General performance is also quite impressive, although it does have some limitations. It starts up in under a second, which is very quick by any standard. It has a very fast continuous shooting mode that can manage nearly four frames a second for twelve frames, again comfortably above average. The movie mode is also good, offering VGA resolution at 30fps.
The auto focus system isn’t the fastest I’ve seen but it’s not appallingly slow, taking around half a second to lock on in average lighting conditions. It’s not too good in low light though, failing to focus even in a room lit with a 60 watt bulb. Since it lacks an AF illuminator this does limit its usefulness in the social settings in which it is most likely to be used.
This is rather puzzling, because the mju 1000 has a number of other features that would otherwise make it an excellent low-light camera, including the Bright Capture system which automatically increases the ISO setting to 400 and brightens the LCD monitor to help with shooting in the dark. The flash is also excellent, with great frame coverage and a range of 5.2 metres at wide angle. It also has the highest available ISO setting I’ve ever seen on a digital camera, a maximum of 6400 – although only at three megapixel (2,048 x 1,536) resolution. But what’s the point of all that if the camera can’t focus?
Exposure metering is good though, and the cameras was able to cope with a wide range of different lighting conditions, including shooting into the sun, without any problems.
The mju 1000 is a very simple camera with only a limited range of shooting options. It has a basic auto mode in which everything is done for you, and a program mode in which ISO and white balance can be manually adjusted. It also has a selection of twenty scene modes covering all likely eventualities and well as a few less likely ones. Does anyone actually need a special mode for shooting auction photos?
The camera has an electronic image stabilisation system which works fairly well, adding about 1-2 stops of extra hand-held stability at low shutter speeds. Unusually however this can be applied retroactively using the Perfect Fix option, so if you’ve taken a shot that’s showing a little motion blur the camera can attempt to correct it. It can also automatically adjust lighting balance and correct red-eye in shots after they’ve been taken, which is very useful. Corrected shots are saved as separate images rather than overwriting the originals.