Canon D30 vs Olympus E-500
The Canon EOS-D30 and the Olympus Evolt E-500 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2000 and September 2005. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D30) and a Four Thirds (E-500) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 3.1 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon D30||Olympus E-500|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|3.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|no Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-1,600||ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|1.8 LCD, 114k dots||2.5 LCD, 215k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||2.5 shutter flaps per second|
|540 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|150 x 107 x 75 mm, 750 g||130 x 95 x 66 mm, 479 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D30 and the Olympus Evolt E-500? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon D30 and the Olympus E-500 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-500 is notably smaller (23 percent) than the Canon D30. Moreover, the E-500 is substantially lighter (36 percent) than the D30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D30 nor the E-500 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (D30) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-500).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon D30||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||26.5 oz||540||n||May 2000||2,999|
|Olympus E-500||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|Canon T7||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||16.8 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|Canon SL2||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon T7i||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||18.8 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon 80D||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||25.8 oz||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 40D||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon 20D||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Canon Rebel||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|Canon D60||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.2 oz||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999|
|Olympus E-410||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-510||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|Olympus E-330||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-400||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|Olympus E-300||5.8 in||3.3 in||2.5 in||22.0 oz||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The E-500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 80 percent) than the D30, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon D30 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-500 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-500 is 31 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the D30 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-500 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-500 offers a higher resolution of 8 megapixels, compared with 3.1 MP of the D30. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 10.29μm for the D30). However, it should be noted that the E-500 is much more recent (by 5 years and 4 months) than the D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Olympus E-500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 13.1 x 9.8 inches or 33.2 x 24.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 10.9 x 8.2 inches or 27.6 x 20.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D30 are 10.8 x 7.2 inches or 27.4 x 18.3 cm for good quality, 8.6 x 5.8 inches or 21.9 x 14.6 cm for very good quality, and 7.2 x 4.8 inches or 18.3 x 12.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS-D30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Evolt E-500 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D30 and the E-500 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D30 has a higher magnification than the one of the E-500 (0.54x vs 0.45x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon D30, the Olympus E-500, and comparable cameras.
One feature that is present on the D30, but is missing on the E-500 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The D30 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the E-500 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-500 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D30 only has one slot.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-D30 and Olympus Evolt E-500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon D30 (unlike the E-500) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the D30 and the E-500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D30 was replaced by the Canon D60, while the E-500 was followed by the Olympus E-510. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon D30 or the Olympus E-500 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-D30:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.45x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2000).
Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-500:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (8 vs 3.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 57%.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (215k vs 114k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (130x95mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 271g or 36 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 540) out of a single battery charge.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (80 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D30 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-500 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon D30 and the Olympus E-500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D30 or the E-500 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Canon D30||..||+ +||..||..||..||May 2000||2,999|
|Olympus E-500||76/100||+ +||..||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|Canon T7||o||..||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|Canon SL2||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon T7i||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|Canon 80D||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon 40D||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|Canon 30D||+ +||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|Canon 20D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|Canon 10D||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|Canon Rebel||..||+ +||..||o||..||Aug 2003||899|
|Canon D60||..||+ +||o||..||..||Feb 2002||2,999|
|Olympus E-410||86/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-510||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|Olympus E-330||..||+||o||3.5/5||..||Jan 2006||999|
|Olympus E-400||85/100||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|Olympus E-300||..||+||o||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Canon D30
- Canon D30 vs Canon G3 X
- Canon D30 vs Canon R
- Canon D30 vs Fujifilm GFX 100
- Canon D30 vs Nikon D1H
- Canon D30 vs Nikon D70s
- Canon D30 vs Pentax 645D
- Canon D30 vs Ricoh WG-60
- Canon D30 vs Sony H400
- Canon SL1 vs Olympus E-500
- Nikon D70 vs Olympus E-500
- Olympus E-500 vs Olympus E-M1 II
Specifications: Canon D30 vs Olympus E-500
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon D30||Olympus E-500|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2000||September 2005|
|Launch Price||USD 2,999||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon D30||Olympus E-500|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.0 x 14.9 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||327.8 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||3.1 Megapixels||8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||2160 x 1440 pixels||3264 x 2448 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||10.29 μm||5.30 μm|
|Pixel Density||0.95 MP/cm2||3.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Canon D30||Olympus E-500|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||114k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon D30||Olympus E-500|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon D30||Olympus E-500|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 1.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon D30||Olympus E-500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||540 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
150 x 107 x 75 mm
(5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
130 x 95 x 66 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||750 g (26.5 oz)||479 g (16.9 oz)|
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