Product Support

FE-180

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What are the main features of the FE-180?

Designed with simplicity in mind, the FE-180 is loaded with features that will help you capture fantastic images and movies even if you have never before used a digital camera.

Its one-touch design puts camera features at your fingertips. Individual buttons help you shoot, review, and delete your images without ever accessing a menu. You’ll also have quick access to flash and macro settings, a self-timer, and print and zoom controls.

Let the built-in Shooting Guide show you what features to use in various situations; it will automatically adjust the settings for you. As you become more familiar with the features and options available on this model, you can use the convenient mode dial to choose your preferred shooting modes. There are 16 shooting modes in all, and each is optimized to help you get the best possible results for the shooting conditions.

The Digital Image Stabilization shooting mode minimizes or eliminates the effects of blurring caused by camera shake or moving subjects. Its Movie mode records in VGA resolution at 30 frames per second – quality usually found only in cameras that cost twice as much.

The FE-180 sports a 6.0-megapixel CCD and a 12x seamless zoom (3x optical, 4x digital). When using this model with the included Olympus Master software and Olympus brand xD-Picture Card™ flash memory media (sold separately), you can create stunning panoramic images. An on-screen Panorama target mark helps you to compose your shots.

Sharing your masterpieces is just as easy. The FE-180 is PictBridge™-enabled for direct-from-the-camera printing. You can also use the included USB cable to transfer images to your computer and e-mail them to friends and family.

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How can I download images and movies from the camera to a computer?

The simplest method is to use OLYMPUS Master software to transfer the files. 

This model ships with OLYMPUS Master version 1. Complete instructions for transferring files using this version may be downloaded by clicking here.

This model also supports OLYMPUS Master 2. Complete instructions for transferring files using OLYMPUS Master 2 may be downloaded by clicking here.

To request a free download of OLYMPUS Master 2, click here. It is not necessary to uninstall OLYMPUS Master version 1 before installing and using OLYMPUS Master 2.

Note: Adobe Reader® software is required to view PDF files. It is available as a free download from Adobe's web site. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

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The FE-180 has a Digital Image Stabilization shooting mode. What is it, and how does it work?

The Digital Image Stabilization shooting mode is designed to reduce or eliminate the blurring effect that occurs when either the camera or the subject is in motion during image capture. Images taken in low light are particularly susceptible to blurring because the shutter is held open longer in order to expose the CCD to enough light to capture the image.

When the camera is in Digital Image Stabilization shooting mode, the light sensitivity of the CCD is boosted so that the shutter speed can stay fast enough to freeze motion. The adjustment is made automatically when the level of ambient light would be insufficient to maintain a shutter speed of 1/125 at ISO 64.

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How does Digital Image Stabilization mode compare to Optical Image Stabilization available in other, more expensive cameras?

Digital Image Stabilization mode is more effective than Optical Image Stabilization in three key respects:

  • Capturing subjects in motion: Digital Image Stabilization’s high ISO sensitivity combined with a fast shutter speed minimizes blur caused by camera movement (shaky hands) and subject movement. Optical Image Stabilization is incapable of compensating for a moving subject.
  • Shooting in low light: Digital Image Stabilization’s high ISO sensitivity enables the camera to take brighter images in dim light; the same image taken with Optical Image Stabilization alone will be darker.
  • Consuming less power: Digital Image Stabilization does not require any additional power; Optical Image Stabilization drains batteries more quickly.

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The FE-180 offers a Silent Mode. What is it, and how does it work?

In Silent Mode, the camera emits no audible cues. It will not beep when capturing an image or when making menu selections. This can be a valuable aid when taking pictures of animals or sleeping infants or when shooting ceremonies and performances.

To activate Silent Mode, first place the camera into any shooting mode other than [GUIDE], and then press the [MENU] button. Press the Right arrow and then the Down arrow on the arrow pad to select [Silent Mode]. Press the [OK] button to access the Silent Mode menu. Use the Up or Down arrow to choose [ON], and then press [OK] to activate Silent Mode.

To disable Silent Mode, repeat the above procedure but at the Silent Mode menu choose [OFF] instead of [ON].

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What are the benefits of the TruePic TURBO™ image processor?

TruePic TURBO is Olympus’ new image-processing engine, designed to be approximately 30% faster than the TruePic engine. TruePic TURBO provides rapid start-up and shutter response, meaning there is less lag time between shots. The processor enables faster image playback on the LCD and improved battery life. It also has an advanced color-processing technology and noise filter for better overall image quality.

For more information on the TruePic TURBO processor, click here.

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The FE-180 is PictBridge™-enabled. What is PictBridge?

PictBridge is a specification that allows for direct printing of photos between various brands of digital still cameras and printers without the use of a computer.

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The FE-180 supports PRINT Image Matching™ (PIM3). What is Print Image Matching?

PRINT Image Matching (PIM3) technology ensures that PIM3-enabled digital cameras and printers work together to produce the best possible prints. As the digital camera records an image, it embeds print-specific information into the header of the image file. The parameters incorporated into the image file include gamma level, sharpness, brightness, saturation, shadow, highlight, and color balance. PIM3-enabled printers are able to instantly identify this information and use it to produce superior color, quality and detail in every print.

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What are the dimensions of the FE-180?

The FE-180 is 3.5” W x 2.4” H x 1.1” D (88mm x 60.5mm x 27.5mm).

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What recording modes does the FE-180 support?

The FE-180 records still images in JPEG format in accordance with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF) specifications, supporting the following standards: Exif 2.21, PRINT Image Matching III (PIM3), and PictBridge.

It records movies with audio in QuickTime motion JPEG format.

Each mode has multiple resolution options depending upon which image quality mode is selected.

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What are image quality modes, and which are available in the FE-180?

Image quality modes dictate the size (pixel resolution) and compression ratio of the digital files created by the camera when it records images and movies.  As resolution and image quality increase, so does the file size, which means fewer files can be stored.

Image file quality is indicated as SHQ (Super High Quality), HQ (High Quality), SQ1 (Standard Quality) and SQ2 (Standard Quality with greater compression). Movie file quality is indicated as SHQ and HQ.

The FE-180 supports the following resolutions:

Still images: 2816 x 2112 (SHQ / HQ); 2048 x 1536 (SQ1); and 640 x 480 (SQ2).

