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Initial thoughts after a week with the E-30
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.
My thoughts on the overall performance of the E-30 is that it performs just as I had hoped it would. It's fast and responsive.
The 11 point auto focus points were a nice jump from the 3 points with my E-510 and after figuring out how to change from one to the other, it became pretty easy to handle.
The larger 2.7 in screen was nice, not to mention the fact that it can tilt and swivel. I sort of missed the tilt and swivel option from when I owned a Canon S5 IS.
I noticed a difference in the dynamic range too. I wasn't blowing out highlights as easily as I did with the E-510. Less "blikies" are always a good thing!
The image quality doesn't disappoint and the 12.3mp allows for larger prints.
I haven't used the art filters yet, but I'm sure it'll be just one more thing that I can play around with. It definitely doesn't distract or degrade the high quality you get with this camera!
If you want to upgrade from the E-4XX or E-5XX models this camera will not disappoint. If you are looking at this as a new DSLR purchase it will be a great camera for you as well.