Is this camera worth the hype?

Is this camera worth the hype?

It was an award-winning camera when it was released in 1997 and now it’s a cult favourite. All this means that the price of these little point & shoot film cameras has been steadily increasing. But the question remains, are they actually worth the money?

It is equipped with an f/2.8 35mm lens which is pretty rare for a point & shoot film camera. This lens is fantastic for taking pictures with friends, producing a sharp image and keeping the subject nicely in focus.

The built in flash helps with low light situations such as at night or in a bar/restaurant and the 12 second self-timer is perfect for group shots.

Taken using the built in self timer function

The Olympus MJU II has an incredibly minimalistic design which for some people is one of its downfalls. However, when I grab a point & shoot, that’s all I want to do, point the camera at something and take the shot. If I wanted to be able to control the exposure settings and the focus then I would have picked up an SLR.

The lens cover is one of my favourite parts of this camera, it replaces the need for a physical on/off button which keeps in line with the camera’s minimal design. It also means that the lens is protected when I keep it in my pocket, which due to its compact size is where this camera spends most of its time.

Olympus MJU II lens cover closed (left) and open (right)

Almost everything described so far is not unique to this camera, in fact there are a number of much cheaper point & shoots that will get the same job done. However, it’s the way in which this camera delivers all these features that makes it such a pleasure to shoot and unlike anything else I’ve used.

As great as it sounds so far, there is no hiding the fact that the Olympus MJU II is not perfect. One of the most common complaints is the build quality. It is made from plastic which makes it very light and it doesn’t exactly feel like a ‘premium’ camera. Having said this, it does mean that you feel comfortable taking this camera everywhere without having to worry that dropping it would cause too much damage.

The price is probably the most controversial point of discussion in regards to this camera - is it actually worth your hard earned money? I have shot almost 100 different film cameras but this little point & shoot is one of my favourites so it would be hard for me to say no. When I consider some of the other cameras i have had the oppurtunity to shoot including a Yashica T5 and Contax T2 (which are considerably more expensive), I think that it is worth every penny. It’s super compact so you truly can take it everywhere with you, but it still takes fantastic photos. What more can you ask for?

Here are some of the many pictures I have taken my Olympus MJU II, as you can see I love to use it in low light situations!

Back to blog

Purchase your own Olympus MJU II below