DigitalCameraReview.com
Olympus rolls out new FE-series ultracompacts
by David Rasnake -  8/19/2008

Olympus has expanded its popular, cost-conscious FE line today with the addition of the super-slim Olympus FE-360 and the 5x zoom FE-370.

The lead off hitter in this interesting ultracompact duo is the 8.0 megapixel FE-360. Sporting a 3x zoom, the FE-360 measures a mere 0.7 inches thick.

Olympus FE-360

Stylish and slim, the FE-360 is available in five colors and features a total of 20 shooting modes – including three underwater options designed for use with the FE-360's optional underwater housing.

The step-up Olympus FE-370 features a host of features traditionally associated with high-end ultracompacts. Building on the same 8.0 megapixel sensor seen in the FE-360, the FE-370 provides an expanded field of view with a 5x lens covering 36-180mm.

Olympus FE-370

Dual Image Stabilization provides both digital and sensor-shift stabilization for clear photos in low light. A 2.7-inch high-resolution LCD with backlight boost handles composition, and image processing is courtesy of Olympus's TruePic III chip.

The FE-370 brings an all new Intelligent Auto Mode to the table as well, which "selects the appropriate shooting mode automatically based on where the camera is aimed, and optimizes the settings accordingly."

The FE-370 is also the latest ultracompact to offer smile-focused shooting options: a Smile Mode only fires the shutter when subjects are smiling, and Expression Edit is Olympus's take on an in-camera post-processing tool for retouching smiles onto the faces of surly subjects.

Other in-camera processing options on the FE-370 include an Exposure Fix tool, red-eye correction, and basic editing controls for cropping and resizing images.

Both models feature In-Camera Help Guides, which provide tutorials on general shooting and features operation to help shooters familiarize themselves with the new FE cameras.

Likewise, Olympus has expanded the range of memory types that both new FE cameras will support: in addition to Olympus/Fuji's proprietary xD-Picture Card format, the FE-360 and FE-370 come with an adapter that allows shooters to use microSD cards as well.

Arguably the most impressive spec of both new models is the price. The FE-360 should sell for just under $150, with the feature-rich FE-370 hitting stores under the $200 mark. According to our contacts at Olympus, look for both cameras to make their way to retailers before the end of August.

Olympus FE-360/FE-370 Specifications:

Sensor 8.0 megapixel, 1/2.35" CCD
Zoom 3x (36-108mm) zoom, f/3.1-5.9 (FE-360); 5x (36-180mm) zoom, f/3.5-5.6 (FE-370)
LCD/Viewfinder 2.5", 154K-pixel LCD with two-step brightness adjustment (FE-360); 2.7", 230K-pixel LCD with two-step brightness adjustment (FE-370)
Sensitivity ISO 64-1000 (FE-360); ISO 64-3200 (FE-370)
Shutter Speed 4-1/2000 seconds
Shooting Modes Auto, Program, Digital Image Stabilization, Scene, Movie
Scene Presets Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Scene, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction, Underwater Wide 1 (FE-360), Underwater Wide 2 (FE-360), Underwater Macro (FE-360), Smile Shot (FE-370)
White Balance Settings Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Metering Modes Digital ESP, Face Detection AE
Focus Modes iESP Auto, Face Detection AF, Spot AF (FE-370)
Drive Modes Not Specified
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill, Off
Self Timer Settings

12 Seconds, Off

Memory Formats xD-Picture Card (microSD with include adapter)
Internal Memory
20.5 MB (FE-360), 48 MB (FE-370)
File Formats JPEG, AVI
Max. Image Size 3264x2448
Max. Video Size
640x480, 30 fps
Zoom During Video Not Specified
Battery Lithium-ion rechargeable
Connections USB 2.0, AV output
Additional Features Face Detection, Digital Image Stabilization, Optical Image Stabilization (FE-370), Perfect Shot Preview, Expression Edit, Smile Shot, TruePic III processor, In-Camera Help Guides