Olympus FE-350 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Olympus FE-350 Ease of Use 8
Features 7
Movie Mode 7
Build Quality8
Colours 7
Photo Quality 6
Style 7
Lowlight 7
Macro 6
Value for Money 7
8 Megapixels
4x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
97.7 x 55.7 x 26.5 m
138g

Overview

The Olympus FE-350 is an 8 megapixel digital camera with a 4x optical zoom lens.

Why Buy The Olympus FE-350

The lens is a wide angle lens helping you to squeeze extra detail into wide shots such as landscapes and groups of people. The FE-350 is a simple, point and shoot model and also has a large 3 inch LCD screen.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

8
4x
3 inches
97.7 x 55.7 x 26.5 m
138g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

5cm
No
No
Lithium ion
xD

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

The FE-350 struggles here. There is a lack of definition in the photo, especially around lighter colour objects such as the boats. Part of this problem is down to the way the camera has a problem handling the sunny conditions. This has also caused many of the blue lines on the boats to take on a purple tinge.

For those of you who like vivid colours there is plenty of strength in the colours in this picture. The photo takes on a pixilated look. In places I can almost see the individual pixels. This is obviously not a good sign. There are also some purple lines visible on the edge of trees in larger prints.

Right! Just in case you hadn't noticed I am not very impressed with my test shots. With the lens zoomed right in I have managed to produce another fuzzy shot lacking in clarity.

With less colour and contrast in the shot the FE-350 is able to handle the scene better and produces a sharper shot than I was expecting. It is still some way from being perfect and the purple lines are back around the windows.

Portraits

At this point I am usually able to say despite struggling with the most distant shots this camera makes a much better effort closer in. Well the picture is better, but not by much. I am still not happy with the sharpness of the shot and it is too dark for me.

This is a better effort, although I find the lighting produced by the flash to be harsher than many cameras manage. There is also a loss of detail in the darker areas of the hair. In general I think the FE-350 struggles to cope with contrast.

This is the best photo out of all my test pictures taken with the FE-350. It has a far more natural look than the photo taken with flash.

Macro, Colours and Noise

The macro shot has a blue colour caste to it. It lacks the clarity of some of the better digital cameras.

To be honest I haven't really noticed the colours all that much as I have gone through my tests. I think that is mainly because I have been preoccupied by the problems I have encountered. Even so the colours have a natural feel to them in most cases.

Picture quality is o.k. at both ISO 400 and 640. The purple lines are back again and colours are starting to break up once you reach 640.

Summary

From time to time I come across a camera I simply do not get along with. The Olympus FE-350 has proven to be one of those cameras.

See sample images link arrow

Style

At 26mm wide the FE-350 is compact, but it begins to become a squeeze for anything other than a good sized pocket. The camera is available in silver and black and has a fairly typical rectangular look.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Slow

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

1.118 seconds
18.09 seconds
1.25 seconds
19.9 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par Olympus may not be my favourite brand when it comes to menu style, but the FE-350 is straightforward enough.

Points I Like

Ease of use

Where it Could Improve

Picture quality - shutter lag times

Verdict

If you are looking for a camera that is slow to respond and takes a picture lacking in quality then this could be the camera for you. Otherwise I would suggest looking elsewhere.

Product Shots

Front View

Olympus FE-350 Front View

Back View

Olympus FE-350 Back View

Top View

Olympus FE-350 Top View

Sample Menus

main menu functions

camera menu white balance

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Canon IXUS 510 HS Rating 86/100

If you are prepared to pay a bit more for extra quality then the Canon IXUS 510 HS is likely to be of interest to you. For a pocket camera picture quality is very good. Add in the impressive set of features including a touch screen and Wi-Fi and you can start to see that you do get more for your money compared to a lot of digital cameras. The power of the lens also gives you plenty of scope for capturing a wide range of photo opportunities. It is true you pay a little extra than with more standard pocket cameras, but if you also include the stylish look of this model there is a lot on offer for the price tag.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 510 HS Review

Canon IXUS 125 HS Rating 86/100

If you are looking for a pocket camera and you are prepared to pay extra for picture quality and build quality then the Canon IXUS 125 HS is a good choice. Although it doesn’t have all the latest features like 360 degree panoramas it does an excellent job when it comes to taking pictures. It is straightforward, easy to use and will fit into just about any pocket.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 125 HS Review

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Rating 85/100

The Canon IXUS 1100 HS is a very good choice if you are looking for a pocket digital camera with a combination of a longer zoom lens and touch control. Once you get used to the screen and improve your touch accuracy it responds well. Picture quality compares favourably with other pocket cameras. The style and build suggest a bit of extra class too. The IXUS 1100 HS ticks most of the boxes for a camera in this category.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Review

Related Pages

Olympus FE-350 Review Olympus FE-350 Specification Olympus FE-350 Sample Images Olympus FE-350 Features Olympus Digital Cameras

Review Date

June 2008

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