Olympus has always kept its mju series of cameras sleek and skinny -- no mean feat when consumers demand ever bigger lenses and higher resolutions. The mju 1010 is a 10-megapixel style camera with an impressive 7x lens, image stabilisation and face detection. It can be found online now for around £180.
With a pedigree in slimline snappers that stretches back to 35mm film, Olympus knows how to put a compact camera together. The mju 1010 combines a metal case with plastic detailing in an impressively solid -- if slightly showy -- wedge-shaped design (25mm thick at its widest point). At the front, a 7x zoom lens reaches from a so-so 37mm wide-angle setting (look for a wider 28mm equivalent if you like taking pictures of open landscapes or buildings) to a handy 260mm telephoto. The CCD-shift stabilisation is very effective too, allowing you to grab blur-free close-ups of distant athletes or wildlife, even in low light. It's best to leave this on all the time as it doesn't affect battery life -- 260 shots per charge -- significantly.
Around the back, you'll be framing and playing back on the 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD. This is well up to Olympus' usual high standards, delivering sharp, vibrant colours in daylight and coping pretty well inside, although it does add a good dollop of grain when light levels drop.
The face-detection system on board is average, working very well with full-face portraits on a plain background, but tending to get confused with multiple subjects, busy backgrounds, hats, glasses and faces at an angle. Shadow adjustment -- to improve detail in shaded areas -- is a handy feature to have, although won't blow you away.
Image quality generally is also good, rather than excellent. Exposure and focus are smart and reliable, but colours are a touch flat and detail at 10 megapixels is less than perfectly crisp. It's fine for a compact without too many creative aspirations, but won't wow anyone used to digital SLRs. Movie clips are confident and smooth, but sadly don't let you use that great zoom lens while filming.