Olympus E-3 SLR Review

Click for main menu

Olympus E-3 dSLR

Features & Controls

The eye-level viewfinder shows 100% of the field of view, includes diopter compensation of -3 to +1 and has an interchangeable - eyecup EP-7 is supplied with Magnifier Eyecup ME-1 available. If desired, there is a cover that can be closed over the eyepiece - note the lever below the diopter adjustment knob. Viewfinder magnification is approx. 1.15x and eye point is approx. 20mm.

Olympus E-3 dSLR

The focusing screen is changeable by a service center, a Neo Lumi-Micro matte screen supplied and can be changed to a grid matte type. Along the bottom of the viewfinder you can see an info bar that displays current settings and data including Aperture value, Shutter speed, Record mode, AF confirmation mark, Flash, WB, AE lock, Number of storable still images, Exposure compensation value, Metering mode, Battery warning, Exposure mode, AF frame (super impose), IS, Bracket and ISO value.

The E-3's hot shoe accepts external flash units like the Olympus FL-50 and the FL-36R, shown below.

Olympus E-3 dSLR

The FL-50R is an external flash unit that allows wireless flash settings to be controlled from the camera body. Wireless flash transmission channel settings enable selection of flash/no flash for groups of multiple flash units. In addition it allows TTL auto, auto, and manual modes to be set; offers a bounce and swivel head; and flash coverage is automatically adjusted in several steps to correspond to the image area when zooming.

The FL-50 provides GN28 at a 12mm focal length (equivalent to 24mm on a 35mm camera; ISO 100) and GN50 at 42mm focal length (equivalent to 85mm on a 35mm camera; ISO 100).

The MSRP is $499.99 US

Olympus E-3 dSLR

The FL-36R is a lightweight and compact wireless external flash. Wireless flash transmission channel settings can be controlled from the camera body, and they enable selection of flash/no flash for groups of multiple flash units. It's equipped with a 1/8 step illumination control for precision shooting, a wide-angle diffuser panel for even illumination with wide-angle lenses and a compact zoom head to accommodate lenses from wide-angle to telephoto.

The MSRP is $299.99 US

Olympus E-3 dSLR

Controls on top of the E-3, starting on the upper left of the photo are Flash Mode and Intensity selectors, and below them a button that toggles the Metering mode, AF mode and the AE bracketing options. To the right of the pentaprism we first see a button to light up the monochrome Control Panel, then the White Balance/WB bracketing selector, the Exposure compensation button and the ISO sensitivity button.

Olympus E-3 dSLR

The monochrome Control Panel LCD on top of the E-3 offers information on camera settings, in this example all possible icons are shown.

Olympus E-3 dSLR

On the back of the E-3, directly below the color LCD you can see the Erase button on the left then moving right the Info button, the Menu button, the Live View selector and the Power Switch. Directly above the Power Switch is the Image Stabilizer button. On the far right is the Card Cover lock.

You'll notice an Arrow Pad as the largest control on the back with the OK button in the center.

Above the Arrow Pad you can see the Playback button and about that is the Main Dial. Farthest right you will notice an AF Target button and moving toward the eyepiece the Function button and an AEL/AFL button.

The sharp 2.5" HyperCrystal LCD displays 230,000 pixels and provides a Live View function showing a 100% field of view, Exposure adjustment pre-view, White balance adjustment pre-view, Gradation auto pre-view, Grid line displayable, 5x/7x/10x magnification possible, MF/S-AF, AF frame display, AF point display, Shooting information and a Histogram. The LCD has a brightness control with15 levels of brightness.

Olympus E-3 dSLR

Directly below the Shutter Release on the grip you can see the Sub control dial.

Continue on to
Page Four

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.