Point & Shoot

The Olympus mju-ii – is it the Ultimate Point & Shoot?

Olypmus mju-ii 35mm compact camera

The Olympus mju-ii feels like a bit of a mountain to climb in terms of giving it a review. Not for it’s feature set or for how complex it is use. It is in fact a very simple camera with few features. But more for the fact that it has such a massive following and that is despite a few unavoidable shortcomings. Many people actually consider the Olympus mju-ii as the ultimate 35mm compact “point and shoot” camera! I’m going to give you my thoughts on that point of view… And hopefully clarify, in my opinion, why people feel such fondness for this cheap plasticky little camera.

Edit: Since writing this post in 2013, I have updated it with a follow-up post. If you would like my full opinion of this camera, please read on, then read the follow-up here

I can’t count the amount of times I have been reading forum threads, seen conversations on twitter etc where someone has asked “I’m looking for a 35mm compact camera…” And the obvious answer has been “Olympus mju-ii”. It seems many people looking to dip a toe into 35mmc shooting have similar priorities:

Small/compact/lightweight/easy to pocket -The Olympus mju-ii is arguably one of, if not the smallest and lightest going!

Inexpensive – it can be had for £20-£50.

Good lens – There is no doubting the mju-ii has a good lens! It’s 35mm which is probably the first choice for most people when looking at a fixed lens compact… and it has a f2.8 max aperture; excluding a few expensive or much larger cameras that’s as fast as they come anyway. It’s as sharp as anyone could ever need and it even focuses down to 35cm.

AE/AF – Both, from experience, fairly capable! (For most purposes anyway, more on that in a mo)

Easy to use – It has 3 buttons and a sliding lens door… It’s fairly self explanatory, especially when coming from pretty much any other camera. My iPhone has more camera features than a mju-ii I think!

Easy to come by – There is something like 3.5 million of these things knocking about people’s draws, charity shops and eBay so fairly easy to come by. Just be quick as Troy is buying them at some rate it seems.

It fits the above criteria arguably better than any other 35mm p&s camera, and that really is what makes it so hard not to recommend! If asked the question, I recommend it my self!

I walked this very path my self! Some years ago I decided I wanted to have a compact film camera, I was sick of digital compacts and how crappy they were at the time! A little research and reading online lead me to enough people saying exactly the same as the above. A little more reading and you find out it has up to 3200iso dx reading a 1-17ev meter and is weatherproof!!

roofs

And there is more to it than even that if we level the playing field a little! The mju-ii is most accurately classified as a point and shoot (P&S) camera… To be slightly awkward I would differentiate it from the likes of the Ricoh GR1, Fuji Klasse, Contax T’s et al. I prefer to refer to them as “Advanced 35mm Compacts”, point and shoot just doesn’t do them justice. Put the mju-ii up against them, feature wise at very least, and it falls short! The price tag alone of those cameras puts them in a different league anyway. So with those out of the equation we are left with just the vast array of 35mm compact point & shoot fixed, fast(ish) lensed AF/AE cameras for comparison.

So how does it compare? Well, the viewfinder is quite small, and it doesn’t provide full coverage. I don’t really find this a problem. I frame with the viewfinder, if I get more than I counted on I can crop if I want. I often crop to straighten or correct perspective a bit anyway, so a bit of extra frame is fine in my books… Just be conscious of the fact that one of the compromises the Olympus mju-ii has is a VF that’s a bit like looking through a keyhole. (It should be pointed out though, it’s no smaller than the Yashica T5’s vf which is a much bigger camera.) There is also zero info in the viewfinder other than the green focus confirmation light and an orange light to tell you the flash will be used. The green light flashes if focus can’t be found … and that, bar some parallax lines is it!

