The compact 1.0-inch thick body of the Olympus FE-5020 contains the combination of a 1/2.3″-type twelve megapixel CCD image sensor and an Olympus-branded 5x optical zoom lens which offers focal length equivalents from a very generous 24mm wide angle to a 120mm telephoto. A 2.7-inch LCD display with 230,000 dot resolution offers the FE-5020’s only option for framing and reviewing images, as there’s no optical viewfinder on this model. Sadly, there’s no true mechanical image stabilization. Instead, the Olympus FE-5020 offers what Olympus is calling “Digital Image Stabilization +” – presumably a form of software blur correction. ISO sensitivity ranges from a low of ISO 64 to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent.
Olympus’ FE-5020 employs a contrast-detection autofocus system operating off data streaming from the camera’s image sensor, and the FE-5020 also includes face detection capability, capable of simultaneously detecting up to 16 faces in the framed scene. 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 total of 14 scene modes are offered in the Olympus FE-5020, allowing users some degree of control over their images without needing to understand the subtleties of shutter speeds and apertures. There’s also an Intelligent Auto mode which can automatically select the correct mode from a subset of these – either Portrait, Landscape, Night + Portrait, Macro or Sports. 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-5020’s various set-up options and modes. Another unusual feature is Olympus’ “Magic Filters”, previously seen in some of the company’s E-System digital SLRs. Filters available in the FE-5020 include Pop Art, Pin Hole and Fish-Eye.
For viewing images on a television, the Olympus FE5020 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 FE5020, rated as good for 150 shots on a charge. Also included is Olympus’ Master 2 software for viewing and modifying photos. Images are stored in a useful 48MB of internal memory, as well as on xD-Picture Card memory cards. As with the company’s other cameras since August 2008, Olympus is also including an MASD-1 microSD to xD-Picture Card adapter in the FE-5020’s product bundle, allowing the use of microSD cards in the camera as well.
The Olympus FE-5020 will ship in the USA from September 2009 with pricing of about $160.