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Olympus FE-170

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Olympus FE-170 - Digital camera - 6.0 Mpix - optical zoom: 3 x - supported memory: xD-Picture Card, xD Type H, xD Type M

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      16.06.2007 22:12
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      7 Comments

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      A cracking camera suitable for a first time user!

      Olympus FE-170

      I was lucky enough to receive this brand spanking new camera as a gift from a friend who recently came back from Florida. He had bought this camera for going on holiday but when he got there he picked up an even better one for less money than he paid for this one and so decided to give this one to me.

      Now this review will be quite long as I try to describe the many fabulous functions of the camera. I won’t be using much technical jargon but describing it in a way that most people should be able to understand. (So if you don’t like long reviews just skip to the bottom and click the best rating available hehe)

      So what do I get for my money? (or in my case free of charge)

      Well in my box came the 6MP camera, which is a lovely looking brushed silver colour and isn’t too bulky or too heavy. (It’s around 4oz without the batteries) I also got a small tripod stand which to be honest I never use because I have quite a steady hand but is useful for those who don’t. You also get the necessary software to transfer the photos and videos you take to your pc. A very simple to use CD-ROM which you simply put in your CD-ROM drive and it runs through the set up wizard with you. There is also another CD-ROM which is an advanced manual. I haven’t used this as the camera is so simple to use without needing to refer to instructions. This makes it ideal for a beginner to digital photography as well. You also get the necessary USB cable and another cable to enable you to connect your camera to your tv/video to view your photos on your tv.

      I also got a few extra bits with my camera which I’m not sure come as standard but I think my friend included them as he had no need for them. I got a black material camera case, I also got 2 standard AA batteries which I didn’t really need as I already have a battery charger and several rechargeable batteries as they are so much better when using digital cameras and would highly recommend anyone thinking of buying any camera to invest in them! And I got a 1GB fujifilm memory card included, again probably not standard but memory cards are essential if you want more than 60 photos at the lowest quality or 2 photos at the highest! With the 1GB memory card you will get up to 5815 photos at the lowest quality, and up to 206 going up to the highest. I personally use the HQ 2816 x 2112 image quality and get around 609 photographs…which is more than enough for me. You can easily pick up a 1GB memory card from Argos for about £30 (shop around though you may get it cheaper on Ebay)

      How easy is the camera to use?

      Surprisingly easy to use actually, If you’ve used a digital camera before then this will be very straightforward for you. But if you’re new then it will take you a tiny bit longer to get used to the many features. To turn the camera on or off then it’s simply a case of pressing the power button at the top of the camera, when you do this the red light comes on at the back, the zoom pops out at the front and the large LCD screen lights up. To turn it off press the power button in again. Easy peasy!
      To take your first photo it’s simply a case of turning the wheel to AUTO point the camera at the subject, and shoot. (press the second button at top) The image is then projected onto the screen for a couple of seconds. To view the photos you’ve taken you have to press the green arrow button which is just above the screen, this is where you can delete any you don’t want to keep as well (there is a little button at the bottom right hand side of a bin, press this and it asks if you are sure you want to delete the photo..so no chance of deleting any by accident)
      To get back to taking more photos, press the red camera button above the LCD screen.

      So I’m taking photos in normal AUTO mode what about the other features?

      AUTO MODE
      Well this is pretty self explanatory, the camera will detect the need for a flash in this mode, and I’ve always found it to be pretty reliable.

      D Image Stabilisation
      On the little wheel this has a picture of a hand in motion, this allows you to take still pictures of moving objects, without the blur, and yes it does really work too. I took a photo of my daughter dancing around like a lunatic to prove it. Ideal for sports pics taken whilst you are moving too.

      PORTRAIT
      Takes photos in portrait layout. This is symbolised by a small face on the wheel.

      LANDSCAPE
      Again this takes photos in landscape layout, symbolised by 2 black hills on the wheel.

      NIGHT+PORTRAIT
      This is my favourite mode. It really takes amazing photos in dark places (ie pubs and clubs) The flash in this mode is like a 2 step action, it starts by a series of about 4 very fast mini flashes, followed by a slower double flash. I have tried this in a room which was pitch black and the photo came out as if it was daytime! I fully intend on taking it on my next night out for some fun fab photos! This mode also has automatic red eye reduction.

      SCENE
      There are 10 scene options:
      SPORT – captures fast-moving action without blurring
      INDOOR – For shooting both main subject and background indoors. Background is reproduced clearly.
      CANDLE – For shooting under candlelight. Warm colours are reproduced.
      SELF PORTRAIT – Lets you take a picture of yourself while holding the camera.
      SUNSET – For shooting setting/rising of the sun. Vivid reproduction of reds and yellows.
      FIREWORKS – Suitable for shooting fireworks at night. Uses a slower shutter speed than in normal shooting.
      BEHIND GLASS – For shooting a subject through glass.
      CUISINE – For still life photography. Vividly reproduces colours of fruit, vegetables, flowers etc.
      DOCUMENTS – For shooting documents, etc. Increases contrast between letters and background.
      AUCTION – Captures 3 pictures sequentially at different exposures in the appropriate size for e-auction.

