Olympus E-3 Summary
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.
|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|
|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 Highlights
Sensor-Size: 17 x 13mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|10 Megapixels DSLR||ISO 100-3200|
|2-Axis Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls, including Manual Focus|
|Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning|
|Built-in Dust Reduction||Hot-Shoe|
|5 FPS Drive, Unlimited Images||Lithium-Ion Battery|
|2.5" LCD 230K Pixels||Compact Flash|
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