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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Olympus E-3 DSLR

Olympus E-3 DSLR


Olympus E-3 DSLR

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Category: Advanced Amateur - Prosumer

The Olympus E-3 DSLR has a fully crossed array high-speed 11-point AF system that claims to be the world's fastest autofocusing system when coupled with the new Zuiko Digital Supersonic Wave Drive™ ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 (24-120mm equivalent) lens.

The E-3 DSLR also provides fast start-up and wake-up times, a 5fps continuous shooting speed, and a 1/8000 second high-speed shutter.

Olympus has opted to equip the E-3 with an in-body sensor-shift image stabilization that can compensate up to a five step EV stabilization effect with all Zuiko Digital Lenses and all Four Thirds Format Lenses.

The dual-axis variable-angle Live View LCD monitor allows easy shooting over the top of a crowd, from ground level or any angle that might have proven arkward with only a viewfinder. Live Simulation allows you to check exposure, white balance and composition in real time. A Luminance Sensor installed on the upper left side of the swivel LCD analyzes the brightness of the surroundings and automatically adjusts the brightness of the LCD.

A large optical viewfinder provides 100 percent accurate viewing and 1.15x magnification for reliable composition. Dust Reduction removes dust from the image sensor on every power on. The magnesium-alloy body is both splashproof and dustproof.

Being part of the Olympus E-System, the Olympus E-3 DSLR is compatible with the large and growing range of Olympus E-System accessories, including the full line-up of Zuiko Digital Specific lenses and flashes.


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Olympus E-3 DSLR
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Olympus E3 DSLRUS | CAN | UK  
Product Type Type Single-lens reflex Live View digital camera with interchangeable lens system
Memory CompactFlash Type I/II, Microdrive, xD-Picture Card (Dual-Slot)
Lens Mount Four Thirds Mount
Number of Effective Pixels 10 million pixels
Image Sensor Type High-speed Live MOS Sensor
Effective Pixels 10.1 million pixels
Aspect 1.33 (4:3)
Image sensor size 17.3 mm (H) x 13.0 mm (V) / 0.68 in. (H) x .512 in. (V)
Filter Array Primary color filter (RGB)
LPF Fixed type
IR cut filter Hybrid type
Dust reduction Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor)
Recording Recording Format DCF, DPOF compatible/Exif, PRINT Image Matching III
File format RAW (12-bit), JPEG, RAW+JPEG
Recording image size [RAW] 3648 x 2736 pixels
[JPEG] 3648 x 2736 pixels - 640 x 480 pixels
File Size

RAW: 3648 x 2736 compressed Approx. 11MB

Large: 3648 x 2736 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 6.8MB
3648 x 2736 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 4.7MB
3648 x 2736 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 2.2MB
3648 x 2736 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 1.5MB

Middle: 3200 x 2400 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 5.3MB
3200 x 2400 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 3.7MB
3200 x 2400 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.7MB
3200 x 2400 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
2560 x 1920 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 3.6MB
2560 x 1920 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 2.2MB
2560 x 1920 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
2560 x 1920 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.7MB

Small: 1600 x 1200 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 1.3MB
1600 x 1200 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.8MB
1600 x 1200 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
1600 x 1200 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
1280 x 960 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 0.8MB
1280 x 960 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
1280 x 960 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
1280 x 960 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
1024 x 768 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 0.5MB
1024 x 768 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.4MB
1024 x 768 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
1024 x 768 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.1MB
640 x 480 Super fine (1/2.7 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
640 x 480 Fine (1/4 compressed) Approx. 0.2MB
640 x 480 Normal (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.1MB
640 x 480 Basic (1/12 compressed) Approx. 0.1MB

