Olympus Infinity Stylus(MJU-I) Review

In the last few years prices on 35mm compacts have SKYROCKETED. Especially the good ones. A Yashica t5 regularly costs $600+ on ebay, a stylus epic in good condition rarely goes for less than $250, and I have long since stopped watching the prices on the Contax T2 and T3, if only to preserve my sanity. But, while Its not a camera to scoff at by any means, the Olympus Infinity Stylus(AKA the original MJU) is often overshadowed by its younger brother the Stylus Epic. As a result, pricescan(at times) still be quite reasonable, and on ebay auctions I have  seen them go in the sub-$40 range.  

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While a more realistic estimate is between ~ $50 and $70, my point is that they are still within reach for most people, and in my opinion Its one of the better options at that price. While the Infinity Stylus is among the most basic point and shoots as far as features go, the real draw to this camera is the excellent 35mm f/3.5 lens. While most people feel that it is inferior to cameras like the Yashicas, I honestly like it a bit more, at least more than what I've seen from other photographers Yashicas, since I've never used one myself. I think the lens on the stylus has an almost indescribable "warmth" to it. You know how vinyl sounds a little better than digital despite digitals higher quality? Its like that, but for lenses, and I find that it brings out the film grain in a way that I really like.

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Aside from the lens, theres really not much to talk about with this camera. The only controls are for the flash, and a self-timer that I doubt I will ever use. All the controls are easy to use, and the very functional design of the camera is, in my opinion, even better than the admittedly sleeker, sexier Stylus epic. I much prefer the ergonomics of it, and it is overall a very intuitive camera to use. Maybe I just have weird hands, but often times I find certain compacts difficult to shoot one handed. Not so with the Stylus.

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The one thing I dislike is the lack of manual override controls. While I get that this was a very consumer oriented camera, the biggest downside is the lack of control over the Iso. Because there is no manual control, It only Takes DX coded film. Otherwise, it defaults to iso 100. That being said though, There are ways to get around this like changing the dx codes, and Its definitely not a deal breaker.

My advice if you like this camera is to stockpile them like crazy, because they are only getting more expensive. I currently have 4 of them and all were bought under 50 bucks, but that price may not be realistic in the near future. Get em while they're hot!