Feb 13, 2005

Olympus E-300 Digital SLR review

DCViews has written a nice review of the E-300 that dares to be a little different. They write:

Olympus will probably go down in history as the company who dared to be different by introducing a completely new camera standard at a time when the digital camera market was already starting to show signs of becoming overcrowded. The FourThirds system, which was introduced as early as 2002 as a co-development between Olympus, Fuji and Kodak, materialised in late 2003 as the 5-megapixel Olympus E-1. For more background information about the FourThirds system, reread our test of the E-1. This model, which Olympus classified as a professional camera at the time, has now been followed up by an affordable 'consumer-level' digital SLR, the Olympus Evolt E-300 (or simply E300 as it is called outside the U.S.). The new model features an 8.0 (effective) megapixel Kodak CCD with supersonic wave filter delivering a maximum image size of 3200 x 2400 pixels. It has many advanced features together with full automatic and manual control over exposure, white balance and flash, to name a few. Based on the FourThirds standard the E-300 SLR model is compatible with Olympus full range of Digital SLR-System accessories. And with shutter speeds from 1/4000 to 60 seconds and ISO settings from 100 to 1600 plus the option to shoot and images simultaneously and , it could well have a promising future.

Although it looks radically different from other digital SLRs, the Olympus E-300 is an excellent photographic tool with comfortable handling, nice controls and superb built quality. It provides you with comprehensive image info at all times through the convenient LCD monitor on the back, which remains clearly visible even in direct sunlight. It possesses a unique supersonic wave filter to solve the problem of dust settling on the image sensor, one of the common problems of DSLRs with exposed CCDs.

There are many advanced camera functions like fine-tuning white balance settings; full manual control over exposure, image parameters or flash output. Image quality is excellent with good resolution and colour for pleasing, contrasty photos with "punch". The fact that there are ample possibilities to configure the camera to your own preferences make the a really attractive option. If Olympus can solve the exposure problem, this is going to be a perfect camera to start building a system on, especially since Sigma are now producing quality lenses that are perhaps more affordable to the budding enthusiast than Olympus' own offerings. Although we feel the included 14-54mm Zuiko Digital lens would certainly be a good one to start with.

Read the full article here...