As part of our Olympus Digital Camera review we compare the Sony Mavica........ &FOTOgraphic presents

Which is best for you?
Olympus or Mavica?

by Fred Showker

By now youíve probably already read our account of the Olympus D-600L. We were very fortunate to have both the Olympus and the Mavica at the same time so we could really compare both the use and the results of both cameras.
. . . Although the Mavica did not perform well for publishing, it sports a host of features that are really too good to ignore. Writing to a standard floppy is by far its most important feature. We were able to shuffle disks into the computer without a care about cables, interfaces or downloads. Your mother can do it.
. . . Everything functioned flawlessly on the Mavica, and it has a rugged feel unlike the fragile feeling of the Olympus. The LCD panel is large, yet much of the time we yearned Olympusí viewfinder. If shooting snow or beach scenes youíd better take a shroud.
. . . Another very strong feature of the Mavica is the power system. It ships with a large, heavy duty battery and its own cradle charger. Charges took only about a half hour, and we never really wanted for more duration. On the down side, thereís no AC converter, nor a plug for one. For extended studio sessions, or low-light flash photography youíll need a backup.

All is not well...

As you can see by the samples at right, the Mavica fails the sharpness test as well. The Olympus obviously did a better job with detail on this outdoor shot. (Both shot at the same location, at the same resolution setting!) The Olympus captures both color and detail far better.
. . . If you must create studio work or product photography the Olympus is a much better choice. The Mavica lens just didnít seem to muster under demanding conditions.
. . .

Bottom line:

Mavica for home, hobby or personal use, Olympus for professional, task oriented or studio work. For most picture taking or snapshot photography the Mavica is the one to get. It will even do well for most website work. But if your work is a bit more demanding, get the Olympus instead. Although itís more clumsy to work with, and eats batteries quickly, the Olympus does very well for most low to moderate publishing work and performs very well in the studio.
Mavica for home, family or hobby work... Olympus for office, or professional work.

Special thanks to Doug Clifford for his participation as host and coordinator of the &FOTOgraphic wing of The Design & Publishing Center. Doug is the webmaster for the ACE Indexes, an annotated directory of North American photo commerce web sites, and a well respected member of the creative online community.

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