Focusing sometimes feels a little hit and miss! You aim with a cross hair of sorts… Precise focusing takes a little practice and some level of luck. When the green led in the vf lights up, the camera is focused and locked; reframe if required and shoot. It’s probably fair to say that most AF cameras move the lens at the point of focusing ie before full press of the button. With the mju-ii the mechanism of focusing the lens is separate from the act of gathering distance information. What I mean by this is that when you half press the button and the green light illuminates don’t expect the lens to move, it moves to focus after full press. I quite like this as a feature, it means the camera is silent until the shutter button is pressed. It’s an option I have activated on my Klasse W.

locks
I attempted to focus on the lock and recomposed – It missed by a little bit …

locks
Focusing at a further distance.

I should add, on the subject of focusing, that although precision focusing in the case of the above example is maybe a little harder than I’d like, I generally find focusing very good, it rarely misses in “normal”, “snapshot” point and shoot situations.

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Regular readers might be aware of my referring to cameras as ‘eager’ or otherwise with regard to the shutter release. The ultimate in eager is my Yashica T5, but the oly isn’t far behind, it certainly feels satisfyingly responsive. And despite the lens moving to focus after the fact, there is little discernible lag.

So what about that minimal feature set? Well, this is probably the area of biggest concern for most when it comes to the Olympus mju-ii! The minimal features are reset when the camera is switched off. So close the front hatch, and whatever the setting you have been working with are lost. This is most frustrating and most likely to cause issue with regard to the flash mode. When you open the Olympus mju-ii it is set to auto. like many others I prefer to shoot with the flash set to off and only switch it on when entirely necessary. So having to remember to switch it off every time you switch the camera on can become a little tiring. Bare in mind though, this is not unusual… Most 35mm compacts of this era act similarly to the Olympus mju-ii. But because the likes of the Ricoh GR1 have features that are retained, it is regarded as a major shortcoming of the Oly… And I sort of agree! It’s just such a good camera in all other ways, a flash switch (a la GR1) would probably escalate this camera above all of its contemporaries. But as it stands there are other compact cameras that handle flash automation or otherwise better. The Ricoh FF90 springs to mind, the little button on the top that you can hold down to prevent the flash from activating is a very clever idea to my mind!

I have attempted to find a solution to this, but it’s not been entirely successful!

The Olympus mju-ii does attempt to redeem itself with regards to flash. It’s fill flash is very good, it has red eye reduction, slow sync (“night scene”) and even red eye and slow sync combined. And of course flash off.

Tom on the way to leeds
A bit of fill on this shot provided a very balanced exposure

Other features include a spot meter which is really aimed at (excuse the pun) backlit photography where the point of focus and the area you want to meter from are the same. The usual self timer and a mode for use with a remote… which I don’t have. There is also a “date” version… And that’s your lot for features!

So how is it in use? Well once you get used to switching the flash off (if that is indeed the way you are inclined), it’s pretty good! The hatch on the front is easy to open with one hand, the viewfinder does black out quite quickly when not viewed straight through but it manages to feel like it’s in the right place, so I can let it off that! The shape of it means that in holding it I’ve never felt like my finger is going near the lens. Yet despite this I somehow find it a little uncomfortable to hold, I’m not sure if it is the size, it’s slightly odd shape, it’s plastic construction or just because I have got used to my Ricoh GR1, but one way or another it’s not quite ergonomically correct. But then because of it being so small you don’t think twice about taking it out with you! Another notable attribute of the Olympus mju-ii is the noise it makes, it is undoubtedly one of the softer sounding cameras when its doing it’s winding or focusing! It does of course make a noise, but it’s a much more unobtrusive one than most other AF, motorised compact 35mm cameras than I have used (I am lead to believe that the Konica Hexar AF is the quietest, I’ve just not tried one yet.)

You might have gathered, I like the Olympus mju-ii, but also that it’s not a perfect fit for me. For me, I still feel the Yashica T5 is a better fit, but that might be down to the emotional attachment I have to it for getting me back into compact camera shooting. The Yashica, unless you’re lucky like I was, is an expensive camera by comparison. It’s also bigger and what “advantages” it offers in picture quality are definitely subjective.

