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Olympus E30 12.3MP Digital SLR with Image Stabilization (Body Only)

by Olympus
26 customer reviews

Available from these sellers.
  • 12.3-megapixel Live MOS imager for photo-quality prints up to 30 x 40 inches
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • 6 Art Filters; enjoy photographs that ordinarily require the use of special lenses, add-on filters, or the use of complex processing techniques
  • 270-degree Swivel 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD; Autofocus Live View with Face Detection
  • Dual card slot; compatible with UDMA-Type I, Type II, MicroDrive and xD Media Cards (not included)
1 new from $1,299.00 4 used from $411.98

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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

The Olympus E-30 is the newest addition to the interchangeable-lens digital SLRs (single lens reflex) within the Olympus E-System lineup. This new 12.3-megapixel, FourThirds-compliant camera reinforces the company's commitment to the standard. Positioned as a mid-level model, this new digital SLR camera is intended for anyone who wants to express their creativity through photography, whether they are just starting out or are a professional with years of experience behind them. The E-30 is a camera that has the speed of the E-3 and the freedom to express oneself with a variety of new creative features, from Art Filters that will let you control the way the image looks from a grainy black and white film to exaggerated colors. From the ability to shoot traditional multiple exposures in Live View for a wedding photographer, to the untraditional multiple exposure of the artistic, the E-30 is the camera for the creative shooter who wants to think differently and shoot in new ways.

Review from

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Olympus E-30 Digital SLR: Highly recommended by

The E-30 is the long-awaited high-end enthusiast model that fills the gap in the Olympus E-Series lineup between the E-520 and the ostensibly professional level E-3. Such is the pace of change in the digital camera market that the new model leapfrogs the E-3 by offering a higher pixel count (12MP), larger screen and improved contrast detect AF system - as well as introducing several novel features including a digital spirit level, multi exposures, aspect ratio options and a handful of built-in special image effects ('Art Filters' as Olympus calls them). It loses the E-3's class-leading weather sealing and has a slightly smaller optical viewfinder, but otherwise offers almost exactly the same features and performance in a slightly lighter, very slightly smaller and - at launch - similarly priced body.

Since this review was started Olympus has fleshed out the middle of its DSLR range even more with the announcement of the E-620. The E-620 takes a slightly cut-down version of the E-30's feature set and squeezes it into an incredibly compact body that isn't considerably bigger than the E-420. The E-30, in turn has seen hints of a coming price 'realignment' to a level more consistent with its market position.

The E-30 goes head to head with the Nikon D300, Canon EOS 40D/50D, Sony Alpha 700 and Pentax K20D, and - on paper at least - offers a compelling feature mix in the most attractive Olympus body for a long time. But does it have what it takes to do battle with the big beasts of the digital SLR jungle, and does it really offer a viable alternative to the E-3? Let's find out. Compared to E-3 - key differences

Although designed to sit between the E-520 / E-620 and E-3 in the E-Series lineup the E-30 is far nearer to the latter than it is to the consumer level models - with the added beneft of a year or so of development, meaning the E-30 gets all the new toys introduced since the E-3 (most important being contrast-detect AF). The biggest differences are the body material and weatherproofing (where the E-3 wins hands down), the viewfinder (the E-3 is again the winner, though anyone moving from one of the consumer level four-thirds SLRs is going to see a huge improvement in both size and brightness) and the sensor - up from 10 to 12 megapixels. There are also a handful of new features and spec changes.
  • Glass fiber reinforced plastic vs weatherproof magnesium alloy body shell
  • Slightly (8mm) shorter and around 115g lighter
  • Slightly smaller viewfinder with reduced frame coverage
  • New 12MP LiveMOS sensor (E-3: 10.1 MP)
  • Brighter and larger LCD screen
  • E-30 has a mode dial
  • Art Filters, multiple exposures, aspect ratio options and lots of scene modes
  • No card door lock, no eyepiece shutter
  • AF fine tuning for up to 20 lenses (and per AF point!)
  • Built-in digital level guage
  • Contrast detect (Imager) AF with face detection
  • Slightly reduced raw buffer size (12 frames)
  • Adds vertical panning mode to stabilizer (IS3)
Compared to E-620 - key differences

The E-620 offers a lot of the E-30 condensed into a smaller, more consumer-friendly body. The viewfinder is smaller, but the cameras share the same 12 megapixel sensor, Truepix III+ processing and a great many other features. The differences between the two cameras are easier to list than the similarities:
  • E-30 is larger (by around 1cm in each dimension) and around 180g heavier (body only)
  • Visibly larger viewfinder with better frame coverage (E-620: 0.96x, 95%, E-30: 1.02x, 98%)
  • 11-point (all cross-type) vs 7-point AF (5 cross-type)
  • E-620 actually has slightly improved LCD (Hypercrystal III, vs. E-30s' version II unit)
  • Two control diasl (E-620 only has one)
  • Faster continuous shooting rate and larger buffer
  • Fewer aspect ratio crops (3 vs. 8)
  • No built-in digital level gauge
  • Only allows two exposures to be overlaid in multi-exposure mode (vs. 4)
  • No PC flash sync or DC-in sockets
  • Slower x-sync (1/180 sec vs. 1/250 sec) and max shutter speed (1/4000 sec vs. 1/8000 sec)
  • Lower capacity BLS-1 battery (7.2V 1150 mAh) vs. BLM-1 (7.2V 1500 mAh)
Key feature comparison (vs E-3 and E-620)

Olympus now offers one of the roundest, fullest digital SLR lineups on the market, with a relatively logical progression from the entry-level E-420 to the flagship E-3. Where Olympus is slightly different to other manufacturers is that you rarely see much difference in sensor resolution from model to model (we'd expect the entire range to be 12 megapixels by the end of the year - and to stay there for quite some time). Instead moving up the range gets you gradually better viewfinder, gradually more advanced features and more sophisticated controls, higher performance, and an increasingly large body design with increasingly robust construction.

