Olympus E-20 SLR Review
By Movable Type Admin
Introduction & Physical Views
Full review posted 11/12/01
Click on the E-20 to take a QuickTime VR tour
The Camedia E-20 SLR is the flagship of Olympus' E-Series of digital cameras. Building on the proven capabilities of the award-winning Camedia E-10 SLR with new technologies and features, the E-20 sets new standards for digital photography. Featuring a unique dual mode image capture capability: the Interlaced Scan mode allows for 5 Megapixel (effective) resolution to capture images with the highest possible detail. The Progressive Scan mode of 2.5 Megapixel (effective) resolution is for capturing fast-paced action or when shooting in very bright light, it extends the shutter speeds up to 1/18,000 second.
The Camedia E-20 features a 5-megapixel imager and lens technology specifically designed
to focus light evenly across the entire CCD surface. The all black aluminum body and
fast f2.0 9-36mm (35-140mm in 35mm) zoom lens is designed to maximize image quality.
Manufactured with Extra Dispersion (ED) glass, the lens features fully multicoated
elements with dual aspherical glass elements to reduce chromatic aberrations and deliver
the highest image quality of any lens built for a digital camera. A variety of matched
add-on lenses deliver the flexibility digital photographers need to maximize creativity.
Using Olympus' exclusive TruePic technology, the E-20 produces smoother gradations and true-to-life photographic images. A new Noise Reduction System produces clear, colorful images from ½ second to 60 seconds long in the Manual Mode and up to 8 minutes in Bulb, making low light and night photography truly available to the photographer. Exposure options are abundant with Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual as well as AE Bracketing and Time-lapse. Just as you would expect from a SLR, the E-20 has a manual zoom and focusing ring on the lens barrel and a real focusing screen. The autofocus system uses an Olympus-patented IR-active focus system for initial focus and a TTL passive focus for fine, accurate focus. Professionals will also appreciate the hot-shoe and PC flash connectivity for creative lighting.
Extremely easy to use, the Camedia E-20 offers one-touch buttons and dials as
alternative means to change program modes. Rather than navigate through layers of LCD
menu commands, the Camedia E-20 sports dedicated buttons to control shooting modes,
flash, white balance and media card settings. Aperture and shutter controls are set
using dials, enabling quick and easy access to a wide range of commonly used features and
The all-aluminum body gives the E-20 durability and strength including the "Mirror Box,"
which acts as a heat sink to reduce the heat generated by the imager and the internal
electronics to improve the photographic quality.
The 5-megapixel Olympus Camedia E-20 and Sony DSC-F707.
Continue on to
Olympus Camedia E-20 Specifications
|Product type:||Digital SLR camera with 4.5 cm/1.8 inch color TFT LCD monitor.|
|Effective pixel number:||4.95 million pixels
(Approx. 2.5 million pixels in progressive scan mode.)
(The actual number of pixels used in image processing.)
(Dual card slots)
|3V (3.3V) SmartMedia
(SSFDC) card (4 to 128 MB).
One 32 MB SmartMedia card is supplied with camera.
CompactFlash Type I/II (IBM Microdrive compatible)
|Recording system:||Still image: JPEG (DCF: "Design rule for Camera File system"), TIFF (non-compress), DPOF support, RAW data (Camera ships with Photoshop plug-in for RAW mode).|
|Image size:||2,560 X 1,920 (RAW,
TIFF, SHQ, HQ)
1,792 X 1,344 (SHQ, HQ, SQ)
1,280 X 960 (SHQ, HQ, SQ)
1,024 X 768 (SHQ, HQ, SQ)
640 X 480 (SHQ, HQ, SQ)
|Image pickup element:||2/3 inch CCD
solid-state image pickup 5.24 million pixels.
RGB interlaced scan.
|White balance:||Full-auto TTL, pre-set manual (3000, 3700, 4000, 4500, 5500, 6500 and 7500 °K) "one touch" manual.|
|Lens:||Olympus 4x zoom
lens, 9 - 36 mm F2.0-2.4, all glass zoom lens with one ED and two
aspherical lens elements (14 elements in 11 groups).
(Equivalent to 35 - 140 mm lens on 35 mm camera).
Optional 0.8x (wide) 1.45x, 3x (telephoto) and macro extension lenses.
|Filter size:||62 mm.|
|Light metering system:||Digital "ESP" multi-pattern metering system, centre-weighted average metering and spot metering.|
|Exposure control:||Programmed auto
+/- 3EV by 1/3EV steps exposure compensation. AE lock possible.
Auto bracketing: selectable from 1/3EV, 2/3EV and 1EV; 3 images.
|ISO:||Auto, user selectable (80, 160, 320 equivalent ISO).|
|Focusing:||Dual AF active and
passive TTL system autofocus (contrast detection system) with focusing range:
0.2 m - infinity (step-less).
Manual focus (setting by gauge) with focusing range: 0.2 m - infinity (step-less).
|Working range:||Standard mode: 0.6 m
Macro mode: 0.2 - 0.6 m.
viewfinder with 95% viewing field. (Full Information/Mode/Aperture/Shutter
Focusing screen (shows focus).
|LCD monitor:||4.5 cm/1.8 inch
wider angle color TFT LCD with 118,000 pixels
(made from low-temperature poly-silicon), brightness adjustment is possible.
LCD can be tilted down 20 and up 90 degrees (click stops).
|Video Out||E-20N, NTSC
|Flash guide number||Approx. 13 (ISO 80).|
Auto (low-& back-light), Red-eye Reducing flash, Off, Fill-in.
External terminal: (hot-shoe): FL-40 control available.
Slow synchronisation (First-curtain / second-curtain synchronisation effect).
|Flash working range:||Wide: 0.6 - 8.9
m (auto ISO).
Tele: 0.5 - 7.4 m (auto ISO).
|Shutter release time lag:||Approx. 60 msec.|
|Battery charging time for flash:||Less than 7 sec. (at normal temperature with new battery).|
|Sequence mode:||Interlace Scan mode:
Approx. 2.5 frames per sec. up to 4 frames (up to 3 frames in RAW data
Progressive Scan mode: Approx. 4.5 frames per sec. up to 7 frames.
Approx. 1 sec. shot to shot or faster at all times.
|Self-timer/remote controller:||12 sec. delay / 2 sec. after optional remote controller operation.|
|Outer connector:||DC input terminal,
USB AutoConnect interface (Storage Class).
Video output terminal, external flash terminal for FL-40 (shoe type connector), x synchronisation socket, remote controller jack.
|Operating environment:||Temperature: 0
- 40° C (operation), -20 - 60° C (storage).
Humidity: 30 - 90% (operation), 10 - 90% (storage).
|Power supply:||Main power source: 2
x lithium battery CR-V3 / LiPo battery with optional grip / 4 x AA Ni-MH
batteries / 4 x AA Ni-Cd batteries / optional AC adapter.
(Zinc carbon (manganese) and AA lithium batteries cannot be used.)
|Simultaneous recording onto image data.|
|Automatic calendar system:||Up to year 2030.|
|Dimensions:||128.5 (W) x 103.5 (H) x 161 (D) mm (excluding projections).|
|Weight:||1050 g (without lens cap, batteries and storage media).|
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