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Nikon D3000 vs Olympus E-330

The Nikon D3000 and the Olympus Evolt E-330 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2009 and January 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D3000) and a Four Thirds (E-330) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 7.4 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3000
versus
Olympus E-330
Nikon D3000   Olympus E-330
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
10 MP – APS-C sensor 7.4 MP – Four Thirds sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 230k dots 2.5" LCD – 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
126 x 97 x 64 mm, 536 g 140 x 87 x 72 mm, 637 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3000 and the Olympus Evolt E-330? 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3000 and the Olympus E-330. 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.

Size Nikon D3000 vs Olympus E-330
Compare D3000 versus E-330 top
Comparison D3000 or E-330 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3000 and the Olympus E-330 are of equal size. However, the E-330 is markedly heavier (19 percent) than the D3000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3000 nor the E-330 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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D3000) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-330).

Concerning battery life, the D3000 gets 500 shots out of its EN-EL9a battery, while the E-330 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm X100 126 mm 75 mm 54 mm 445 g 300 n Sep 2010 1,199ebay.com
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The D3000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 40 percent) than the E-330, 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3000 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-330 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-330 is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D3000 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-330 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D3000 and Olympus E-330 sensor measures

With 10MP, the D3000 offers a higher resolution than the E-330 (7.4MP), but the D3000 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 5.51μm for the E-330) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D3000 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 6 months) than the E-330, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3000 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3000 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-330 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D3000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Evolt E-330 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

In terms of underlying technology, the D3000 is build around a CCD sensor, while the E-330 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D3000 versus E-330 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
2.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.47352
3.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
4.
 
Fujifilm X100 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none21.010.612753
6.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
7.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
8.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
9.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
10.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
11.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
12.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
13.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
14.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
15.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.710.34551
16.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none20.410.1-4048
17.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none20.810.48052
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
The E-330 offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D3000 lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D3000 and the E-330 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 D3000 has a higher magnification than the one of the E-330 (0.53x vs 0.47x), 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 Nikon D3000, the Olympus E-330, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D3000optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-330optical n2.5 / 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon XToptical n1.8 / 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Fujifilm X1001440 n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D3200optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D3100optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D60optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D90optical Y3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-450optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-420optical n2.7 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5/s Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-500optical n2.5 / 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
16.
 
Olympus E-300optical n1.8 / 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L1optical n2.5 / 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The D3000 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-330 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D3000 only has one slot.

Connectivity comparison

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 Nikon D3000 and Olympus Evolt E-330 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D3000Y- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-330Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon XTY- / ----2.0---
4.
 
Fujifilm X100Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereo / mono---2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D3200Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D3100Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D60Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D90Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D40XY- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-450Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-420Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-500Y- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus E-300Y- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L1Y- / ----2.0---

Both the D3000 and the E-330 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D3000 was replaced by the Nikon D3100, while the E-330 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the D3000 and E-330 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon D3000 Manual (free pdf) or the online Olympus E-330 Manual.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D3000 and the Olympus E-330? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3000:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 7.4MP) with a 19% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.47x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 101g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (40 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the E-330 launch.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-330:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2006).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3000 is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 4 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.

D3000 10:04 E-330

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3000 and the Olympus E-330 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3000 or the E-330 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D3000..+..72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus E-330......+o.. Jan 2006 999ebay.com
3.
 
Canon XT..80/100..+ +o.. Feb 2005 899ebay.com
4.
 
Fujifilm X1003/5....75/1004/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199ebay.com
5.
 
Leica Digilux 3............ Sep 2006 1,499ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D60..80/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D90..+ +..+ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100..+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
13.
 
Olympus E-450........4/54/5 Mar 2009 499ebay.com
14.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599ebay.com
15.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100..+ +.... Sep 2005 599ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus E-300......+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100..+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999ebay.com
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

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Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon D3000 vs Olympus E-330

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D3000 Olympus E-330
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date July 2009 January 2006
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3000 Olympus E-330
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.11 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 2.69 MP/cm2 3.28 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 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED TruePic
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.3 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.1 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 563 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon D3000 Olympus E-330
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3000 Olympus E-330
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF or XD cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3000 Olympus E-330
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D3000 Olympus E-330
    Battery Type EN-EL9a BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 126 x 97 x 64 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
    140 x 87 x 72 mm
    (5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 536 g (18.9 oz) 637 g (22.5 oz)
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