Olympus E-30 Comparison Review
The Olympus E-30 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in November 2008 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 12.2 megapixel.
Is the Olympus E-30 a good camera? The E-30 has a Camera Elo of 1396. This rating puts the E-30 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the E-30 also ranks below average. – Well, the Olympus E-30 is more than 12 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2008.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Four Thirds lenses|
|12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 3 200|
|2.7 LCD, 230k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second|
|750 shots per battery charge|
|142 x 108 x 75 mm, 701 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Olympus E-30 vis-à-vis a credit card. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus E-30 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|1.||Olympus E-30||142 mm||108 mm||75 mm||701 g||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299|
|2.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|3.||Olympus E-600||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||535 g||500||n||Aug 2009||449|
|4.||Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Jun 2009||799|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||121 mm||70 mm||36 mm||355 g||300||n||Nov 2009||799|
|7.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|8.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699|
|9.||Olympus E-3||142 mm||116 mm||75 mm||876 g||750||Y||Oct 2007||1,699|
|10.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|11.||Olympus E-510||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus E-30 was launched in the US market at a price of $1,299. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Olympus E-30 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus E-30 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Olympus E-30||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.4||530||55|
|2.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|3.||Olympus E-600||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.5||10.3||541||55|
|4.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.4||536||55|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.5||10.4||505||56|
|7.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|8.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|9.||Olympus E-3||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.6||10.5||571||56|
|10.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|11.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the E-30 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-30 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 98% and a magnification of 0.51x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Olympus E-30 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Olympus E-30||optical||Y||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|3.||Olympus E-600||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y|
|4.||Olympus E-620||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||none||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||Y|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||optional||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||Y|
|7.||Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|8.||Olympus E-520||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||Y|
|9.||Olympus E-3||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||swivel||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|11.||Olympus E-510||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y|
The LCD screen on the Olympus E-30 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD is hinged on the side and can be flipped out for odd-angle shots in both portrait and landscape orientation. Also, this fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment is often appreciated by videographers for its flexibility. Moreover, v-loggers like the design because the screen can be turned to be front-facing.
One convenient feature of the E-30 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 Olympus E-30 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Olympus E-30||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Olympus E-450||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Olympus E-600||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Olympus E-620||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Olympus E-420||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-520||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Olympus E-3||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-510||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the E-30 in practical situations. 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. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).
|1.||Olympus E-30||..||..||..||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299|
|2.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|3.||Olympus E-600||..||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||Aug 2009||449|
|4.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||..||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|5.||Olympus E-P1||..||+||..||66/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2009||799|
|6.||Olympus E-P2||3/5||+||..||69/100||4/5||4.5/5||Nov 2009||799|
|7.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|8.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|9.||Olympus E-3||..||88/100||..||+ +||o||4/5||Oct 2007||1,699|
|10.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|11.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Olympus E-30 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the E-30.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the E-30 based on?
The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Olympus equipped the E-30 with the TruePic III+ image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the E-30?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the E-30 is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Olympus E-30?
Olympus does not publish a shutter rating for the E-30. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my E-30?
Olympus embeds the number of shutter actuations in hidden menus. You can check the number of shots that your E-30 has taken up to now by carefully following the steps described on the Olympus E-30 shutter count page.
Does the Olympus E-30 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The E-30's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.
Which battery does the E-30 use?
Is there a vertical grip available for the E-30?
Yes, Olympus offers the HLD-4 as an optional accessory to facilitate shooting in portrait orientation and to provide additional battery power.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1300D vs Olympus E-30
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Olympus E-30
- Canon G12 vs Olympus E-30
- Canon T5i vs Olympus E-30
- Fujifilm X-E2S vs Olympus E-30
- Nikon A1000 vs Olympus E-30
- Nikon D5100 vs Olympus E-30
- Olympus E-30 vs Olympus E-M1 III
- Olympus E-30 vs Pentax K-5
- Olympus E-30 vs Pentax K-70
- Olympus E-30 vs Sony A7R
- Olympus E-30 vs Sony WX800
|Camera Model||Olympus E-30|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 1 299|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||225 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4 032 x 3 024 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.42 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3 200 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic III+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||55|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||530|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|LCD Size||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen|
|V-logging Friendliness||Front-flip possible|
|Touch Input||No touchscreen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||BLM-1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge|
142 x 108 x 75 mm
(5.6 x 4.3 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||701 g (24.7 oz)|
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