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First Look: Olympus FE-300

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First Look: Olympus FE-300

1:59 /

The Olympus FE-300 adds some more advanced functionality to a basic 12-megapixel digital camera.

>> Hi, I'm Will Greenwald, assistant editor at cnet.com, and this is our look at the Olympus FE-300. This is a 12-megapixel point-and-shoot camera. One of the highest resolutions available in Olympus's point-and-shoot line up. And it's also part of the FE series, which is generally Olympus's simple, direct, reasonably low-priced line of digital cameras. Now because this is a 12-megapixel camera it's definitely not quite as expensive as some of the lower end FEs, but [Inaudible] all the other features. It's quite simple to use. It has a 3X zoom lens, 2-and-a-half inch LCD. And it also has a few improvements in this generation. Using Olympus's TruePic III image processor, which should make it a little faster and the images a little better looking than previous generations. However, because this has to deal with 12-megapixels, so it's pushing a lot more data through it, it's still probably going to be a bit slower than your average 7 or 8 megapixel camera. Now previous generations of FE cameras were almost entirely automated. You couldn't change any of the settings. But this version has a program mode so you can actually change settings, like ISO sensitivity and white balance. You can't change exposure controls like aperture and shutter, but those are high-end features that you're not going to find on an FE camera any time soon. It can also reach up to ISO 6400 sensitivity, so not only can you change the sensitivity you can go really high with it. And of course when you're shooting at levels that high for any camera you're going experience a lot more grain than you would from shooting at lower levels. The FE-300 puts 12-megapixel resolution in a pretty small, pocketable, easy-to-use form factor. But if you want a bit more style and maybe a bit higher on features, you might want to look instead at Olympus's Stylus 1200 digital camera. It's also 12-megapixels, but it has the Stylus series of style-minded features, and it's also weatherproof, so it will handle a bit more splashing than this camera. But if you want a relatively affordable 12-megapixel camera this might be right up your alley. I'm Will Greenwald and the Olympus FE-300. ^M00:01:57 [ Music ]

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