Olympus E-300 EVOLT Review
The E-300 has a very unusual appearance for a digital SLR with a TTL viewfinder. Its sideways swinging mirror means that the camera has a flat-top profile with no prism hump. The main body material is a high-impact ABS, beneath this the E-300 has a fairly strong metal substructure, overall it feels far more robust than the EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) and exhibits no creaks or rattles. On the left side (viewed from the front) the hand grip area of the camera is coated with soft rubber. Design wise apart from the lack of a traditional SLR prism hump the E-300 also wears a slightly unusual metal swathe from the flash down to the side of the lens mount, I'm left wondering what the E-300 could have looked like without this.
In your hand
In your hand the E-300 feels comfortable enough, the grip is slightly smaller than we see on other digital SLR's but just as usable. At the front and back are molded finger and thumb 'hooks' which help to stabilize your hold on the camera. I would however question the usefulness of a vertical rubber line which has been added to the front of the grip, this appears to add nothing and can feel slightly uncomfortable if the camera is held firmly.
Side by side, size and weight
If you were to flatten the top of the Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) it would have approximately the same proportions as the E-300, although the 300D does have a deeper hand grip. Weight wise the E-300 is one of the lightest digital SLR's at only 19 g heavier than the diminutive Pentax *ist DS. That said the E-300 doesn't feel small, it's much wider than you expect and thicker.
|Left to right: Nikon D70, Olympus E-300, Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel)|
(W x H x D)
(inc. battery & card)
|Pentax *ist DS||125 x 93 x 66 mm (4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 in)||605 g (1.3 lb)|
|Olympus E-300||147 x 85 x 64 mm (5.8 x 3.4 x 2.5 in)||624 g (1.4 lb)|
|Canon EOS 300D||142 x 99 x 72 mm (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)||649 g (1.4 lb)|
|Nikon D70||140 x 111 x 78 mm (5.5 x 4.4 x 3.1 in)||679 g (1.5 lb)|
|Olympus E-1||141 x 104 x 81 mm (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)||704 g (1.6 lb)|
|Canon EOS 20D||144 x 106 x 72 mm (5.6 x 4.2 x 2.8 in)||770 g (1.7 lb)|
|Left to right: Olympus E-1, Olympus E-300|
Lens size and weight compared
One of the big advantages touted by Olympus for the Four Thirds system was that the camera bodies and lenses would be smaller and lighter. Well we can see that although the E-300 has a flat-top it's not really that much smaller or lighter than other similar digital SLR's. So that brings us on to the lenses. Below you can see a selection of the newer 'Digital' lenses from Canon, Nikon and Olympus. Overall size, weight and price/performance appear to be quite similar.
|Lens||35 mm equiv. FOV||Weight||Price|
|Canon EF-S 18 - 55 mm F3.5 - F5.6||29 - 88 mm (3.0x)||183 g||$100|
|Olympus EZ 14 - 45 mm F3.5 - F5.6||28 - 90 mm (3.2x)||287 g||$249|
|Nikon AF-S 18 - 70 mm DX F3.5 - F4.5 G||27 - 105 mm (3.9x)||388 g||$339|
|Olympus ED 14 - 54 mm F2.8 - F3.5||28 - 108 mm (3.9x)||437 g||$429|
|Canon EF-S 17 - 85 mm F4.5 - F5.6 IS||27 - 136 mm (5.0x)||472 g||$599|
Despite the ordinary sounding specifications (1.8", 134,000 pixels) Olympus claim that the E-300's "HyperCrystal LCD" has three times the contrast of a standard LCD and a 160° viewing angle. While I couldn't substantiate the contrast claim I can confirm that the screen appears bright and sharp and has a much better viewing angle than most. The E-300 doesn't have a top-of-camera LCD panel so instead you can enable a similar display on the LCD monitor (as shown here).
The E-300's optical porro finder uses four mirrors (one sideways swinging) to bend the light up from the lens and to the viewfinder eyepiece. This design allows Olympus to keep the dimensions of the camera down but as discussed leaves it looking unconventional. The actual view is slightly darker than the E-1, it's also a little more 'tunnel like'. The viewfinder does feature a dioptre adjustment wheel on its left side.
Through the viewfinder you will see the center metering circle and three AF areas indicated. The center AF area is sensitive to both horizontal and vertical detail, the two outer areas to horizontal detail only. The selected / in-use AF area is indicated on a half-press of the shutter release by a red circle (LED-like). To the right of the focusing screen is an LCD status column with various items of information including metering mode, shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation etc.
|Smile by Olymguy|
from Ultra Asian Indian Female Faces
|Space Shuttle Cockpit- by vbuhay|
from Aircraft Control Stick
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.
It will enable users to simulate the presence of the sun, moon and Milky Way and see how they interact with an area's topography.
Since its introduction in November last year Instagram's live streaming feature has been used by millions, but videos could not be archived for watching at a later stage. A new update has now added the capability.
CopyTrack's study also found that the second most-stolen image is a woman wearing painted jeans. That's apparently a thing.
Forget expensive lenses with fancy coatings and special lens elements – photographer Robin de Puy took these portraits using just a water drop for a lens.
Adobe reports a record quarterly revenue of $1.77 billion for the second quarter fiscal year 2017 ended June 2, 2017.
Zeiss says its new lens is particularly suited for portrait photography but also a good all-rounder and can be used in video applications.