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Olympus' FE-270 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Olympus: Four new FE digicams
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(Thursday, August 23, 2007 - 00:01 EDT)

Olympus has today simultaneously announced several new digital camera models with the approachable, beginner-friendly features that are the hallmark of the FE-series.

The Olympus FE-280 combines an eight megapixel CCD imager, an Olympus-branded 3x optical zoom lens, and a 2.5" LCD display in a pocket-friendly body. The FE280 aims to keep things simple, with a whopping seventeen scene modes that make it easy to get the shot without understanding the subtleties of shutter speeds, apertures and the suchlike. As well as 48MB of built-in memory, images can be stored on xD-Picture cards. The FE-280 offers a maximum ISO sensitivity of 1600, and has a VGA movie mode with sound. Power comes from a proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. There's also USB 2.0 High-Speed computer connectivity, and NTSC / PAL video out to let you see your photos on a television.

The Olympus FE-290 is a full ten millimeters thicker than its lower-priced sibling (and also a little wider), and weighs about 34 grams more. Sensor resolution is seven megapixels, and the FE290's smaller body fits in a roomier 3.0" LCD display and a more powerful, slightly brighter 4x optical zoom lens. Other differences in the FE-290 include a maximum ISO of 640, a few less scene modes, and rather less built in memory - just around 7MB.

The Olympus FE-300 is a few millimeters slimmer and less wide than the FE-290, and about 27 grams lighter. Sensor resolution is bumped up to twelve megapixels, and the LCD size dropped back to 2.5". ISO sensitivity ranges up to 6400 max. Built-in memory is 48MB, as with the FE-280.

The Olympus FE-280, FE-290, and FE-300 all ship from August 2007 with prices of about $200, $250 and $300 respectively. The Olympus FE-270 is being announced elsewhere in the world, but is not currently planned for sale in the US market - hence at this time we don't have detailed specifications for that model; note from the pictures that it is a seven megapixel, 3X zoom camera.

Olympus FE-300
Olympus' FE-300 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera TypeUltra Compact
ManufacturerOlympus
Model NumberFE-300
Dimensions3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9"
94.0 x 56.5 x 22.1mm
Weight115.0 g
4.0 oz
Planned Price$299.99
Planned Availability 2007
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/1.72" CCD
12.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions4000 x 3000 (12.0 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1980 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.5", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens
Lens TypeOlympus lens, 6 elements in 4 groups, 4 aspherical
3x optical zoom
Image StabilizationNo
Focal Length7.4 - 22.2mm (actual)
35 - 105mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/2.8 (wide) / f/4.7 (tele) - ???
Focusing SystemCCD Contrast Detection with Face Detection
Focusing RangeNormal: 24" - infinity (60 cm - infinity)
Macro: 4.1" - infinity (10.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO SensitivityAuto, 50 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
Shutter Speed4 - 1/1000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesDigital ESP, Face Detection AE (when Face Detection AF is selected)
Exposure Co mpensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, and 3 Fluorescents
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: Wide: 0.98ft (0.3m) 20.0ft. (6.1m) at ISO 800; Tele: 1.6ft. (0.5m) 11.8ft. (3.6m) at ISO 800
Creative
Scene ModesPortrait, Landscape, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Behind Glass, Cuisine, Documents, Auction, Smile Shot
Digital ZoomUp to 4x, seamless to 12x
Self TimerYes, 12 seconds
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Storage
Recording MediumxD Picture Card, Built-in
File FormatJPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Connectivity
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMulti-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output)
Power
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary LI-42B
Product Bundle
SoftwareOlympus Master 2
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary LI-42B Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory48.0MB Internal
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
More Photos
Olympus' FE-300 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' FE-300 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Olympus FE-290
Olympus' FE-290 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera TypeUltra Compact
ManufacturerOlympus
Model NumberFE-290
Dimensions3.8 x 2.2 x 1.0"
97.7 x 55.7 x 26.5mm
Weight142.0 g
5.0 oz
Planned Price$249.99
Planned Availability 2007
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.5" CCD
7.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1980 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0", 234,000 pixels
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens
Lens TypeOlympus lens, 7 elements in 6 groups, 3 aspherical
4x optical zoom
Image StabilizationNo
Focal Length4.6 - 18.2mm (actual)
28 - 112mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/2.7 (wide) / f/5.4 (tele) - ???
Focusing SystemCCD Contrast Detection
Focusing RangeNormal: 16" - infinity (40 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.0" - infinity (5.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO SensitivityAuto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 640
Shutter Speed4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesDigital ESP
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: Wide: 0.66ft. (0.2m) 14.4ft.(4.4m) at ISO 400; Tele: 1.1ft. (0.35m) 7.2ft. (2.2m) at ISO 400
Creative
Scene ModesPortrait, Landscape, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction
Digital ZoomUp to 4x, seamless to 16x
Self TimerYes, 12 seconds
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Storage
Recording MediumxD Picture Card, Built-in
File FormatJPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Connectivity
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMulti-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output, DC Input)
Power
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary LI-42B
Product Bundle
SoftwareOlympus Master 2
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary LI-42B Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory6.9MB Internal
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
More Photos
Olympus' FE-290 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' FE-290 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Olympus FE-280
Olympus' FE-280 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera TypeUltra Compact
ManufacturerOlympus
Model NumberFE-280
Dimensions3.6 x 2.2 x 0.6"
91.8 x 55.7 x 16.5mm
Weight108.0 g
3.8 oz
Planned Price$199.99
Planned Availability 2007
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.35" CCD
8.00 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio4:3, 16:9
Image Dimensions3264 x 2448 (8.0 megapixels)
2048 x 1536 (3.1 megapixels)
1980 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD2.5", 230,000 pixels
Playback Zoom10.0x max
Lens
Lens TypeOlympus lens, 6 elements in 5 groups, 4 aspherical
3x optical zoom
Image StabilizationNo
Focal Length6.3 - 18.9mm (actual)
36 - 108mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.1 (wide) / f/5.9 (tele) - ???
Focusing SystemCCD Contrast Detection with Face Detection
Focusing RangeNormal: 24" - infinity (60 cm - infinity)
Macro: 2.0" - infinity (5.0 cm - infinity)
Exposure
ISO SensitivityAuto, 50 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speed4 - 1/2000 second
Exposure ModesProgram
Metering ModesDigital ESP, Face Detection AE (when Face Detection AF is selected)
Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, and 3 Fluorescents
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Range: Wide: 0.33ft (0.1m) 18.0ft. (5.5m) at ISO 800; Tele: 2.0ft. (0.6m) 9.2ft. (2.8m) at ISO 800
Creative
Scene ModesPortrait, Landscape, Night+Portrait, Sport, Indoor, Candle, Self Portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Behind Glass, Documents, Auction, Smile Shot, Underwater Wide 1, Underwater Wide 2, Underwater Macro
Digital ZoomUp to 4x, seamless to 12x
Self TimerYes, 12 seconds
Movie FormatAVI (Motion JPEG) with audio
Storage
Recording MediumxD Picture Card, Built-in
File FormatJPEG (EXIF 2.21)
Connectivity
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMulti-Terminal (USB Connector, Audio/Video Output)
Power
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary LI-42B
Product Bundle
SoftwareOlympus Master 2
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary LI-42B Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory48.0MB Internal
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlNo
More Photos
Olympus' FE-280 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' FE-280 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Olympus FE-270
Olympus' FE-270 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' FE-270 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Olympus' FE-270 digital camera. Courtesy of Olympus, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

