The control layout has also been completely revised, and it is a significant improvement over the mju 9000. The formerly very fiddly zoom control has been replaced by a larger rocker switch on the rear panel, and the square D-pad has given way to a round pad with a rotary bezel. A new addition is a dedicated button to start video recording, while the display mode button has been removed altogether, and the layout leaves a small amount of space for the thumb. The main controls are internally illuminated, lighting up blue when any button is pressed. The overall handling is fairly good, although the front panel lacks any sort of grip and the finish is a little slippery.
The mju 9010 is the latest camera to benefit from Olympus’ excellent new menu system. The old multi-page graphic menu has been replaced by a permanent sidebar menu which is used to control most commonly-used camera functions. It is very similar to the system that Casio has been using successfully on its Exilim compacts for many years. Other camera settings are adjusted from a well laid-out tabbed main menu, and the camera includes a comprehensive and well-designed built-in manual with tutorial tips, a very useful feature for novice users. Menu choices can be selected by rotating the D-pad bezel or by clicking right and left as normal.
Although it is only 2.7 inches with a resolution of 230,000 pixels, the monitor is very good, with excellent brightness and contrast and a very wide angle of view, approaching 180 degrees in all directions. It is slightly recessed, so it avoids scratches, and has a good anti-glare coating, so it works well in bright sunlight.
One unusual feature of the mju 9010 is its 2 gigabytes of internal memory. Some of this is used for the built-in manual, and also contains the camera’s supplied PC software, which can be installed via the USB connection. 1.8GB of the internal memory is available for photo storage, enough for approximately 245 shots in the highest quality setting, so it is possible to use the camera without having to spring for a high capacity SD card. The internal memory The battery can also be charged via the USB connection, although a main adapter is also supplied.
The mju 9010 has a better video recording mode than the mju 9000, although by the standards of some of its competitors it still is a bit pedestrian. It can shoot at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at 30fps, with mono audio. Optical zoom cannot be used while filming, and neither can autofocus. Video quality is pretty indifferent, although sound quality is surprisingly good. Video is recorded in MPEG-4 format.
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