Digital Cameras 2013

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Olympus FE-20
Olympus FE-20

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Ultra Compact Digital Cameras category.

Olympus FE-20

We've given the FE-20 a grade of C+.

Editor's Review

The FE-20 is the most basic model in Olympus' FE series. Aimed at casual and first-time users, it has all the necessities: face detection, image stabilization, and movie mode with sound. In addition, the plethora of scene modes makes shooting in different environments as easy as picking the most applicable option in the scene selection menu. While the absence of manual features may scare away more experienced users, the high image quality and ease of use will satisfy casual photographers.


  • 8 Megapixels
  • 3x Optical Zoom
  • 2.5-inch LCD display
  • Records movies with sound
  • Digital Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Technology
  • Part Number: FE20SILVER
  • UPC: 4545350018580
  • Release Date: Oct 31, 2008

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Olympus FE-20 Reviews

Olympus FE-20 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 1.0 out of 5
Olympus used to make good products (Craig Sommerfield — 11/15/2010)
Bought the FE-20 to use in my volunteer work, however the battery does not hold a charge for longer than 2-3 pictures - less when using the flash. I actually tried to get a replacement battery from Olympus, and I wasn't able to order one - Hmmmm... I got this camera thru "Staples" and it was part of a discount when I purchased another (different) product. The price was $68 or $69 dollars. The battery or the camera is defective. Olympus used to make quality cameras - I was wrong. They need to review these comments, and actually answer them. Putting in max ratings for this product is a sham, and probably, the people are paid to do it. I will write the BBB and based on what I have read; they should be able to confirm it. People: Complain to BBB, Complain to the Olympus web site. Complain...Complain...Complain..
  • 2.0 out of 5
LCD Screen EXTREMELY fragile! (John Keefe — 06/26/2010)
I have had 3 of these cameras in the last year. The LCD screen BROKE in all three of them within the first 2 months of use. I did not drop the FE-20 nor mishandle the FE-20. All I did was carry the unit around in my pants pocket. Now the camera is obviously worthless. Do not purchase this camera at any price unless you are going to handle it with "kid gloves", like carrying it around in a foam padded case!!! It is really a shame that the FE-20 LCD screen is so fragile, because the camera actually takes decent pictures.
  • 4.0 out of 5
Good Camera for the price (Tomas — 12/16/2009)

FE 20, 8 MP, 3x Zoom

1. I paid 89.99 + tax, but I seen it $10 cheaper
2. It came with all cables, Battery, booklets in several languages.
3. Missing from package is only memory card and case, but not too many manufacturers provide this.
Positives for this camera:
- Decent photos for this price range
- Small size and portability, take it anywhere
- 8.1 MP is enough and does not gobble up memory (850 pics on 2GB)
- Easy to understand controls
- Decent micro

Major beef I have is:
- slow shutter response
- digital screen hard to see in bright light, but all dig. cameras without viewfinder have this problem.
- Low capacity per charge on battery (I bought a second battery for spare ($20, but seen it cheaper on line. Battery last approx 200 pics day (100 at night)
- Hard to hand hold low light pictures without flash
- Zoomed pictures have everything in focus. There are cameras which choose what is in focus and what can be out of focus, but these are $100 more.
Also the Panasonic camera I checked has a battery which last much longer, but also cost $90
(No it does NOT FIT Olympus)
Overall, I really can not complain. I took about 1600 pictures in few months and this is my first digital camera. I had expectation from my old film cameras, which I had to forget. The digital is definitely a different cup of tea.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Problems with fe-20 (PellCitySenior — 08/28/2009)

While on vacation, this camera was purchased to replace a lost camera. I have had a couple of problems with it.
1. The screen is hard to see in bright sunlight.
2. Using the supplied connection cable & setting the camera per the manual, pictures shown on my TV were black & white (no color). Olympus could not provide any recommendations to correct this problem.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Not the greatest... (Marlon — 05/10/2009)

I ventured out to buy this camera because I wanted to update my Sony Cyber-shot I have had for 5 years. I figured the price was right and the specifics were good. The battery does not last very long, the video does not put out sound, there is a delay in going back to watch your pics (or should I say in everything you do with this camera.) I have to keep going back to manual to undo features because there are way too many options. The picture quality is good, and the design is very portable, but that's about it. Using it I felt like I had gone back in time to the age of Atari. If you just want to take pictures, this camera is ok. If video is something you like in a camera, try another model.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Re: No sound in movies (Percy Jasavala — 05/07/2009)

There is an option in the Menu to turn the sound (mic) on and off.

Check if your mic is on when taking videos.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Re: Weak battery and cheap feel (Percy Jasavala — 05/07/2009)

New batteries only obtain their full power after 6-7 recharge cycles.

If person has owned the camera for one day only, he will not get the full potential of the battery.

Also, the battery HAS to be charged for about 8-12 hrs initially to get the best life out of the battery.

Displaying pictures is as easy as pressing the button to the right of the function light. More options are available in the menu.

Certainly does not have "CHEAP" feel. This is a subjective opinion.

