I know what you’re thinking: what does this long forgotten 35mm Olympus camera here? It’s not a Minox, it’s not even an SLR…how does this camera warrants its presence here? Good question, so why do I mention a point & shoot (albeit a really good one) amongst quite different type of cameras? Need to add that a point & shoot this MJU may be, but it is a different thing from your ordinary p&s cameras.
In 1999 I was living and studying in the UK, and it was a time when money came in dripping, not flowing. I was very much into film photography by then, and my camera was a beaten but excellent working Olympus OM2n. I was traveling a lot, when the means to do so were available that is. The OM2n was all good, but I wanted something light and pocketable, using 35mm film. So I went inside Jessops and out I came with this little thing, called Olympus MJU Zoom 115. And of course some film for it, colour.
This camera had been introduced not far back at the time of my purchase, perhaps a year or so. I never paid attention to the point and shoot cameras I was seeing on the streets, but of course I was aware of this species. If I was to be asked then, I would have never said yes to a point and shoot camera, as I considered them to be for lazy persons. Sorry folks, I know this was not right thinking, but when you’re young…
Anyways, when asked about a compact and “really good camera”, David, the manager of Jessops just unboxed this camera and laid it on the counter. And he started to tell me about it, in a very convincing manner of speaking: “Julian, this is not a simple point and shoot camera. It is one of the best compact cameras on the market now, and there are plenty of features which will keep you happy, should you buy it.
First of all, it has a 38-115 lens with 3x zoom, it weighs just 250grs, has automatic film winding and the roll can be rewound at any point should you choose so. It even has a remote control, very useful when self-timer needs activated. It’s weatherproof and it has 6 flash modes suitable for every imaginable situation. The design is a really nice one, and the sliding lens door protects the lens very well. Red eye thing, which was a serious issue with the colour photographs back then, is averted by means of a series of short bursts from the flash. Shutter speed at night is 4 sec, enough for you to snap away when on a pub crawl. Multi AF is another useful add, as it prevents off-focusing on the background, for instance.”
Well, I was sold. Came out of the shop with this camera (and I can tell you it tore a huge hole in the fabric of my skinny finances). Had really good times with it, for years. But as life would have it, not much using it nowadays, so I passed it on to my 12 yrs daughter who wants to try this beautiful past time, film photography. By the way I know her, she will ask for a “real, true camera” before soon.