If we are to admit one thing, it is that the Olympus E330 has a slightly peculiar look to it. This is caused mainly by the fact that the prism housing on top, something we have been used to for years, is missing. Instead, the Olympus E330 is equipped with a so-called Porro-prism. The light is transferred to the side of the camera via the mirror, whereupon it is sent to the ocular by mirrors. This somewhat resembles the construction that we have seen Minolta use with the Vectis APS SLR camera in the past. As a result, the viewfinder is located all the way at the corner, something you also see with a rangefinder camera. This is ideal for those who are used to photographing with their right eye; your nose fits perfectly beside the camera.
Olympus E330 d-SLR - Camera design
When looking at the front side of the camera, you instantly notice the absence of the prism housing. The Olympus E330 digital SLR has a virtually flat top side. The camera's front side features a reasonably sober design. Next to the bayonet mount, we see a button that enables you to remove the lens. On the handgrip we find a LED that signals the activation of the self-timer. At first glance, this might come across as a slightly illogical position; after all, this means the LED will be covered when holding the camera. However, one should keep in mind that when capturing a shot with help of the self-timer, you will not hold the camera in the usual way, which means the location of the LED isn't quite so strange.
Olympus E-330 - Buttons & Connections
The sides of the Olympus E330 are also fairly empty. On the left side of the camera we find the connection for the USB interface, hidden behind a rubber lid. On the right, we see the door of the compartment that houses the flash memory cards. The Olympus E330 is able to use both xD Picture cards and CompactFlash memory cards. Naturally, we also find the eyelets for the camera strap here. When looking at the camera's top side, we see the flash shoe for an external flash located on top of the ocular. The hot-shoe is positioned next to the built-in flash. As one would expect, the handgrip holds the shutter release button, which has an excellent pressure point. Right behind it, we see a button which serves to control the exposure compensation. In the centre we find the switch for the exposure modes, which is surrounded by the main switch. The mode dial, half-hidden below the control dial, can be easily reached with your thumb. To complete the picture, we see a small light that indicates when the SSWF (Anti dust filter) is active.
Olympus E330 - Tilting LCD display
The back side of the Olympus E330 DSLR proves to be a lot more crowded. The large 2.5 inch LCD monitor takes a prominent place. The ability to tilt the LCD monitor does result in a slight loss of space. The ocular is located directly above the monitor. The rubber around it can be removed, so that the user is able to attach optional accessories. The dioptre button enables you to adjust the dioptre of the ocular. The lever that serves to shut the optical viewfinder is located immediately right of the ocular. Beside it, we find the switch to alternate between Live View Mode A and B. The button to actually get live view is found next to it. Left of the monitor we see the buttons that serve to review and delete the images, as well as the menu button and an info button. The latter allows you to change the displayed information on the screen. At the top right, we find the button to flip-up the built-in flash. Just as was the case with the E300, the camera uses a special hinge construction, so that the flash also folds up high. On the right side of the monitor we find the exposure and focus lock. These help you to protect your images when reviewing. The button below allows you to set the image speed, or send the photos to the printer. The four buttons positioned in the circle enable you to control the white balance, the focus, the sensitivity and the light metering. In the centre of these four buttons, we find the OK button, which allows you to confirm actions.
Olympus E-330 SLR - BLM-1 Lithium Ion battery
The Olympus BLM-1 Lithium Ion battery is placed in the lower part of the handgrip. The lid is equipped with a solid lock to help prevent accidental opening. Naturally, the Olympus E330 digital SLR features a universal tripod mount, which is -as expected- made of metal. The tripod mount is surrounded by a small rubber mat, which ensures the camera will not wobble when placed on a table. The handgrip offers a stable hold and ensures a secure feeling when photographing. As one would expect, the Olympus E-330 features a neat, high-quality finish.