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Olympus Expands FE Series

Standing for “Fun & Easy,” the 12-megapixel FE-300, 7.1-megapixel FE-290, and 8-megapixel FE-280 are targeted for beginner photographers as Olympus’ budget line. The FE-300 and FE-280, in new color options, upgrade to the latest generation of Olymp

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August 23, 2007 – Olympus today announced an update to its entry-level FE-series cameras. The 12-megapixel FE-300, 7.1-megapixel FE-290, and 8-megapixel FE-280 are designed for beginner photographers. The FE-300 and FE-280 upgrade to the latest generation of Olympus TruePic III processors and are offered in new colors. The Olympus FE-cameras will range from $199.99 to $299.99 when they are available later this month.

The three new FE cameras follow the FE-250, introduced in January. Like the 250, the 12-megapixel FE-300 and 8-megapixel FE-280 are fitted with a 3x optical zoom lens and 2.5-inch LCD screen.

The 7.1-megapixel FE-290 stands out from the bunch with its 4x optical zoom, up from the standard 3x. The older FE-240, however, still holds a longer 5x optical zoom lens at the same introductory price of just under $250. The FE-290 has a wide 28-112mm focal length, a greater focal range than offered on the other FE-cameras introduced today. The FE-290 is equipped with a 3-inch LCD screen with a 234,000 pixel resolution compared to the 2.5-inch, 230,000 pixels of the FE-250.

Olympus adds to the FE-280 and FE-300 the TruePic III image processor, previously reserved for Olympus digital SLRs. The TruePic III promises less noise, more detail, and smooth edges, according to the company press materials. 

The FE-280 and FE-300 incorporate face detection technology that automatically focuses on and exposes faces in a scene. The cameras include Shadow Adjustment Technology that captures details in low-light areas of a photo. For built-in editing, the FE-280 and FE-300 include Perfect Fix which is a combination of three in-camera editing that corrects for red-eye, lighting, and adds digital image stabilization.

A common feature among all three new cameras is the built-in Shooting Guide that includes scene and shooting menus for beginners. The three FE-cameras also possess a function call Perfect Shot Preview that displays images at various shooting settings, enabling users to set proper exposure, white balance, and metering before hitting the shutter.

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The Olympus FE-300 will be priced at $299.99 and available in silver; the FE-290, priced at $249.99, comes in black; and the Stylus FE-280 will be offered in black, silver, red, and blue for $199.99.

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