Just breaking the £200 barrier – although it's a safe bet retailers will price it at a more appealing level – is this waterproof (to 3m deep) and 'drop proof' (from heights up to 1.5m) beauty from Olympus, the Olympus Mju 790 SW.

With its mainly metal build, the Olympus Mju 790 SW literally feels like good value from the off.

Although the minimalist front in a range of colours grabs attention, flip the 7mp Olympus Mju 790 SW over and the plastic silver controls to the right of the screen look and feel disappointingly toy town in origin.

The Olympus Mju 790 SW's rocker switch for the 3x optical zoom and mode dial for selecting shooting options are unnecessarily small; although the latter's reasonably firm action means you won't struggle to operate it with wet fingers.

Olympus's rudimentary onscreen menus – shared throughout its range – although legible, now look in need of a more contemporary update too.

Unsurprisingly, given its daredevil credentials, there are several underwater modes included alongside the Olympus Mju 790 SW's standard portrait and nature-orientated scene modes, plus face-detection technology.

Photo-wise, out of the water, the Olympus Mju 790 SW delivers well-saturated evenly exposed pictures with real oomph – the primary colours really make an impact. This is unusual given that Olympus digital images usually suffer from a more washed-out look.

There is, however, an overall softness to the Olympus Mju 790 SW's shots even at the highest resolution and just ISO100 which, although a disappointment, can to an extent be corrected in photo-editing software.

Although most compact cameras opt for Secure Digital as a storage media of choice, Olympus has stuck with the less common xD-Picture Card that it co-developed with Fuji. You'll have to pay extra because there is no card in the Olympus Mju 790 SW's box.

Olympus Mju 790 SW: Specs

  • 7.1Mp
  • 3x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom
  • automatic focus
  • XD-Picture Card support
  • 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 740 mAh (included)
  • built-in Red Eye Reduction
  • 6.7mm-20.1mm focal length
  • frame movie mode
  • F/3.5-5.0
  • built-in flash
  • 94x21x61mm
  • 136g
  • 14.7MB memory
  • 2.5in LCD
  • built-in microphone
  • 7.1Mp
  • 3x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom
  • automatic focus
  • XD-Picture Card support
  • 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery - 740 mAh (included)
  • built-in Red Eye Reduction
  • 6.7mm-20.1mm focal length
  • frame movie mode
  • F/3.5-5.0
  • built-in flash
  • 94x21x61mm
  • 136g
  • 14.7MB memory
  • 2.5in LCD
  • built-in microphone

OUR VERDICT

The Olympus Mju 790 SW is a camera that is less about headline image quality and more about the practicalities of taking photos in scenarios that would otherwise test – or possibly destroy – lesser rivals. You pay a premium for the Olympus Mju 790 SW's 'death proof' abilities. Extreme sports enthusiasts who care more about capturing the moment than poster-sized prints would seem to be the most receptive target market.

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