So as I said because of its accessible price point, how easy they are to find, it’s features and it’s size it’s hard not to recommend! There really is no other camera that ticks all of those p&s boxes as well. Yes it might be a better camera with a flash switch (or memory for flash mode) and maybe a slightly better designed metal body… Why not add aperture priority to this hypothetical camera too? But then of course it would be a lot more expensive and competing with cameras like the Ricoh GR1…
By being what it is and nothing else it manages to provide just the right balance between features and cost!

I think that what I am trying to say is that yes, the Olympus mju-ii might not be the perfect camera… But nobody said it was… It is though, more than likely, the ultimate point & shoot. And with every ounce of respect to Olympus, alongside the Trip 35, it is another one of their models that every photographer should at very less put one roll of film through!

Here is a small selection of other recent images:

roofs

Connie's Second Birthday

hall

star observer

And here is the set on flickr that I will continue to update

Thanks for reading!

Hamish

Some useful links

My follow-up post can be found here

A review from Ming Thein
A review on Steve Huff’s site
flickr pool

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84 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    troy holden
    August 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    It’s the greatest camera of all-time! This is the most thorough review I’ve read to date. Nice work, Hamish!

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      Reply
      Hamish
      August 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      haha,
      Cheers Troy!
      Just how many do you have now?

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        Reply
        troy holden
        August 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

        18 bodies “on ice” (in a shoebox in my closet) and 5 working bodies (bw 100, bw 400, color 400, color 800, bw 3200).

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          Reply
          Urban Hafner
          September 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

          I like the way you’re thinkig Troy! I currently have three Konica Big Minis (all color, ISO 100, 400, 1600) and an assortment of other compacts (including the mju-I and II). Maybe I should just standardise on one camera.

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            Hamish
            September 4, 2013 at 10:50 am

            I just have loads of cameras with the same film in … daft really, but it’s easier for testing them for these damned reviews!

        • Avatar
          Reply
          Hamish
          September 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

          haha… amazing!

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    Reply
    Alex
    August 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Nice in depth article, man. Really enjoyed this.

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    Reply
    jojonas
    August 31, 2013 at 11:57 am

    another thorough review! I have not tried this particular camera -yet! I’ve been mostly dabbing my feet in olympus pre-AF era compacts with the XAs and different trips.

    ohyeah, but I DID have a few olympus mju ones and really liked how they fit in my hand but everyone was more or less functioning.
    also the af trip mini was one of the cameras that I got into film photography with. not bad camera and very compact to boot. just got that back from a friend.

    hm… what do I actually have now?
    af trip mini
    olympus trip 35 (needs new lube)
    olympus trip ee-s
    olympus trip ees 2
    konica eu-mini
    konica auto s3
    pentax pc35 af
    lomo lc-a
    minolta af-c
    pentax espio 120sw

    maybe I should write a review or two? haha 😀

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish
      September 4, 2013 at 11:03 am

      There are quite a few there on my list!! 🙂

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    Reply
    John Ferebee
    September 2, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Hamish,

    I’ve had a curiosity about this little gem for a while now. I’m not sure I’ll buy one but it’s not because of your review; it’s excellent.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish
      September 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

      For the money they are practically a no brainer John!!

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    Reply
    MrzyQ
    September 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Good camera, good review. 35mm compacts are the best. <3 🙂

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish
      September 4, 2013 at 10:51 am

      I’d have to agree with you there 😉

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Gary
    September 5, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Enjoyed your review. I was amused to find you complained about the very same things I did in my review. Actually, I think I found a couple more things to grumble about (the exposure program among them), but like you, alos think it’s a camera with a great many virtues.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish
      September 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

      There is definitely a known set of issues with the camera, I think it just comes down to whether or not those issues hinder any one person. MT for eg also points out many of the same problems both you and I do, and the result is that he doesn’t like the camera at all. I subjective I guess…

      It’s interesting what you say about the program ae, I’d not figured a tendency for f2.8 selection. What is most interesting is that my Contax T2 is the same. It will choose 2.8 all the way up to and including a 1/125th sec shutter speed selection. Whereas my Ricoh GR1 and Fuji Klasse won’t choose 2.8 unless the light is really low and a 1/30th sec shutter speed is selected.