Viewfinder Type Eye-level single-lens reflex viewfinder
View field coverage Approx. 100%
Magnification Approx.1.15x (-1m-1, 50mm lens, infinity)
Eye Point Approx. 20 mm (-1m-1)
Diopter Adjustment -3.0 - +1m-1
Focusing Screen Changeable at a service center (Neo Lumi-Micro Mat screen supplied, possible to change to grid mat type)
Eye Piece Shutter Built-in type
Eye cup Interchangeable type EP-5/6/7, EP-7 is supplied (Magnifier Eyecup ME-1 is available)
Viewfinder information Aperture value, Shutter speed, Record mode, AF confirmation mark, Flash, WB, AE lock, Number of storable still images, Exposure compensation value, Metering mode, Battery warning, Exposure mode, AF frame (super impose), IS, Bracket, ISO value
Live View Live View Live MOS Sensor for still picture shooting is used, 100% field of view, Exposure adjustment pre-view, White balance adjustment pre-view, Gradation auto pre-view, Grid line displayable, 5x/7x/10x magnification possible, MF/S-AF, AF frame display, AF point display, Shooting information, Histogram.
AF Phase-difference detection system with mirror down.
Preview Preview Function (depth of field) Dedicated optical depth of field Preview button;
function can also be assigned to Fn button
Live Preview (Live View) Can be checked when Fn button is set to Live Preview mode
Image stabilizer System Built in (Imager shift image stabilizer)
Mode 2 modes (2 dimensional activation, 1 dimensional activation)
Effective compensation range Max. 5 EV steps (depends on lens and shooting conditions)
LCD Monitor Type HyperCrystal LCD (semi-transmissive TFT color LCD)
Size 2.5-in
Total no. of pixels Approx. 230,000 pixels
Playback field of view 100%
Brightness Control Auto/Manual 15 levels
Focusing AF system TTL phase-difference detection system
Focus Mode Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF) / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / C-AF + MF
Focusing point 11 points full-twin cross AF sensor
Focusing point selection Single point, Group area, All points are selectable
AF luminance range EV -2 to 19 (at 20°, ISO 100)
AF illuminator Built-in flash (external flash available)
AF lock Locked at first position of Shutter button in Single AF mode / AEL button (customizable)
Focus Tracking Interlocked with Continuous AF mode
Focus Aid Available
Exposure Control Metering system TTL open-aperture metering system
(1) Digital ESP metering (49-point multi pattern metering) (2) Centre weighted average metering
(3) Spot metering (approx. 2% for the viewfinder screen. Highlight / shadow bases are available)
Metering range EV 1 - 20 (Digital ESP metering, Centre weighted average metering, Spot metering)
(At normal temperature, 50mm f2, ISO 100)
Exposure Mode (1) P: Program AE (Program shift can be performed) (2) A: Aperture priority AE (3) S: Shutter priority AE (4) M: Manual
Underwater program AE Available to set to Fn button
ISO sensitivity AUTO (ISO 100 - 3200) / Manual (ISO 100 - 3200), 1/3 or 1 EV steps
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable
AE Lock AEL button (customizable)
Exposure Bracketing 3 or 5 frames in 0.3, 0.7, 1EV steps selectable
ISO Bracketing 3 frames in 0.3, 0.7, 1EV steps selectable
White Balance Auto WB system Hybrid detection system with High speed Live MOS sensor and dedicated external sensor
Preset WB 7 settings (3000K - 7500K) Lamp (3000K), Fluorescent 1 (4000K), Fluorescent 2 (4500K), Fluorescent 3 (6600K), Daylight (5300K), Flash (5500K), Cloudy (6000K), Shade (7500K)
WB Compensation +/- 7 steps in each R-B/G-M axis (in Auto WB / Preset WB mode / One touch WB)
Custom WB 1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature (2000K - 14000K)
One-touch WB 4 custom settings can be registered
WB Bracketing 3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each R-G/G-M axis
Color Mode Color matrix sRGB, Adobe RGB
Picture Mode Mode Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone, Custom (default setting: Natural)
In custom mode, basic 5 modes and adjustment is available
Adjustment parameter Contrast, Sharpness and Saturation level available in 5 steps for Vivid, Natural, Portrait and Muted
Contrast and Sharpness level available in 5 steps for Monotone
In custom mode, gradation level available in 4 steps
Filter effect Yellow, Orange, Red or Green filter available for Monotone
Picture tone Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green tone available for Monotone
Gradation 4 levels (auto, high key, normal, low key)
Shutter Type Computerized focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed P(Ps), S, A, M mode: 60 - 1/8000 sec.
Bulb: 1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps selectable
