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I was given this Olympus camera for christmas 2 years ago and as a student it is the perfect camera. It is light weight, does not look cheap, produces a reasonable quality of picture and charges very quickly.
For its price the product is worth buying, it is very good for first time camera owners as it is simple and easy to use, no fuss when you want to upload the pictures to the computer and the viewing screen of the pictures is of very good size. Furthermore it encompasses all basic but vital aspects you want from a digital camera, such as a decent zoom, the flash works very well and it has a quick working display which I have not had with previous digital cameras.
In the time I have owned the camera I have had to purchase a new battery, however for me and the use I have got out of it I do not deem this unacceptable.
I would reccomend this Olympus camera to parents who want to buy their teenager or child a digital camera for christmas.
I purchased this camera Christmas 2010, what can i say- it was returned Boxing Day 2010! When buying a camera, i assumed that the higher the mega-pixel the better quality the camera. How wrong was i.
The screen back light is dull and pixelated, the zoom option immediately becomes pixelated so not of any use and the photos easily blur. In fact only one of the many settings is of any use, that being the manual one. So you don't get much picture options.
I have a two year old seven mega-pixel Samsung digital camera and it performs a lot better then the Olympus fourteen mega-pixel camera. I'm not very clued up on technology when it comes to camera, however i am assuming that other features on the camera are much more important than the pixels. After all, unless you are interested in blowing the photos up to A2 size what use is a fourteen mega-pixel camera anyway.
Overall i was extremely disappointed with this product, in no way did it match the description- i suggest in this case you really do get what you pay for!
I hate to bore you all with my intro of how I am a professional photographer who also tests and reviews cameras for my camera club as I am sure most of you have heard it all before but I do still get messages asking me come I have so many cameras, so just to be clear I test them, sometimes for the companies that produce them and sometimes for my camera club itself.
A recent camera that fell into my hand for a going over was the Olympus FE-4040; in grey this camera is sleek, stylish and even sexy and it boasts a huge 14 megapixel sensor and a decent 4X optical zoom, and what's more it isn't even all that expensive.
At only around £140 this camera is about half the price of some of the Sony Cyber shots and other big hitters that can boast such megapixels, but there is a reason for that and the reason is that this camera simply isn't as good as them.
The lens on the Olympus FE-4040 is smaller than many of its competitors and small lenses mean that the 14 megapixel sensor is pretty much wasted, in truth anything over 8 megapixels in a compact camera is a bit of a waste and little more than a gimmick as the lenses do not allow the sensor enough light to make good use of so many megapixels and this is even more so with this particular camera.
Ok so now we have belittled the 14 megapixels what else does this camera have to offer? Well one this that definitely did impress me with this camera was the dual Image Stabilisation combining mechanical and digital image stabilisation to give great results, for anyone that doesn't know, image stabalisation is a feature that allows you to get sharp images even with a shaky hand or perhaps when the light is poor and you have to use longer shutter times, I deliberately tried to get blurry images with it switched on in this camera but couldn't unless I really shook the camera it was that good.
There are other good points about the camera too such as a fast start up time, fast flash recycle time, and the fact that it has smile and face detection settings but then most cameras in this range have these so it really needed something to make it stand out from the crowd and in truth if its there I couldn't find it which sort of left its price tag to make it appealing.
The camera has a decent build quality but cannot live up to the robustness of the Sony or Nikon cameras in its range, it has a good few pre set settings but nothing others do not have and although it boasts tons of technology it really isn't offering anything new, its just offering it all at a less expensive price but as I say the other more expensive cameras are definitely better at pretty much everything other than perhaps the image stabalisation so you really do get what you pay for but certainly if you are on a tight budget then this would do you proud I am sure.
If I was asked only to list the good points I would be listing its stunning good looks, its robust build, the excellent image stabalisation and the fact that it uses a very good lithium ion rechargeable battery instead of the dreaded double AA`s and its cheap.
However the bad outweigh the good and if I were to list the points I am not so happy with I would have to list the small lens, the fact that the red eye reduction does nothing, the fact that the white balance settings are all a bit off and do not cover a wide enough range, the lack of manual control over aperture and shutter speeds and the general quality or lack of it in the final images which I will now explain.
The final image is one of if not the most important thing when purchasing a camera, the camera can have every gadget under the sun and a million megapixels but if the photos you take are rubbish then what`s the point. The photos this camera produces are not rubbish but they are significantly poorer that many or most compacts in this range.
I found that there was some real distortion on images taken at full resolution which doesn't appear if you lessen the resolution, this once again points to the small lens not being able to cope with so many megapixels, zoomed images had some pretty severe purple fringing and the white balance was never really right in any of the mages I took with this either indoors or out and it almost always overexposed shots in sunshine.
So as you see there are issues with this camera that a serious user would not find acceptable whilst at the small cost basic users might be happy to put up with making this a strange camera to rate for me, I would not recommend it to a friend by any stretch of the imagination but then if you said to me "look I want a very good looking, well built camera with lots of technology and I only have £140" then I would be tempted to mention this camera.
It is such a frustrating little camera, every time I look at it I want it to be as good as it looks but I have to keep reminding myself that it simply isn't, personally I think this will fall below £100 very quickly then it will probably be worth a punt for average users but at present time I would have to say that even though it is pretty cheap already it has too many issues for me to recommend it.
Print Ratios 4:3 16:9
File Formats JPEG
Memory Cards SD / SDHC
Zoom 4x optical
Focal Length Equivalent 26 - 105 mm
Shutter Speed 4 - 1/2000 seconds
Aperture f2.6 - f5.9
Sensitivity ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White Balance Settings Overcast, Sunlight, Tungsten, Flourescent 1, Flourescent 2, Flourescent 3
Exposure Compensation -2EV to +2EV (in 1/3EV steps)
LCD Screen 2.7 inches
Flash Modes AUTO, Red-eye reduction, Fill-in, Off
Shooting Modes Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Night Scene with portrait, Sports, Indoor, Candle, Self-portrait, Sunset, Fireworks, Cuisine, Documents, Pet
Maximum Movie Resolution 640 x 480 pixels
Maximum Movie Frames Per Second 30 fps
Maximum Movie Duration To capacity of memory card
Macro Focus 4cms
Image Stabilisation Dual stabalisation
Self Timer 2 or 12 seconds
Video Out (TV Playback) Yes
Computer Connection Yes
Batteries Lithium ion
Dimensions 96.8 x 56.2 x 23.1 mm
TO SUM UP
Overall (as if you hadn't got the picture already) I would have to say that this camera has been one of the hardest to review as it does have some very good points but sadly just too many bad ones to allow me to recommend it or really know where to put it on the grand scale of things with cameras in its price range or features range especially as it has the features of a more expensive camera, if only they worked well.
I guess I should also give a mention to the fact that this camera does have video capture capabilities which are actually as good as most cameras in this range but again the small lens comes into play here, as the lens cannot let in much light, as soon as the light drops below bright sunlight or floodlit conditions your image quality falls below acceptable viewing.
My advice would be to wait and see what Olympus super seed this unit with as they will almost certainly iron out the problems and if they can do this without skimping on build quality or looks and do it without raising the price too much then it would be a great buy, so here`s hoping!
LOOKS - 9/10
BUILD QUALITY - 7/10
EASE OF USE - 7/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 5/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 5/10
VALUE FOR MONEY - 7/10
OVERALL - 6/10
Thanks for reading.