Next up is a new top-of-the-range addition to the entry-level FE range. The FE-250 boasts an 8MP sensor, 3x zoom and slim metal casing. It's also the first FE model to feature the company's 'Bright Capture' technology (nice name for an old idea; pixel binning to increase ISO). What makes the FE-250 stand out for us though, is that it scales new heights in sensitivity, offering an ISO 10,000 (yes, that's ten thousand) option (at 3MP). Now we may be jumping the gun here, but we suspect there may be some sacrifice in quality involved. Either that or Olympus has - in a £200 compact - re-written the laws of physics.

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Press Release:

Shoot the clearest pictures

The 8.0 Megapixel Olympus FE-250

London, 25 January 2007 – The Olympus FE-250 boasts an impressive 8.0 Megapixel CCD, bringing high resolution to entry-level photography. And, thanks to the slim metal body measuring just 16.7mm, users can carry this picture taking power with them at all times. For viewing and framing comfort, the FE-250 features a large 6.4cm LCD. It’s now even possible to take great photos in low-light conditions: The FE-250 is the first in its series to incorporate Olympus’ own BrightCapture Technology. And naturally, as with all cameras in the FE range, it is incredibly easy to use

With an 8.0 Megapixel CCD, the FE-250 produces crystal-clear pictures and delivers the power to print large, high-resolution photos. The 3x zoom lens gives photographers all the range they need to capture a wide variety of subjects from landscapes to portraits and close ups. Yet despite featuring a whopping 6.4cm LCD screen with 230,000 pixels, this stylish, metal-bodied camera is still small enough to be easily taken anywhere.

With its “one button, one function” design principle the FE-250 is remarkably easy to operate. Choices of 15 scene modes guarantee great results in many often experienced situations. This camera also features eight shooting programmes and a convenient mode dial makes choosing between them simplicity itself. Programmes include Movie recording with sound as well as Image Stabilisation, which employs BrightCapture Technology to avoid blurred photos by boosting the ISO value to 10,000*. By selecting modes such as Candle or Indoor, the special mood and atmosphere of night-time settings can by faithfully captured as the need to use the flash is also significantly reduced.

In addition to its internal memory, the camera features a memory card slot that accepts tiny xD-Picture Cards – available in up to 2GB capacity. The Olympus Master software included with the FE-250 rounds out this package, giving a fun way to edit, view and archive photos on a computer. The Olympus FE-250 will be available from camera shops in February 2007, with an estimated High Street price of £200.00.

The Olympus FE-250 – main features:

  • 8.0 Megapixel CCD in a stylish metal body
  • 3x optical zoom (equiv. to 35-105mm on a 35mm model), 1:2.8-4.7
  • 6.4cm/2.5” LCD (with 230,000 pixels)
  • BrightCapture Technology
  • High ISO setting mode (up to ISO 3200 with full 8.0 Megapixels)
  • ISO 6400 and 10,000 in 3MP mode
  • “One button, one function” design principle
  • Super Macro mode from 10cm
  • TruePic TURBO
  • 15 scene modes (e.g. Candle, Indoor or Sport)
  • Internal memory plus xD-Picture Card slot
  • Movie recording with sound up to card capacity
  • Supplied with Olympus Master software + LI-42B lithium ion battery
  • Multi-language menu with 25 languages

* In 3.0 million pixel mode

Olympus FE-250 specifications

Sensor

• 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 8.3 million pixels total
• 8.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 3264 x 2448
• 2048 x 1536
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 30 fps up to capacity of card
• 320 x 240 30fps
File formats

• Still: JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
• Movie: AVI motion JPEG
• Sound: Wave format

Lens • 35-105mm (equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F2.8-4.7
Image stabilization No
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus TTL iESP auto focus with contrast detection
AF assist lamp Yes/No
Focus distance • 0.6m-∞ (standard wide), 0.6m-∞ (standard tele)
• 0.3m-∞ (macro wide), 0.5m-∞ (macro tele)
• 10cm closest focus (super macro)
Metering • ESP multi-pattern
ISO sensitivity • Auto ISO (64-3200)
• ISO 50-3200 (full res)
• ISO 6400, 10,000 (3MP)
Exposure compensation • +/- 2 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
Shutter speed 1/2-1/2000 sec
Scene modes • Sports
• Indoor
• Candle
• Self portrait
• Sunset
• Fireworks
• Pet
• Cuisine
• Documents
• Auction
Self timer Yes
Flash • Built-in
• Auto
• Red-eye reduction
• Fill-in
• Off
• Working range up to 4.3m (wide, ISO 400)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
Connectivity Combined USB and AV output
Print compliance • PIM III
• DPOF
Storage • xD Picture Card (optional)
• 20 MB internal memory
Power • LI-42B Lithium-Ion cell
• Charger included
Weight (no batt) 115g
Dimensions 94 x 56.5 x 22.3 mm (3.6 x 2.2 x 0.6 in)