      The thing that both pairs of cameras have in common is their focusing. Both the Contax and the Oly have active focusing whereas the Ricoh and Fuji are both passive… I’m not sure if there is any real connection, but it’s interesting I think…?

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Alex Ward
    December 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Great review. I’ve been after one of these for a while on eBay but unfortunately haven’t been able to grab one within my budget. I will not give up!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Chase D'Cunha
      August 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Had you managed to grab one yet Alex? I got one for £38.00 GBP!

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    Reply
    Kevin Allan
    December 27, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I paid £3 for a MJU II recently at Tynemouth market; I think the lens is 35/f3.5, it has the date feature (which I’ve switched off) and an optional panorama crop. Liking it so far, but haven’t finished the first roll yet.

    I think the flash issue should not be too much of a problem – two quick presses of the flash button switch it off, which can be done in 1 second … that’s not to say I always remember though !

    • Avatar
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      Hamish
      December 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      That sounds like it might be one of the zoom models to me?

      Two quick button presses isn’t really a problem, it would just be better if it wasn’t necessary…

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    Reply
    Kevin Allan
    January 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    After checking on the Olympus camera museum, I realise mine is actually a Mju-1 (or just Mju) – the 35mm lens is fixed, not zoom, and predates the 35mm/f2.8 models which came along later. I have the first roll printed now, using Agfa Vista 200 from Poundland, and I was very pleased with the results – except for a few rolls where I accidentally invoked the rather pointless “panoramic” option which just masks off the top and bottom of the frame.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Alex Weiss
    September 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I’ve spotted Michael Sweet using this camera on the streets here in NYC. That says something.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      September 27, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      I don’t know who that is…?

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        Reply
        Jonathan Agar
        July 4, 2015 at 10:33 pm

        Hamish great report on this great camera. I have two of them : ) Michael Ernest Sweet is a Canadian street photographer. He’s quite famous for using simple cameras and for his kind of weird up close images. His work is not really my thing, but he’s for sure famous in street photography.

        • Avatar
          Reply
          Hamish Gill
          July 5, 2015 at 8:58 am

          ah, thanks, I’m not really well versed in the world of street photography 🙂

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    Reply
    Ehpem
    January 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Great review Hamish. I am itching to shoot one. The first one I bought (actually an Mju, or this being North America, the Stylus), for a dollar, does not work. I don’t recall the exact issue but think it is the take up reel. Probably good for parts. I found another one (Mju-II or Stylus Epic), like new, in its box with manuals and everything for $10 a couple of months ago but lent it to my son before I had a chance to try it. I must get on his case to finish the film and give it back.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      January 3, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Its a great camera… In fact, as time goes on, I’m starting to realise just how great! The lens especially, a real rarity in terms of just how good it is! I must get mine out…
      I shall keep an eye out for your 52rolls post with it then shall I? 😉

      • Avatar
        Reply
        Ehpem
        January 4, 2015 at 4:41 am

        I think you should, though it might be a few weeks before it is back in my hands.

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    Reply
    Jason
    April 21, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Great review and site. Really enjoying it.

    I picked up an MJU II a few weeks ago. Really dig it, but have a lot of problem with light leaks when using it in bright sun. I tried black taping the film window and door but got the same results. I can’t figure out where it’s coming from! Oh well, at least it’s not my main camera. Also have a Nikon AF3 coming, hopefully no light leaks with that one! (enjoyed your review of that as well!)

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Are the light leaks red? If they are red they probably come from the back of the camera, if not, probably the front.
      The AF-3 is a lot of fun! Let me know how you get on!!
      Glad you like the posts! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Jason
    April 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks. They’re white, on the sides and curved at the bottom. If the link works, you’ll see it here: https://flic.kr/p/sc3mnS

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      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 22, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      No visible cracks in the camera? It might be something in the lens??

