Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera Review
Four years is a lifetime in today’s digital world, but that is how long it has taken Olympus to upgrade the E-1 and release the Olympus E-3 DSLR, I aim to see if the wait has been worth it in this Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Camera Review.
There is no surprise to see the live view system that was pioneered by Olympus featuring on the Olympus E-3 DSLR but it is slightly surprising to see the low 10MP count, however the sensor is smaller and maybe Olympus sees this is as a way of avoiding unnecessary digital noise.
The Olympus E-3 also features camera based image stabilization which precludes the necessity for lens stabilization as well; this allows you to use ‘super wave drive’ lenses without the fear of blur at lower speeds. The inclusion of on-camera image stabilization is a big plus and according to sources at Olympus this offers up to five stops slower shutter speeds using SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) lenses and still avoiding camera shake. Five stops is a huge amount and would certainly make my internal wedding shots in dark and dingy churches a lot easier.
Despite the Olympus E-3 only having 10 MP, the camera features a LiveMOS sensor that is capable of sending a live image of the scene to the display. The Olympus E-3 gives a rate of 5fps, (frames per second), which is perfectly acceptable unless you are concentrating on sports or news photography, but these photographers aren’t the target market for the Olympus E-3 Digital Camera.
The sensor on the Olympus E-3 features SuperSonic Wave sensor cleaning; essentially this works by firing a supersonic blast at the sensor that, (in theory), dislodges dust particles off the sensor face. Olympus used this system for the first time on the E-1, and this system was quickly adopted by other camera manufacturers.
In camera metering is performed via a 49 zone digital ESP meter. One great feature of the metering is Olympus’s unique highlight and shadow spot metering – previously seen on the entry-level cameras, and originating in the 1980’s on the OM series, and the Olympus e-3 is no exception; the ESP Meter does wonders on this camera.
Closely tied to the metering is the camera’s White Balance, and Olympus has added a dedicated WB sensor, which combines data from the main sensor to produce a more accurate white balance. There’s also a full complement of WB features, including bracketing and tone sliders.
The Olympus E-3 DSLR is a very nice camera that has some very good features. The one that caught my eye is the in-camera stabilization that together with the super wave lenses offers fantastic low light shooting with the fear of image blur.