Movies: 640 x 480 (SHQ); 320 x 240 (HQ). Movies record at a rate of 30 frames per second.

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What recording media does the FE-180 support?

The FE-180 can record data to internal memory and to removable flash memory media. It has 22MB of internal memory for storage.

It will also accept* xD-Picture Card™ removable media in the following capacities: 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB. The FE-180 supports Type M+, Type M, Type H and Standard xD-Picture Card media.

*Certain camera functions require the use of xD-Picture Card media.

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Can the FE-180 store images in its internal memory?

Yes. The FE-180 has 22MB of internal memory available for storage.

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Is the FE-180 compatible with Olympus’ two-gigabyte xD-Picture Card™ removable flash memory media?

Yes.

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Is the FE-180 compatible with Type H xD-Picture Card™ removable flash memory media?

Yes.

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Is the FE-180 compatible with Type M xD-Picture Card™ removable flash memory media?

Yes.

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What is the difference between Olympus’ Type M and Type H xD-Picture Card™ media?

The Type H card provides improved write speeds (two to three times that of other types of xD-Picture Card media) so images and movies will be saved and formatted to the card more quickly. This means there will be less time to wait between shots and movies can be recorded in greater resolution.

Each Type H card also comes with a unique authorization code for OLYMPUS Master 1.4 software that, when entered, enables new editing features that can enhance digital photographs with Watercolor, Oil painting, Cartoon Art and 3-D effects.

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How many images can the FE-180 hold?

The chart below shows the approximate number of images at each available quality mode that the FE-180 can store in its internal memory and on a variety of optional xD-Picture Cardä media. The camera can store images and movies in any combination of quality modes. All figures are approximate.

Number of storable images
Image quality Image size Internal Memory xD-Picture Car™ media
16MB 32MB 64MB 128MB 256MB 512MB 1GB 2GB
SHQ 2816 x 2112 5 3 7 14 29 59 118 236 473
HQ 2816 x 2112 15 10 21 43 86 173 347 695 1,390
SQ1 2048 x 1536 28 20 40 81 162 326 652 1,305 2,258
SQ2 640 x 480 127 90 180 362 725 1,452 2,904 5,814 10,662

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How much movie recording time does the FE-180 have?

In movie mode, the FE-180 can, in most cases, record continuously up to the capacity of the storage medium. When using Standard or Type M xD-Picture Card™ media, the maximum recording time per movie in the SHQ quality mode is 15 seconds or the card capacity, whichever is smaller.

The chart below shows the maximum continuous movie recording time available in each quality mode when using the camera's internal memory or Type M+ or Type H xD-Picture Card media. The chart assumes that the medium has been freshly formatted. All figures are approximate.

Quality
Mode
Image
Size
Recording length (h:mm:ss)1
Internal
Memory
22MB
xD-Picture Card™ media (Type M+ or Type H)
16MB 32MB 64MB 128MB 256MB 512MB 1GB 2GB
SHQ 640 x 480
(30 frames
per second)
0:00:12 0:00:08 0:00:172 0:00:352 0:01:102 0:02:212 0:04:422 0:09:252 0:18:502
HQ 320 x 240
(30 frames
per second)
0:00:33 0:00:23 0:00:47 0:01:35 0:03:10 0:06:21 0:12:42 0:25:27 0:50:54

1Recording times are calculated based on storage capacity and are not a guarantee of battery life.
2In SHQ mode, movie recording time is limited to 15 seconds per file when the movie is saved to Standard or Type M xD-Picture Card media.

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Does the FE-180 have a “3:2 Resolution” shooting mode?

No. The FE-180 records all images and movies at a 4:3 aspect ratio.

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What shooting modes are available on the FE-180?

Shooting modes govern what type of data (still image or movie) is recorded and how much control the photographer has over the camera settings. Shooting modes are selected by pressing the shooting mode button (red camera icon) and turning the mode dial so that the appropriate icon or text is aligned with the red oval to the left of the dial. Additional steps, if required, are detailed in the descriptions below.

The following shooting modes are available on the FE-180:

  • Full Auto mode (The word “AUTO”): The camera automatically adjusts all camera settings based on current shooting conditions. The camera determines the proper values at the point of image capture.
  • Scene mode (Various icons or the word “SCENE”): The camera automatically adjusts settings to produce the optimum results for a particular combination of shooting conditions, or “scene.” Factors such as ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, color saturation, white balance, flash mode, and exposure compensation may be affected. (However, the photographer may manually override some of these settings.) When using this mode, the photographer must select the scene that matches the shooting conditions.

    There are 13 scenes available on the FE-180. The three most commonly used scenes are accessible directly from the mode dial via their respective icons; the others can be activated from the Scene Select menu.

    To access the Scene Select menu, first press the shooting mode button (red camera icon). Next, turn the mode dial to [SCENE]. The Scene Select menu will appear. Use the arrow pad to scroll up or down to the desired scene. Finally, press the [OK] button to activate the selection.

    To return to the Scene Select menu after you have selected a particular scene, turn the mode dial to any other setting and then return it to [SCENE]. The Scene Select menu will be displayed. Use the arrow pad to select a new scene. Press the [OK] button to activate the new selection.
  • Digital Image Stabilization mode (Hand icon): The camera automatically boosts ISO sensitivity and shutter speed as necessary in order to capture clear, bright images in low light or when the camera or subject is in motion at the time of image capture.
  • Movie mode (Movie Projector icon): The camera captures video and audio in Motion-JPEG format. Press the shutter button half way to lock the focus. Press it all the way down to begin recording, and press it again to stop recording. The camera flash is disabled in Movie mode.
  • Guide mode (“GUIDE”): The camera automatically adjusts settings according to shooting conditions you identify via help menus. The changes are made instantly; it is not necessary to exit the Guide to manually adjust the settings.

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What scenes are available in scene mode?

The FE-180’s scene mode features 13 scenes. Each is designed to produce optimum results for a specific combination of shooting conditions. Simply identify the current shooting conditions and select the appropriate scene. The camera will then automatically enable and calibrate all the settings necessary to take a great shot. With scene mode, even a novice photographer can become an “instant expert.”

The three most commonly used scenes are accessible directly from the mode dial; to choose one, simply press the shooting mode button (red camera icon) and turn the dial so that its associated icon is aligned with the red oval to the left of the dial.