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Christos Theofilogiannakos
      October 15, 2015 at 8:43 am

      I’ve had the same problem with one of my mju-IIs. White light leaks usually come from the shutter / lens assembly. Here’s a discussion I started at http://www.photo.net:

      http://photo.net/classic-cameras-forum/00d39f

      Perhaps it can be helpful.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Jason
    April 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Not that I can see, I keep going over it with a flashlight but can’t find any. Oh well no big deal. Thanks.

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    Reply
    Blinx
    September 23, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    I’ve had a MjuII from new, and it’s a nice camera. The three biggest disadvantages (in reverse order) are,

    3. The shape. Looks great but has the grip factor of soap in the bath. I took the neck rope off briefly to make the MjuII easier to carry in a pocket, and it was an accident waiting to happen.

    2. The flash. Not a problem when you get used to pushing the button twice and par for the course on a P&S, but still inconvenient. It encourages you to set the camera and leave it open, which may or may not be ideal.

    1. No override to the DX coding. Even compact cameras without manual exposure have rudimentary +/- 1.5 stop “backlight” settings, meaning you can set 400 ISO film at 1000, but not the Olympus. This is even more of a problem as the lens hangs on to f2.8 as long as possible, meaning what should be a perfect street photography camera is just so-so.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      September 24, 2015 at 6:32 am

      3. Agreed
      2. Agreed, and if you leave it on too long it goes funny and you have to take the batteries out
      1. True, but you can over ride the DX code with a bit of tape and a sharp instrument.
      Also the program mode preference for 2.8 is actually something I favour. Many of these little compacts will choose 1/30th before choosing 2.8 making them rubbish for any photography of people.

      As for not being the perfect street photography camera. Tell that to Troy Holden

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Blinx
    September 24, 2015 at 8:44 am

    True, you can scratch and tape the DX coding. Having a spot meter, it’s also possible to meter for the highlights, effectively under exposing the film which can be over-developed, i.e. pushed. The frustrating thing about the MjuII is it’s nearly a brilliant pocket camera. On balance the Konica Big Mini is a more flexible camera in the same market sector, though not without its own problems. For speed on the street, a zone focus P&S with manual ASA setting takes some beating. Before you know it you’re back to full manual cameras, which is why my Bessa L gets so much use!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      September 24, 2015 at 8:59 am

      Don’t get me started on the Konica Big Mini, I really don’t like those cameras – the shutter button is horrible and the way it just doesn’t respond when it misses focus is so frustrating.
      It’s all just what suits the individual of course, but your right really, the most ideal cameras for street seem to me to be fully manual. And indeed, the bessa L has to be one of the best street cameras. It almost makes me wish I shot street photography it’s that suitable for it.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Christos Theofilogiannakos
    October 14, 2015 at 10:30 am

    A very accurate review of the mju II. On my part, I simply hate this camera. The lens can give impressive, SLR-like results under certain situations, but it is otherwise a horrible (yes, HORRIBLE) camera: The flash thing is simply annoying, as is the terrible VF. AF is not as fast or accurate, the camera is often plagued by light leaks that cannot be fixed due to the peculiar design of the film door and the rubber gasket that ensures weather sealing. Worst of all, it handles like a wet bar of soap, there’s no grip and it is so light that one actually has to use both hands to avoid camera shake. There, I’ve said it, now I’m ready to be crucified by the mju crowd!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 14, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      Haha, brilliant!

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    Reply
    Dan James
    November 2, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I have to agree with Blinx and Christos. There are many compact film cameras out there that are almost brilliant, but are let down by one or two aspects that become complete “deal breakers”.

    For me the mju ii has two of these. It is simply far too slippery and difficult to handle – I almost dropped mine half a dozen times shooting a single roll (I can’t recall ever actually dropping another camera and damaging it). Plus that small viewfinder is just too much of an annoyance when virtually all of the earlier era compacts have so much bigger and more pleasurable VFs. You’re never going to get the immersion of experience of a calssic SLR with a big VF like a Pentax MX in a compact, but I still like to have some sense of being lost in a different world when I look through a camera’s VF. You can;t get that if it’s too small and squinty. Yes I do love the compact size of the mju ii, but something like the XA or XA2, mju i or underrated Canon MC are just as pocketable and all with much better handling and VFs.

