The Olympus FE-115 is a five megapixel digital camera with a 2.8x optical zoom lens. Its main attractions are ease of use and low price. It is a no frills digital camera and I can see the FE-115 appealing to anyone who is looking for a simple digital camera without spending a fortune.
The built in flash unit has a maximum range of 3.8m. This falls to 2.2m when the zoom lens is being used. The flash modes the camera has are automatic activation in low and backlight, red-eye reduction, fill-in (forced activation), off (no flash). There are a small number of preset scene modes you can take advantage of. Whenever you use a scene mode you indicate to the camera the type of shot you are about to take. The camera will then use what it considers to be the optimum settings for the photo. The scene modes available are Portrait, Self Portrait, Night Scene and Landscape. There is also an option that allows you to piece together panoramic type shots. This is only available when you use Olympus own brand memory cards. Digital Image Stabilisation can be used as well.
If you can accomodate dark images at times, small LCD screen and taking single shot in 1.09 seconds and five shots in 22.58 seconds, FE-115 is certainly worth considering with it’s low price tag.
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The Olympus FE-115’s Shooting performance was disappointing. Power up to first image captured was about 4.5 seconds. Shutter lag, the delay between depressing the shutter button and capturing the image, measured 3/10 second when pre-focused and 1.0 second including autofocus; both measurements include the approximately 1/10 second delay in the LCD’s live image.
When capturing a sequence of images, the shot to shot delay averaged about 6 seconds without the flash and between 7 and 10 seconds with flash. Use of the FE-115’s red eye reduction flash mode extends the shutter lag to 1 second when pre-focused.
The FE-115 does not offer a continuous shooting mode. Image review mode also suffers from poor performance, taking about 4 seconds to scroll from one image to the next.
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The Olympus FE-115’s chunky plastic body is about the size of a large bar of soap. It won’t win any beauty contests, but it feels reasonably solid, and it fits well in the hand. The top side of the camera holds a large shutter-release button and a recessed but accessible power button. The back panel holds a puny 1.5-inch LCD and the rest of the camera’s controls.
Don’t expect many options here, but the few settings you can change are accessible through the camera’s mode dial; four-way-plus-OK pad; and five additional control buttons for shooting, playback, trash, menu, and flash. A large indentation between the zoom buttons and the mode dial gives you a comfortable place to rest your thumb when shooting one-handed.
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