What's new / key features

New 10 Megapixel High Speed Live MOS sensor and TruePix III image processor. This is not the same sensor as used in Olympus's 10MP consumer SLR (the E-510), but we suspect it is the same one used in Panasonic's DMC-L10. Sensor-shift image stabilization system with a claimed 5 stop advantage.

New Autofocus. The E-3 sees the first major upgrade of the ageing 3 point AF system used on all Olympus DSLRs since the original E-1 back in 2003. The new fully-biaxial high-speed 11-point AF system with both horizontal and vertical sensor lines to give a total of 44 different data points from which the focus is calculated. Focus sensitivity is also improved (to -2 EV, ISO 100).

In addition to the new autofocus sensor the E-3 sees the introduction of a new range of 'SWD' (Supersonic Wave Drive) lenses. Olympus is being very bullish about the performance of the E-3 with these lenses, claiming the world's fastest focus speed.

New fully articulated screen. 230,000 pixel multi-angle, 2.5” HyperCrystal LCD. Live View. Like all current Olympus digital SLRs the E-3 offers live view functionality.
Improved viewfinder. 100% coverage and 1.15x magnification Built-in flash. Unlike the E-1, the E-3 has a built-in pop-up flash, something rare on 'professional' models.
Wireless Flash. The E-3 allows wireless control of flash units, such as the new Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R, in up to three groups. New Power Grip HLD-4. Other new accessories include two new eyecups (with built-in dioptre correction), a new grid focus screen (service dept. fit only) and the aforementioned flashguns.
Magnesium Alloy body. Weather sealed 'splashproof' construction.

New SWD lenses: Currently three SWD zooms (and a new 2.0x teleconverter) have been announced, including a new high end kit zoom (the 12-60mm):

  • ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm (24-120mm) 1:2.8-4.0 SWD
  • ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm (100-400mm) 1:2.8-3.5 SWD
  • ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-35mm (28-70mm) 1:2.0 SWD