One expects decent performance from a premium compact, and the mju 1060 delivers. It starts up in a little under two seconds, which is nice and fast, and powers down just as quickly. In single-shot mode at maximum picture quality the shot-to-shot time is approximately three seconds on average. The 1060 has a couple of sequential shooting options; either a three-shot burst in just over two seconds, or a choice of two high-speed continuous shooting modes that can shoot at up to nine frames a second, but only at 3MP resolution. Like most Olympus cameras the shooting speed varies dramatically depending on the type of memory card used. The slower M-type cards will reduce the overall performance.
The autofocus system is both fast and accurate in good light, but it slows down considerably in lower light conditions. It has problems focusing in most pub/club situations, and since it also lacks an AF assist lamp, it can’t focus at all in darker conditions. The indoor flash performance is also quite disappointing, so the mju 1060 probably isn’t a good choice for social indoor photography. It’s much better for outdoor daylight photography, where its 7x zoom lens and 260mm-equivalent telephoto become much more useful.
In terms of picture quality, the mju 1060 actually performs very well. White balance, exposure metering and colour reproduction are all excellent, although like most small-sensor compacts the dynamic range is quite limited, with poor shadow detail. In good light the lens captures a lot of fine detail, and the in-camera processing automatically corrects barrel distortion, although the corner sharpness could be better. Image noise too is well handled, with good image quality at 400 ISO and accurate colour balance at all ISO settings, although the 3MP-only 3200 and 6400 ISO settings leave a lot to be desired.
The Olympus mju 1060 is a sleek and attractively designed camera with excellent build quality and good overall performance. It is very easy to use, but apart from its useful 7x zoom range and high-quality monitor it is very short on features. Picture quality is very good, but is let down by very poor low light results.