Olympus mju 850SW review:

Olympus mju 850SW

Typical Price: £160.00
Compare These
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars 1 user review

The Good All-round toughness; stylish and slim; bright, colourful snaps.

The Bad Sluggish shutter delay; average photo specs.

The Bottom Line For anyone into outdoor activities, most cameras stop working just when things get interesting. The 850SW is tough enough for all but the most demanding skiers, bikers and snorkelers, and -- despite sluggish ease of use -- produces bright, involving photos and videos. It's very reasonably priced, too

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

The arrival of multi-gigabyte memory cards at pocket-money prices has meant that many of us now shoot everything and ask questions later. So if you want a camera that can go (almost) anywhere you can, and keep on shooting, Olympus's ultra-toughened mju 850SW is a £200 temptation -- it's waterproof, freezeproof and shockproof.

If you've yet to use one of the Olympus ruggedised SW cameras, you might need some shock-proofing yourself. The mju 850SW is no heavier, fatter or harder to use than any comparable style compact, with none of the awkwardness of, say, Ricoh's waterproof models. The case combines matte metal and smooth plastic, eschewing the metal rivets of previous SW cameras for a simple, reassuring solidity.

The camera is fully waterproofed to 3m, which is fine for swimming pools and the surf, but keep it on its wrist-strap in deep water -- it doesn't float. It's also drop-proof from at least 1.5m (though expect a few scratches if you regularly let it fall) and freezeproof for sub-zero snapping.

Shutter, power and menu buttons are small and precise, and the mode dial is difficult to nudge accidentally. If the 8-megapixel sensor feels distinctly entry-level these days, it's more than enough resolution for the average holidaymaker, and images are absolutely fine. Olympus has opted to smooth over the finest details in photos rather than risk grain or jagged edges, and colours could be a touch warmer, but exposure and focus are spot-on. Video clips (up to 640x480 pixels) are also bright, smooth and low on detail.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Panasonic Lumix TZ100

    4 stars

    Straddling the line between consumer and enthusiast compacts, the Panasonic Lumix ZS100's...

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000

    4 stars

    With a large 1-inch sensor, a versatile lens and a ton of shooting options including 4K...

  • Panasonic Lumix LX100

    Starting at: £499.00
    4 stars

    The company bounces back into the enthusiast compact market with an expensive -- but worth...

  • Nikon D3300

    Starting at: £318.00
    3.5 stars

    The company's latest entry-level model delivers the speed and photo quality you expect...


Discuss: Olympus mju 850SW

Conversation powered by Livefyre