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Olympus mju 9010 review: Olympus mju 9010

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Sweeping failures
The panorama and movie modes do highlight this camera's weaknesses, though. Like the camera itself, they're all right, but not quite as good as they sound. The panorama mode is half way towards Sony's Sweep Panorama system, but not as good. If you don't pan fast enough, the camera shoots the same frame twice, and it's difficult to keep the camera steady for each frame when you're not quite sure when it's going to shoot it. The joins can be distinctly iffy too.

The movie mode is also flawed. It's not quite as sharp as you might expect from HD, it jerks around if you don't move the camera extremely slowly and, worst of all, the mju 9010 won't zoom or focus while you film. Actually, it will, but only if you dig through the menus and turn off the sound. Olympus clearly disables the zoom and AF to avoid operational noise spoiling your vids, but what you're left with is a stark choice -- no controls or no sound.

The detail in the test chart looks a bit hazy, even in controlled shooting conditions. The mju 9010 might have 14 megapixels, but it's not doing much with them (click image to enlarge)

The mju 9010 doesn't produce terribly good stills, either. Going up to 14 megapixels hasn't done anything for the definition at all. In fact, fine detail has a disappointingly soft and hazy look to it, which is common enough in high-resolution compacts, it's just that here it seems just a little bit worse.

The mju 9010 is a pretty plain camera that turns in a pretty plain performance. It's £30 to £40 cheaper than the class-leading Panasonic Lumix TZ10 superzoom, but so it should be, because it's nowhere near as good. As do-it-all compact superzooms go, this one is, sadly, near the bottom of the heap.

Edited by Nick Hide

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