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.
|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
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.
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: 5300K, 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).
|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.
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):
3. Landscape + Portrait
4. Night Scene
5. Night Scene + Portrait
12. High Key
13. Beach & Snow
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|
|M||30 sec + Bulb|