How does the latest four thirds addition fit into the enthusiast DSLR market?
One of the first things that strikes you when picking up the E-30 is how sturdy it feels in the hand. While it lacks the weatherproofing of its big brother, you get the feeling that the E-30 could more than handle a bump or two without too much cosmetic damage occurring.
The body of the E-30 is not all that much smaller than the E-3, being only 0.5mm, 8.5mm and 0.7mm smaller in width, height and depth respectively. However, the removal of the weatherproofing would probably account for the difference in weight between the pair, with the E-30 weighing in at just 655g, compared to the 810g of the E-3. This reduced weight is by no means to the detriment of the camera, though ? if anything, it?ll probably allow you a few more shots before having to give your wrist a break.
As mentioned previously, the top left of the E-30?s top-plate sees the addition of a mode dial ? an addition that serves as one of few indications that the E-30 is targeted at those who may not be immediately confident with much beyond PASM exposure modes. That said, the mode dial is useful in some situations. For example, if you regularly switch between the four conventional exposure modes, then the mode dial of the E-30 makes this process easier than it is on the E-3, where you have to hold down a mode button and use the control wheel, losing precious seconds of shooting time.
The introduction of the mode dial results in the AF and metering buttons being shifted to a new but comfortably reached location on the rear of the camera. The remaining buttons on the rear of the camera are intelligently distributed and, once acquainted with the layout, I found that the required function or change was never more than a few buttons away.