Monday, January 21, 2008

New Olympus FE-320 announced in Japan

Olympus Japan has announced a new shiny silver, the 8mp 1/2.35" Olympus FE-320, a LiIon-based camera, continuing their Fun and Easy (FE-) lineup. The camera is 17mm thin, and has a 3x pedestrian optical zoom (36-108mm eq). Other features: 2.7" LCD, xD memory card (boo!), 48MB on-board, LI-42B LiIon battery, IrSimple, and a February 7, 2008 release in Japan. They also have pictures from the "heaven surface" (top side). More at digitalcamera.jp.

Opinion: This camera is a predictable continuation. Not sure if IrSimple is a new feature, but it's a secondary feature at best - to put it mildly and kindly. The lens range is pedestrian, the xD card is a bad idea for those who do not already own xD-based cameras. On the plus side, you get a slim camera (17mm), 2.7" LCD, and that's about it :) Olympus is no Sony, so insisting on xD-only is shooting themselves in the foot. I was hoping they would have followed the examples of their xD-friends (Fuji) and introduced dual xD/SD drives in their new cameras. And issued an apology for the whole panorama fiasco. There must be some really stubborn decision makers at Olympus!

To see how it fits in their existing lineup, look for the Olympus section in the Big List of all digital cameras of 2007.

No comments: