Olympus E-330 EVOLT Review
The E-330's battery compartment is accessed from the base of the hand grip, the compartment door opening by sliding a small latch downwards. Inside you will find the BLM-1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery as used in the E-500, E-300, E-1 and C-8080 Wide Zoom. The BLM-1 has a rated capacity of 1500 mAh at 7.2V (10.8 Wh) and is charged on the supplied BCM-2 charger (approx. 5 hours for a full charge from flat).
Compact Flash Compartment
The storage compartment is located on the right side of the camera (from the back) and makes up part of the hand grip. The door hinge isn't spring loaded until you get it past the 90 degree point where it has a positive 'click' to hold it open. Inside you will find an xD-Picture card slot and a Compact Flash Type II card slot. The E-330 supports the FAT32 file system for cards greater than 2 GB. Note that the E-300 only supported CF cards.
The E-330 has just one multi-function connector on the right side of the body, this serves to provide both USB and Video-Out connectivity depending on which of the supplied cables is connected. It's pretty disappointing in 2006 to find a high-end digital camera which only supports USB 1.1 speed transfers.
On the bottom of the camera you'll find the metal tripod socket which is aligned exactly with the center line of the lens. The mount also appears to be in line with the focal plane (position of the imager).
Just like the E-300 the E-330's pop-up flash it sits at a fairly average 40 mm (1.6 in) above the top of the lens (compared to 53 mm for the E-500). The built-in flash unit has a guide number of 13 and a maximum sync speed of 1/180 sec. In a low light situation with the flash raised the camera will strobe the flash to act as an assist lamp for the AF system (it must be raised manually to perform this function).
The E-330 has an 'E System' flash hot-shoe designed specifically for Olympus dedicated flash units, however it can also accept third party units (but sync contact only). Olympus 'E System' flash units communicate directly with the camera and support various features including zoom control, red-eye reduction and slow sync flash.
The E-330 has a Four Thirds System mount, it can accept Olympus 4/3 lenses and also third party lenses (such as Sigma 4/3 lenses). The mirror itself is unusual in that it swings to the right during an exposure (the optical path to the viewfinder is to the right).
"Supersonic Wave Filter"
The "Supersonic Wave Filter" is a method of cleaning the sensor which involves making it vibrate at a very high frequency, this vibration causes any dust or dirt to literally drop off the sensor surface and on to a sticky tape material (which apparently has been used in conventional SLR's for some time now). This built-in cleaning takes place every time you power up the camera and can also be invoked from the camera menu. It's reassuring to see at least one manufacturer taking dust seriously and attempting to solve instead of avoiding the issue.
|SSWF filter, mounted in front of the sensor||Click for a video demonstration|
Shutter Release Sound
In some of our digital SLR reviews we now provide a sound recording of a continuous burst of shots. Below you can see waveforms of a recording made of the E-330 shooting continuously for 30 seconds in JPEG (both 1/8 compression and 1/4 compression) and RAW. The storage card used was a SanDisk Extreme III 1 GB Compact Flash (Type I). With a small enough file size (JPEG HQ 1/8; approx. 1.6 MB) the camera can shoot continuously to this fast card, with larger files however the relatively small buffer allows just four continuous frames, you then have to release and re-press the shutter release to take another shot.
JPEG continuous, 30 seconds
|Olympus E-330 JPEG HQ 1/8 - 93 frames (3.1 fps continuous)|
|Olympus E-330 JPEG HQ 1/4 - 40 frames (3.1 fps initial burst of 4 frames)|
RAW continuous, 30 seconds
|Olympus E-330 RAW - 28 frames (3.1 fps initial burst of 4 frames)|
Box Contents (Kit)
- Olympus E-330 digital SLR body
- 14 - 45 mm F3.5 - F5.6 lens
- BLM-1 Lithium-Ion battery
- BCM-2 battery charger
- Body cap
- Shoulder strap
- Video and USB cables
- CD-ROM's (inc. Olympus Master Editing Software)
- Manual, System chart, Warranty