Olympus E-330 SLR Review
Lens Mount, Lenses, Imager, Live View
The Evolt E-330 is constructed of high-impact polycarbonate plastic over a durable steel chassis. It measures 140 x 87 x 72 mm / 5.5" x 3.4" x 2.8" (WHD). Weighing only 550g / 1.2 lb., the EVOLT E-330 is light and compact enough to comfortably shoot with all day without fatigue.
The E-330 continues the prismless "flat top" look first seen in the E-300 model, but as you will
see below, there's a lot of new technology inside.
The all-metal lens mount for the Four Thirds System is twice the diagonal measurement
of the imager. With this lens mount the body size, lens size and overall weight are
reduced. The focal length multiplier is 2x, a 14-45mm lens is the equivalent to 28-90mm
in 35mm photography.
Digital Specific "Smart" Lenses
Olympus Zuiko Digital Lenses are designed so light strikes the camera's image sensor directly, ensuring rich, accurate colors, sharp contrasts and bright images even at the edges.
Lenses that are smart, that talk with the camera about their specific optical designs and imaging information. Lenses, particularly zoom lenses have some distortion. This is true of all manufacturers. Zuiko Digital Lenses store data in the header portion of the digital file allowing for software-assisted correction of anomalies including pin cushion and barrel distortion.
Shoot wide open or stopped all the way down and achieve superior results over 35mm film based lenses. Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses are about three times the resolution of ordinary film based lenses.
The Smart Lens Design allows users to shoot with the most current firmware versions of each particular E SLR System component. Update the camera system using:
Zuiko Digital 14-45mm and 40-150mm
The Zuiko Digital 14-45mm f3.5 - 5.6 (equivalent to 28-90mm in 35mm photography) comes standard with the EVOLT E-330. Its 3.2x zoom covers the zoom range most frequently used in everyday photography, and with 12 elements in 10 groups and a weight of just 9.98 oz/285g (approx.) it offers users an extremely dynamic, portable everyday-use zoom.
A newly developed 'floating' mechanism is incorporated into the focusing system to ensure exceptionally smooth action across the entire focusing range. Close-ups as near as 15 in/38cm are possible throughout the zoom range. The lens also boasts a new multi-coating process, which minimizes ghosting and flaring as well as a reliable metal lens mount, which is designed for ruggedness that ensures confidence in any situation.
There are two additional Zuiko Digital lenses not listed on this chart, the 35mm f3.5 macro
(70mm equiv) and the 50mm f2.0 macro (100mm equiv).
Live View Technology
The E-330 is the first SLR camera in the world to feature Live View. Until now, such displays have been limited to a 30-second black-and-white view, or a view that displayed only the central portion of a frame. With the inclusion of two Live View Modes on the E-330, Olympus has become the first manufacturer in the world to offer Live View on a D-SLR camera.
Live View is made possible by
incorporating two separate image sensors into the camera: a CCD sensor for Live View
framing (used for Mode A Live View) that is mounted in the viewfinder's optical path, and a
Live MOS Sensor for image capture (also used for Mode B Live View). This enables the system
to offer an accurate Live View with a simple light path, something that cannot be achieved
with roof-prism viewing systems.
Mode A Full-Time Live View
In this mode, a dedicated Live View CCD mounted in the viewfinder's optical path is used to capture the viewfinder image and display it on the rear-mounted LCD monitor. The purpose of Mode A is to allow users to frame their subject easily while also enjoying SLR-class shooting response.
Features easy framing with 1:9 pixel interpolation to assure fast response for easy subject
tracking. LCD image refresh speed is the same as when Live View is switched off (about
66~100ms). Displays image during first shutter release. Live View also possible during
continuous shooting (with slight delay in image display). Because priority is given to
framing, exposure values, exposure steps, and color values cannot be accurately displayed.
(compatible with Monotone and Sepia modes). Field of view is 95% of viewfinder field of
view (field of view: approx. 90%).
Mode B Macro Live View
In this mode, the mirror is locked in the up position and the actual image from the Live MOS sensor is displayed on the LCD monitor. The purpose of this mode is to allow accurate focusing in any situation, and to provide a 100% field of view.
