Olympus FE-230 Zoom Review

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Olympus FE-230 Zoom

Review posted 3/21/2007


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Olympus FE-230 Zoom
Click to take a QTVR tour of the FE-230


The FE-230 is one of several additions to Olympus' FE series of entry-level point-n-shoot models for 2007. These four new FE-series models combine slim design and easy operation to deliver impressive image quality without a steep learning curve - perfect for first-time camera owners. The FE-210, FE-230, FE-240 and FE-250 all feature a 2.5-inch LCD, Built-in Help Guides, Pre-set Shooting Modes and Digital Image Stabilization. Bright Capture is also available for the first time in select FE-series cameras.

The FE-230 features a 0.6-inch super-slim and durable metal body that makes this the most compact and portable member of the FE family. An optional underwater housing (PT-038) designed specifically for the FE-230 provides worry-free fun in the pool or ocean. Images can be captured when scuba diving down to a depth of approximately 130 feet (40 meters) below the surface.

These 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.

Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) comes standard on these new models, 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-230 and FE-240 also feature Digital Image Stabilization Edit, which uses a built-in gyro sensor to track camera movement so you can fix blurry images right in the camera.

They also feature a "One Touch" design with individual buttons for shooting, reviewing and deleting images, conveniently located on the top of the cameras 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 FE-230, FE-240 and FE-250 include Bright Capture Technology, enabling users to preview and shoot images or movies in low-light environments using specific scene modes. It's perfect for situations when the flash is not appropriate to capture the softness and warmth of a candlelit dinner or natural skin tones in subdued lighting.

The inclusion of pre-set 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 shooting situations, such as Sports, Fireworks, and Night Scene with Portrait. The FE-210 offers QuickTime® Movie mode and internal microphones, which enables users to create short movies that can be emailed to family and friends. The FE-230, FE-240 and FE-250 capture movies at a higher resolution, providing television quality movies. The FE-210, FE-230 and FE-250 offer 16 different shooting modes, while the FE-230 features 19 shooting modes including three underwater scene modes.

Olympus' exclusive TruePic TURBO™ Image Processor enhances image quality for brilliant blue skies and accurate flesh tones and delivers faster overall processing speeds for rapid start- up, shutter release and playback. TruePic TURBOTM enables the FE-230, FE-230 and FE-250 to capture information from the CCD with pixel "micro-smoothing" that delivers clearer and more color-accurate photos.

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-230 Zoom Features:

  • 7.1 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
  • 19 shooting modes including AVI Motion JPEG movies with sound
  • Movie mode sizes of 640x480/30fps (SHQ) or 320x240/30fps (HQ)
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • Shutter speeds of 4 seconds to 1/2000 second
  • Auto ISO range from 50 - 1250
  • Powered by the included LI-42B Li-ion battery
  • USB Direct-print with any PictBridge compatible printer
  • USB connectivity for PC and Mac
  • 20MB of internal memory
  • Card slot supports xD-Picture card Type H/M up to 2GB
  • Optional PT-038 Underwater housing


The FE-230 is available now with an MSRP of US$199.99. It ships with: LI-42B Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery 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 Card.

Physical Views



Olympus FE-230 Zoom

Olympus FE-230 Zoom

Olympus FE-230 Zoom Olympus FE-230 Zoom

Olympus FE-230 Zoom

Olympus FE-230 Zoom





Olympus FE-230 Zoom

The FE-230 compared to an average CD disc.





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Features & Controls


FE-230 Zoom Specifications
Imager 7.1 Megapixel (effective), 7.4 Megapixel gross, 1/2.5" (1cm) 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, 150,000 pixels
Focus System Autofocus (CCD Contrast Detection, iESP, Single)
Focus Range Normal: (Wide) 23.6" (0.6m) - infinity; (Tele) 39.4" (1.0m) - infinity
Macro Mode: (Wide) 3.9" (0.1m) - infinity; (Tele) 23.6" (0.6m) - infinity
Super Macro Mode: 2.0" (0.05m) - infinity
Shutter Speed Auto (1/2000 sec. - 4 sec.)
ISO Auto (50 - 1250)
White Balance Auto (ESP)
Exposure Compensation ±2 EV steps in 1/3 EV steps
Recording Modes Still Image: Exif 2.21, JPEG, PIM3 Movie Mode: AVI Motion JPEG with Audio
Adjustment Resolutions 3,072 x 2,304, SHQ / HQ 2,048 x 1,536, SQ1 640 x 480, SQ2 1,920 x 1,080, 16:9
Shooting Modes 19 Shooting Modes: Auto, Scene Presets (Portrait, Landscape, Night & Portrait, Indoor, Candle, Self-Portrait, Sunset, Sport, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Behind Glass, Auction, Underwater Wide 1, Underwater Wide 2, Underwater Macro), 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 AVI Motion JPEG with Audio: 640x480/30fps (SHQ), 320x240/30fps (HQ)
Pixel Mapping Automatic Pixel Mapping (APM) available via menu setting
Noise Reduction Set automatically in select Scene Modes
Image Playback Still Image: Single, Index (4/9/16/25), Enlargement (up to 10x), Slideshow, My Favorites, Rotation Movie: Normal, Reverse, Frame-By-Frame
Playback Edit Effects Still Image: Resize (640x480, 320x240), Digital Image Stabilization Edit
Direct Printing Options PictBridgeTM, DPOF
Flash Built-in
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Fill-In, Off
Flash Working Range Wide: 0.33 ft. (0.1m) - 12.8 ft. (3.9m)
Tele: 2.0 ft. (0.6m) - 6.6 ft. (2.0m)
Selftimer 12 Seconds
Setting Memorization On/Off (Hold changes/Reset to default settings)
Date/Time Calendar Simultaneous recording into image data, Automatic up to 2099
Memory 20MB of internal Memory, xD-Picture Card™ (Std/Type H/M- 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB)
Outer Connectors Multi-terminal (USB, Audio/Video Output)
Auto-connect USB 2.0 Full Speed (USB mass storage)
System Requirements Auto-connect USB: Windows® 98SE/ME/2000PRO/XP/VISTA with USB port, Mac OS® 9.0-9.2x/OS X 10.1-10.4 with USB port. Software: Windows® 2000PRO/XP/VISTA, Mac® 10.3 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 Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery (LI-42B)
Size 3.6" W x 2.2" H x 0.65" D, Lens Part: 0.75" (90.5 x 55 x 16.5, Lens Part: 19.1 mm)
Weight 3.7oz. (105g) without batteries and media card




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Features & Controls



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