Olympus E-330 vs Sony A77 II
The Olympus Evolt E-330 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2006 and May 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (E-330) and an APS-C (A77 II) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 7.4 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Olympus Evolt E-330 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-330 and the Sony A77 II. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. 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 Sony A77 II is notably larger (22 percent) than the Olympus E-330. Moreover, the A77 II is slightly heavier (2 percent) than the E-330. It is noteworthy in this context that the A77 II is splash and dust-proof, while the E-330 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Olympus E-330||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999|
|2.||Sony A77 II||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||647 g||480||Y||May 2014||1,199|
|3.||Canon XT||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899|
|4.||Leica Digilux 3||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499|
|5.||Nikon D7200||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199|
|6.||Nikon D7100||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199|
|7.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|8.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|9.||Olympus E-510||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|10.||Olympus E-400||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|11.||Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|12.||Olympus E-300||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799|
|13.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|14.||Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999|
|15.||Sony A68||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||610 g||540||n||Nov 2015||699|
|16.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|17.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 E-330 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the A77 II, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Olympus E-330 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony A77 II an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A77 II is 63 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.5. The sensor in the E-330 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A77 II offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the A77 II offers a higher resolution than the E-330 (7.4MP), but the A77 II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 5.51μm for the E-330). Yet, the A77 II is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 3 months) than the E-330, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A77 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A77 II for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 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 Olympus Evolt E-330 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 400, which can be extended to ISO 100-1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-51200.
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.
|1.||Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Sony A77 II||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|4.||Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|9.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|10.||Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|12.||Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|14.||Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
|16.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The A77 II indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-330 does not. The highest resolution format that the A77 II can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A77 II has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), while the E-330 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the A77 II offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the E-330 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the A77 II has a higher magnification (0.73x 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 Olympus E-330, the Sony A77 II, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Olympus E-330||optical||n||2.5 / 215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A77 II||2359||Y||3.0 / 1229||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon XT||optical||n||1.8 / 115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|4.||Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|5.||Nikon D7200||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|6.||Nikon D7100||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon D80||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|8.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|9.||Olympus E-510||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||Y|
|10.||Olympus E-400||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|11.||Olympus E-500||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus E-300||optical||n||1.8 / 134||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5 / 207||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic L1||optical||n||2.5 / 207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|15.||Sony A68||1440||Y||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|17.||Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0 / 921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y|
One feature that differentiates the A77 II and the E-330 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A77 II reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the E-330 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.The A77 II has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the E-330 does not have a selfie-screen.
The E-330 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the A77 II uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A77 II 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 Olympus Evolt E-330 and Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Olympus E-330||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony A77 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon XT||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Nikon D7200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Nikon D7100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D80||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Olympus E-510||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Olympus E-400||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Olympus E-500||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Olympus E-300||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic L10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic L1||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony A68||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A77||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the A77 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the E-330 does not provide wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A77 II (unlike the E-330) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The A77 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the E-330 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the E-330 from Olympus. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Olympus E-330 better than the Sony A77 II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-330:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- More compact: Is smaller (140x87mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 480) on a single battery charge.
- 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 segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2006).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha SLT-A77 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 7.4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 84%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced 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.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.47x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 215k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More modern: Reflects 8 years and 3 months of technical progress since the E-330 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A77 II is the clear winner of the contest (22 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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 Olympus E-330 and the Sony A77 II 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-330 or the A77 II. 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.
|1.||Olympus E-330||..||..||..||+||o||..||Jan 2006||999|
|2.||Sony A77 II||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||1,199|
|3.||Canon XT||..||80/100||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2005||899|
|4.||Leica Digilux 3||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2006||1,499|
|5.||Nikon D7200||4/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199|
|6.||Nikon D7100||5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199|
|7.||Nikon D80||..||+||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|8.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|9.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||..||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|10.||Olympus E-400||..||85/100||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|11.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||..||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|12.||Olympus E-300||..||..||..||+||o||4.5/5||Sep 2004||799|
|13.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||..||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|14.||Panasonic L1||..||85/100||..||+||..||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|15.||Sony A68||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Nov 2015||699|
|16.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|17.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||..||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Sony A77 II
- Canon 40D vs Sony A77 II
- Canon G12 vs Olympus E-330
- Canon R vs Sony A77 II
- Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Olympus E-330
- Leica CL vs Olympus E-330
- Leica M10 vs Sony A77 II
- Nikon D800 vs Olympus E-330
- Olympus E-330 vs Sony A6400
- Olympus E-330 vs Sony A7R III
- Panasonic LF1 vs Sony A77 II
- Sony A77 II vs Sony RX100 VI
Specifications: Olympus E-330 vs Sony A77 II
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||Olympus E-330||Sony A77 II|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Sony A mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2006||May 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 999||USD 1,199|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-330||Sony A77 II|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||7.4 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3136 x 2352 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.51 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.28 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 1,600 ISO||50 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic||BIONZ X|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-330||Sony A77 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fully flexible screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-330||Sony A77 II|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||12 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus E-330||Sony A77 II|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Olympus E-330||Sony A77 II|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||480 shots per charge|
140 x 87 x 72 mm
(5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
143 x 104 x 81 mm
(5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||637 g (22.5 oz)||647 g (22.8 oz)|
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