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April 19, 2009

Olympus FE 340 Review

Olympus FE 340

The FE-340 is an 8 megapixel camera, with a 5x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD, and a slim yet sturdy metal body. It comes in a variety of body colors.

The FE-340 is a great option for buyers looking for something that breaks the "3x zoom" mold without emptying your wallet. I know I was looking for a camera that had more zoom capacity, but I couldn’t afford the higher end cameras. The Olympus FE is very easy to use.
Shooting modes are selected via a mode dial.
Your options are:
Auto: Fully automatic mode with limited user adjustments
Program: User adjustments for white balance and ISO
Digital Image Stabilization: Boosts ISO for higher shutter speeds and sharper images
Scene: User selects from among 15 presets (Landscape and Portrait presets are accessible via the mode dial), including a Smile Shot mode where the camera won't fire the shutter until the subject is smiling
Movie: Several size and frame rate options are available, and the
FE-340 allows use of the optical zoom during movie shooting with some limitations

Access to the built-in guide, which can help you make the right settings changes for a particular scenario, is available via the mode dial.

There is also a Panorama Assist mode that allows you to stitch photos together if you are using an Olympus-branded xD-Picture Card.

The FE-340 has a 1/2.35" CCD sensor that can capture a total of 8 megapixels of resolution. Full-resolution images measure 3264x2448 pixels and file sizes of images taken in SHQ mode average just under 3MB a piece. Images can also be captured at 2560x1920, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, and 1920x1080.

Movies can be captured in 640x480 at 30 fps or 15 fps, and 320x240 at 30 fps or 15 fps. Monaural audio can also be captured. Optical zoom is available during movie capture, but only if you disable audio capture.

A wrist strap, the lithium-ion battery, battery charger, USB cable, AV cable, and CD-ROM with the Olympus Master 2 software are included in the box.
I have had this camera for a little over a year, and it takes perfectly clear pictures when shot outdoors, but inside they tend not to be as clear, but the camera does have a “night” mode, which makes it easier to take pictures in darker settings. It also has a fantastic “candlelight” setting, so that you can take clear photographs when you are in dimly lit restaurants, where a flash may be distracting to other diners/guests. This is a good camera if you are taking photos in well lit areas or outdoors, but the indoor quality is not as clear, but overall, a good buy for the money!

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