The remaining scenes are activated from the Scene Select menu. To access the Scene Select menu, first press the shooting mode button (red camera icon). Next, turn the mode dial to [SCENE]. The Scene Select menu will appear. Use the arrow pad to scroll up or down to the desired scene. Finally, press the [OK] button to activate the selection.

To return to the Scene Select menu after you have selected a particular scene, turn the mode dial to any other setting and then return it to [SCENE]. The Scene Select menu will be displayed. Use the arrow pad to select a new scene. Press the [OK] button to activate the new selection.

The following scenes are available on the FE-180:

  • Portrait (Head icon): Portrait scene is suitable for capturing a portrait-style image of a subject, such as the head-and-shoulders shot typical of yearbooks. The camera automatically sets the optimal shooting conditions to produce natural skin tones.
  • Landscape (Mountains icon): This scene is suitable for shooting landscapes and other outdoor subjects. Blues and greens are enhanced in order to vividly reproduce natural scenery. Both the foreground and background will be kept in focus. By default, the flash is set to “off” in this scene; however, you can manually override this setting using the flash button (lightning bolt icon).
  • Night + Portrait (Icon of person standing beneath moon and stars): This scene is suitable for shooting both a foreground subject and an illuminated background in the evening or at night. The camera sets a slower shutter speed that is used for normal shooting. Because the shutter is held open longer, you must be careful to keep the camera and the subject immobile until the shot is taken, or the subject will appear blurred. It is advised that you use a tripod to support the camera in this scene.

    By default, the flash setting is set to “Red-Eye Reduction Flash” in this scene; however, you can manually override this setting using the flash button (lightning bolt icon).
  • Sport (“SCENE”): This scene is suitable for capturing fast-moving action without blurring.
  • Indoor (“SCENE”): This scene is suitable for taking pictures of indoor gatherings. The flash reaches further away, so backgrounds are reproduced clearly.
  • Candle (“SCENE”): This scene is ideal for shooting under candlelight. The camera automatically sets optimal shooting conditions to reproduce warm colors. The flash is disabled in this scene.
  • Self-portrait (“SCENE”): This scene lets you take a picture of yourself while you are holding the camera. Point the lens toward yourself, and the focus will lock onto you. The camera fixes the zoom in the wide position while in this scene mode.
  • Sunset (“SCENE”): In this scene, the camera automatically sets the optimal conditions for taking pictures of sunsets. It vividly reproduces reds and yellows. Because the shutter speed is slower, it is advised that you use a tripod to help avoid blur from camera shake. The flash and Macro modes are disabled in this scene.
  • Fireworks (“SCENE”): This scene is suitable for capturing fireworks against a night sky. Because the shutter speed is slower, it is advised that you use a tripod when shooting in this scene to prevent blur due to camera shake. The flash is disabled in this scene.
  • Behind Glass (“SCENE”): This scene is ideal for photographing subjects through glass.
  • Cuisine (“SCENE”): This scene is ideal for still life photography. The camera enables Macro mode and increases the saturation, sharpness and contrast to produce sharp, vivid images of the subject.
  • Documents (“SCENE”): This scene is suitable for shooting documents. It increases the contrast between letters and background. By default, Macro mode is enabled in this scene; however, the setting can be overridden using the Macro mode button (flower icon). The flash is disabled in this scene. The flash setting cannot be overridden.
  • Auction (“SCENE”): This scene sequentially captures three images at different exposures in the appropriate size for Internet auctions. In this scene, the Macro mode is enabled and the flash is disabled; neither setting can be overridden.

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What playback modes are available in the FE-180?

Playback modes display captured still images or movies on the LCD monitor so you can review, manipulate, or erase them. To use a playback mode, first press the Playback mode button (green arrow icon), located above the LCD monitor. Next, follow the instructions as noted in the descriptions below.

The FE-180 has the following still image Playback modes:

  • Single Frame: View the contents of your camera memory or media card one file at a time. Use the arrow pad to advance one frame forward (Right arrow) or backward (Left arrow), or to jump ahead (Down arrow) or back (Up arrow) 10 frames. If the current frame is fewer than 10 frames from the first frame or the last frame, the Up and Down arrows will instead jump to the first or final frame, respectively.

    Note: Images captured at resolutions not supported by this camera, such as those taken with some other digital cameras or those transferred from a computer to a memory card and inserted into the camera, can only be displayed as thumbnails.
  • Index: Display thumbnails of your images and movies on the LCD. Push the “W” on the Zoom Bar, located above the mode dial, to view the index. Continue to push the “W” on the Zoom Bar to change the layout of the index. Initially a 4-up layout, the index will expand with each push to show 9, then 16, then 25 images per screen. You can return to an earlier layout by pushing the “T” on the Zoom Bar.

    While in Index playback mode, you can use the arrow pad to navigate to a particular file and select it.
  • Close-up: Enlarge the selected frame for closer inspection. Push the “T” on the Zoom Bar to increase the size of the image. Each time the button is pressed, the image will get bigger, up to a maximum 10x magnification. Push the “W” on the Zoom Bar to reduce the size of the image.

    While viewing an enlarged image, use the arrow pad to move around within the frame.
  • Slideshow: Display all still images and movies from your camera’s internal memory or media card in succession. (Only the first frame of a movie file is displayed.) The camera automatically advances through the frames at a rate of approximately one frame every three seconds.

    To run a Slideshow, first press the [MENU] button. The [Slideshow] icon is selected by default. Press the [OK] button to start the Slideshow. The show will start immediately and repeat indefinitely. Press the [OK] button to end the slideshow.

    Note: Images captured at resolutions not supported by this camera, such as those taken with some other digital cameras or those transferred from a computer to a memory card and inserted into the camera, cannot be displayed during Slideshow.
  • Rotation: Select a frame and turn it 90 degrees in either direction. After selecting an image, press the [MENU] button to access the top menu. Use the arrow pad to select the [ROTATE] icon, and then press the [OK] button to access the Rotate menu. Press Up or Down on the arrow pad to select the desired layout. The camera will present the picture in the new layout for your review. When satisfied, press the [OK] button to activate the selection and exit the menu.

