Olympus MJU 850 SW 2008

Hill-walking gear needs to be tough: and the Mju 850 SW from Olympus is quite a tough little number. Though it may be hard to believe looking at it, it’s actually waterproof. And we’re not talking about it just taking a few splashes either – you can safely submerge it in up to 3m of water!
If you’re unfortunate enough to drop it, it’s shock-proof up to 1.5m too – so it should withstand a few knocks, though not plummeting down a cliff. Unlike a lot of compacts, the Mju 850 SW is also freezeproof, so you can carry on taking pictures even in the harshest conditions. All this, and it only weighs 136g.
The Mju 850 SW features an eight-megapixel sensor that’ll be more than adequate for general shooting, while a short 3x optical zoom lens (ranging from 38-114mm) is suitable for a variety of conditions, from mountain views to action and campsite portraits.
The camera is easy to get to grips with and has a host of pre-programmed scene modes – such as Landscape, Portrait and Sports – automatically selecting an appropriate setting. Plus there’s Face Detection, making sure you always get people’s faces in focus.

Resolution 8Mp
Lens 3x zoom (38-114mm)
Screen 2.5in
Memory type xD-Picture card
Video capability yes, with sound
Dimensions 94x61x21mm
Weight 136g (without battery and card)
If you want a go-anywhere camera, the Olympus Mju 850 SW would have to be the one to opt for. It’s ready for anything (we rated it as the toughest camera in the test) – and it’s available in a choice of three colours too!

Review by Phil Hall from Digital Photo magazine
First published in Trail magazine September 2008