Olympus E-30 Reviews and Resources

by on November 4, 2008

in Olympus

The Olympus E-30 is a 12.3 megapixel DSLR.  It is a four-thirds sized sensor, which follows suit with Olympus’ other DSLRs.  The Olympus E-30 is situated between the E-520 and E-3 DSLRs.

Olympus E-30 Availability

Amazon.com

Adorama

B&H Photo

Olympus E-30 Key Features

  • 12.3 CMOS sensor
  • Same 11-point autofocus system as the E-3
  • 2.7″ tilt & swivel LCD
  • In camera art filters: soft focus, pale and light, grainy film, light tone, pinhole and pop art
  • Built-in electronic level

The E-30 retails for $1300 in body only format and $1400 with the Zuiko 14-54mm II f2.8-3.5 lens.

Olympus E-30 Reviews

DP Review

Olympus DSLRs keep getting better, and the E-30 is undoubtedly the best yet.

DC Resource

Images are fairly sharp by D-SLR standards, with lots of detail captured. In terms of noise, the E-30 performs quite well, though if you look hard enough you’ll spot some noise in shadow areas of a photo (even at lower ISO settings).

PhotographyBLOG

Image quality from the smaller 4/3rds sensor isn’t as good as that from the APS-C competitors, with noise in particular an issue at relatively slow ISO speeds.

Digital Camera Review

Other than the possible temptation to jump straight into the pro system, there’s very little to keep Olympus fans from coming to the E-30 in droves.

Let’s Go Digital

Even after extended testing, it turns out that the Olympus E-30 looks a lot like its big brother the E-3 when it comes to image characteristics. And although it features a different sensor and increased resolution; Olympus has issues like dynamic range and color reproduction nicely under control and is able to obtain an excellent result.

Photography Review (initial impressions)

I have to admit I was skeptical and felt like they were probably meant for someone else. But when I started to play with the Art Filters, I got kind of excited at the some of the results. And the perfectionist in me was pleased that you can shoot RAW + JPG and have an untouched RAW image available if you need it.

Digital Camera Review

Some initial questions aside, the E-30 is coming off as expected thus far, and with so much technology from the E-3 coming down into this more size-aware platform, it stands a strong chance of vying for a spot as my favorite Olympus DSLR to date.

Four Thirds User

The E-30 handles very similarly to the E-3 in terms of size and weight, being slightly less heavy and tall.

Olympus E-30 Press Release

Capture The World As You Imagine It With The New Olympus E-30 Digital SLR Camera

Expand Your Artistic Vision with In-Camera Art Filters and Multiple Exposures

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., November 5, 2008 – Through the centuries, legendary artists have expressed their individuality by relying on active imaginations and keen eyes to produce artistic masterpieces that alter reality to reveal a profound truth or feeling. The Olympus E-30 digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera is a powerful tool that takes the art of photography to new creative heights by offering the artistic freedom to capture what you see in your mind’s eye, not just what you see through the camera lens.

Like a brush stroking color across a blank white canvas, the E-30 delivers instant artistic gratification. Its ease of use and power to transform the everyday into something artistic will appeal to painters, graphic designers, illustrators and Web designers, those with an eye for fashion and artists from all walks of life, not just photographers. New Art Filters and Multiple Exposure change how we create images, unleashing a digital imaging experience unlike any other that produces striking works of art inside the camera without the need for costly computer image editing software.

E-30 Rounds Out Robust E-System DSLR Lineup

The E-30 fits in the spectrum of the E-System lineup above the E-520 as a mid-range advanced DSLR, while the E-3 remains at the top as the flagship Olympus DSLR. Beyond the new Art Filters and Multiple Exposure function, the E-30 delivers the same high-precision performance and imaging quality demanded by professional photographers who use the E-3, as well as the consumer-friendly features found on the E-520, and several new surprises all its own.