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      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      November 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      So many cameras, and so few that fit the bill for even a majority.
      I think my point about the mju-ii is that for all its compromises, it offers perhaps the best balance between compromise/price/lens/size/ease to find etc. I don’t really like it either – but I still recommend it most times I am asked

      • Avatar
        Reply
        Dan James
        November 2, 2015 at 10:13 pm

        Ha ha, that’s amusing that you confess to not actually liking it much! Have you tried a mju i? I recently got one (well, two, they were both very cheap!), and the handling is for me so much better, more comfortable and more intuitive. The mju i feels much more like a natural evolution of the XA/XA2 body style (design masterpieces!) and probably the smallest a compact camera can get without being too small and fiddly.

        I’ve learned in the last three years or so that the general handling, usability and, just put simply, how much a camera makes me want to pick it up and go out and use it, is a bigger draw than the tech specs.

        • Avatar
          Reply
          Hamish Gill
          November 3, 2015 at 9:26 am

          I have tried the mju-1, I’m not a fan of it either. My favourite Olympus of this generation is the Af-10 Super – Its a great example of how tech specs can be deceiving

          • Avatar
            Dan James
            November 3, 2015 at 7:30 pm

            Yeh I had an Olympus AF-10 Super for a while and it was easy and pleasing to use and took surprisingly good shots. Loved that it took AAA batteries too. I got rid of it before I came across your flash switch hack – that would have made it even more usable!

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    Neilson
    February 25, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve had one of these since they came out in 1997. While it has some serious drawbacks that prevent me from using it daily, I always like to have it on hand.

    The drawbacks for me are:

    The film advance is incredibly loud. I do a lot of street photography and you cannot take a photo unnoticed with this camera.

    The autofocus means that you can’t shoot through glass.

    The metering can be weird. I don’t know if it’s just the one I have, but it seems to be in a spot meter mode. If the crosshairs are on a dark patch of an otherwise very bright scene, the camera wants to fire the flash.

    Having to disable the flash every time you open the camera. I’ve lost shots because of this.

    That said, I always want to have one because the camera is small and weighs nothing, the lens is fantastic and it’s weather resistant. If I’m going out and it’s raining or snowing, this is the camera I always bring with me. I always bring it on trips for this same reason.

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      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      February 25, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      Perfect it is not, but I still recommend it before almost anything else …
      Fancy pointing me in the direction of any of your shots with it, always interested!

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        Reply
        Neilson
        February 25, 2016 at 9:34 pm

        Sure, here’s my Mju-ii album on Flickr. It’s incomplete but spans from 1997 when I got my first one to the present.
        https://flic.kr/s/aHskhmdTC4

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    Reply
    Mark
    April 11, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for the write up on this camera.

    My grandmother owned one of these in the late 1990’s; she was a keen photographer of family pictures and kept many family albums. When she passed away in 2004 I managed to save this camera from ending up in the charity box. It’s the only physical memory I have of her. At the time I was in my early 20’s and experimenting with digital photography. However I liked the camera, filled it up with some B&W film and used for a couple of weeks taking photos of friends, parties and such.

    Move on another 12 years and I found this camera when clearing the attic of my childhood home. It had some film in it, and some unused rolls next to it. Following the advice of Dutch photographer Aarsman ( http://bit.ly/1S1pk1a ) I try to throw away as much old stuff from the attic as possible, but not before taking a photo of it. So now I use the remembrance of my Grandmother (the camera) to take photos as new remembrances. I feel like it’s a nice full circle.

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    Reply
    Sisi
    April 17, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I have one of these and I love it ! Where do you buy cheap film ?

    • Avatar
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      Hamish Gill
      April 17, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      I used to get cheap film from poundland, but now I just spend a few more quid and get film I really like.
      Fuji superior 400 is nice and not much money, if that helps?

