So what's not to like? Well, just look at it. The all-black version might be alright, but the blue one will never be as pretty as the cheaper , and the silver version looks like it's been quickly cobbled together from a bin. The combination of a black plastic lens bezel and metal front panel looks botched and unfinished. And what's with that horizontal crease along the centre line?
As with many other compacts, the 7000's great-sounding specs wilt under close examination. Automatic scene detection? Yes, but only from the five 'most common' scene modes -- not the full repertoire. 11fps shooting? Yes, but as long as you don't mind the resolution dropping to just 3 megapixels. HDMI output? Sure, but there's no high-definition movie mode, so really the only benefit is displaying stills at higher resolution on your HD television.
The most bothersome problem, though, is the lens -- not so much in terms of its quality, which is pretty good, but its range. It's not a wideangle and it's not long enough to be a superzoom. It has a numerical advantage (7x versus 5x) over the 5000, but that's not much in real terms and you'll typically pay another £20 or £30 to get it.
The Olympus mju 7000 seems like a middle-of-the-road compromise that's been created just to fill in the range. As a result, it's almost impossible to get excited about it. If you don't want to spend much, get the 5000 -- it's prettier, cheaper and, except for a slight reduction in telephoto capability, every bit as good. Or, if zoom range is important, get the -- it doesn't cost much more than the 7000, it's got a longer, wider zoom range and, unlike the 7000, it's not as ugly as sin.
Edited by Charles Kloet