Olympus FE-5050, FE-5040 and FE-4050: 50/50 snappers

Olympus is playing the odds with three new compact cameras, the FE-5050, FE-5040 and FE-4050

Olympus is playing the odds with three new compact cameras, the FE-5050, FE-5040 and FE-4050. Let's take a look at the specs to see if there's more than a 50/50 chance of them being any good.

All three are point-and-shoot snappers with 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD screens and USB chargers, for juicing up when you've got a laptop but aren't near a plug socket.

They also include two new special-effects filters, called wedding and rock, alongside fish eye, colourful pop art, pencil sketch and pin hole. Wedding gives a soft focus, dreamy effect for that special day -- and hopefully banishes evidence of terrible dancing -- while the rock effect rocks out with its photo stock out, adding vivid colours to snaps.

Let's start with the 12-megapixel FE-5040, pictured above. It boasts a 5x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 26-130mm on a 35mm camera, with face detection for up to 12 faces. It costs £120 and will be available in silver, black, raspberry red and copper orange.

The 12-megapixel FE-4050 is the budget model, clocking in at a penny shy of £100. It has a 4x optical zoom, equivalent to 27-108mm. You'll be able to pick it up in silver, black, wine red or pure white.

The leader of the pack is the 14-megapixel FE-5050, packing another 26mm, 5x zoom. Face detection spots up to 16 faces. It comes in starry silver, black, champagne gold or dusty pink. It'll set you back £130 when the three models arrive in shops at the end of this month.

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