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Compared to...

The E-30 looked a lot like a pared-down E-3 when we first saw it and examining it in detail does little to disabuse us of that impression. It certainly seems to punch its weight, in specification terms, against the Canon 50D and Nikon D300 and, indeed, gives the E-3 a run for its money. It's worth remembering though, that there are well-specified cameras available for considerably less money, such as the Pentax K20D and Sony DSLR-A700. It's also worth noting that the E-30 i expected to fall in price so that it is more aligned with the Nikon D90 than the D300.

Positives versus the competition

  • Built-in sensor-shift stabilization (over the EOS 50D and D300)
  • Articulated screen (though see below)
  • In-camera effects (Art Filters, multi exposure) and JPEG/Raw editing
  • Customizable mirror lock-up
  • Highlight and Shadow spot metering modes
  • External white balance sensor (hybrid system)
  • Per-AF-point autofocus fine tuning

Negatives versus the competition

  • Lower resolution screen (compared to 50D and D300). Also smallest screen here.
  • Not as ruggedly built as the 50D, D300 or E-3
  • D300 and 50D have higher burst rates
  • Only two custom mode memories
  • D300 has more focus points and more sophisticated metering sensor
 

Olympus E-30

Canon EOS 50D

Nikon D300

Olympus E-3
Price (body only) $1249 [check] $1150 [check] $1500 [check] $1400 [check]
Quality zoom price
(as kit where offered)
• Olympus 14-54 mm
• F2.8-F3.5
• 28-108 mm equiv.
• +$500
• Canon 17-85mm IS
• F4.0-F5.6
• 27.2-136 mm equiv.
• +$250
• Nikon 16-85mm VR
• F3.5-F5.6
• 24-127.5 mm equiv.
•+$580
• Olympus 14-54 mm
• F2.8-F3.5
• 28-108 mm equiv.
• +$500
Dust removal • SSW filter • Self-cleaning filter
• Anti-static coating
• Dust delete data
• Self-cleaning filter
• Dust-off image
• SSW filter
Environmental sealing • Environmental seals on battery door • Environmental seals on battery and CF compartment doors • Weatherproof seals throughout
• Some sealed lenses
• Splash proof
• Dust proof
• Sealed lenses available
Sensor type Live MOS CMOS CMOS Live MOS
Sensor size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
Sensor area 225 mm² 329 mm² 373 mm² 225 mm²
Image Stabilization Built-in sensor shift Lenses only Lenses only Built-in sensor shift
Effective pixels 12.3 million 15.1 million 12.3 million 10.1 million
Aspect ratio 4:3 3:2 3:2 4:3
FOV crop 2.0x 1.6x 1.5x 2.0x
Image size 4032 x 3024 4752 x 3168 4288 x 2848 3648 x 2736
Live View • Yes
• Up to 10x magnify
• Mirror flip AF
• Contrast detect AF - on select lenses
• Yes
• Up to 10x magnify
• Mirror flip AF
• Contrast detect AF
• Yes
• Up to 1:1 pixel view
• Mirror flip AF
• Contrast detect AF
• Yes
• Up to 10x magnify
• Mirror flip AF
Lens support • Four Thirds • Canon EF / EF-S • Nikon F mount • Four Thirds
File formats JPEG, RAW (ORF) JPEG, RAW (CR2) JPEG, TIFF, RAW (NEF 12-bit / NEF 14-bit) JPEG, RAW (ORF)
Auto focus • 11 point
• 11 cross-type
• -2 to 19 EV
• 9 point
• 9 cross-type
• -0.5 to 18 EV
• 51 point
• 15 cross-type
• -1 to 19 EV
• 11 point
• 11 cross-type
• -2 to 19 EV
AF illuminator Flash strobe Flash strobe White lamp Flash strobe
AF adjustment Yes, per AF point, per lens. No Yes, body and per lens No
Metering sensor 49 zone 35 zone 1005 pixel RGB 49 zone
Metering range 1 to 20 EV 0 to 20 EV 0 to 20 EV 1 to 20 EV
Metering modes ESP, CWA, Spot, Highlight spot, Shadow spot Evaluative, Partial, Spot, CWA 3D Color Matrix, CWA, Spot ESP, CWA, Spot, Highlight spot, Shadow spot
Exp. comp. +/- 5.0 EV +/- 2.0 EV +/- 5.0 EV +/- 5.0 EV
Exp. comp. EV steps 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV
Manual EV steps 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV 0.3 or 0.5 EV 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV
Sensitivity range (boost setting) 100 - 3200 100 - 3200, (6400, 12800) (100), 200 - 3200, (6400) 100 - 3200
Auto ISO adjust Max & Min ISO selectable Yes (not customizable) Max ISO & Min shutter speed selectable Max & Min ISO selectable
Shutter speed 60 - 1/8000 sec 30 - 1/8000 sec 30 - 1/8000 sec 60 - 1/8000 sec
Shutter life Unspecified 100,000 exposures 150,000 exposures 150,000 exposures
Continuous rate (high) 5.0 fps 6.5 fps 6.0 fps (8.0 fps with battery grip) 5.0 fps
Continuous buffer • Unlimited JPEG
• 5 RAW
• 90 JPEG (With UDMA card)
• 16 RAW
• 100 JPEG Norm
• 17 RAW
• Unlimited JPEG
• 19 RAW
White balance • 7 presets
• Color temp (K)
• Manual (4 mem.)
• 6 presets
• Color temp (K)
• Manual
• 12 presets
• Color temp (K)
• Manual (4 mem.)
• 7 presets
• Color temp (K)
• Manual (4 mem.)
Image parameters • 5 presets / 1 user
• Saturation +/- 2
• Contrast +/- 2
• Sharpness +/- 2
• Gradation (3)

