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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Olympus FE-110


   


Olympus FE-110 Review

Review Date: Dec 19, 2005

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Olympus FE-110

HANDLING & FEEL

The Olympus FE-110 is an entry-level digital camera for snapshooters. Startup is about 3.5 sec. and shot to shot time is about 8 sec. Autofocus works well when there's enough light but very challenging in low-light situations. There is just a slight shutter lag if you pre-focus, otherwise it's about 1 sec.

STYLE
- Colours: overall silver
- Looks: rounded corners
FEEL
- Comfortable
- Straightforward controls
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- Medium Compact: fits in a large pants pocket, coat pocket or small handbag
- Dimensions: 87.5W x 62.5H x 38.5D mm /
3.5W x 2.5H x 1.5D in.
- Weight: light at 140 g / 4.9 oz (without battery and media card)
- Takes 2 AA Alkaline batteries
SPEED OF OPERATION
- Slow startup with lens extending about 18 mm (0.75 in.) and LCD turning on in about 3-4 sec.
- Shot to shot time about 8-9 sec.
- Slight to 1 sec. shutter lag.

Included in the box are 2 AA batteries. We recommend that you purchase 2 rechargeable AA NiMH batteries and a battery charger.

Controls

The top of the camera has only the Power Button and the Shutter Release Button. All the other controls are found on the back.

The back is taken over by a rather small (by today's standard) 1.5 in. LCD monitor, but with 130,000 pixels resolution (which is more than many 2.5 in. LCD monitors have). A Mode Dial (placed vertically so you can conveniently and easily rotate it with your thumb) provides access to all the six (6) Shooting Modes available on this camera. Besides Program Auto, there are 4 Scene Modes, plus Movie.

You can record movies (no audio) at HQ (320x240) or SQ (160x120) all at 15fps, limited only by the amount of your memory card.

At HQ (320x240), you'll be able to store approx. 85 sec. of movie in the 28MB Internal Memory, approx. 48 sec. on a 16MB xD-Picture Card, or 26 min. 30 sec. on a 512MB xD-Picture Card.

For posting on the Web, you might prefer to shoot at SQ (160x120), and you'll be able to store approx. 340 sec. in the 28MB Internal Memory, approx. 194 sec. on a 16MB xD-Picture Card, or approx. 1 hr. 46 min. on a 512MB xD-Picture Card.

Olympus FE-110 Back View

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Zoom lever)
- Zoom lever (@ 1.5 sec. from W to T, 7 steps)
- Mode Dial (Program Auto, 4 Scene Modes, plus Movie)
- Shooting (Red) Button with Orange Lamp
- Playback (Green) Button with Greem Lamp
- Arrow Pad (Exposure Compensation, Macro/Super Macro, Reset, Self-timer) / OK Button
- Flash Mode Button
- Menu Button
- Erase Button
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
- Exposure compensation is directly accessible by using the UP ARROW key. Once it displays, use RIGHT and LEFT ARROW keys to dial in a value.
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (13 steps in 1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is retained even when the camera is turned off (so remember to reset to "0" after using it or the next time you turn the camera on, your shots may be over- or under-exposed.)

LCD & Menus

There is no viewfinder but a 1.5 in. LCD monitor with 130,000 pixels resolution. The refresh rate is quite good, except in low-light when the image skips. You cannot manually adjust the LCD monitor's brightness and the LCD monitor does not gain up in low-light.

There is no AF-assist and the camera has difficulty focusing accurately in low-light. Improvement suggestion to Olympus: this camera would gain tremendously with the addition of an AF-assist Illuminator.

The Menu structure is very simple, more like SETUP, and you would access it probably only to select the Panorama feature or to change image quality.

Playback is quite slow, about 4-5 sec. to move from image to image.

MENU 1 of 3

- Image Quality
- Backup (for copying images from internal memory to your xD-Picture Card)
- Date/Time
- Language (English, Français, Español, Portugues)

MENU 2 of 3

- Sleep (30 sec., 1 min., 3 min., 10 min.)
- Video Out (NTSC, PAL)
- Card Format
- Pixel Mapping

MENU 3 of 3

- Panorama (up to 10 shots)

IMAGE QUALITY

- SHQ 2560x1920
- HQ 2560x1920
- SQ1 1600x1200
- SQ2 640x480

PROGRAM-AUTO

- P = Program Auto
- Super Macro
- Flash Off
- Exposure Compensation +0.3EV
- Image Quality = SHQ
- xD-Picture Card used
- Space left for approx. 133 images

 

SCENE MODE: PORTRAIT

SCENE MODE: LANDSCAPE

SCENE MODE: NIGHT SCENE

SCENE MODE: SELF-PORTRAIT

MOVIE

The Olympus FE-110 handles comfortably. The camera is light, compact, and the controls are spaced out enough to hold the camera safely. Operations are basic, simple-to-understand and easy-to-use for a beginner.

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