The FE-180 has the following movie Playback modes:

  • Normal: Play a movie file on the LCD. Navigate to a movie file. (When a movie file is showing in Playback mode, the LCD shows the first frame of the movie inside a mock filmstrip background.) Simply press the [OK] button to play the movie.

    To pause a movie mid-stream, press the [OK] button. Press it again to resume playback.
  • Reverse: Play the movie backward. During playback, press the Left arrow on the arrow pad to rewind the movie. Press the Right arrow to fast-forward through the movie.
  • Frame-by-frame: Play the movie one frame at a time. During playback, press the [OK] button to pause the movie. Next, press the Left or Right arrow on the arrow pad to resume playback (backward or forward, respectively) one frame at a time.

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What in-camera editing functions does the FE-180 offer?

The FE-180 lets you reduce the size of still images in the camera. Available resolutions are 640 x 480 and 320 x 240. Resized images are saved as separate files; the original file is preserved. An image reduced to 640 x 320 resolution can be further reduced to 320 x 240; however, images cannot be enlarged with this tool. Movie files cannot be resized.

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What Auto Focus method does the FE-180 use?

The FE-180 supports iESP autofocus. In this mode, the camera determines what subject to give focus. The camera detects the area of greatest contrast (generally, this will be the border where your subject meets the background) and focuses on that area. Even when the subject is not in the center of the frame, focusing is possible.

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Is it possible to manually focus the FE-180?

Occasionally it is desirable to have the ability to manually focus a digital camera. A good example is shooting through the windows of a tour bus on a rainy day. The camera may choose to focus on the raindrops on the window rather than the actual subject.

Although the FE-180 does not offer a manual focus mode, you can use the Focus Lock feature to force the camera to focus on your intended subject.

First, choose a test subject that is as close to the camera as your intended subject. Compose the shot in the LCD monitor. Press the shutter button halfway down; the camera will automatically focus on the test subject. The focus will be locked at this distance until you release the shutter button or take the picture. Re-compose your shot using the intended target, and then press the shutter button all the way down.

TIP: If you see a blinking green light in the upper left of the LCD monitor when composing your shot, the focus and exposure are not adjusted properly. Try locking the focus again.

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Does the FE-180 support a Macro mode?

Yes. The FE-180’s Macro mode has an operating range of 4.0” to infinity (wide) and 23.6” to infinity (telephoto). This means you can focus on a subject as near as 4.0” (.1 meters) when the Zoom is set to its extreme Wide Angle and as near as 23.6” (.6m) when the Zoom is set to its extreme Telephoto.

To use Macro mode, first press the shooting mode button (red camera icon). Next, press the Macro mode button (flower icon on the arrow pad) to launch the Macro mode menu. Use the Up or Down arrow to select the Macro icon (flower), and then press the [OK] button to activate the selection. The Macro icon will be displayed on the LCD to indicate that Macro mode is active.

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Does the FE-180 support a Super Macro mode?

Yes. The FE-180’s Super Macro mode has an operating distance of 2.0” (51mm) to infinity. The zoom is fixed in Super Macro mode, and the flash is disabled.

To use Super Macro mode, first press the shooting mode button (red camera icon). Next, press the Macro mode button (flower icon) to launch the Macro mode menu. Use the Up or Down arrows to select the Super Macro icon (flower preceded by the letter “s”), and then press the [OK] button to activate the selection. The Super Macro icon will be displayed on the LCD to indicate that Super Macro mode is active.

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What metering mode does the FE-180 offer?

This model supports Digital ESP multi-pattern metering. This approach meters separately the brightness at the center of the frame and that of the surrounding area in order to produce an exposure with balanced brightness.

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Can I set ISO sensitivity in the FE-180?

No. The FE-180 automatically sets ISO sensitivity in all shooting modes. When shooting in Full Auto mode, its range is equivalent in 35mm photography to ISO 80-320. The camera can shoot as low as ISO 64 in Digital Image Stabilization mode and in the Candle and Indoor scene modes. It can boost ISO as high as 1000 in Digital Image Stabilization mode.

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Can I change the white balance in the FE-180?

No. The FE-180 automatically sets the White Balance in all shooting modes.

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What software is bundled with the FE-180? What can it do?

OLYMPUS Master is application software for editing images taken with a digital camera on a computer. Installing it on your computer lets you do the following:

  • Download images from the camera or other media.
  • View images and movies. You can run a slideshow accompanied by background sound.
  • Manage images. You can organize your images using the calendar display. Search for the image you want by date or keyword.
  • Edit images. You can rotate images, trim them and change the size.
  • Enhance and retouch images. Add filters, remove “red eye,” embellish with art and 3-D effects.1
  • Print images. You can print images as is or incorporate them into indexes, calendars and postcards.
  • Make panoramic images. You can make panoramas using images captured on Olympus brand xD-Picture Card™ media.

For details regarding these and other functions and operations, refer to the application’s “Help” guide and the OLYMPUS Master reference manual.

1Art and 3-D effects require serial number provided with specially marked Olympus brand Type M and Type H xD-Picture Card media. The features are also available in the OLYMPUS Master Plus upgrade.

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Can I use non-Olympus brand xD-Picture Card™ media in the FE-180?

The FE-180 will accept third-party xD-Picture Card media. However, Olympus brand xD-Picture Card media are required to use the [PANORAMA] camera function and certain image-enhancing effects available in the included Olympus Master software.

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What kind of batteries should I use to power my FE-180?

The FE-180 accepts two “AA” nickel metal hydride batteries (included) or two AA alkaline batteries. Lithium battery packs (such as Olympus’ CR-V3) and “AA” manganese (Zinc-Carbon) batteries cannot be used with the FE-180.

NiMH batteries are more economical in the long run because they are rechargeable. The batteries included with the FE-180 may be charged about 1,000 times before they must be replaced. About 500 images can be taken with each charge.

The batteries included with this camera use a charger specified by Olympus. Do not use any other type of charger with these batteries. Do not use travel voltage converters as they may damage your charger.

If you choose to use alkaline batteries, purchase products with capacity ratings of 2300 mAh (milliamp-hours) or higher and that state on the label they are designed for high-drain electronic devices such as digital cameras.

Commercially available Olympus brand NiMH rechargeable batteries are intended for use only with Olympus digital cameras. Do not use these batteries with any other device.

