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Olympus E-3 Summary

10 Megapixels10 MegapixelsSingle Lens ReflexSingle Lens ReflexStabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Continuous DriveContinuous DriveManual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringDepth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Depth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Weatherproof - Seals protect from dust, humidity and light splashing.Weatherproof - Seals protect from dust, humidity and light splashing.Accepts Compact Flash memory.Accepts Compact Flash memory.Accepts xD memory.Accepts xD memory.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Olympus Evolt E-3 Assessment

The Olympus E-3 is certainly the most capable 4/3 DSLR to date. It has plenty of pro-features: a viewfinder with 100% coverage, built-in image stabilization, a weather-proof body and 5 FPS continuous drive.

It is certainly as good as several Excellent DSLRs, only we have to say that some DSLRs are less excellent than others and this one is one of them. While the E-3 is a great upgrade for someone with high-quality Olympus lenses, the E-3 lags behind other recent DSLRs in terms of ergonomics and image quality at high-ISO. Although it has a durable body, its hinged LCD is a liability when it comes to being tough.

Choosing the E-3 can be justified by the choice of high quality Olympus lenses which exist. They are expensive, but Olympus has some unique lenses, including 2 F2 zooms (14-35mm and 35-100mm) and a 7-14mm F4 ultra-wide lens. There is currently no better camera to put these lenses on than the E-3.

The closest competitors to the E-3 are the Sony Alpha A700
Sony Alpha A700
and the Nikon D300
Nikon D300
. The A700 has almost all the same features, it is only missing the 100% coverage viewfinder. The D300 is only missing stabilization. Both of these cameras offer considerably better image quality and much better ergonomics.

PROS CONS
Built-in stabilization works for all lenses Tendency to under-expose
100% Coverage Viewfinder Below average high-ISO performance
Mostly accurate image colors Poor automatic white-balance indoors
Effective dust-reduction system Heavy noise reduction at slow shutter-speeds
Fast and responsive Slow focusing in low light
Excellent build quality Poor ergonomics
Highly customizable processing and noise reduction Below average dynamic range, mostly towards highlights
Poorly organized menus
ExcellentExcellent Excellent

Related Information

Sister Models
Olympus PEN E-P1
Olympus PEN E-P1
- Micro 4/3, 12 Megapixels, 3 FPS, No viewfinder, No flash
Olympus Evolt E-30
Olympus Evolt E-30
- 12 Megapixels, 98% Coverage OVF, 3 FPS, Not weatherproof
Olympus Evolt E-620
Olympus Evolt E-620
- 12 Megapixels, 3 FPS, 95% Coverage OVF, Not weatherproof
Olympus E-3
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By Neocamera on 2008-06-06

Olympus E-3 Highlights


SLR digital camera

Sensor-Size: 17 x 13mm

Four-Thirds Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

10 Megapixels DSLRISO 100-3200
Four-Thirds Mount
2X FLM
Shutter 1/8000-60s
2-Axis Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
100% Coverage
Medium Viewfinder
Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
WeatherproofSpot-Metering
Built-in Dust ReductionHot-Shoe
5 FPS Drive, Unlimited ImagesLithium-Ion Battery
2.5" LCD 230K PixelsCompact Flash
xD
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