      Of these options I’ve used the Sport one at school sports day which took some nice photos, and also used the indoor and self portrait scenes. I have messed about with the others trying them out but have still to put them to full use as and when I get the real opportunity to do so. On trying the auction scene I wasn’t too impressed, but I will keep trying it in different ways to see if perhaps there is a better way of doing it. It basically takes 3 photos in a row of same subject. The indoor and self portrait ones are pretty much as standard photos. You can also set a self timer of 12 seconds so that you have time to prepare for the self portrait!

      GUIDE
      A very handy feature and one which makes this camera far above any I’ve ever used is built in instruction manual, if you have anything you need to know about changing red eye, knowing how to zoom in/out etc then by turning the wheel to the Guide you should be able to find all the answers you need.

      MOVIE
      Pretty self explanatory really, this is the option you need to make your own movie clips. With the 1GB memory card I have in I can take up to 53mins of movie clips. Without it I would be looking at 32 seconds lol. The quality of the picture in the movie is really good, I only have one gripe (and for me it is quite a big one) in that it doesn’t have audio! I had intended when upgrading from my old Trust camera to get one with audio on it…but as this one was a gift I can hardly complain can I?
      It just means that any video clips I take will be silent movies which is a bit of a pain to be honest. (I like to take little movie clips of my children singing etc…I will have to continue to use my mobile camera for this in the meantime)

      When taking movie clips you can play them back through your camera or upload them to your pc and view them as a quicktime file, Quicktime player can be downloaded free from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/

      I’ve taken my photos, how do I get them onto my PC?

      This is simple, all you need to do is (assuming you have already installed the software) plug in the USB cable into a port on your computer, and plug it into the side of your camera. The computer recognises right away a new device and you will get a pop up asking if you want to copy pictures to a folder on your pc and you are then taken through the wizard which uploads the photos for you on to your chosen folder. If you wish to direct the photos directly to a printer then you can also do this by plugging the USB into your photo printer and selecting easy print option on your camera, instead of PC option. I have not done this as I don’t have a photo printer. Alternatively you can take your memory card along to your local photo print shop and have them printed out for you.

      My Overall Opinion

      All in all this is a fantastic camera, much better than my previous cameras, the photos are all really good quality and with the many features, some of which I’ve still to explore fully, those photos can have a really professional feel to them if you take the time to set it up accordingly. As I mentioned the only drawback is the fact there is no audio but that may not be a deterrent to you if you have no need of this anyway.
      The camera sits lightly in my hand and isn’t a strain when holding it trying to capture the perfect photograph, it also has a handy little wrist strap attached so makes holding it even easier.

      Where Can I Get One?

      Right I’ve done my homework for you, You can buy this camera from a variety of places –
      Argos are selling this for just under £100
      Amazon will set you back a less expensive £82
      But try shopping around as you may get it cheaper again….alternatively try Ebay where I saw one (reconditioned I think) for £54.99 + £9.99 P&P.

      Finally I have included the specifications for anyone who needs to know this…please skip this if you have no interest (that’s what I usually do)


      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. 154,000 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 – 400)
      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
      Adjustment Resolutions 2,816 x 2,112, SHQ/HQ 2,048 x 1,536, SQ1 640 x 480, SQ2
      Shooting Modes 16 Shooting Modes: 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: 320x240/15fps (HQ), 160x120/15fps (SQ)
      Pixel Mapping Automatic Pixel Mapping (APM) available via menu setting
      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, Off
      Flash Working Range Wide: 0.7 ft. (0.2m) – 13.1 ft. (4.0m) Tele: 2.0 ft. (0.6m) – 6.9 ft. (2.1m)
      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 10MB internal memory
      Removable Media Card xD-Picture Card™ (16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512MB, 1GB or 2GB)
      Outer Connectors USB Connector, Video Output, DC Input
      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 Batteries, (2) Ni-MH AA Batteries (optional), AC Adapter (E-7AU) (optional)
      Size 3.6” W x 2.5” H x 1.2” D (90.0mm x 62.5mm x 30.5mm)
      Weight 4.4 oz. (124g) without batteries and media card

      Thanks for reading

      Michelle June2007©

      (4 stars due to no audio)

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    • Product Details

      Discover how easy digital photography can be - the FE-170 is the best digital camera option for first-time users. The minute you pick up this camera you'll be amazed by its intuitive, easy-to-use design and the convenience of its built-in help guide.

      Enjoy "manual-free" instructions with the touch of a button. The comprehensive help guide provides brief descriptions and tutorials to help you choose the ideal camera setting every time.

      Eliminate the blur caused by camera shake or moving subjects. DIS provides a fast shutter speed and an extremely high ISO to improve image quality in challenging situations.

      The FE-170's LCD is big, bright and beautiful. Easily see what you compose and share what you've captured.