And compared to some manufacturers Olympus doesn't tend to dumb down its entry level models quite so aggressively, which means that the three cameras here actually share a lot of features. The key differences for most users are going to be the viewfinder, screen, continuous shooting and physical design, though you also get gradually more customization options as you move up the range.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 3 x 4.2 inches ; 1.5 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B001K3JPRA
  • Item model number: E30 Body
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,612 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at November 5, 2008

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras and lenses on our review pages: Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 7, 2009
After owning an Olympus E-510 for 8 months I had been looking forward to an upgrade to the E-3. When Olympus announced the new E-30 in November the upgrade waters became a little muddied. I poured over the differences between the E-3 and the E-30 and then waited for some of the initial Olympus reviews to come out. I further waited to hear from the more well known internet Olympus users and bloggers to see what they had to say. After all, they were used to shooting Olympus and had done so with most of the models currently out. Once I knew that the E-30 performed similarly to the E-3 I knew now that I had to pick one over the other. But which one?

Basically, any camera purchase will be based on a personal style and liking and not everyone chooses the same system or the same camera within a system. Gotta love diversity!

What I knew about Olympus that I already liked were the Zuiko lenses, the in body image stabilization, the smaller, lighter (but not cheap feeling) bodies, the image quality, the live view, the intuitive design of the menu system, their dust reduction capabilities, and their built-from-the-ground-up digital system.

I chose the E-30 over the E-3 because of two main reasons:

One was the fact that the E-30 contained much of the innovation and performance of the E-3, but with newer technology. In the digital world, I felt that was a plus.

The second was the actual weight difference. While I think the weather sealed body of the E-3 is great for someone who actually will need it, I couldn't see myself shooting in the rain. Since I have a bit of arthritis in my hands and wrists already, the lighter body of the E-30 was a better fit for me.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By MEDISIN on January 28, 2009
As an early adopter of the E-500 and it's quality kit lenses, I've had my eye on the flagship, tank-like E-3 as my next Oly body. Then the announcement in November that Olympus was set to introduce a mid-range camera that built on many of the successes from both the E-5X0 and the E-3. Having mulled over the decision for two months, reading every review, watching every video and scrutenizing the owners manual I pulled the trigger on the E-30 with the 14-42mm "standard grade" kit lens. Tough decision to make with the E-3 body's selling for the same price as the E-30! What ultimately convinced me was the E-30 offered everything I loved about the E-3 in a slightly smaller package.

First impressions:
Feels great in hand! Good weight distribution, nice balance. Bright beautiful, viewfinder - huge improvement over the E-4X0 and E-5X0 models. LCD has excellent contrast and renders colors accurately. Back lit top panel display is easy to read. Faster focus in hybrid live view than I expected. Shutter is a bit metallic but not intrusive.

Live view for checking focus in macro and composing cityscape's at night.
Articulating screen for getting shots on or near the ground.
SSWF "battle-tested" dust removal system.
Image stabilized body that works with all FourThirds lenses.
Built-in leveler that detects pitch and roll to help snap straighter shots.

xD card slot is a waste of space and should be replaced with SDHC.
I could do without the "creative filters". Some may find them interesting.
The 14-42 kit lens included is nothing to write home about. Feels a bit toyish but responds well on the E-30 and is very lightweight.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Luke on April 6, 2009
I'd been debating about buying this camera for a while. I have an E-1 and an E-510 which both work just fine. I have a lot of lenses which means I'm not switching brands anytime soon. I kept telling myself I didn't NEED the E-30, but then I got to see one in person and I fell in love! It's the perfect size for me... a little larger than the 510 but it handles the larger lenses very well. I LOVE the art filters - and the fact that if you shoot Raw + jpg, then you get the jpg with the art filter and the original Raw in case you didn't like the effect! :) I might not use the filters that often, but I love having options. ;)

I love the articulating screen - that was one of the biggest selling factors for me. What amazes me though is the vibrant colors this thing produces... straight out of the camera I'm floored with how wonderful the pictures are. IT's 100 times better than my 510. I loved my 510, but this camera is amazing. :) BUY ONE! NOW! lol....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Sarma on January 5, 2010
I started out with an E-510, went to the 520, then took a couple of steps back and started using the E-1 and the E-500, then added the E-3 to my bag which saw about 6 months use, but all the jumping around came to an end the day I bought the E-30. After exactly two months, I've sold all my old Olympus gear (except the E-1) and I'm happy to say that I'm very satisfied with my purchase of the E-30.

The E-30 is not just an E-3 packed into a smaller body, it's much more! The AF system seems vastly improved over the E-3, the LCD screen is slightly better, IQ at higher ISOs is a lot more usable as there is no banding and the overall size is a lot more manageable.

Let me start with some Pros:

1. AF system is a huge upgrade, the E-30 seems to have an AF system which is much more sure footed and accurate than the E-3. The biggest plus is the ability to perform micro adjustment on the AF. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Four Thirds Lens for Olympus and Panasonic Digital Cameras is one of my favourite lenses which unfortunately had AF problems on every 4/3s body, but with the E-30, I've dialled in an AF adjustment and it works flawlessly! In the S-T-D mode the AF is simply spectacular, locking focus in very, very low light! In short, the AF is a huge upgrade from the E-3.

2. IQ is an improvement over all other 4/3s bodies. In fact the IQ of the E-30 came closes to what I was used to seeing from the E-1; accurate white balance and excellent colours with lovely saturation and just the right amount of contrast. The sharpening is a touch too much for my taste, but keeping it at -1 makes the images look a lot nicer with lesser noise.
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