Olympus FE-180 Zoom Review

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Olympus FE-180 Zoom

Posted 2/19/2007

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Olympus FE-180 Zoom
Click to take a QTVR tour of the FE-180

The FE-180 is one of several 2006 additions to Olympus' FE series of entry-level point-n-shoot models. It promises longer battery life than most other point and shoot cameras, Olympus claiming up to 500 shots on a single charge with the new bundled Ni-MH rechargeable batteries. Weddings, vacations/tours and other lengthy events are no challenge for this new digital camera. Other features include a large 2.5-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom lens, and Digital Image Stabilization.

Olympus' new FE-series cameras feature an enhanced Help Guide that makes digital photography simple for users of all levels. A tutorial "shooting guide" educates users on tips for achieving specific effects, such as "shooting into backlight" and "adjusting coloration." The shooting guide not only provides detailed descriptions for various photographic scenarios, but also actually sets the camera with the touch of a button, making the transition from learning to doing instantaneous.

They also feature a "One Touch" design with individual buttons for shooting, reviewing and deleting images, with icons so that frequently used functions can be accessed easily. Shooting, playback, zoom and delete options are at your fingertips. Macro mode, flash mode and a self-timer are located on the 4way controller for quick use while setting up the perfect composition.

The inclusion of 16 shooting modes, including QuickTime® Movie, 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. The FE-180, FE-180 and FE-200 models offer QuickTime® Movie mode, which enables users to create short movies of events that can be emailed to family and friends.

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.

FE-180 Zoom Features:

  • 6.0 Megapixel CCD imager
  • 3x optical (38-114mm 35mm equiv) zoom, 4x digital zoom
  • Digital Image Stabilization and Built-in Help Guide
  • TruePic TURBO Image Processor
  • 2.5" color LCD and 10x playback zoom
  • 16 shooting modes including Quicktime movies
  • Quicktime movie mode w/sound, 640x480 SHQ and 320x240 HQ quality
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • Shutter speeds of 4 seconds to 1/2000 second
  • Auto ISO range from 64 - 1000
  • Powered by two AA batteries, Sanyo eneloop AA NiMH included
  • USB Direct-print with any PictBridge compatible printer
  • USB connectivity for PC and Mac
  • 22MB internal memory and xD-Picture Card slot

The FE-180 was available in September 2007 with an MSRP of US$179.99. It ships with: a pair of Sanyo eneloop NiMH rechargeable batteries and charger, USB cable, Audio/Video cable, wrist strap, Quick Start guide, basic manual, CD-ROM (including OLYMPUS Master software and advanced manual) and warranty.

Physical Views

Olympus FE-180 Zoom

Olympus FE-180 Zoom

Olympus FE-180 Zoom Olympus FE-180 Zoom

Olympus FE-180 Zoom

Olympus FE-180 Zoom

Olympus FE-180 Zoom

The FE-180 compared to an average CD disc.

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Features & Controls

FE-180 Zoom Specifications
Imager 6.0 Megapixel (effective), 6.2 Megapixel gross, 1/2.5" (1.2cm) CCD
Lens 6.3 - 18.9mm (38 - 114mm equivalent in 35mm photography), 6 lenses in 5 groups
Zoom 3x Optical + 4x Digital (seamless to 12x)
Aperture Range f3.1 - f5.9
LCD 2.5" (6.4cm) Color LCD, approx. 110,000 pixels
Focus System Autofocus (CCD Contrast Detection, iESP)
Focus Range Normal/Macro Mode:(Wide)
4.0" (0.1m) - infinity (Tele) 23.6" (0.6m) - infinity
Super Macro Mode: 2.0" (5cm)
Shutter Speed Auto (1/2000 sec. - 4 sec.)
ISO Auto (64 - 1000)
White Balance Auto (ESP)
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV steps in 1/3 EV steps
Recording Modes Still Image: DCF Exif 2.21, JPEG, PIM3 Movie Mode: QuickTime® motion JPEG with Audio
Adjustment Resolutions 2,816 x 2,112, SHQ/HQ 2,048 x 1,536, SQ1 640 x 480, SQ2
Shooting Modes 16 Shooting Modes: Program Auto, Scene Presets (Portrait, Landscape, Night & Portrait, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Sport, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Behind Glass, Auction), Digital Image Stabilization Mode, Movie
Panorama Modes Up to 10 frames automatically stitchable with OLYMPUS Master Software when using Olympus brand xD-Picture Card™
Movie Mode QuickTime Movie with Audio: 640x480/30fps (SHQ), 320x240/30fps (HQ)
Image Processing TruePic TURBO™ 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 Still Image: Single, Index (4/9/16/25), Enlargement (up to 10x), Slideshow, Rotation Movie: Normal, Reverse, Frame-By-Frame
Playback Edit Effects Still Image: Resize (640x480, 320x240)
Direct Printing Options PictBridgeTM, DPOF
Flash Built-in
Flash Modes Auto (for low-light and backlit conditions), Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Fill-In & Red-Eye, Off
Flash Working Range Wide: 0.7 ft. (0.2m) - 8.9 ft. (2.7m) Tele: 2.0 ft. (0.6m) - 4.6 ft. (1.4m)
Selftimer 12 Seconds/Auto
Setting Memorization On/Off (Hold changes/Reset to default settings)
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image data, Automatic up to 2099
Memory 22MB internal memory
Outer Connectors USB Connector, Video Output
Auto-connect USB 2.0 Full Speed (USB mass storage)
System Requirements Auto-Connect USB: Windows® 98SE/ME/2000PRO/XP with USB port, Mac OS® 9.0 - 9.2x/OS X 10.1 - 10.4 with USB port Software: Windows 98SE/ME/2000PRO/XP, Mac® 10.2 and higher
Operating Environment Operation: 32° - 104°F (0° - 40°C), 30% - 90% humidity Storage: -4° - 140°F (-20° - 60°C), 10% - 90% humidity
Power Supply (2) AA Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries (Bundled), AA Alkaline Battery
Size 3.5" W x 2.4" H x 1.1" D (88.0mm x 60.5mm x 27.5mm)
Weight 4.2 oz. (120g) without batteries and media card

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Features & Controls

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