Olympus E-20 SLR Review
Camera Features & Controls
The E-20 features dual AF-Active (IR and passive TTL) system
autofocus (contrast detection system) with a step-less focusing range of 0.2m to
infinity. Manual focus range is also step-less from 0.2m to infinity.
Standard focus mode covers 0.6m to infinity, Macro mode coverage is 0.2 to 0.6m.
Olympus has a 0.8X wideangle, a 1.45X and 3X telephoto converter and
a macro extension lens option especially for the E-20 (and E-10).
Want to see the TCON-300 telephoto adapter lens in action? Check out the
firsthand experience of David Weikel at his web site.
The E-20 (and E-10) uses a beam-splitting prism to allow the camera to act like
a conventional SLR even though it does not have the usual mirror found in its
The eyelevel viewfinder shows approximately 95% of the captured image and includes
diopter correction. Inside the large and bright viewfinder you'll find a clearly defined
focus area (with a real focusing screen) and spot metering area. Below is a status
line with flash, focus and exposure information. For self-timer, remote or long exposures
there is a shutter that can be closed over the eyepiece.
The built-in flash features five modes (Automatic, Fill, Redeye Reduction, Slow Synchro,
Slow Synchro w/Redeye.) The flash intensity level can be adjusted from -2 to +2 in 1/3 EV
increments. The effective range is 0.6 to 18.3 feet (0.2 to 5.6m) at ISO 100.
The flash hot shoe accepts the more powerful
Olympus FL-40 external flash and operates it in full TTL
control mode. The FL-40 gives you bounce flash capability and greatly enhances the
infrared focus-assist system with its own IR sensor.
The internal flash and FL-40 can be used simultaneously. Third-party
external flashes and studio lights can be connected to the PC sync terminal on the side
of the camera.
Thanks to David Weikel we now know that Olympus has finally come out with their own off-camera shoe cord (part FL-CB05) for about $60.
You can see it in action mounted on a Stroboframe bracket at Dave's web site
by clicking here.
On top is where you'll find the majority of the controls. Most buttons are held down while turning the Main Dial or Sub Dial on the back. Selections are indicated by icons on the monochrome data display. Across the top are the flash mode and image resolution buttons. The unmarked dial is the Main Dial, next to that is the white balance button.
Below the LCD is the SM/CF button for selecting the SmartMedia or CompactFlash card
slot. The Light button illuminates the data LCD (as shown here). On the back edge is
the Sub Dial, it also controls the display in Play mode (index, zoomed, info, histogram).
The AEL is the autoexposure lock button.
The Mode Dial (Power switch around the base) has positions for:
Shutter priority - You select desired shutter speed (2 - 1/640 sec. [interlaced] 1/18,000 [progressive]) and camera picks the aperture
Aperture priority - You select desired aperture (Wide: F2.0 - 11.0, tele: F2.4 - 11.0 1/3EV steps) and camera picks the shutter speed
Program AE - Camera picks best combination of shutter speed and aperture
- Playback of stored images on LCD or television
- Embed DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) information on the card
- Connect to PC to download via USB port.
Setup menu options:
Here's a look at the adjustable-angle color LCD in action.
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