Easy to use but yes, the Manual could have been written better.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Broken LCD screen (David Hackbarth — 05/06/2009)

For the price it took ok pictures- some came out well, some came out badly. But the LCD screen broke after less than 5 months of use. When I tried to get it repaired under warranty- they claimed it was mishandled and not covered under warranty (because something pressed against the screen to break it.) To make a long story short- I believe this to be a design flaw. If you're going to buy this camera, make sure you buy a hard case for it and keep it there when not in use.

  • 2.0 out of 5
confusing (Linda — 04/06/2009)

My children bought this for me. I tend to take awhile to catch on to electronic equip. but the instructions are vague and confusing. I turn the camera on to get ready to take a picture and it goes off. I must sometimes accidently hit the button on the top right with my small hands, when taking a shot and it begins a video. I find it difficult to delete a picture. My pictures always seem so much more distant than my view. I don't like the delay before it flashes. I find it frustrating. Are all digital cameras like this?

  • 3.0 out of 5
I cant get the sound from videos not even on my Pc (Blima — 02/21/2009)

it says that if I get the avi files on the Pc I can hear the sound..but until now Im trying to figure it out and nothing..If somebody knows will be a great help

  • 2.0 out of 5
Weak Battery and cheap feel (Dennis Ezeogu — 02/19/2009)

I have only had this camera for a day now and I have decided to return it. I didnt find it easy to display pictures taken, and it feels really cheap. I will definitely get an upgrade.

  • 3.0 out of 5
No panorama mode (Alan Kerr — 02/18/2009)

Camera won't set panorama mode. However, it has performed well in snap shooting on total auto setting.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good pocket sized camera (Md. Abdullah Al - Faruque — 01/24/2009)

I have been using Olympus FE 20 camera for 15 days. It is easy to handle and it captures good quality images.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Cheaply Made (Jenni — 01/23/2009)

I bought this camera right before going back home to my sisters wedding reception. I was NOT happy. First off...the battery doesn't hold power for long at all. I took pictures for one whole day...not having it on at all the whole time, and it was out of battery by 6 pm that night. Also...everytime I use hits on one picture...and when viewing the stops and won't let me go on until I delete it. That is really annoying! Then....when I do take takes forever for it to take the picture...there is a horrible delay. I like how it was easy to use...going from each different scene for different pictures...but it is going back. I need a more reliable camera.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Poor image quality (Bob — 01/05/2009)

It is a very intuative camera to use. Has all the important functions outside the menu, on the camera where they belong. But it takes really bad pictures. The colors are way off and the images lack detail. Would be a good kids camera.
I had an Olympus film camera and it took beautiful pics. Maybe they're just a little behind with their digital technology.
Back it goes to Costco.

  • 4.0 out of 5
You get your moneys worth (Kate — 12/29/2008)

To say this camera was pretty cheap, it is great value!!!
I got the camera for christmas this year, so i have only had it for about 3 days, but it is an awesome camera! I have taken quite a lot of photos, and they're great quality.
Just today I noticed that the battery icon is flashing red, I think it might be because I took a few videos when I first got the camera. Not quite sure how much longer the battery will last until it goes dead, and I will have to charge it again.

If you want a cheaper camera, this is the one to go for. I highly recommend it!!!

  • 1.0 out of 5
I've had cheaper! (Jessica — 12/16/2008)

I read all the instructions, I did charge the battery and I still have problems with it. The battery does not hold a charge for very long.
when I am out & about it is difficult to find an outlet
these should come with 12v auto adapters!
most my photos are taken on the go.
I will find a better camera, for now.... this will have to do.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Very Happy (lauren — 12/15/2008)

I just got my camera, and I am very impressed. There a lot of neat features, and it is very easy to use (unlike other cameras I've seen). Takes great pictures!!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good Casual Camera (Dave — 12/06/2008)

Cheaper then a Canon, more bang for buck then the other brands in similar price range, it makes a good first camera. I like the point and shoot aspect of this camera, with simplistic layouts. If I had more to spend I would of bought an IXUS but for a casual camera it gets 4 stars.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Poor camera from an Olympus consumer! (Concerned — 11/10/2008)

I like my other Olympus so we got this point and shoot for a teenage child. We replaced it once (it stopped working within 24 hours) and now within a week we are having the same problem! The lens refuses to open/close properly and gets "stuck" trying to move. Unfortunately we will have to exchange for another brand.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great versatility in a tiny package! (R. Merritt — 10/12/2008)

I'm still exploring this little gem. There is so much here! I also have an Olypmus C-5050 digital camera and I still use it a lot, but wanted a really compact, high-quality backup. Olympus has continued to offer outstanding closeup capabilities, and I'm impressed especially with the Super-macro mode. The lens is very sharp. I thought the tiny controls would be a problem but I've found them quite intuitive and surprisingly easy to use. The viewing screen is larger and brighter than the one on the C-5050 although of course it doesn't rotate. If I were to add one feature that it lacks, it would be a remote. But the 12-second self-timer is more than adequate. There is a lot packed into this "entry-level" camera, and I consider it a very good value for the price.