As with all Olympus DSLRs, the new camera provides advanced Dust Reduction and in-body mechanical Image Stabilization so that every Four Thirds lens is stabilized. The new camera also offers TruePic III+ Image Processor and Full Time Autofocus Live View. These features are coupled with a new 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS image sensor to capture breathtaking images.

Adding to the line of Four Thirds-compliant lenses, the ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II is also being announced today. It boasts high-speed Imager AF support for Live View shooting and a circular aperture mechanism for higher imaging performance. A versatile 28-108mm equivalent zoom range makes the new lens an ideal choice in a wide range of shooting situations, enabling users to enjoy the exaggerated perspective of wide angle shooting while providing telephoto power to zoom in for close-ups.

We Are the Visual Generation

The visual tastes of people of all ages are growing more refined as a result of art cinema and movies, music videos, television, video games, magazines, the Internet and online videos created in a wide array of visual styles. More distinct and artistic visuals are appearing everywhere, and the bar for creative images has been raised higher.

“The E-30 is the camera for people who are not content to simply capture and document a scene, but rather enjoy enhancing or customizing an image to make it their own,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager, Digital SLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “The camera’s Art Filters and Multiple Exposure capabilities enable incredible individual artistic control over an image within the camera, in many cases eliminating the need for time spent applying image effects in the computer. Additionally, it delivers the same proven image quality of our E-System DSLR line.”

Art Filters Make Your Vision Come to Life

New to the E-30 is technology that conveniently helps photographers transform a basic image that faithfully represents the scene into an image that carries emotional impact. Olympus recognizes that some of the most iconic images ever captured were intentionally altered through exposures to render contrast beyond normal levels, or are alive with saturated colors or the gritty graininess of film. All have wonderful artistic merit.

The new Art Filters take this capability to a higher level, replicating these dramatic effects as you shoot using the Autofocus Live View LCD:

  • Pop Art: Enhances colors, making them more saturated and vivid, creating high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feeling of the Pop Art style of the 1960s.
  • Soft Focus: Creates an ethereal, otherworldly atmosphere that renders subjects in a heavenly light without obscuring details.
  • Pale & Light Color: Encloses the foreground of an image in flat gentle light and pastel colors reminiscent of a flashback scene in a movie.
  • Light Tone: Renders shade and highlight areas softly to lend an elegant air to the subject.
  • Grainy Film: Evokes the feeling of documentary footage shot in monochrome with grainy, high-contrast film.
  • Pin Hole: Reduces the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole, connecting the viewer intimately with the subject at the center of the picture.

Art Filters are easily activated via the mode dial on the left side of the camera body, and the effects are viewable right on the new camera’s 100 percent accurate swivel 2.7-inch Live View HyperCrystalTM LCD when using the E-30 in Live View mode or when reviewing the captured image.

Multiple Exposures Create Something Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

With the new camera’s Multiple Exposure function it is possible to alter space and time by combining images shot in different locations and moments, lending your photos another dramatic dimension. For instance, take one shot of the full moon with the E-30 and the image will appear on the camera’s LCD. Then take another shot while the moon still appears on the LCD and superimpose a close-up of an owl perched on a tree branch. The two images will merge together seamlessly to form one dramatic image that has the haunting effect of a Halloween night.

Or take a self-portrait posing far away from the camera, and then another close-up shot to capture you and your “identical twin” both in sharp focus. Wedding photographers can capture an image of newlyweds posing together and then overlay a portrait of the blushing bride and a shot of the sunset to create a lasting wedding memory. The creative possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. The E-30 can combine up to four images in a single photograph, overlaying various subjects to create a montage that blends all the elements together. Thanks to the new TruePic III+ Image Processor you are able to accurately compose, capture and combine your images on the fly directly on the camera’s LCD.

Digital Leveler

The E-30 is equipped with an internal Digital Level Sensor that detects the camera’s pitch and roll and indicates it in the optical viewfinder, on the control panel and during Live View operation. This Digital Leveler is a tremendous benefit for architectural photographers who must ensure that images they take of buildings are as centered and true as the walls of the buildings themselves. Rather than spend time rotating an image in computer software, you can use the new camera’s Digital Leveler to make sure your subjects are where they should be in the frame.

