Olympus FE-120 Zoom Review

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Olympus FE-120 Zoom

Review posted 2/5/2006


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Olympus FE-120 Zoom
Click to take a QTVR tour of the FE-120


The Olympus FE-120 is an entry-level 6.0-megapixel digital camera that packs a 3x optical zoom and 1.8-inch color LCD into a compact and lightweight body. The FE-120 features a built-in Help Guide so you don't have to consult a manual; easy printing directly to a printer; an uncomplicated "One Touch" design with separate buttons for shooting, playing back and erasing digital images; 19 scene modes to get the right effect in any setting, and more.

The cameras' simple menus incorporate a new Help Guide with images and brief descriptions of frequently used functions and shooting mode to help users determine the settings best suited to their shooting situation and purpose without having to stop to consult a printed manual.

The FE Series cameras feature an easy-to-use "One Touch" design with individual buttons for shooting, reviewing and deleting images conveniently located on the body of the cameras so that frequently used functions can be easily accessed. Macro mode, Flash mode and a self-timer are located on an arrow pad at your fingertips for quick use while setting up the perfect composition.

The inclusion of shooting modes accessed via a rotating dial and menu button on the back of the camera, makes it easy to capture great images in a variety of lighting situations, such as Sunset, Portrait, and Night Scene. A QuickTime Movie mode enables users to create short movies of events that can be emailed to family and friends. And a new frame integration function enables users to select various colorful, decorative borders for favorite pictures to print or email to friends.

With the power of PictBridge technology, photos can be printed directly from the camera to any PictBridge-enabled printer, such as the Olympus P-11 Digital Photo Printer, without using a computer. Printing and sharing images has never been easier, and the P-11's photo lab-quality dye-sublimation printing produces archival- quality prints in rich color.

Connecting any FE Series camera to a computer is easy with the USB Auto Connect feature, which connects the camera directly via USB 2.0 cable and requires no software. The included OLYMPUS Master software provides the ultimate in digital imaging management. An intuitive user interface makes downloading to your computer quick and simple, and images are searchable by date or keyword in the Calendar View. With one-click editing tools, such as red-eye reduction, images can be touched up before printing or emailing. Online support, templates and other user services are just a mouse-click away.


FE-120 Zoom Features:

  • 6.0 Megapixel CCD imager for up to 2816x2112 pixel images
  • 3x optical (38-114mm 35mm equiv) zoom, 4x seamless digital zoom
  • Built-in Help Guide
  • 1.8" color LCD and 4x playback zoom
  • 19 shooting modes including Quicktime movies
  • Quicktime movie mode w/out sound, 320x240 HQ and 160x120 SQ quality
  • Stitch Assist mode for perfect panoramas
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • Shutter speeds of 4 seconds to 1/2000 second
  • Auto ISO range from 50 to 320
  • Powered by 2 standard AA type batteries
  • USB Direct-print with any PictBridge compatible printer
  • USB connectivity for PC and Mac
  • 14MB internal memory and xD-Picture Card, 32MB supplied


The FE-120 includes: 32MB xD-Picture Card, (2) AA Alkaline Batteries, USB Cable (Win/Mac), Wrist Strap, Quick Start Guide, Quick Reference Guide, Basic Instruction Manual, CD-ROM with OLYMPUS Master Software and Advanced Instruction Manual, Warranty Card. The FE-120's estimated street price is $229.99 (U.S.)

Physical Views



Olympus FE-120 Zoom

Olympus FE-120 Zoom

Olympus FE-120 Zoom Olympus FE-120 Zoom

Olympus FE-120 Zoom

Olympus FE-120 Zoom





Olympus FE-120 Zoom

The FE-120 compared to an average CD disc.





Olympus FE-120 Zoom

The Sony S600 and the Olympus FE-120.





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Features & Controls


FE-120 Zoom Specifications
Imager 6.0 megapixel effective, 6.2 megapixel gross, 1/2.5" (12mm) CCD
Lens 6.3 - 18.9mm (38 - 114mm equivalent in 35mm photography), 6 lenses in 5 group
Zoom Seamless to 12x (3x optical and 4x digital combined)
Aperture Range f2.8- f4.9
LCD 1.8" (46mm) LCD, approx. 85,000 pixel
Focus System CCD Contrast detection
Focus Range a. Normal mode: 23.6" - infinity (0.6m - infinity)
b. Macro mode: 7.9" - 23.6" (0.2m - 0.6m)
c. Super Macro mode: 0.8" (20mm)
Focus Mode iESP Autofocus
Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec - 4 sec
ISO Auto (50 - 320 equivalent)
Metering Mode Digital ESP multi-pattern
White Balance Auto, Pre-set (Daylight, Overcast, Tungsten, and Fluorescent)
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV steps in 1/2 EV steps
Recording Modes JPEG
Adjustment Resolutions a. 2816 x 2112, SHQ / HQ
b. 1600 x 1200, SQ1
c. 640 x 480, SQ2
Shooting Modes 19 pre-set shooting modes; P, Auto, Scene pre-set (Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Scene+ Portrait, Landscape+ Portrait, Cuisine, Beach, Snow, Candle, fireworks, Indoor, Sunset, Behinds Glass, Available light portrait, Self portrait), Movie
Panorama Modes Up to 10 frames automatically stichable with OLYMPUS Master software when using Olympus brand xD-Picture card
Sequential Shooting 1.3 frames per second up to 7 frames
Shooting Edit Effects Two in one
Movie Mode QuickTime motion JPEG, QVGA 30fps/15 fps
Image Processing TruePic TURBOTM Image Processor
Pixel Mapping Automatic Pixel Mapping (APM) available via menu setting
Noise Reduction Set automatically at shutter speeds of 0.5 second or longer
Image Playback a. Still Image; Single, Index display(4/9/16), Up to 5x enlargement, Slide-show, Rotation
b. Movie; Playback, Reverse, Frame-by-frame
Playback Edit Effects a. Still Image; Resize, Frame integration, Black and white, Sepia
b. Movie; Edit, Frame Index
Direct Printing Options PictBridge and DPOF
Flash Built in
Flash Modes a. Auto (for low light and back lit conditions)
b. Red-eye reduction
c. Fill-in
d. Off
Flash Working Range Wide: 0.7ft (0.2m)-12.1ft (3.7m); Tele 0.7ft (0.2m)-6.9ft. (2.1m)
Selftimer 12 seconds/ Auto
Setting Memorization On/Off (reset to default settings)
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image data, automatic up to 2099
Memory 14 MB internal memory, 32MB xD-Picture Card (bundled)
Removable Media Card xD-Picture Card (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB or 1GB)
Outer Connectors USB connecter (Auto-connect, USB mass storage), DC input
Auto-connect USB 2.0 Full speed
System Requirements Windows 98SE/2000PRO/ME/XP, Mac 10.2 and higher
Operating Environment a. Operation: 32° - 104°F (0° - 40°C), 30 - 90% humidity
b. Storage: -4° - 140°F (-20° - 60°C), 10 - 90% humidity
Power Supply AA alkaline battery (x2), Li (CR-V3), AC adapter (E-7AU/E-7AE)
Size 4.2"W x 2.2"H x 1.4" D (106.0mm x 56.0mm x 36.0mm)
Weight 4.9 oz (140g) without battery and media card
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)




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