Original Source Press Release:

NEW OLYMPUS FE-SERIES CAMERAS COMBINE EASY OPERATION WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES

Three New Digital Compact Cameras Offer Choice of 12.0-Megapixel Image Sensor, 4x Wide-Angle Lens and Face Detection Technology for Crisp, Clear Images

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., August 23, 2007 – Olympus has taken the FE-Series to a new level of performance and ease of use. From the most powerful image sensor to the largest LCD screen and the newest technological innovations, the FE-300, FE-290 and FE-280 offer something for everyone. Common to all three cameras is their ultra-slim design, affordable price and intuitive features, which enable anyone to capture all of life’s moments in brilliant detail.

Each easy and fun camera also offers its own unique features including:
FE-300: The slimmest compact camera to provide a 12-megapixel image sensor for producing large-format prints with incredible detail and Face Detection Technology for capturing sharp, brilliant portrait pictures;
FE-290: A 4x zoom for getting closer to a subject, a 28mm wide-angle lens for taking beautiful panoramic shots and an impressive 3-inch LCD for composing and displaying captured images; and
FE-280: A super-slim body available in four trendy colors (red, blue, black and silver) with Face Detection Technology, which tracks faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures.

“We’ve added even more features and performance to the ultra-slim FE-Series without adding complexity,” said Jennifer Schmell, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Whatever your need, from large-format printing to increased zoom, there’s an FE camera for you.”

Powerful Image Sensor
The FE-300 features a powerful 12.0-megapixel image sensor, which allows photographers to make large-format prints and crop photographs dramatically while maintaining image quality. Producing impressive 16-inch by 20-inch prints of dramatic landscapes, portraits or flowers will be a snap with this high-resolution (1/1.72”) image sensor.

High-Resolution LCD Screens
The FE-290 features an extra large 3-inch LCD screen, and the FE-280 and FE-300 feature large 2.5-inch LCD screens. Composing shots and sharing images with friends and family is easier than ever thanks to the FE-Series large, high-resolution LCD screens. Additionally, the backlight boost button increases the LCD from bright to a super-bright setting, making it easier to capture and view images in challenging environments such as direct sunlight or low-light situations.

