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Top of camera controls

At the top right of the camera are a several controls including the power switch, exposure mode dial, shutter release button and main dial. Unlike the E-1 the E-300's controls aren't locked against accidental adjustment, although of course we wouldn't expect that on a prosumer digital SLR. The main dial is used to change settings values (press button then turn dial) additionally in play mode this dial is used to magnify or switch to thumbnail index. The power switch is logical and simple to operate, after flicking the switch to the ON position the camera takes approximately two seconds before it is ready to shoot.

Buttons

Button
 
Function
 
AEL Auto Exposure / Auto Focus Lock

The AEL button can be programmed in a variety of different ways for different focus modes (Single AF, Continuous AF and Manual Focus). It can be programmed to be momentary AE Lock or Memo/Cancel AE Lock, it can also be programmed to perform and lock Auto Focus at the same time. These modes are described later in this preview.
Auto focus point

After pressing this button turn the main dial to select between the four different AF points / modes:

 • Automatic selection from three points
 • Left point
 • Center point
 • Right point

Exposure Mode Dial

Icon
 
Mode
 
P

Programmed Auto (Flexible)

The Program AE on the E-300 is flexible, this means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by turning the main command dial (rear of camera) left or right. Minimum shutter speed in is 1 second (at ISO 100).

Example (1/3 EV steps):

 • 1/160 F3.2 (turn CCW a click) Ps
 • 1/125 F3.5 (turn CCW a click) Ps
 • 1/100 F4.0 (metered) P
 • 1/80 F5.0 (turn CW a click) Ps
 • 1/60 F5.6 (turn CW a click) Ps

A

Aperture Priority Auto

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and the LCD monitor (if INFO display is on), turn the main dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will blink.

 • Range depends on lens max. and min. apertures (in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps)

S

Shutter Priority Auto

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO).Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and the LCD monitor (if INFO display is on), turn the main dial to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range (for instance trying to take a shot at 1/500s in darkness) the aperture will show 'Lo' or 'Hi'.

 • 30 seconds - 1/4000 sec (in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps) 

M

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above (and additionally Bulb shutter). Turn the main dial to adjust either shutter speed or aperture, press the exposure compensation button (+/-) to switch between the two. The viewfinder display will indicate how close you are to the metered exposure (+/- 5 EV). In addition a graphical representation is shown on the LCD monitor.

Scene: Portrait

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.
Image parameters: Sharpness -1.
Scene: Landscape

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: 5300K, Image parameters: Sharpness +1, Contrast +1.
Scene: Macro

Selects an aperture above F4.0 to improve sharpness from the lens, also enables the continuous manual focus mode (S-AF + MF).
Scene: Sport

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).
Scene: Night Scene

Enables noise reduction and configures the camera for optimum night exposures (although for some reason the camera picks a WB of 5300K, this won't work in a city night shot environment).
WB: 5300K, Image parameters: Sharpness -1, Contrast -2.
SCENE Custom Scene

Allows you to select one of the fourteen built-in scene modes (each is shown on the LCD monitor with an image sample and short description):

 1. Portrait
 2. Landscape
 3. Landscape + Portrait
 4. Night Scene
 5. Night Scene + Portrait
 6. Macro
 7. Sunset
 8. Candle
 9. Fireworks
 10. Documents
 11. Museum
 12. High Key
 13. Beach & Snow
 14. Sport

Minimum shutter speeds

We did note that minimum shutter speeds were different than those quoted in the original Olympus specifications and that they changed in P and A modes depending on sensitivity.

  ISO 100 ISO 200 ISO 400 ISO 800 ISO 1600
P 1 sec 1/2 sec 1/4 sec 1/8 sec 1/15 sec
A 30 sec 30 sec 30 sec 15 sec 8 sec
S 30 sec
M 30 sec + Bulb
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