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Does Olympus sell a battery charger compatible with my FE-180?

Olympus offers a NiMH Quick Charger and Battery Set (B-90SU), which includes the BU-400 NiMH Quick Charger and four Olympus AA-size 2300mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries. The charger can hold up to four AA or two AA and two AAA batteries and can charge them simultaneously. The charger is designed specifically for Olympus brand AA NiMH batteries.

The kit (Item #200899) can be purchased from Olympus’ online store. To order, click here.

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How long will it take to recharge my NiMH batteries?

The batteries packaged with the FE-180 will be fully recharged in approximately four hours when using the included battery charger.

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Should I charge NiMH batteries before using them in the FE-180?

Yes.

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Must the NiMH batteries be completely drained before I charge them?

Check with the batteries’ manufacturer. Repeatedly recharging Olympus brand NiMH batteries before using up their capacity will shorten the life of the batteries per charge.

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Does Olympus sell an AC adapter compatible with my FE-180?

Olympus does not sell an AC adapter for the FE-180 because the camera does not have a DC input jack. The rechargeable NiMH batteries packaged with the camera can take about 500 shots between charges, so there is no need to worry about running out of power.

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Where can I purchase replacement batteries like those packaged with my FE-180?

The batteries packaged with the FE-180 are available from many fine retailers. Click here for a sample of suppliers who carry these batteries.

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Do I need to have a computer to share my images and movies?

No. You can show off your images and movies by using the LCD monitor or by connecting the camera to a television with the included audio/video output cable. There are also many photo-processing labs that can make traditional prints from your digital files.

Note: Any shots recorded to the camera’s internal memory must first be transferred to xD-Picture Card™ media in order to be printed at a commercial photo-processing center. Use the BACKUP feature to transfer data from internal memory to a media card.

To realize the full capabilities of your digital camera, a computer is recommended.

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Where can I find the documentation for my camera?

The FE-180 is packaged with a printed Quick Start Guide, a Basic Manual and an Advanced Manual. The printed manual that is included with the camera is a basic manual that introduces the camera’s features and offers an overview of care and usage tips. The Advanced Manual is in PDF format; it can be found on a CD-ROM included with the camera. Adobe Reader software, which is also provided on the CD-ROM, is necessary to view the PDF file.

The manuals can also be downloaded from the product support page for this model on the Olympus web site.

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How do I update the firmware of the FE-180

Digital cameras are controlled by internal software called “firmware.” Firmware dictates the functionality of the product and the features that are available. Some digital cameras have the flexibility to change, improve or add functionality by downloading and applying firmware updates.

Olympus digital cameras are thoroughly tested for full functionality prior to shipment. Updated Olympus firmware versions offer little or no functionality changes; they are typically offered due to changes in electronic components during camera production.

To upgrade your camera’s firmware, you must use the Update Camera function in the Olympus Master software packaged with the camera. Complete instructions can be found here.

Note: Please follow the steps carefully. Do not operate any camera controls during the update procedure. If the firmware update is not performed properly, the camera will need to be serviced in order to return it to an operational state. If this becomes necessary, click here for information on sending your camera to an authorized Olympus service center.

The firmware update will fail if the connection to the computer is severed during the procedure. It is strongly advised that you have freshly charged batteries in the camera before beginning the firmware update. A wired Internet connection (as opposed to a wireless connection) is also recommended.

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How do I transfer images from my camera to my computer?

Download complete instructions here.

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How do I use the Digital Image Stabilization shooting mode?

Select Digital Image Stabilization mode by turning the mode dial to the icon of a hand. Digital Image Stabilization effects end when you select another shooting or scene mode.

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How do I know if the FE-180 is recording to its internal memory or to my flash memory card?

The internal memory and a removable memory card cannot be used at the same time. When a supported memory card is inserted into the camera, captured images and movies are no longer written to the internal memory. To use the internal memory, you must remove the memory card.

The FE-180 indicates which memory mode is active by displaying a memory status icon on the LCD screen. It will show [IN] when it is using internal memory and [xD] when it is working with xD-Picture Card™ flash memory media.

In all shooting modes, the memory status icon will appear in the lower right corner of the LCD screen, just above the remaining capacity value. In Playback mode, the icon will appear along the top of the LCD screen.

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Can I move images from the internal memory to a flash memory card?

Yes, the [BACKUP] feature will transfer files from the camera’s internal memory to removable xD-Picture Card™ media (sold separately). It does not delete those files from the internal memory.

To perform a backup, insert a supported xD-Picture Card flash memory card into the camera and then turn the camera on. Press the [MENU] button. Press the Right arrow on the arrow pad to select the [SETUP] icon, and then press the [OK] button to enter the Setup menu. Use the Up or Down arrow to select [BACKUP], and then press [OK]. Use the Up or Down arrow to select [YES]. Press the [OK] button to start the file transfer.

The backup procedure takes some time. It is recommended that you fully charge your batteries before performing a backup.

Note: It is not possible to copy images from a memory card to the camera’s internal memory.

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Which image quality mode should I use when I shoot my images?

The best way to determine which image quality mode is best for any shot is to decide – before you shoot – how you will use the captured image.

The default HQ mode is ideal if you plan to print photographs in the standard 4” x 6” snapshot size. It’s great for scrapbooking or for printing from the kiosks often found at drugstores, camera stores or retailers with on-site photo-processing labs.

If you are planning to e-mail your images or post them to a web site, use an image quality mode with a lower resolution, such as SQ1. The images will still look great when viewed on a computer, and their smaller file sizes will allow you to store more images on your media card.

Generally speaking, you should only use the highest-quality option if you are planning to print the images larger than 4” x 6” or if you intend to use them for professional or commercial purposes.

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How can I review my images in the camera?

By default, the FE-180 will briefly display the last image taken after the shutter button is released. If you would like a longer look, press the playback mode button (green arrow icon). You will then have the following options:

  • Use the Single-Frame playback mode to scroll through all the images in your internal memory or on your memory card, one at a time. Use the arrow pad to navigate through your files.
  • Use the Index playback mode to view thumbnails of several images at once.
  • Use the Slideshow feature to view all of your still images in succession.

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How can I rotate an image in Playback mode?