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    Reply
    Mel Zemourit
    May 18, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    What film were you shooting with there Hamish? :/

    Great review btw : )

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      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      May 18, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Ilford XP2 and Portra 400
      Thanks 🙂

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    Reply
    Heiko
    November 25, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I just paid 80 cent last week. Haven’t used it jet. You where wondering if the Konica is silent. In quiet mode it is absolutely silent

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      November 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm

      I have a Hexar now as it goes, I wouldn’t call it silent …?

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        Reply
        Heiko
        October 18, 2017 at 7:41 am

        The Hexar (the one with the fixed lens) came in two versions. The black and champian early model had a special silent mode. The later one’s marked as ‘Silver’ did not have this mode. The early models where silent (only the photographer who took the picture could notice a very quiet click while in silent mode).

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          Reply
          Hamish Gill
          October 18, 2017 at 11:54 am

          The silent mode is a hidden feature on the later models that needs to be unlocked. Its exactly the same as on the first version – I have owned both

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    Reply
    Taylor in NOLA
    January 3, 2017 at 5:34 am

    My mum had one of these brand-new years ago and now I’m foaming at the mouth that she seems to have binned it at some point. Still trying to get my Canon AE-1 back from my father, who is apparently holding it ransom for…reasons?

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    Reply
    Harry
    March 2, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Not strictly related to the MJU II but I have two MJU I’s both with broken shutters (the cameras both seem to work fine). Seems like it would be a common problem, does anyone have a solution? Seems a shame to leave them unused

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    Reply
    Horatiu
    March 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Inexpensive? It can be had for £20-£50? On Ebay the cheapest one is £100…I don’t find that inexpensive at all! I’d rather have an XA2. 😀

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      March 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Check the date on this post… that’s how much they have gone up in value since I wrote this…

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Horatiu
    March 21, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Damn! You’re right! That’s to much … and sad in the same time. Doesn’t worth the money in my opinion, but neither a new Leica for that matter.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Horatiu
    March 21, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Damn! You’re right! That’s too much … and sad in the same time. Doesn’t worth the money in my opinion, but neither a new Leica for that matter.

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    Reply
    Niels
    May 2, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Hi All,

    I am still searching for the right MJU II 35mm. I see a lot of people offering the ‘zoom’ versions.
    How are those camera’s in comparison with the 35mm.

    Please help.

    Thanks in advance,

    Niels

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      May 2, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      They are pretty good – the later ones are nicer feeling I think. Just don’t pay too much. I wrote about the iii wide zoom here

      • Avatar
        Reply
        Heiko Bertram
        May 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm

        The zoom camera’s are much bigger. They are easy to find sometimes even for one euro (here in the Netherlans at Kringloopwinkel’s)

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    Reply
    Paula
    June 28, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    ” What I mean by this is that when you half press the button and the green light illuminates don’t expect the lens to move, it moves to focus after full press. I quite like this as a feature, it means the camera is silent until the shutter button is pressed”

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!

    I just loaded the first film in a “new” old mju and was nervous if the AF might be broken – because of the silence when I half-press the shutter button.

    So again, thank you! For this very helpful review.

    On my way to the lake disctrict in Austria with 3 rolls of Fuji Superia and a mju (140mm). 🙂

    best,
    Paula

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      June 28, 2017 at 8:00 pm

      No problem 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    EtudeImaging
    August 14, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Very thorough and accurate review that sums up the strengths and drawbacks of this camera. In spite of these shortcomings I still miss mine, which died two years ago after helping make some of my favorite images.

    A little unsolicited advice: please get your “its vs. it’s” straight. You are all over the place with them and for those of us that expect writers to know the difference your review is supremely annoying to read.

