Olympus FE-4050, FE-5040 and FE-5050: Three's the magic number

You can wait all year for a range of compact cameras, and then be hit by a swarm of them. Olympus is the latest to join the fray, by announcing three new additions to its range, each with an emphasis on ease-of-use and fun.

The FE-4050 is the company's entry level, value proposition, featuring a 12-megapixel sensor, 4x wide optical zoom (27-108mm 35mm equivalent) and Olympus' new Digital Image Stabilisation Plus. Like all of its fellow newcomers, it comes with a 2.7-inch LCD screen and six Magic Filters - in-camera effects, including Fish Eye, Pop Art, Sketch, Pin Hole, and the brand new Wedding and Rock filters.

It comes in a range of amusingly-monikered colours, Starry Silver, Classic Black, Wine Red, Pure White, and will hit stores around September (in time for Photokina).

Next up the food chain is the FE-5040, featuring a slimmer build and 5x optical zoom (26-130mm 35mm equivalent). In all other respects, its spec list is identical to the 4050, but adds the colour choices Raspberry Red and Copper Orange to Starry Silver and Classic Black. It too will hit stores in September

Finally, the top-end compact this year is the FE-5050. Again, many of the features are the same, however its sensor is upgraded to a 14-megapixel model. It also comes in Starry Silver and Classic Black, but uniquely adds Champagne Gold and Dusty Pink as options. And, like its stablemates, it will also be available September time.

Prices for all three are yet to be confirmed, but Olympus assures us that it will be good value.