To rotate an image, first press the Playback mode button (green arrow icon) and then use the arrow pad to navigate to the desired image. Then press the [OK/MENU] button. The top menu is displayed. ,Use the arrow pad to navigate to the [ROTATE] icon, and press the [OK] button. On the next screen, use the Up or Down arrows on the arrow pad to select the desired layout. The camera will present the picture in the new layout for your review. When satisfied, press [OK/MENU] againto activate the selection and exit the menu.

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How can I change the number of images displayed at one time in Index playback mode?

Push the “W” on the Zoom button to view the index. Continue to hold the “W” on the Zoom button (or push it repeatedly) to change the layout of the index. Initially a 4-up layout, each push will expand the index to show 9, then 16, then 25 images per screen. You can return to an earlier layout by pushing the “T” on the Zoom button.

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How can I view a Slideshow of my images?

To run a Slideshow, first press the Playback mode button (green arrow icon), and then press the [MENU] button. The Playback menu is displayed, and [SLIDESHOW] is selected by default. Press the [OK] button.

The slideshow will start immediately and loop indefinitely. Press [OK] again to end the slideshow.

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How do I adjust the exposure value (EV) in the FE-180?

First, turn the mode dial to any shooting mode except [GUIDE]. Press the [MENU] button, and then press the Down arrow on the arrow pad to select [EXPOSURE COMP.]. Press the [OK] button to access the EV controls. Use the arrow pad to make the image brighter (Right arrow) or darker (Left arrow). The value can be adjusted +/- 2 EV in 1/3 EV increments. Press the [OK] button to apply the setting.

Note: Exposure compensation may not produce the desired brightness on the subject if the area in the frame surrounding the subject is extremely bright or extremely dark.

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How can I change the brightness setting of the LCD monitor?

You can adjust the brightness of the LCD monitor from the [SETUP] menu. With the mode dial set to any mode except [GUIDE], press the [MENU] button. Press the Right arrow on the arrow pad to select [SETUP], and then press the [OK] button to access the Setup menu. On the next screen, use the Up or Down arrow to navigate to the icon of the LCD monitor. Press the Right arrow to access the settings. Use the Up or Down arrow to toggle between [NORMAL] and [BRIGHT]. The brightness of the display will change to demonstrate the effect the selection will have. Select the desired brightness setting, and then press [OK] to activate it. Press the [MENU] button twice to exit the menu.

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Will my custom settings be retained after I turn off the power?

The [RESET] feature gives you the flexibility to decide. When [RESET] is set to [OFF], your custom settings will be retained when the power is turned off. When [RESET] is set to [ON], the factory default settings will be restored each time the power is turned off.

To restore the factory default settings, turn the mode dial to any shooting mode except [GUIDE], and then press the [MENU] button. Press the Left arrow button to select the [RESET] icon. Press the [OK] button to access the [RESET] menu. Next, press the Up or Down arrow button to select [YES]. Press the [OK] button to reset the camera defaults.

The features affected by [RESET] and their default values are: Flash mode (AUTO), Macro (off), Exposure Value (0.0), Image Quality (HQ), and Digital Zoom (OFF).

Note: In the absence of battery power, custom settings will be retained for about three days. After that, the original factory default settings will be restored.

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How do I set the date and time on the FE-180?

To access the clock controls, turn the mode dial to any shooting mode except [GUIDE] and then press the [MENU] button. Next, press the Right arrow on the arrow pad to select the [Setup] icon. Using the Up or Down arrow, navigate to the menu item depicting a clock. Press the [OK] button to access the clock settings feature.

Set the year, month, day, hour, minutes and date format using the following procedure: Use the Up and Down arrows to select values, and press the Right arrow to advance to the next item. (The FE-180 uses a 24-hour clock.) When all information has been entered, press the [OK] button to set the values. Press [MENU] twice to exit the menu.

To set the time precisely, with the cursor on either “minutes” or “date format,” press the [OK] button as the time signal strikes 0 seconds.

The date and time settings will be returned to the factory defaults if the camera is left without batteries for approximately three days. Custom settings may be canceled more quickly if the batteries were only loaded into the camera for a short time before being removed. Before taking important shots, check that the date and time are correct.

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How do I change the display language of the menus?

Turn the mode dial to any shooting mode except [GUIDE]. Press the [MENU] button to access the top menu. Use the Right arrow on the arrow pad to select the [SETUP] icon, and then press the [OK] button to access the Setup menu. Next, press the Down arrow to scroll to the icon of the head and word balloon. Press the Right arrow to enter the language menu. Use the Up or Down arrows on the arrow pad to choose a new language, and then press the [OK] button to activate the selection. Press the [MENU] button twice to exit the menu.

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Is there a way to add additional display languages to my camera?

The FE-180 has built-in support for four languages: English, Spanish, French and Portuguese. A fifth language of your choice can be added via a firmware download. There is no charge associated with this download.

To add a language, you must first install onto a computer the Olympus Master software that was packaged with your camera. After installation, use the included USB cable to connect the camera to the computer. Launch Olympus Master, click on the “Update Camera” icon, and follow the on-screen prompts. (An Internet connection is required.)

The following warning will appear during the installation of the additional language: “Once the firmware is updated, it cannot be returned to the previous menu.”

The original languages will remain in the camera, and the new one will be appended to the bottom of the menu. Once added, the new language can be enabled just as you would choose any other supported language. If you later wish to add another language, you may exchange the fifth language for any one of the other languages available via the firmware download by repeating this process.

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Can the FE-180 capture audio along with my still images and movies?

The FE-180 is able to record sound when shooting in Movie Mode. However, it does not capture audio when shooting still images.

Sound data becomes an embedded part of a movie file, and it cannot be separated from the file once it has been recorded. The data is captured even when [SILENT MODE] is set to [ON], although in that situation the sound will be disabled during playback.

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How do I erase an image that I do not wish to keep?

First, press the Playback mode button (green arrow icon). Use the arrow pad to scroll through your saved images and select the one you wish to delete. Then press the Erase button (red trashcan icon). Next, use the Up or Down arrow to select [Yes].  Finally, press the [OK] button to erase the selected image or movie file.

Erased files cannot be retrieved, so use this feature carefully.

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How do I erase all my images at once?