• 6 presets / 3 user
• Saturation +/- 4
• Contrast +/- 4
• Color tone +/- 4
• Sharpness 0-7

• 4 presets
• Saturation +/- 3, A
• Contrast +/- 3, A
• Brightness +/- 1
• Hue +/- 3
• Sharpness 0-9, A
• Quick adjust +/- 2
• 5 presets / 1 user
• Saturation +/- 2
• Contrast +/- 2
• Sharpness +/- 2
• Gradation (3)
Noise reduction control 4 levels 1 additional level 4 levels 4 levels
DR / Shadow adjust. Shadow adjustment None Active D-Lighting (4 levels) Shadow adjustment
Built-in flash • Manual pop-up
• Guide no. 13 (ISO 100)
• Electronic pop-up
• Guide no. 13 (ISO 100)
• Manual pop-up
• Guide no. 12 (ISO 100)
• Manual pop-up
• Guide no. 13 (ISO 100)
External flash • Hot-shoe
• PC sync terminal
• Wireless flash
• Hot-shoe
• PC sync terminal
• Wireless flash
• Hot-shoe
• PC sync terminal
• Wireless flash
• Hot-shoe
• PC sync terminal
• Wireless flash
Flash sync speed 1/250 sec 1/250 sec 1/250 sec (1/320 sec reduced Guide no.) 1/250 sec
Customizable controls • Fn button
• AEL/AFL button
• Dials
• SET button
• AF-ON button
• AE lock button
• Dials
• FUNC button
• FUNC+dials
• Multi-selector cent.
• Preview button
• AE-L/AF-L button
• Dials
• Fn button
• AEL/AFL button
• Dials
User memories 2 via menu 2 via dial positions 4 via menu 2 via menu
Storage • CF (inc. UDMA)
• xD-Picture Card
CF (inc. UDMA) CF (inc. UDMA) • CF (inc. UDMA)
• xD-Picture Card
Viewfinder • 98% coverage
• 1.01x magnification
• 95% coverage
• 0.95x magnification
• 100% coverage
• 0.94x magnification
• 100% coverage
• 1.15x magnification
LCD monitor • 2.7" TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
• 3.0" TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots
• 3.0" TFT LCD
• 922,000 dots
• 2.5" TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
LCD articulation Yes (flip-out & twist) No No Yes (flip-out & twist)
Top panel LCD Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery 10.8 Wh 10.3 Wh 11.1 Wh 10.8 Wh
Battery status 4 stages 5 stages • Percentage (%)
• Shots since charge
• Battery aging
4 stages
Vertical grip Yes, HLD-4 Yes, BP-E2N, BP-E2 & WFT-E3/E3A (WiFi) Yes, MB-D10 Yes, HLD-4
Mirror lock-up Yes, 1-30 sec Yes, custom function Yes Yes, 1-30 sec
Other features • RAW development
• JPEG edit
• Custom 'My Menu' • On demand viewfinder grid
• GPS record with optional cable
• Retouching
• RAW development
• JPEG edit
Video output Composite HDMI (up to 1080i) HDMI (up to 1080i) Composite
Dimensions 142 x 116 x 75 mm
(5.6 x 4.6 x 2.9 in)
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
147 x 114 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)
142 x 116 x 75 mm
(5.6 x 4.6 x 2.9 in)
Weight (no batt) 655 g (1.4 lb) 730 g (1.6 lb) 825 g (1.8 lb) 800 g (1.8 lb)
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