DigitalCameraReview.com
Olympus to release four new FE models
by David Rasnake -  1/21/2008

The options in Olympus' slimline FE series of compact point and shoots will see some refreshing this year, with the addition of the FE-310, FE-320, FE-340, and FE-350. The new FEs share an 8.0 megapixel CCD and offer face detection, digital image stabilization, and Olympus's Perfect Shot Preview and In-Camera Help Guides across the board.

The face detection system employed on all four new models is a dual-function system, optimizing both focus (Face Detection AF) and exposure (Face Detection AE). All four models also use an ISO-boosting approach to stabilize the image and freeze action when image stabilization is selected; the FE-320 and FE-340 also utilize an on-board gyro that tracks camera movement and enables users to fix blurry images in-camera.

Perfect Shot Preview mode allows users to preview images effects and photographic corrections in real time. It's not entirely clear how this system differs from standard on-screen adjustments common toto many digital cameras: we'll have to wait for production models to be sure.

Expanding the functionality of face detection technology, the FE-320 and FE-340 feature a Smile Shot system, which fires three consecutive shots when a subject's face is smiling. For correcting less-than-happy faces, all four models also sport a variant of a system that was promised by a few different companies for this season: Expression Edit uses face detection technology to edit a subject's face after the image is captured, allowing users to put a smile on frowning faces, for instance, using in-camera post-processing. In truth, the whole idea seems a bit bizarre.

FE-310 offers extended zoom in a budget model

Going beyond the standard 3x zoom, the FE-310 features a 5x unit that should set it apart from other devices in its price range. Otherwise, it's a pretty conventional point-and-shoot, with AA power and a 2.5-inch LCD.

Olympus FE Cameras

The FE-310 should go on sale this month. Estimated street pricing is $149.99.

Ultra-thin FE-320 provides pocket-size performance

At only .65 inches thick, the FE-320 looks to compete seriously in the slim-down contest that's expected to take place this year in the ultra-compact market. In addition to a 3x zoom and 2.7-inch display, the FE-320 sports the Olympus TruePic III processor, sourced from the company's DSLR lineup. As noted, Smile Shot and gyro-based image stabilization processing round out the package.

Look for the FE-320 for around $179.99 in stores before the end of the month.

Full-featured FE-340 sports 5x zoom

The FE-340 comes with the full range of Olympus's new features, including a 5x optical zoom, TruePic III processing, gyro-based IS, Smile Shot, and Expression Edit.

Olympus FE Cameras

Additionally, the slim, metal-clad FE-340 comes in five colors: silver, red, blue, black, and pink.

Olympus FE Cameras

Pricing for the January-release FE-340 is anticipated at $199.99.

FE-350 shows off wide screen, wide angle lens

Using a 4x wide-angle zoom not seen in the other FE-series cameras, the FE-350 features a zoom range all the way out to a 35mm-equivalent 28mm. A high-resolution 3-inch LCD is the FE-350's other primary talking point.

Olympus FE Cameras

As with the rest of the series, the FE-350 should start showing up for sale this month, for around $249.99.

Olympus FE-310 specifications:

Sensor8.0 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD
Zoom5x (37-185mm) zoom, f/3.2-4.8
LCD/Viewfinder2.5", 154K-pixel LCD with two-step brightness adjustment
SensitivityISO 80-640
Shutter Speed4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting ModesAuto, Program, Digital Image Stabilization, Scene, Movie
Scene PresetsPortrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction
White Balance SettingsAuto
Metering ModesDigital ESP, Face Detection AE
Focus ModesiESP Auto, Face Detection AF, Macro, Super Macro
Drive ModesN/A
Flash ModesAuto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill, Off
Self Timer Settings
12 Seconds, Off
Memory FormatsxD-Picture Card
Internal Memory
20.5 MB
File FormatsJPEG, Motion JPEG
Max. Image Size3264x2448
Max. Video Size
640x480, 15 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
Battery2 AA batteries
ConnectionsUSB 2.0, AV output
Additional FeaturesFace Detection, Digital Image Stabilization, Perfect Shot Preview, Expression Edit, In-Camera Help Guides

Olympus FE-320 specifications:

Sensor8.0 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD
Zoom3x (36-108mm) zoom, f/3.1-5.9
LCD/Viewfinder2.7", 230K-pixel LCD with two-step brightness adjustment
SensitivityISO 64-3200
Shutter Speed4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting ModesAuto, Program, Digital Image Stabilization, Scene, Movie
Scene PresetsPortrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction, Smile Shot
White Balance SettingsiESP2 Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Metering ModesDigital ESP, Face Detection AE
Focus ModesiESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, Macro, Super Macro
Drive ModesN/A
Flash ModesAuto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill, Off
Self Timer Settings
12 Seconds, Off
Memory FormatsxD-Picture Card
Internal Memory
48 MB
File FormatsJPEG, Motion JPEG
Max. Image Size3264x2448
Max. Video Size
640x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
BatteryLithium-ion rechargeable
ConnectionsUSB 2.0, AV output
Additional FeaturesFace Detection, Digital Image Stabilization and DIS Edit, Perfect Shot Preview, Expression Edit, Smile Shot, TruePic III processor, In-Camera Help Guides

Olympus FE-340 specifications:

Sensor8.0 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD
Zoom5x (36-180mm) zoom, f/3.5-5.6
LCD/Viewfinder2.7", 230K-pixel LCD with two-step brightness adjustment
SensitivityISO 64-3200
Shutter Speed4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting ModesAuto, Program, Digital Image Stabilization, Scene, Movie
Scene PresetsPortrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction, Smile Shot
White Balance SettingsiESP2 Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Metering ModesDigital ESP, Face Detection AE
Focus ModesiESP Auto, Spot AF, Face Detection AF, Macro, Super Macro
Drive ModesN/A
Flash ModesAuto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill, Off
Self Timer Settings

12 Seconds, Off

Memory FormatsxD-Picture Card
Internal Memory
48 MB
File FormatsJPEG, Motion JPEG
Max. Image Size3264x2448
Max. Video Size
640x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
BatteryLithium-ion rechargeable
ConnectionsUSB 2.0, AV output
Additional FeaturesFace Detection, Digital Image Stabilization and DIS Edit, Perfect Shot Preview, Expression Edit, Smile Shot, TruePic III processor, In-Camera Help Guides

Olympus FE-350 specifications:

Sensor8.0 megapixel, 1/2.5" CCD
Zoom3x (28-112mm) zoom, f/2.7-5.4
LCD/Viewfinder3.0", 234K-pixel LCD with Backlight Boost
SensitivityISO 80-640
Shutter Speed4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting ModesAuto, Program, Digital Image Stabilization, Scene, Movie
Scene PresetsPortrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction
White Balance SettingsAuto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Metering ModesDigital ESP, Face Detection AE
Focus ModesiESP Auto, Face Detection AF, Macro, Super Macro
Drive ModesN/A
Flash ModesAuto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill, Off
Self Timer Settings
12 Seconds, Off
Memory FormatsxD-Picture Card
Internal Memory
20.5 MB
File FormatsJPEG, Motion JPEG
Max. Image Size3264x2448
Max. Video Size
640x480, 15 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
BatteryLithium-ion rechargeable
ConnectionsUSB 2.0, AV output, DC input
Additional FeaturesFace Detection, Digital Image Stabilization, Perfect Shot Preview, Expression Edit, In-Camera Help Guides