Superior Image Quality

The new camera’s high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity and a state-of-the-art amplifier circuit to eradicate noise and capture fine image details in both highlight and shadow areas.

Its Live MOS image sensor is complemented by Olympus’ TruePic III+ Image Processor that produces crystal-clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible with accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression in between. TruePic III+ also lowers image noise in images shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.

Two Fast Autofocus Systems

The E-30 offers two systems to quickly focus and capture the image. They include:

  • Fast Autofocus with AF Live View – When it comes to measuring camera speed, autofocus is a key factor. If a camera’s AF system does not meet photographers’ demands and lock focus accurately and quickly, they will miss shots regardless of the camera’s shot-to-shot speed or start-up time. Thanks to the new 14-54mm II lens with high-speed Imager AF, shooting with Live View is faster than ever – a key element in utilizing the new camera’s art filters. AF accuracy is further ensured by precise 11 point imager AF with the 12.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor; and
  • Phase Detection AF – This 11 point twin cross sensor provides world-class fast and accurate focusing. The E-30 takes advantage of the SWD lens speed. The alignment of the optical axis from the lens to the AF phase detection sensors combined with accurate mounting of the sensors within the AF unit delivers accurate and fast focusing.

Swivel Live View LCD: Freedom to Move You

Unlike others with fixed LCDs, the new camera’s 100 percent accurate 270 degree swivel 2.7-inch Live View HyperCrystalTM LCD can be rotated freely so photographers can compose at tough angles, including overhead and down low, without feeling like a contortionist. Because Live View enables an E-30 photographer to communicate face-to-face with subjects and still have everything in the frame with the camera body out of the way, an encouraging smile or wink of the eye can be used with a shy or nervous subject to get the desired results.

During composition, settings like white balance and exposure can be selected, and their impact is seen instantly on the LCD, thanks to Live View. Real-time monitoring offers amazing versatility and creative control. The LCD displays 230,000 pixels in vivid color and includes HyperCrystal technology, which offers many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors for easier viewing in both preview and playback. It also provides a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees, which ensures images can be composed from even the most obscure angles. The 2.7-inch LCD makes viewing icons and text on the camera’s menu a squint-free process.

Multi-Aspect Ratio Shooting

Since photography is a form of expression that is essentially based on clipping a scene, framing is an important component of style. The E-30 provides nine aspect ratios including the standard 4:3, as well as 16:9 for impressive, cinematic-style images, and 6:6, which is available with medium format cameras, plus 3:2, 5:4, 7:6, 6:5, 7:5 and 3:4. By selecting the aspect ratio before shooting and easily reviewing images on the LCD throughout the shoot, the Multi-Aspect function adds a new means of expression to your photography.

As with all Olympus E-System DSLRs, the E-30 offers the following features:

  • Face Detection recognizes up to eight faces;
  • Shadow Adjustment Technology controls highlights and shadow exposure automatically;
  • Perfect Shot Preview shows how various settings will enhance the image before actually capturing it;
  • Wireless Flash System provides control for multiple wireless flashes (FL50R or FL36R) without needing an external commander unit;
  • Large Optical Viewfinder offers 98 percent field of view and 1.02 x magnification; and
  • Proven Dust Reductionwith SSWF (Super-Sonic Wave Filter) system cleans the tiniest particles of dust and dirt for spot-free images.

Availability

The Olympus E-30 DSLR will be available in January 2009. It includes E-30 Body, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLM-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCM-2), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master 2 Software CD-ROM, Manuals and Registration card. The ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II lens will also be available in January 2009.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
E-30 Body Estimated Street Price: $1,299
ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II lens Estimated Street Price: $599

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people’s lives every day. These include:

  • Digital Cameras
  • Professional Digital SLR Imaging Systems
  • Related Underwater Products and Accessories
  • Digital and Microcassette Recorders
  • Digital Media
  • Binoculars

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

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