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The ultra-compact 5x zoom Olympus FE-200


The ultra-compact 5x zoom Olympus FE-200 - digital camera and photography newsToday's entry-level digital cameras are expected to be small yet powerful and most importantly, easy to use. Judging by these criteria, the new Olympus FE-200 leaves nothing to be desired and even offers something extra. Despite its compact form that lets it fit into virtually any pocket, it incorporates an impressive 5x zoom lens that spans from 28-140mm (35mm equivalent). As well as letting users zoom right into the middle of the action, its wide-angle capabilities also let photographers fit more of the scene into the frame – whether for stunning panorama shots or broader views at close range. The camera's highly-advanced inner-workings are protected by an ultra-compact, stylish metal body. 6.0 million pixels, meanwhile, ensure that what's captured through the powerful zoom lens is faithfully recorded in crystal-clear quality. And since snapshooters usually don't want to bother with reading through lengthy manuals and would rather start shooting immediately, camera operation is simple and fun. This is not least thanks to the intuitive “one button, one function” design principle and handy help function that explains the main camera features directly on the large 6.4cm LCD.

Fitting a precision 5x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 28-140mm on a 35mm model) into such a small metal body represents a considerable technical challenge. Mastering this, Olympus has produced a compact camera that is both a close-up and wide-angle specialist. On the one hand, the FE-200 lets users get significantly closer to subjects, and on the other, it can capture more of a scene within the frame – depending on the zoom setting chosen. These dual tele and wide capabilities provide performance and flexibility that's unmatched in the entry-level camera class.

With 6.0 million pixels, this model gives users ample imaging power to obtain sensationally sharp photos – even for large-format printouts. And to ensure that none of the action is missed, a big 6.4cm LCD enables comfortable framing and instant viewing joy.

Even people who've never held a digital camera in their life before will have no problem with this model's operation thanks to a “one button, one function” design principle. Furthermore, a help function that explains all settings assists along the way. Ten pre-defined scene modes offer the option to let the camera automatically make the optimal settings for many common shooting situations. A mode dial that can be conveniently turned with the thumb makes it quick to switch between the camera's eight different programmes (incl. Image Stabilisation Mode with ISO 800) and spares users the work of making their way through menus. And so that macro as well as video enthusiasts are also not left wanting, this model includes a Super Macro mode for pictures from as little as 5cm away and a movie function with sound.

Naturally, the FE-200 features an xD-Picture Card slot, in addition to internal memory. The camera comes with the Olympus Master Software that enables easy downloading, organising, editing and versatile printing of images with the computer.

The FE-200 offers everything expected from an entry-level camera – and more: style, simplicity, imaging power, affordability – plus the amazing versatility of a wide-angle 5x zoom. Overall, it's a tough package to beat. This ultra-compact multi-talent will hit the shelves from September 2006.
August 23, 2006
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