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January 26, 2006 – Today Olympus has announced an expansion of their new affordable line of digital cameras with three models. The Olympus FE-series is designed for first-time digital camera buyers who want ease of use and don’t care for manual functionality. The 6 megapixel Olympus FE-140 is the flagship of the line, followed by its 5.1 megapixel FE-130 and 5 megapixel FE-115 siblings. The FE cameras have built-in help guides and tutorial functions to smooth the transition for beginners. When the new line hits the market in March, the Olympus FE-140 is slated to retail for $229, the FE-130 for $179, and the FE-115 will have a price tag of $149.
"I believe the Olympus FE-series cameras provide the best selection of features for first time users to explore digital photography," said Naoki Tai, product manager at Olympus, in today’s press release. "Features such as the built-in help guide, one-touch buttons, direct printing, and pre-set scene modes are designed for absolute ease of use."
The new digital cameras have a tutorial function that allows users to select options like Brightening Subject, Shooting into Backlight and Adjusting Coloration. Beginners looking to brighten a subject will find menu options like exposure compensation and flash. This menu setup may prove more intuitive to first-timers.
The FE-series digital cameras have basic features: 3x zoom lenses, AA battery power and many scene modes. They also have digital image stabilization; a feature on digital cameras that was hard to come by only a year ago, but has now become a trend in digital photography and is easier to find.
The Olympus FE-140 has 6 megapixels, a 3x zoom lens and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. The Olympus FE-130 has the same zoom lens but a smaller 2-inch LCD screen and one less megapixel on its CCD. Both digital cameras are an inch thick and look quite traditional with most of the buttons on the back, but quite a few still on top. The FE-140 and FE-130 have 22 shooting modes, 22 MB of internal memory, 6 in-camera frames to choose from, and a one-touch print button on the camera body.
The Olympus FE-115 is designed to fit between the FE-110 and FE-120, both of which were announced in August 2005. The new FE-115 has 5 megapixels, a 2.8x zoom lens, and a 1.5-inch LCD screen. It has only 7 shooting modes, but still includes the digital image stabilization, help guide, and tutorials that the other FE-series cameras have.