The FE series has always been a bit light on features, and the FE-5020 is no exception. To its credit it does have a zoom range equivalent to 24-120mm, and as far as I’m aware it’s by far the cheapest camera to feature such a wide angle lens. The LCD monitor is a decent size and adequately sharp at 230k, and the viewing angle is quite good in every direction except downwards, where it would be most useful.
Apart from zoom range and screen size the FE-5020 doesn’t have much else to offer. It has no continuous shooting mode, no spot or centre-weighted metering, only a low-quality digital image stabilisation option, and the video mode is limited to VGA resolution at 30fps, with mono audio via a low quality internal microphone. Even the self timer has only a 10-second delay. However it does feature face detection of up to 16 faces, and even subject-tracking AF, although this didn’t appear to work as well as most other similar systems that I’ve seen.
Repeatedly pressing the red Capture button cycles through the camera’s main shooting modes; Program Auto, an iAuto “easy mode”, the aforementioned digital-only Anti-shake mode and Scene Mode, which includes 14 basic scene programs. As well as these the menu has some extremely unpleasant “Magic” filter effects, and a panorama stitching mode. Despite this dearth of useful options the menu system still manages to be too complicated, spreading what little it has to offer over no less than six sub-menus.
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