New enthusiasts DSLR features novel 3D orientation sensor
Until now, the Olympus Four Thirds platform DSLR line up included the E-420 and E-520, competing for the budget-conscious photographer, and the E-3, a semi-professional model. Today's announcement of the E-30, which is scheduled to be available early in January 2009, plugs the gap between the E-520 and E-3.
To go with the new E-30 is a revised old favourite from the Olympus Digital Zuiko lens range, the 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 II. This is a premium quality, splash-proof, standard zoom with a focal length range equivalent to 28-108mm. It's optically identical to the original version, but has a new focus motor to make it compatible with full time live view AF. It's also the natural standard zoom for the E-30.
The E-30 certainly has some interesting tricks, including a three dimensional orientation sensor, or digital level, and an Art Filter feature that can aid creativity when composing scenes using Live View.
The new Olympus E-30 is aimed squarely at Olympus fans who can't justify the expense of an E-3
We have a detailed E-30 analysis article over at or Four Thirds User site. But here is a brief summary of what the E-30 offers:
- 12 megapixel Live MOS sensor, with integrated SSWF dust protection.
- Moving sensor image stabilisation, up to 5-stop headroom extension (ideal conditions measured by Olympus)
- Three dimensional camera orientation sensor, or digital level for vertical and horizontal framing alignment
- Full time live view AF with selected Four Thirds lenses, including face recognition
- Live view Art filters and multiple exposure (4 frames) facility
- 2.7 inch fully articulated live view LCD screen, 230,000 dots (77,000 pixels)
- Top plate status LCD
- 1/8000th second top shutter speed, 1/250th flash sync.
- External white balance sensor
- 11-point cross-type AF system
- 5 frames per second continuous shooting with support for UDMA memory cards
- Large view tilted pentaprism reflex viewfinder with 95% frame coverage
- Compatibility with optional HLD-4 power grip (same grip as the E-3)
- Front and rear command dials
- Built in pop-up flash which acts as master for Olympus R-series wireless remote flash units (four channels).
The E-30 isn't splash proofed like the next model up, the E-3, and nor does it have the super-strong Thixo magnesium alloy chassis of the E-3. The lack of a super hi-resolution LCD will be debated by Olympus fans, as will be the standard plastic chassis construction. But the E-30 does borrow many of the best features of the E-520 and the E-3, as well as throw a few exclusives in of its own.
UK pricing has not been decided at the time of writing, though in the US the E-30 has been tagged at $1299, with the Zuiko Digital 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II priced $599. The E-30 guide price brings the E-30 about $200 under current discount prices for an E-3 body, though we can probably expect additional discounting on the E-30 when it goes on sale in January.
For more on the E-30, read the analysis feature over at Four Thirds User.
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Olympus plugs gap with new E-30 Four Thirds DSLR
DPNow Olympus plugs gap with new E-30 Four Thirds DSLR
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