Christopher J Osborne

Olympus Mju

Olympus Mju camera opened and ready for useOlympus Mju camera closed and ready for storage or transportation

The original Olympus Mju (known as the Olympus Stylus in the USA) can be seen as an auto-focus version of the original ‘capsule’ camera: the Olympus XA. Though since the Mju is an auto-everything camera, is might be more accurate to see it is an auto-focus version of the XA2.

Compared to the bulky zoom cameras that came to dominate the Mju series, it was a relatively pure design with a high quality fixed focal-length 35mm f/3.5 lens. But it was the swooping curves of the ‘capsule’ case that came to define the camera when it was launched in 1991, and provide a template for a whole generation of cameras that followed (right into the digital era).

I bought this Mju in 2011 for £1.50 from a charity shop. This camera has lost the plastic from the window on the back that allows you to check what film you have loaded. Otherwise it seems to be in good working order, and since the light seals are in place I don’t think the loss of the plastic window will be a problem… who knows… I might even put a film through it one day!

The Mju was replace by the smaller, sleeker, but rather less characterful Olympus Mju II in 1997.