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Olympus E330 | Digital Camera Review | Control
The Olympus E330 is a compact digital SLR camera with a large amount of buttons. Fortunately, this does not complicate the camera's operation. All features are easily accessible, and the handgrip ensures the Olympus E330 camera is comfortable to hold. The FourThirds system helps to keep the Olympus E330 compact, even when equipped with a lens, as this system allows very compact designing of lenses. This proves ideal during travels, as well as for those who simply prefer to carry a camera along at all times.
Olympus E330 | Digital Camera Olympus E330 | Digital Camera
Olympus E330 d-SLR - Dust reduction system
The fact that the Olympus E330 has a built-in dust reduction system is a more that welcome addition. Furthermore, the Super Sonic Wave filter seems to be in excellent working order, although it should be said that this remains tricky to check during a test period. The downside of the method created by Olympus, however, is that the filter is activated every time the camera is switched on. Consequently, it takes approximately two seconds before you are ready to capture your first image, which is admittedly just a tad too long. The new Sony Alpha 100 also features a dust filter, but this one is only activated when the camera is switched off. This proves less bothersome, although we should point out perhaps also less effective, as dust can also enter the camera when it is switched off.

Olympus E-330 digitale SLR - Live view
It goes without saying that the live view offered by the Olympus E330 DSLR is a simply unique feature. Fortunately, you also have the option to look through the viewfinder; which often proves a little less hectic, and saves power. After all, you generally maintain a more stable hold on the camera when looking through the viewfinder. Unfortunately however, the viewfinder is fairly small and -in my opinion- slightly too dark. The size is related to the relatively small sensor, although Nikon have proven with their D200 that it is indeed possible to achieve a larger view. The fact that the viewfinder is dark is caused by the semi-transparent mirror that is used to send part of the light beams to the second CCD image sensor for live view. This proves live view isn't entirely without disadvantages. Live view mode A allows you to keep using the auto focus. In fact, it is almost like shooting with a compact camera. Regrettably, you do miss a lot of the view. When using live view A, you are presented with a view of approximately 92%. When looking through the viewfinder, you will have a coverage of 94%, which is reasonable, but it should be said that 92% simply does not suffice.

Olympus E-330 SLR - Live view mode B
The live view mode B does offer 100% coverage. After all, this means you will see the image that is caught by the image sensor. However, seeing as the mirror will be flipped out, the auto focus will no longer receive a signal which means you will have to focus manually, something that may very well prove beneficial for macro images. It enables you to work more accurately, whilst the viewfinder offers next to no options to focus; it is simply too small and too dark. However, with the latest firmware update, which we have not been able to test, Olympus have added an AF option.
The mirror is folded back ever so briefly, so that the focussing can take place. The fact that the white balance can not be adjusted when working with live view proves to be a great loss. Consequently, what is seen on the screen may prove to be significantly different from the end result as far as the colours are concerned. This caused some serious miscalculations on my part when I first started to work with it. When operating in low-light conditions, live view turns out to be quite disappointing. A live view boost can be activated, but this will create a very grainy view, which doesn't exactly help. Despite the aforementioned disadvantages, I still remain an advocate for the presence of live view on a SLR camera. Especially when it is combined with a flip-out monitor like the one on the Olympus E330. This significantly simplifies the process of capturing an image from a low or high position, whilst preventing possible back sprains.

Olympus E330 digital SLR - Short reaction time
During photographing the Olympus E330 leaves very little room for criticism. The camera reacts swiftly to the shutter release button, and the images are rapidly written onto the memory card, particularly when working with a fast Extreme III CompactFlash memory card by SanDisk. Focussing does not present any hurdles for the Olympus E330. Although the Olympus E330 may prove just a little too slow for real action moments, such as photographing during matches, I think it is safe to say the majority of the users are unlikely to run into obstacles or limitations. The buffer is able to hold four RAW or TIFF images, which is an excellent performance. When working with JPEG format images, the buffer will rarely be needed.

Olympus E-330 SLR - Adjust settings
The monitor on the back of the camera proves very pleasant to work with. First and foremost because it shows a great deal of information. Pressing the OK button enables you to adjust a setting very quickly indeed. Simply use the mode dial to browse to the desired setting on the information screen, press OK for a second time - and you will be able to access it. Once you have familiarised yourself with this operation process, you will hardly ever feel the need to browse through the menu. Very clever indeed, and most user-friendly!
Olympus E330 Olympus E330
   
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