Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is a slightly unfair comparison - the D300 is a more expensive camera and is much closer to a true 'semi professional' model than the E-30, but this is the part of the market the E-30 is competing in. The D90 - which is perhaps a more obvious competitor - is currently selling for under $900. When - and if - the E-30 price falls to a more sensible level it will undoubtedly look a lot stronger.

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Olympus E-30 vs. Nikon D300

Camera settings:

  • Olympus E-30: Olympus 50 mm F2.0 Macro lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Super Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Natural), Self-Timer (with MLU)

  • Nikon D300: Nikkor 50 mm F1.8 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 200
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Normal), Self-Timer (with exposure delay)
Olympus E-30
Nikon D300
7.0 MB JPEG (4032 x 3024)
4.4 MB JPEG (4288 x 2848)

Again the sharpening and contrast on the E-30 makes its image stand out over the softer D300 result. There's no obvious additional detail in the E-30 shot however. This is very much what we'd expect to see, as the differences between contemporary DSLRs at base ISO are usually confined to subtle differences in processing. The E30 may not be an obvious competitor for the D300, but it holds its own remarkably well.