The Olympus FE-360 features a slim 0.7-inch thick body that contains the combination of a 1/2.35″-type eight megapixel image sensor and an Olympus-branded 3x optical zoom lens. A 2.5-inch LCD display with 154,000 dot resolution offers the FE-360’s only option for framing and reviewing images, as there’s no optical viewfinder on this model. There’s also no mechanical image stabilization, with the Olympus FE-360 instead offering only what Olympus refers to as “Digital Image Stabilization” – essentially a setting that causes the camera to raise ISO sensitivity (along with shutter speeds and image noise) in an attempt to freeze motion. ISO sensitivity ranges from a low of ISO 64 to a maximum of ISO 1,000 equivalent.
Olympus’ FE-360 employs a contrast-detection autofocus system operating off data streaming from the camera’s image sensor, and the FE-360 also includes face detection capability, although precise specifics as to the number of faces that can be detected were not available at press time. Olympus’ Face Detection function is linked to both the autoexposure and autofocus systems, ensuring that your subjects’ faces are taken into account when determining both these variables. It also allows for tracking of a subject’s face as it moves around the frame,once detected.
A “Perfect Shot Preview” mode allows users to see what the effects of certain camera adjustments – for example, exposure compensation, white balance, or metering mode – will be before actually taking a photo. A wide range of some 20 shooting modes are offered in the Olympus FE-360, allowing users some degree of control over their images without needing to understand the subtleties of shutter speeds and apertures. These shooting modes include three underwater modes for use with the optionally available underwater housing. Another ease-of-use feature is an “In-Camera Help Guide” system that provides detailed descriptions of the effects that can be achieved with the Olympus FE-360’s various set-up options and modes.
For viewing images on a television, the Olympus FE360 has audio / video output connectivity, while images can be transferred to a PC over a USB 2.0 High-Speed connection. A rechargeable LI-42B Lithium Ion battery with charger is included with the FE360, and should yield 160 shots on a charge. Also included is Olympus’ Master 2 software for viewing and modifying photos. Images are stored in 20.5MB of internal memory, as well as on xD-Picture Card memory cards. Interestingly, Olympus has also chosen to include an MASD-1 microSD to xD-Picture Card adapter in the FE-360 bundle, allowing the use of microSD cards in the camera as well.
The Olympus FE-360 will in the USA from August 2008 with pricing of about $150.