This model includes an [ALL ERASE] function to quickly and conveniently remove all files saved to the internal memory or to a media card. To use this feature, first press the Playback mode button (green arrow icon). Next, press the [MENU] button. Press the Down arrow button to select the [ERASE] icon, and press the [OK] button to access the [ERASE] menu. Use the Up or Down arrow to select [ALL ERASE], and then press [OK]. All unprotected image and movie files will be removed.

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What can I do to prevent accidental file deletion?

The Protect feature prevents selected files from being deleted even when an [ERASE] or [ALL ERASE] function is performed. However, protected files will be deleted by a [FORMAT] operation.

To protect a file, first press the Playback mode button (green arrow icon). Use the arrow pad to scroll through your saved files and find the one you wish to protect. Press the [MENU] button. Press the [OK] button to access the Playback menu. The Protect icon (a key) is selected by default. Press the [OK] button. Use the Up or Down arrow button to select [ON], then press [OK] again. The selected image or movie file will be protected. To remove the protection, simply repeat the procedure, choosing [OFF] instead of [ON].

When a file is protected, a green key icon appears atop its preview whenever that file is displayed on the camera’s LCD screen. The key is visible even when the camera’s Playback mode is set to Index display.

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Are any firmware updates available for this model?

Use the [Update Camera] function in the Olympus Master software packaged with your camera to find out whether firmware updates are available for your digital camera. An Internet connection is required to perform the operation.

After installing the software onto a computer, connect your camera to the computer using the USB cable packaged with the camera. Next, launch Olympus Master and click on the [Update Camera] icon in the lower right of the main window.  You can also access this tool from the Browse Images window by selecting [Update Camera] from the [Online Services] menu.

On the resulting dialog, under Select Device, you will see your camera. Highlight it, and press the [Check for latest version] button. If a firmware update is available for your model, it will then be listed in the Select Firmware section of the dialog.

Click here for complete instructions on how to update the camera’s firmware.

Note: If multiple firmware updates are available for your model, it may not always be possible to update directly from the current firmware version in your camera to the latest available version. In such cases, updates must be applied in stages. For this reason, it is recommended that, after updating the camera firmware, you immediately check again for additional updates. Simply repeat the update procedure to apply subsequent updates.

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I purchased the FE-180, and the box was missing a component. How do I get a replacement?

Please visit the Olympus Customer Service web site to report the missing component. Click here, fill out the requested fields, and then click Send to submit your request for assistance form. Please allow up to 48 hours for our Customer Service Representatives to respond via e-mail to your question.

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The FE-180 doesn’t have a flash memory card packaged in the box. Why not?

The FE-180 has 22MB of built-in flash memory and does not need a memory card to function. It will also accept xD-Picture Card™ flash memory media in the following capacities: 16MB, 32MB, 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1GB and 2GB.

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The FE-180 does not recognize my flash memory card. What can I do?

First, refer to the xD-Picture Card™ Compatibility Chart to verify that the card is supported in your model. If the card is not supported, return it to the store where you purchased it.

The FE-180 may not recognize non-Olympus brand media or a card that has been formatted on another device, such as a card reader or personal computer. As a general rule, xD-Picture Card media should only be formatted in the camera. Card readers should only be used to copy files from the memory card to an external device.

You may be able to use the card if you format it in the camera.

Warning: Formatting a memory card will delete all content on the card.

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When I put an xD-Picture Card™ flash memory card into my camera and turn it on, I get a “Card Error” message. What can I do?

This message occurs when the camera is unable to recognize the memory card or when an attempt to format a card fails.

If you see this message after inserting a brand new card, refer to the xD-Picture Card Compatibility Chart to verify that the card is supported in your model. If the card is not supported, return it to the store where you purchased it.

If the card is supported, it may need to be cleaned. Wipe the gold contacts of the card with alcohol using a soft cloth or tissue. When the contacts are dry, insert the card and turn the camera on.

If the Card Error message still appears, remove the card and insert a different supported card into the camera. If the camera reads the second card, then the camera is working properly and the problem lies with the original card.

You may be able to use the card if you format it in the camera.

Warning: Formatting a memory card will delete all content on the card.

If you receive this error message after a failed attempt to format the memory card, the card may be defective. For assistance, contact Olympus’ Customer Service and Repair Center using any of the following methods:

Phone: 800-622-6372

E-mail: cpgwebmail@olympus.com

URL: http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_servicerepair.asp

Note: Olympus does not offer a service to recover data from corrupted memory cards; however, a number of companies do offer this service. In addition, commercial software now exists that may help you to retrieve files from a corrupt card. Olympus does not endorse any particular brand, but you can find many applicable products by searching the Internet for “Digital image recovery.”

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I am no longer able to display images that I saved to my camera’s internal memory. I can only see images that were saved to my flash memory card. How can I see my other images?

When a removable memory card has been inserted into the camera, the images in the internal memory cannot be played back. Turn off the camera. Pull out the memory card. Then you will be able to view images in your camera’s internal memory.

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Every time I turn off my camera, my custom settings are discarded. How can I retain them for use the next time I turn on the camera?

Change the [RESET] value to [OFF].

To do so, turn the mode dial to any shooting mode except [GUIDE], and then press the [MENU] button. Press the Left arrow on the arrow pad to select the [RESET] icon, and then press the [OK] button to access the [RESET] menu. Use the Up or Down arrow to select [OFF]. Press the [OK] button to activate the selection.

Note: In the absence of battery power, custom settings will be retained for about three days. After that, the original factory default settings will be restored.

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I just put a {new | fully charged} battery in my FE-180. I have noticed that sometimes the screen goes dark while I am setting up my subject. Why is this happening?

If you are setting up a still life or panorama portrait or are otherwise delayed while composing your picture, you may encounter Power Save mode. The FE-180 includes a power save feature to prolong battery life. When [POWER SAVE] is set to [YES], as is the default operation, the camera will automatically stop operating after three minutes of inactivity. If the camera is not used for 15 minutes after entering Power Save mode, the camera will retract the lens and shut off.

To “wake” the camera and resume shooting, press any button.

The camera will not enter Sleep mode while it is connected to a printer via the included USB cable. This is a safeguard to prevent the camera entering Sleep mode during data transfer, which could result in loss of data or damage to the camera or media card.

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What should I do if I cannot focus on a particular subject?

