This is three tests in one:
Firstly Kentmere 100 film being tried out in the mju-II
Secondly the iS-100, a camera acquired for 99p off eBay being tried and tested for the first time
Thirdly how an Olympus fixed lens pocket camera compares with an Olympus SLR with a fixed zoom lens
There is a simple conclusion to this test. The image quality is about the same as makes no difference. Like many I expected the overall quality from the zoom lens to be less than a fixed lens. It was not.
The iS-100 was acquired when another site, canny cameras issued a 'Poundland' challenge. In other words a camera costing £1 or less not counting on line auction costs. I have acquired cameras for exactly £1 at boot fairs but this was the first time I tried it on line. I bid on around ten cameras and won 5. This surprised me, I expected win fewer and certainly not one like the iS-100. It seems Olympus made a 1000 and a 100 range, the 1000 range having a more sophisticated lens. 200/2000 cameras etc. have more features than the basic model, but the same lens and mechanics.
The iS-100 is a genuine SLR, focal plane shutter and all. Obviously no interchangeable lens but otherwise the same as any other SLR. Zoom is 28-110, which is better than the 28-70 more common on SLRs. Shutter speed is 2 to 1/2000. A sports function obviously ensures higher shutter speeds take priority, otherwise no control over speeds or apertures. As well a stop action for high speed objects there portrait, night scene and landscape. A self timer, and remote control, power wind and auto-focus and that is it. On this camera it all seems to work. In fact I do not think this camera has led a hard life. the same cannot be said for my mju II which has lost the window to see the film cartridge through, but otherwise works perfectly.
Film speeds are taken from the DX-cartridge and if there is no DX code then it sets at 32asa for the iS-100, which is a bit low. usually it is 100asa as on the mju II. there is a built in flash and screw socket on the base. As far as I can see no option for an external flash unit though.
this was also a test for Kentmere 100 asa film. Nice new cartridges direct from Ilford. Two together makes sense as the tank takes two spool. Developed in Paranol-S which is supposedly a Rodinal clone. Interestingly development times for Rodinal and Paranol-S differ for Kentmere 100 - all other factors being the same.
I have used Kentmere 400, KM400 from a bulk spool in plastic cartridges with various cameras. Obviously a bit more grain than KM100 but perfectly good.
I do not need a sophisticated film, I am the market the Kentmere range is aimed at and I can say that I am a satified customer.
I do my own scanning at 2400 dpi on an Epson V300 flatbed scanner and tidy up with Adobe Photoshop Elements 7. I do not miss analogue enlargers.
I have paired up the pictures below, which were all taken at the same time. the biggest difference seems to be in how the light meters have read the scenes with the iS-100 seeming to have slightly less exposure than the mju II, but which one is to be preferred is down to personal preference. With colour film I doubt if it would even be noticeable.