Cameras aren’t just cameras any more. They’re part of the fickle world of fashion and, sad to say, the Mju 800 is looking rather last year.
That asymmetrical styling was once so chic. However, put the 800 alongside the Konica Minolta Dimage X1 and it looks like a bulbous blob.
It’s still smooth, rounded and easy to use but it doesn’t do anything the X1 can’t, while taking up twice the space. And it doesn’t have any kind of image stabilisation for slow shutter speeds.
It’s not all bad; the weatherproof metal body should stand you in good stead if the weather turns foul and the HyperCrystal LCD is nice for composing and playing back your shots.
It has an unusually wide viewing angle (160 degrees) so everyone gathered round the camera will get a good view of your photos. This makes it easier to judge exposure levels, too (the brightness doesn’t change as you shift position).
Beginners will have plenty to play with, too, because as well as the standard fully auto mode there are 19 scene modes to try out, covering everything from night scenes to ‘cuisine’.
The Mju has hidden depths with aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes, but alas no fully manual mode. You can shoot in low light levels at higher sensitivities, in the BrightCapture mode, though this does reduce the image size to 3 megapixels.
On the downside, noise reduction isn’t great and it appears to delight in smudging the lines into oblivion. You’ll need a magnifying glass if you drop your xD cards too – it may be big capacity but it’s way too easy to drop and lose.
If you’re going to put style over substance, steer clear. But aside from that, the Mju 800 isn’t bad at all.