The 11.8-megapixel Olympus E-3 replaces the E-1 as Olympus's range-topping 'professional standard' digital SLR.

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Olympus E-3

Overall score:90%
Image Quality:90%


  • Build, interface, stabilisation, detail, LCD screen.


  • Slowish frame rate, noise at high ISO.


Olympus E-3 Review


Price as reviewed:



The E-3 doesn’t offer many innovations, compared to either its competitors or Olympus lower-end models. What it does offer, though, is a fantastic build quality, excellent images and a functional, pleasant user experience. The Four Thirds system continues to impress and fans of the system are sure to have the E-3 on their shopping list. There are a few features that in camera Top Trumps, the Olympus E-3 would lose against its closest rivals ? for example, the relatively low resolution and the 5fps burst rate. For the majority of general-purpose photographers though, the Olympus E-3 is a fine all-rounder and an absolute jewel to use.


Built-in Flash:Built-in GN 13m @ ISO 100, Hotshoe
Max Flash Sync:1/250sec, 1/8000sec FP
PC Socket:-
Cable Release:No
AF Points:Manual, AF, 11-point biaxial
DoF Prview:Yes Preview button
Colour Temp Control:1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature (2000K - 14000K)
White Balance Bracket:Yes +/- 7 in each R-B / G-M axis (in Auto WB and preset WB mode)
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Weight:810g (body only)
Built-in Image Stabilisation:Type - Sensor shift. Modes - Two-dimensional or one-dimensional activation
Dust Reduction:Supersonic Wave Filter
Focusing Modes:TTL phase difference detection system, AF illuminator, AF lock, AE/AF lock button (customised), Focus tracking, Manual,Single AF, Single AF + MF, Continuous AF, Continuous AF + MF. Detectionrange -2 - 19 EV (ISO 100)
Shutter Type:Computerised focal-plane shutter. Shutter release -soft touch electromagnetic. Self timer and anti shock
Exposure Comp:Exposure compensation +/- 5 EV / 1, 1/2, 1/3 steps. Exposure bracketing 3 / 5 frames / +/- 1/3, 2/3, 1 EV steps
Dimensions:142.5 x 116.5 x 74.5 mm (without protrusions)
Memory Card:CF, xD
Field of View:Approx. 1.15 x with a 50mm lens set to infinity at -1 dioptre
Connectivity:USB 2.0
Power:BLM-1 Li-Ion battery (included)
Live Mode:100% field of view, exposure adjustment preview, white balance adjustment preview, gradation auto preview, gridline displayable, 5x/7x/10x magnification possible, MF/S-AF, AF frame display, AF point display, shooting information, histogrammep
Viewfinder Type:100% view. Eye-level Pentaprism type optical view finder.
White Balance:Auto, manual, colour temp, 7 Preset, custom, bracketing
Metering System:49-zone ESP, CW, spot, shadow and highlight spot
Drive Mode:Single, continuous, 5fps
Exposure Modes:P, A, S, M
Shutter Speeds:30-1/8000sec, Bulb
Compression:JPEG compression 1/2.7, 1/4, 1/8, 1/12 SHQ 1/2.7, 1/4, 1/8, 1/12 HQ 1/2.7, 1/4, 1/8, 1/12 SQ
File Format:RAW, JPEG, RAW +JPEG
Lens Mount:Four Thirds
Focal Length Mag:2x
Output Size:3648 x 2736, 3200 x 2400, 2560 x 1920, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480
LCD:Multi-angle HyperCrystal LCD (semi-transmissive TFT colour LCD). 6.4 cm / 2.5 ''. 230,000 pixels
Sensor:4/3 Live MOS 17.3 x 13mm / 11.8MP / 10.1MP eff
  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features: Page 1
  3. 3. Features: Page 2
  4. 4. Handling & Performance: Page 1
  5. 5. Handling & Performance: Page 2
  6. 6. Image Quality
  7. 7. Value For Money
  8. 8. Verdict
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