overpaid for the camera at all, but I don’t think it’s worth anywhere close to the high prices it tends to fetch. Sold listings on Ebay show prices anywhere from $40-200. Absolutely nuts. https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=olympus+mju+zoom+80&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_Sold=1&LH_Complete=1

  • Reply
    Nico Negron
    June 23, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Literally found this exact model in our closet today! Ued to use it as a kid!

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