Top of camera controls (right)
Although some of the buttons have moved or disappeared it's fair to say that overall the E-30 has a very similar set of controls to the E-3, with the most obvious difference being that the E-30 sports a mode dial. The are many more subtle changes, from the smaller, lower, four-way controller to the positioning of the control dials and the extra buttons to the left of the eyepiece (they've moved from the top plate of the E-3 to make way for the mode dial). If you've used an E-3 or even an E-510/E-520 extensively you should be able to adapt quickly, though the new control layout means switching from an E-3 to E-30 on a regular basis isn't a completely fluid process, but it's near enough.
As before the E-30 uses 'sticky' buttons by default, so you press the button controlling the setting you want to change, then turn the dial (or use the four-way controller) to make the changes. You can switch this to 'press and turn' operation if you prefer (or if you're coming from another system), and the button timing (how long you can wait between pressing the button and changing a setting) can be changed to 3, 5 or 8 seconds, or set to 'hold' mode (stays pressed until you press something else).
The top right of the camera features the same four buttons as the E-3, arranged along the top of the large, clear information LCD ('control panel'). Coming from an E-3 the buttons feel slightly different (they're shallower and angled away from you when the camera is held to the eye), but they're well delineated and are easy to use without having to actually look at them. The dedicated function buttons (WB, exposure compensation, ISO etc) can be used in conjunction with the top panel LCD or the 'Super Control Panel' display on the main color screen.
Buttons (shooting mode)
|LIGHT||Control Panel Back light
Pressing this button turns on the Control Panel back light.
Pressing the AE compensation and ISO buttons together for two seconds resets the factory default settings.
• ISO 100
• ISO 125
• ISO 160
• ISO 200
• ISO 250
• ISO 320
• ISO 400
• ISO 500
• ISO 640
• ISO 800
• ISO 1000
• ISO 1250
• ISO 1600
• ISO 2000
• ISO 2500
• ISO 3200
You can change the ISO step value (1.0 EV or 0.3 EV).
Buttons (Play mode)
Although not labeled as such pressing the exposure compensation button while in play mode rotates the displayed image through 90, 180 and 270 degrees.
Top of camera controls (left) and Mode Dial
The top left of the camera (viewed from the rear) is home to the mode dial - something found on all Olympus's consumer SLRs, but left off the more professional E-3. The mode dial offers direct access to the various exposure and scene program modes, full auto and the new Art Filters. On the side of the pentaprism is a single button used to raise the flash, change flash modes and activate flash intensity control (Flash AEC).
Exposure Mode Dial
|AUTO||Fully Automatic Mode
In Auto mode the camera is essentially 'point and shoot' with automatic pop-up of the flash and Auto default settings. Interestingly however you can still access the same range of settings as in the 'creative modes'.
Programmed Auto (Flexible)
Aperture Priority Auto
Shutter Priority Auto
Full Manual Exposure
Selects large apertures (low F numbers) to provide narrow depth of field, this creates the out of focus 'blurred' background effect which enhances portrait photographs. Also turns on Face Detection.
Image parameters: Sharpness -1
Selects smaller apertures (high F numbers) to provide larger depth of field (foreground and background appear in focus). This mode also appears to adjust color balance to optimize blues and greens.
WB: Daylight, Image parameters: Sharpness +1, Contrast +1
Selects an aperture above F4.0 to improve sharpness from the lens, also enables the continuous manual focus mode (S-AF + MF).
Selects large apertures (small F numbers) to achieve the fastest possible shutter speed to try and freeze fast action and avoid blurring. Enables continuous AF (C-AF), continuous shooting and face detection.
|Scene: Night Scene and Portrait
Enables noise reduction and configures the camera for optimum night exposures (although for some reason the camera picks Daylight WB, this won't work in a city night shot environment). Also enables Slow Sync flash.
WB: Daylight, Image parameters: Sharpness -1, Contrast -2. Flash: Slow Sync
Art Filter / Scene
Buttons (Shooting mode)
The first flash button is the release for the pop-up flash (the flash does not pop up automatically unless you're in AUTO mode, or in some of the subject modes).
|Hold Button||Turn rear Dial||Turn front Dial|
| Flash mode
Press this button (with the flash raised) and turn the main dial to select flash mode:
• Red-eye reduction
• Flash off
• Red-eye reduction & Slow-sync
• Slow-sync (Rear curtain)
|Flash Intensity Control
Hold this button and turn the sub dial to change vary the output of the flash in auto mode (from -3.0 to +3.0 EV in 1.0, 0.5 or 0.3 EV steps).