To be blunt; the color reproduction of the Olympus FE-5020 does not seem all that consistent. In optimal light conditions, the reproduction is acceptable to good, with quite natural although somewhat cool looking skin tones. However, when shooting in incandescent light or in mixed conditions with incandescent and natural light, the auto white balance seem to encounter difficulties in filtering color cast. A manual white balance would solve this problem, but in the case of an entry-level model such as the FE-5020, you are more likely to leave it entirely up to the camera.
Image quality of the Olympus FE-5020
When high contrasts are involved, color shifting takes a little peek around the corner, including chromatic aberration. Pictures of white flower leaves that were shot in a garden in bright sunshine, turn out with white-washed light areas losing every spec of detail. In circumstances less difficult, enough detail is retained. The purple edges around contrast-rich objects are a nuisance. Olympus should really take action to prevent this next time.
12 megapixel Olympus FE-5020 compact camera
The 12 Megapixels high resolution is actually rather high for an entry-level model like the Olympus FE-5020. Professional DSLR cameras like the new Nikon D3s have to settle for the same number of pixels, although there's one big difference: the pixel size differs considerably. This brings us straight to a downside of the Olympus FE-5020. The low ISO values up to ISO 200 to ISO are decent enough to fine, however, as soon as a higher ISO value is used, noise joins in immediately. To compare things: the latest 12 Megapixel DSLR only shows some noise from ISO 6400.
Digital filters of the Olympus FE-5020
The function of the built-in digital filters is something that allows the Olympus Fe-5020 to stand out from the masses. The results in practice differ quite a bit. Not every object is suitable for this type of creative filter, while in other situations, the effect is sometimes too strong. Yet we do find it a nice extra Fun feature that allows the novice photographer to shoot in a creative way very easily. Just how long the 'playing' actually remains fun, probably depends on the photographer, and will likely prove different for every person.
Olympus FE-5020 snapshot camera
Other than that, the Olympus FE-5020 does exactly what it should do; take snapshots. The camera functions at its best in optimal light circumstances, and we'd advise you to consider this camera as a holiday camera. The overall results are acceptable to fine. The flash provides a relatively good end result, and the speed at which a picture can be captured results in nice snapshots. The picture quality, however, is a sore spot; a pity marketing stubbornly keeps hanging on to a high resolution.