Other cosmetic differences include the design of the control panel. The 760 lacks the large illuminated controls of the 780, instead offering a visually appealing but in fact rather fiddly arrangement of four buttons and a cross-shaped D-pad. As well as this it has a small partly-recessed mode dial with only six settings, a separate button on the top panel to operate the image stabilisation system, and a small rocker switch for the zoom control. Because the back panel is flat and the zoom control stands out it is actually slightly easier to operate than that of the 780.
The mju 760 has an almost identical array of features to the 780, and to several of Olympus’ other lower-spec compacts. Shooting modes are limited to full auto and scene mode with the same 22 programs, including three underwater settings for use with the optional diving case. It has the useful Guide feature, in which the camera presents you with a selection of common problems such as shooting into backlight or reducing flash red-eye, then offers a solution and automatically sets the camera to the correct option to cope with the situation. I really like this feature, since it will help beginners to appreciate the capabilities of the camera, take better pictures and learn more about photography in the process.
The other shooting mode on the dial is of course the video mode, and here we find one of the major differences between the 760 and the 780. Where the more expensive model offers a 640×480 resolution, 30fps video mode (albeit limited to 10-second clips) the 760 is only capable of 15 frames a second with mono audio and only digital zoom, which is pretty weak by recent standards. An increasing number of cameras are offering even higher 30fps resolutions, including widescreen and stereo audio in some cases, and optical zoom in video mode, so this is a significant weak area for the Olympus.
The mju 760 has exactly the same mechanical image stabilisation system as the 780, and it works exactly as well. I found that shooting at maximum zoom I was able to take shake-free shots at 1/30th of a second most of the time, but any slower and camera shake blurring was still a problem. This isn’t bad by any means, and is certainly better than those fake anti-shake systems that rely on increased ISO settings, but there are better compact camera image stabilisation systems around, including Panasonic’s Mega OIS and Canon’s optical IS systems.
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