Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Review: Field Test Report

A versatile camera, a powerful combo.

While it was fun to use, the Olympus E-620 did not leave a lasting impression. I needed to get back to my own DSLR system and do some serious shooting. Fast forward. Now the Olympus E-3 lands on my doorstep. Obviously not the newest camera in the Olympus Four Thirds DSLR camp, the pro-level E-3 certainly is the one that takes itself most soberly, as the flagship in the fleet.

You might say, I began with the progeny and traced its lineage back to the progenitor. Well, not all the way back, an interim step but a quantum leap above the original E-1, the DNA strand from which all Olympus digital SLRs evolved.

Olympus E-3 front. The Olympus E-3 looks, feels, and works like a pro-level camera. The only thing that detracts from that impression is the built-in flash. On the other hand, it's nice to have on occasion. Copyright  ©2009 Jack Neubart. All rights reserved.
Olympus E-3 front. The Olympus E-3 looks, feels, and works like a pro-level camera. The only thing that detracts from that impression is the built-in flash. On the other hand, it's nice to have on occasion. Copyright ©2009 Jack Neubart. All rights reserved.



The E-3 ($1,250) begins with the high-speed Live MOS sensor and 10.1 million effective pixels. It also features Olympus’s Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system for the image sensor, along with image stabilization built into the camera body (effective range: 5 steps, according to the specs), making it usable with every compatible Four Thirds lens (and there are lots of them). (more…)

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Olympus E-P1 Review: Field Test Report

Peter Burian tests this 12.3 megapixel interchangeable-lens camera with HD Movie mode and a wealth of SLR-style features

The first Olympus Micro Four Thirds system includes the E-P1 camera, two lenses, adapters for other types of lenses and a compact flash unit.
The first Olympus Micro Four Thirds system includes the E-P1 camera, two lenses, adapters for other types of lenses and a compact flash unit.

In their promos for the 12.3 megapixel Olympus E-P1 camera, the company often referred to the heritage provided by their Pen series SLRs first introduced in 1959. That’s understandable, because the Pen models were unusually compact and featured classic styling.

Those qualities also apply to the E-P1, available in a white or silver stainless steel body with silver or black (optional) lenses. That’s where the similarities end however, since the Pen SLRs were small format cameras, taking two photos on a single frame of 35mm film. The E-P1 also accepts interchangeable lenses, but it’s not an SLR nor a small format camera in terms of sensor size. Even so, the new Olympus Micro Four Thirds concept certainly has a great deal of appeal and it should be as successful as the Pen concept was in the 1960’s and 1970’s. (more…)

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Olympus E-620 Four Thirds DSLR Two-Lens Kit Review

A versatile, compact, and competent 12.3 MP Live MOS DSLR in the Four Thirds format, with lenses to match.

With the Olympus E-620 in hand, I combated intermittent bouts of pouring rain to photograph a league soccer game played in a local park. The rains here in New York had been incessant over the past few weeks, and who knew when I’d get another chance, since games are only played on weekends!

I began with the 40-150mm f/4~5.6 lens (= 80-300mm in 35mm format, given the 2X sensor factor)–one of two lenses that came in the kit. I progressed on to the 12-60mm f/2.8~4 SWD (= 24-120mm)–this one was added. SWD stands for Supersonic Wave Drive, designed as a faster and quieter technology driving AF functions. The other kit lens was a 14-42mm f/3.5~5.6 ( =28-84)–a lens I had little use for, given that this focal length range was covered by the more encompassing SWD zoom.

Olympus E-620 with 12-60mm SWD lens (front view). The E-620 proves that the Four Thirds format is not simply a fly-by-night attempt to improve the genre. This digital format will be here for a very long time. The 12-60mm SWD lens is a good choice as a first lens. But I do think it's overpriced. Copyright  ©2009 Jack Neubart. All rights reserved.
Olympus E-620 with 12-60mm SWD lens (front view). The E-620 proves that the Four Thirds format is not simply a fly-by-night attempt to improve the genre. This digital format will be here for a very long time. The 12-60mm SWD lens is a good choice as a first lens. But I do think it's overpriced. Copyright ©2009 Jack Neubart. All rights reserved.

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Olympus E-30 Review: Field Test Report

A high-end 12.3 megapixel camera with a vast range of features including some unique amenities for creative photographers

Olympus E-30
Olympus E-30

Featuring the highest resolution available in the Olympus E-series, the E-30 is more compact, lightweight and affordable than the 10.1 megapixel E-3. This newer model includes most of the same features as the professional camera, but benefits from several upgrades. These include some new technology, higher 12.3 MP resolution, a brighter/larger LCD (2.7 vs. 2.5-inches), more auto-focus options in Live View mode and some unique new features. While the E-3 is more rugged and well-sealed — and employs a slightly larger viewfinder — the E-30 will certainly meet the needs of serious photo enthusiasts. (more…)

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