Olympus E-30 digital SLR camera
Olympus is fond of the limelight, and has worked on the FourThirds system for the last few years. It once started in 2003 with the E-1 and we have witnessed, in particular over the last few years, an enhanced speed of introducing innovative improvements and renewals. Live View was adopted by Olympus at an early stage; an extremely compact and light DSLR (E410/E420) also came rolling off the Olympus fabrication line. Not so long ago, Olympus presented its flagship, the E-3, and now comes with a semipro version; the Olympus E30. And we are not talking about a stripped-down model, on the contrary; the E30 has even been improved or enhanced on some points.
Olympus E-30 shows a lot of resemblances with the E-3
It is quite hard to refrain from accusing Olympus of committing some sort of cannibalism. Because if you look at it all, you will have to conclude that the main difference is mainly found in the housing. And that sums it all up, since the Olympus E-30 has a lot to offer; in fact, it offers more than its money’s worth. 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.
Olympus E30 SLR offers good image quality
However, Olympus has not gained much as far as signal/noise ratio is concerned. Although the increased resolution does not lead to a significant increase of noise, it can't be considered as a huge step forward with the Olympus E-30. However, I must admit this conclusion can only be drawn if we compare it to the EOS 50D. The image quality stands strong with vivid colors and excellent dynamic range.
Olympus E30 offers many creative possibilities
The Olympus E-30 has an astounding amount of possibilities to offer. And among these many possibilities, there are many interesting innovative image solutions. The Art Filter set offers an extra dimension and leads to creative ideas; it can make you look at a picture in an entirely different way. The enhanced choice for image ratios is also appealing to experiment with. Handy is the built-in level (horizontal and vertical) which makes you keep your lines straight. And the multi-exposure function makes existing possibilities available faster and in a simpler way.
Olympus E-30 an SLR that challenges you!
After intensive testing in practice combined with the technical tests in the DIWA Lab, we soon reach a verdict that the Olympus E30 is a serious DSLR offering extensive functionality. It's true that on some points the camera is being surpassed by some competitors; but the overall impression of the camera is that it is a strong and convincing DSLR camera. The Olympus E-30 is a pleasant camera to work with, one that challenges the photographer to be creative and to venture beyond just that simple snapshot; a real challenge!
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Olympus E30 supports RAW & JPEG
Sadly enough, Olympus did not further develop the dual card slot by offering support to mixed storage of RAW and JPEG. It would have been convenient if RAW pictures could be stored on one card and JPEG on the other. Or to support continuous shooting by automatically using the second card in case the first one is full. Now, you have to manually choose which card has to be used for storage. Details such as described before could make a photographer's life more pleasant.
SanDisk Extreme IV memory card
The JPEG files of the Olympus E-30 are approximately 8.2MB in highest quality. In RAW or ORF if you prefer the Olympus name, the files are approximately 13.9MB. Despite the file sizes, the E-30 is able to keep up its speed with 5fps. The buffer can hold up to 12 RAW pictures which is quite an achievement offering you enough space. The Olympus E3 is the only camera surpassing this amount with 19 RAW pictures. Depending on the compression ratio and/or the amount of pixels, you can let your hair down! With the amount of approximately 280 pictures on a fast memory card such as the SanDisk Extreme IV, you will not easily be short of space.
Considering 1GB of storage capacity:
Resolution 4032x3024 pixels - RAW (ORF) - 13.9MB - 4:3 - 72 pictures
Resolution 4032x3024 pixels - JPEG SF - 8.2MB - 4:3 - 121 pictures
Resolution 4032x3024 pixels - JPEG F - 5.7MB - 4:3 - 175 pictures
Resolution 4032x3024 pixels - JPEG N - 2.7MB - 4:3 - 376 pictures
Resolution 4032x3024 pixels - JPEG B - 1.8MB - 4:3 - 561 pictures
Resolution 3200x2400 pixels - JPEG SF - 5.4MB - 4:3 - 187 pictures
Resolution 3200x2400 pixels - JPEG F - 3.4MB - 4:3 - 300 pictures
Resolution 3200x2400 pixels - JPEG N - 1.7MB - 4:3 - 592 pictures
Resolution 3200x2400 pixels - JPEG B - 1.2MB - 4:3 - 876 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 pixels - JPEG SF - 2.2MB - 4:3 - 316 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 pixels - JPEG F - 2.2MB - 4:3 - 466 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 pixels - JPEG N - 1.1MB - 4:3 - 913 pictures
Resolution 2560x1920 pixels - JPEG B - 0.8MB - 4:3 - 1361 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 pixels - JPEG SF - 1.3MB - 4:3 - 789 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 pixels - JPEG F - 0.9MB - 4:3 - 1163 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 pixels - JPEG N - 0.5MB - 4:3 - 2205 pictures
Resolution 1600x1200 pixels - JPEG B - 0.4MB - 4:3 - 3198 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 pixels - JPEG SF - 0.9MB - 4:3 - 1230 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 pixels - JPEG F - 0.6MB - 4:3 - 1776 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 pixels - JPEG N - 0.3MB - 4:3 - 3366 pictures
Resolution 1280x960 pixels - JPEG B - 0.3MB - 4:3 - 4569 pictures
Resolution 1024x768 pixels - JPEG SF - 0.6MB - 4:3 - 1881 pictures
Resolution 1024x768 pixels - JPEG F - 0.4MB - 4:3 - 2665 pictures
Resolution 1024x768 pixels - JPEG N - 0.3MB - 4:3 - 4920 pictures
Resolution 1024x768 pixels - JPEG B - 0.2MB - 4:3 - 6396 pictures
Resolution 640x480 pixels - JPEG SF - 0.3MB - 4:3 - 4264 pictures
Resolution 640x480 pixels - JPEG F - 0.2MB - 4:3 - 5815 pictures
Resolution 640x480 pixels - JPEG N - 0.1MB - 4:3 - 9138 pictures
Resolution 640x480 pixels - JPEG B - 0.1MB - 4:3 - 12793 pictures