Try the FOCUS LOCK feature. This feature allows you to focus on a subject roughly the same distance away from you as the intended subject and then re-compose your picture without losing that focus.

First, choose a subject that is as close to the camera as your intended subject. Compose the shot using the LCD monitor. Press the shutter button halfway down; the camera will automatically focus on the test subject. The focus will be locked at the appropriate distance until you release the shutter button or take the picture. Re-compose your shot using the intended target, and then press the shutter button all the way down.

TIP: If you see a blinking green light on the monitor when composing your shot, the focus and exposure are not adjusted properly. Try locking the focus again.

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A small, bright dot always appears in the same spot on all my downloaded images. What can I do?

This is caused by the failure of one or more pixels on the CCD. Run the Pixel Mapping feature to check and adjust the CCD sensor and image-processing functions. Wait about one minute after shooting or viewing images to allow the Pixel Mapping function to perform properly. If the camera is turned off during pixel mapping, you must start over.

To run Pixel Mapping, turn the mode dial to any shooting mode except [GUIDE]. Next, press the [MENU] button. Press the Right arrow button to select the [SETUP] icon, and then press the [OK] button to access the [SETUP] menu. Use the Up or Down arrows on the arrow pad to select [PIXEL MAPPING], and then press the [OK] button to access the [PIXEL MAPPING] menu. The [START] option will be selected by default. Press the [OK] button to begin pixel mapping. To exit without pixel mapping, press the [MENU] button.

Once the process has completed, the bright dot should no longer appear in images you subsequently capture and download.

To learn more about how Pixel Mapping works, click here.

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I want to use a camera function, but it is not accessible from the menu. What is wrong?

The following functions are disabled unless a supported memory card is inserted into the camera’s media slot: BACKUP, FORMAT, PANORAMA, and PRINT ORDER.

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When I print images on my printer or take them to my local photo lab for 4”x6” prints, the top and bottom of my pictures are cut off. Why is this happening?

The FE-180 shoots in a default aspect ratio of 4:3. A 4”x6” print has an aspect ratio of 3:2. Therefore, an image taken with the FE-180 contains more information than can fit in a 4”x6” frame. When the image is enlarged and centered in the 3:2 frame, a little bit of the image is cut off the top and bottom.

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I can’t rotate some of my images in Playback mode. Why not?

The images that cannot be rotated may be Protected, or they may not have been taken by this camera.

The [ROTATE] tool alters a digital file by modifying its layout. However, the Protect tool prohibits changes to Protected digital files. Therefore, Protected files cannot be rotated.

If you wish to rotate a Protected image, you must first remove the Protection. Then you can use the [ROTATE] tool to turn the image. You can re-apply the Protection to the file after it has been rotated.

Images captured at resolutions not supported by this model, such as those taken with other cameras and transferred to the FE-180 via removable memory media, may not be able to be rotated. Such images can be identified by their size when displayed in Single Image Playback mode. The images will appear smaller in the LCD monitor (e.g. not full-screen) and will be surrounded by a black border.

Movie files cannot be rotated.

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Why do I get blurry images?

Blurry images are often the result of movement during image capture. Either the camera was not held still – a phenomenon called “camera shake” – or the subject was moving and the camera did not fire with a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action.

Click here for additional suggestions on how to prevent blurry images.

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In portraits taken indoors or in low light, my subject’s eyes are unnaturally red. How can I prevent this from happening?

The effect known as “red-eye” occurs when the light emitted from the camera flash bounces off the back of the subject’s retina. The red color is picked up from the blood vessels behind the eyes and displayed in the resulting image.

To avoid or minimize red-eye when shooting in low light with the flash, use Red-Eye Reduction flash mode. In this mode, the flash fires a few bursts before the shot is actually taken. The bursts of light cause the pupils of your subject’s eyes to contract, providing a smaller angle through which the reflected light can escape. The result is that the effect of the reflected light is less noticeable in your captured images.

To enable Red-Eye Reduction flash mode, first put the camera in any still image shooting mode except [GUIDE] and then press the Right arrow on the arrow pad. It has a lightning bolt icon on the pad. Press the Down arrow to select the eye icon. Press the [OK] button to activate the mode. The eye icon will appear on the LCD when Red-Eye Reduction mode is active.

Note: Some scene modes automatically set the flash mode to a different setting or disable the flash entirely. If this happens, choose a different scene or shoot in Full Auto mode.

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How can I correct “red-eye” in my existing images?

The Olympus Master software bundled with the FE-180 has a feature that can remove or minimize the effects of “red-eye” in existing images. It can even be used to remove or minimize green or blue reflections commonly seen in the eyes of wildlife.

To use the tool, launch Olympus Master and click on the “Browse Images” icon. Select a picture to edit and then press the Edit button on the menu. (A dialog will appear; click on the [OK] button to close it.) Press the Red-Eye icon on the toolbar. A window will open on the right side of the application. Follow the instructions in this window to correct the red-eye in your selected image. When finished, press the “Apply” button.

Press the Back button to return to the Browse view.

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Why do the whites (or blacks) in my images look so gray?

The FE-180’s exposure system evaluates light reflecting from the subject and selects an aperture and shutter speed combination that will represent the subject in an approximate average tone (not too bright and not too dark). Pros refer to this as “18% gray.” This works well for almost all shooting situations except when the subject happens to be darker or lighter than an average tone.

The FE-180 allows you to override the exposure value in order to intentionally brighten or darken your images. Click here for more information on when and how to manually adjust the camera’s exposure value.

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When recording movies in SHQ image quality mode, I am restricted to 15 seconds of recording time. Why?

In SHQ mode, the FE-180 records movies with VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels) and a frame rate of 30 frames per second. Recording this much data, this quickly, requires a large amount of camera memory and a very quick write time.

Olympus’ Type M+ and Type H xD-Picture Card media are high-speed cards and are able to process this volume of information with no loss in quality. Other commercially available media, including Type M and Standard type xD-Picture Card media, are not able to do so. For this reason, this model limits movie recording in SHQ mode to 15 seconds when using media other than Type M+ or Type H cards. The 15-second restriction guarantees that the camera will be able to process the data properly and produce a smooth, error-free movie during playback.

Keep in mind that there is no restriction on movie recording length, other than the capacity of the storage media, when recording in the HQ (320 x 240 pixels) mode.

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