Face Detection Technology
Face Detection Technology tracks faces within the frame and automatically focuses (Face Detection AF) and optimizes exposure (Face Detection AE) for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures. Even if your subjects are moving, the camera continuously tracks your subjects' faces without having to press the shutter button.

Expanded Control and Easy Operation
In some situations, consumers may want more creative control when composing images. The three new FE cameras offer Program Auto Mode. Located on the cameras’ mode dial, this option enables consumers to easily adjust ISO and white balance. Additionally, the new FE-Series cameras feature in-camera Help Guides, making digital photography simple and fun for users of all ages and skill levels. A tutorial “shooting guide” educates users on tips for achieving specific effects, such as “shooting into backlight” and brightening subjects. The shooting guide not only provides detailed descriptions for various situations and environments, but also sets the camera with the touch of a button, making the transition from learning to taking great pictures instantaneous.

Perfect Shot Preview
The FE-300 and FE-280 feature a Perfect Shot Preview mode, which enables users to preview and select various photographic effects on a live, multi-frame window on the LCD before snapping the shot. This feature allows users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring users are capturing the exact image they want. It’s a great way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, such as exposure compensation, white balance and metering.

Digital Image Stabilization Mode and Edit
The new FE cameras offer Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) for capturing crisp, clear pictures. DIS freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds that prevent blurry images often caused by a moving subject. The FE-280 and FE-300 also feature Digital Image Stabilization Edit, which uses a built-in gyro sensor to track camera movement and enables users to fix blurry images right in the camera. The FE-280 and FE-300 also feature high ISO sensitivity, which extends the flash working range, enabling users to capture clear, bright subjects and backgrounds in low-light situations.

Perfect Fix
Life does not always go as planned, so the FE-280 and FE-300 feature Perfect Fix, which allows users to modify pictures after they take them. Perfect Fix sharpens unanticipated blur, improves lighting and eliminates red-eye.

TruePicTM III Image Processor
The FE-280 and FE-300 feature Olympus’ exclusive new TruePic III image processor, which was developed for the demanding performance of professional Digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras. Olympus’ enhanced TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal-clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to deliver superior picture quality with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III also captures crisp, clear images at high ISO settings, which are traditionally associated with increasing image noise or producing grainy photos.

Bright Capture Technology for Easy Low-Light Photography
The FE-280 and FE-300 include Bright Capture Technology, enabling consumers to preview and shoot images and movies in low light using specific scene modes. It is perfect for situations when a flash is not appropriate to capture the softness and warmth of a candlelit dinner or natural skin tones in subdued lighting.

PreSet Shooting Modes Make It Easy to Capture Great Images
The inclusion of preset shooting modes, accessed via a rotating dial and menu button on the back of the cameras, makes it easy to capture great images in a variety of lighting situations, such as Sports, Fireworks and Night Scene with Portrait. All three cameras offer VGA-quality video and sound, which enable users to create short movies that can be emailed to family and friends. The FE-290 offers 17 shooting modes, while the FE-300 offers 18, and the FE-280 offers 21, including three underwater scene modes.

OLYMPUS Master™ 2 Software
OLYMPUS Master 2 Software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to your computer quick and simple, and images are easily organized by folders or albums and searchable by date in Calendar view. And with one-click editing tools, such as red-eye removal, images can be touched up before printing or emailing. Online support, templates, firmware upgrades and other user services are just a mouse-click away. Use the optional muvee™ Theater Pack to create professional quality slide shows and DVDs from your pictures using any of several built-in templates.

Olympus Premium Cases and Silicone Skin
Olympus also offers premium cases in various colors, including camel and red leather, and a sporty neoprene case perfect for active or outdoor situations. Silicone skins that protect the camera from scratches are also available in colors for the FE-280. Additionally, the PT-038 underwater housing can be used with the FE-280, enabling even the most novice photographer to take beautiful underwater images.

Availability
The FE-280, FE-290 and FE-300 will be available in August 2007. Each will include a LI-42B Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery and Charger, USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, Wrist Strap, Manual, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master™ 2 Software and Warranty Card.

U.S. Pricing
FE-280 Estimated Street Price: $199.99 (U.S.)
FE-290 Estimated Street Price: $249.99 (U.S.)
FE-300 Estimated Street Price: $299.99 (U.S.)

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances peoples’ lives every day. These include:

Digital and Film Cameras as well as related Underwater Products and Accessories
Professional Digital SLR Imaging Systems as well as related Underwater Products and Accessories
Digital and Microcassette Recorders
Digital Media
Binoculars

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

*Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holder.
© 2007 Olympus Imaging America Inc.
###

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