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      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      August 15, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Its the curse of not paying attention at school I’m afraid 😉
      To be fair, my more recent articles are less filled with errors – but unfortunately for those of you with a keen eye and a temperament that is bothered by such things, in this modern world where everyone can have a voice, you’ll just have to lump it… coz some of us just ain’t that good at writing the englishs

      Glad you liked the review! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    street photography
    October 1, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I never thought I will want one of these point and shoot cameras before, but now I want one – it will be the perfect little camera for my street photography in London.

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    Reply
    Scott
    October 17, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Ouch! Now it’s 2017, and asking prices on Ebay are US$85 to 350!!!
    Pretty sure they didn’t cost that much when they were new.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      October 17, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      Yep, prices are rising like crazy!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Neilson
    October 18, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    The one I’ve owned for 6 years just crapped out; the lens won’t retract and the shutter won’t fire. Prices are so crazy and I have a lot of other cameras, so I’m afraid this is the end of the line for me.

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    Reply
    E
    November 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Glad I managed to pick one up before they got super expensive. Any recommendations on a film camera that produces similar results, but isn’t as pricey? I’m fine with using something that isn’t as pocket sized…but would like to avoid slr. This post pulled me into photography btw, thank you for all the valuable information.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      November 1, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      What are you looking to gain over what the mju offers?

  • Reply
    BORDEAUX TO BIARRTZ | FRANCE ON FILM – Alice Catherine
    May 6, 2018 at 11:16 am

    […] Photographs taken on an Olympus MJU-II  […]

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Simon O’Brien
    January 11, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Great review of the mju II. I bought one in 1999 to take with me on my year out volunteering on the M/V Anastasis (missionary hospital ship), around Africa. It was perfect for this trip. Very small and light & works brilliantly in low light conditions (flash off). Some of my best photos are from this camera. One thing you didn’t mention is how easy it is to take arms length photos with this camera. The shape of it is perfect for holding in the palm and pressing the shutter release with your thumb. The lanyard is wrapped around the wrist to prevent loss if dropped. I got a lot of good photos like this, e.g. leaning out of a 4×4 photographing myself & others inside, photographing the road behind at foot level whilst cycling, photographing strangers in the street without looking like I’m taking a photo etc. I think it’s best use is low light, no flash, B&W candid shots. The lens is so fast & sharp, and it’s so inconspicuous. The fixed focal length forces you to see things from that viewpoint, rather than just zooming in and out from wherever you happen to be. It’s more creative I think. I should really put a roll in and take some more shots!

  • Reply
    Thinking about spending a stack of cash on a film camera? Read this first! - 35mmc
    January 22, 2019 at 11:19 am

    […] back, it now seems crazy to think that even the likes of the now very popular Olympus mju-ii sold for £15-20. I don’t remember even being aware of the Yashica T series, but I can’t […]

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    The Olympus mju-ii - great camera, but to expensive for what it is! - 35mmc
    March 18, 2019 at 10:00 am

    […] I originally published a review of the The Olympus mju-ii back in 2013. There’s been a few times since then that I’ve thought about updating that review with a few more recent thoughts. Instead, I’ve decided to keep the original intact, and post this follow-up to bring the original post up to date. If you’ve not already read the original, you can find it here […]

  • Reply
    The Olympus Mju ii & Kodak T-MAX 400: Lessons from The Forgotten Ones - by Jon YK Lee - 35mmc
    March 30, 2019 at 10:03 am

    […] camera is none other than the much-hyped Olympus Mju ii, also known as the Olympus Stylus Epic. A few years ago, when I was living in the “Land of […]

  • Reply
    50 Favourite Film Cameras: 50 to 11 - Kosmo Foto
    April 15, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    […] Review on 35mmc […]

  • Reply
    Ricoh GR1s review - Kosmo Foto
    April 15, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    […] film line and the Contax T line are considered two of the best 35mm compact cameras, although the Olympus Mju line might be a better comparison due to its slimmer […]

  • Reply
    Kosmopedia: Yashica T4/T5 - Kosmo Foto
    April 15, 2019 at 11:08 pm

    […] It’s what’s sending everything from the high-end Contax T3 to the far more ubiquitous Olympus Mju rising higher and higher in […]

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