Compared to...

For our standard studio scene comparisons we selected the nearest priced D-SLR competition from Canon and Nikon, as well as the nearest D-SLR megapixel competitor (the Canon EOS 20D) and our 'best of class' eight megapixel prosumer digital camera, the Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom.

Camera Price Sensor
Olympus E-300 $999 (Kit) 8 mp CCD
Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) $999 (Kit) 6 mp CMOS
Nikon D70 $1299 (Kit) 6 mp CCD
Canon EOS 20D $1499 (Body) 8 mp CMOS
Olympus C-8080 WZ $899 8 mp CCD

Aspect ratio advantage, aperture

The E-300's aspect ratio difference (4:3 vs. the film normal 3:2) it gets an added vertical resolution advantage over other cameras. As with all of our comparisons the scene is framed vertically. Note that we selected F6.3 on the Olympus as we have found this to be the optimum aperture for lens sharpness.

Studio scene comparison (vs. Canon EOS 300D)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position within minutes of each other. Lighting: 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. All crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F). Camera settings:

  • Olympus E-300: Olympus ED 50 mm F2.0 Macro, Aperture Priority (F6.3),
    ISO 100, JPEG SHQ, Manual WB, Default Parameters, Self-Timer
  • Canon EOS 300D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Aperture Priority (F9),
    ISO 100, JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Parameter 1), Self-Timer
Olympus E-300
Canon EOS 300D
ISO 100, 1/2 sec, F6.3
ISO 100, 1 sec, F9
5,420 KB JPEG (3264 x 2448)
2,748 KB JPEG (3072 x 2048)

The color response between the two cameras is similar expect for the EOS 300D's paler blues and the E-300's slightly orange reds. The E-300's resolution advantage is quite clear, it has some 400 more vertical pixels (about 20%) than the EOS 300D and is hence able to resolve more detail in various areas of the image. That said the EOS 300D appears to demonstrate better per-pixel sharpness, there's a crispness to its image which isn't matched in the E-300 image, you almost get the feeling that there could perhaps be more detail than there is.