The field of view is 100% of viewfinder field of view for accurate framing. A designated
area of the frame can be enlarged up to 10x (easy focus confirmation and adjustment). A
variety of grid templates can be displayed. Operates with manual focusing only. Live View
is disabled during continuous shooting.
7.5-Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
The E-330's Live View functionality allows the user to be able to frame the subject extremely accurately, and the ability to freely enlarge any area of the frame. The imaging characteristics of a full-frame transfer CCD (FFT-CCD) type sensor makes them unsuitable for this purpose, so Olympus developed a new NMOS sensor that offers the dual advantages of a large photo-sensing surface area and simple construction.
Called the Live MOS Sensor, it offers high processing speed, high sensitivity, low noise, and low power consumption, as well as image quality that approaches that of FFT-CCD sensors. It is a new-generation NMOS sensor that was spawned by a high level of synergy between NMOS technology and the signal enhancement and other digital technologies in which Olympus has many years of experience.
The Live MOS Sensor offers image quality comparable to an FFT-CCD sensor with the low power requirements of a CMOS sensor, and is noteworthy for its high-quality imaging capabilities over an extended period of time. Simplified circuitry that reduces the distance from each photodiode to its corresponding on-chip microlens assures excellent sensitivity and image quality even when light strikes it at a high angle of incidence.
CCDs and other image sensors are sensitive to ultraviolet light that cannot be perceived by the human eye. In digital cameras, it is therefore necessary to mount a glass UV filter in front of the image sensor to prevent these UV rays from reaching the sensor. The E-330, however, uses a special hybrid filter that incorporates a glass element to absorb UV rays and a dichroic mirror element to reflect them. This achieves a much sharper filtering effect, and ensures superior color purity and fidelity.
The Live MOS Sensor takes advantage of the simplified circuit requirements and thinner layer structure of NMOS type sensors to offer a larger photosensitive surface area. In addition, circuit technology refinements were made to boost light utilization efficiency and improve image quality. By enlarging the photosensitive surface area and enabling it to capture light that was previously lost, it achieves both high sensitivity and superior image quality. In addition, a new low-noise photodiode signal amplification circuit further improves sensitivity.
Like the E-500, the E-330 allows saturation, contrast, and sharpness parameters to be adjusted via an easy-to-use Picture Mode selector. No special knowledge is required; users can simply choose Vivid, Natural, or Flat according to whether they want a print-ready image, or an image that preserves more of the original tones so that it can be processed later. (Each of the parameters can also be adjusted individually via the Picture Mode menu.)
The TruePic TURBO image processor has also been tuned to preserve the colors of
nature and maximize the performance characteristics of the Live MOS Sensor. TruePic TURBO
was originally developed to ensure natural color reproduction and rich tonal gradation, and
it makes an ideal match for the Live MOS Sensor that is sure to please anyone who enjoys
taking nature photos. Thanks to the Live View function, Live MOS Sensor, and
TruePic TURBO image processing, it's easy for virtually anyone to take beautifully focused,
pro-quality macro photos and other interesting shots from unusual angles.
Dust Reduction System
Dust on the image sensor has been an annoying and frustrating issue for all digital camera
manufacturers. With film SLR, dust moves when advancing the film, however with a digital
SLR, dust contamination occurs once dust settles on the image sensor. Some Image sensor
dust contamination is mostly avoidable by carefully changing lenses. However, dust
contamination can be still generated by the friction of the shutter, quick-return mirror or
other moving parts inside the camera. The mechanism of lens focusing and mirror generates
a light breeze inside the camera, resulting in dust contamination that can adhere to the
image sensor. The size of the dust adhering to image sensor is approximately 0.1mm (100
microns) in diameter at the largest, but these invisible dust particles can degrade the
image quality on every picture taken after the contamination occurs.
The E-330 uses an Olympus exclusive patented ultrasonic technology, the SuperSonic Wave Filter (SSWF), to reduce the effects of micro dust settling on the image sensor. Located between the shutter and the imager, the SSWF uses high-speed ultrasonic vibration to cause most types of dust to fall away from the image sensor so it will not appear in photographs. The filter vibrates at 35,000 times per second and is activated every time the camera powers on, or manually via a menu selection, to instantly remove the dust from in front of the image sensor.
In addition the SSWF works with the newly developed Dust Reduction System to significantly reduces dust problems. The Dust Reduction System achieves the solution to the following three issues:
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