Self Timer Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec. (cancel available)
Remote cable release Available (with optional RM-CB1 Remote cable.)
Optical remote control Operation time: 2 sec., 0 sec., bulb control available (with optional RM-1 remote control)
Anti shock mode Available (1 to 30 sec selectable)
Drive Drive Mode Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting H, Sequential shooting L, Self-timer, Remote control
Sequential Shooting Speed Approx. 5 frames/sec. in sequential shooting H, 1 to 4 fps selectable in sequential shooting L
Max. recordable pictures
on sequential shooting
RAW mode: Max. 16 frames.
JPEG mode: Depends on compression ratio and no. of pixels (Large normal mode: up to card capacity with SanDisk Extreme III or faster CF Cards)
Integrated Flash Built-in flash Retractable flash, GN=13 (ISO 100.m)
Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-50, FL-36, FL-20, STF-22, SR-11
Flash control mode TTL Auto (TTL pre-flash mode), Auto, Manual
Flash mode Auto, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction slow sync., Slow sync at 1st curtain, Slow sync at 2nd curtain, Fill-in, Manual (1/4, 1/16, 1/64), Off
Synchronization speed 1/250 sec. or less, Super FP up to 1/8000 sec.
Flash intensity control Up to +/- 3 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Flash bracketing 3 frames in 0.3, 0.7, 1 EV steps selectable
Wireless Flash Control Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R
Control method Triggered and controlled by built-in flash light
Flash control mode TTL Auto (TTL pre-flash mode), Auto, Manual, FP TTL Auto, FP Manual
Number of channels 4 channels
Group setting 3 groups
Control panel Information WB setting, WB compensation notification, B/W mode notification, Record mode, Exposure mode, ISO sensitivity BKT notification, Flash mode, Drive mode, Recordable still image number, Storable number of images, Exposure compensation value, Metering mode, Activated AF points, Focusing mode.
Back light timer 8 sec.
Super Control panel Information (shooting) Exposure mode, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure compensation value bar, Exposure compensation value Flash compensation value bar, Flash compensation value, ALE notification, Flash compensation notification NR notification, BKT notification, AF illuminator deactivated notification, Color space, Flash mode ISO sensitivity, Drive mode, WB setting, WB compensation value, Picture mode, Metering mode, Focusing mode File name, Image parameter, Gradation, Date, Storable number of images, Record mode, Battery warning.
Information (shooting) Exposure mode, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure compensation value bar, Exposure compensation value Flash compensation value bar, Flash compensation value, ALE notification, Flash compensation notification NR notification, BKT notification, AF illuminator deactivated notification, Color space Wireless channel setting, Built-in flash intensity, Group setting
Playback Playback modes Single-frame, Index (4/9/16/25 frames), Calendar, Close-up ( 2 - 14X), Slideshow, Picture rotation (auto mode available), Light box
Information display Histogram (independent luminance / RGB available), Highlight / Shadow point warning, AF frame, Shooting information
Menu Languages US: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Additional one language is possible to download.
Reset & custom setting Custom reset 2 setting recordable
My mode 2 setting recordable
Image Editing Erasing function Single frame, All frames, Selected frames
Protect function Single frame, Selected frames, Release protect (Single/All selected)
Copy between media Single frame, All frames, Selected frames
RAW picture editing RAW development
JPEG editing Resize (producing another file), Gradation auto
Print Print function Print reservation (DPOF), Direct print (PictBridge compatible)
Input / Output PC interface USB 2.0 High Speed for storage and camera control (MTP mode is available)
Video connector Video out (Video: NTSC/PAL selectable)
Flash attachment Hot shoe
DC-in Yes (AC-1 compatible)
Power Requirements Battery BLM-1 Li-ion battery (included)
CR123 x 3 with LBH-1
Sleep mode Available (1, 3, 5, 10 min., off selectable)
No. of recordable pictures (with 50% flash light) Approx. 610 shots (optical viewfinder) (with BLM-1 under CIPA testing standard)
Power battery holder HLD-4 compatible
Dimensions / Weight Dimensions (W x H x D) 142.5 mm x 116.5 mm x 74.5 mm /
5.6 in. x 4.58 in. x 2.9 in.
(excluding protrusions)
Weight (body only) 810 g / 1.79 lbs.
Operating Environment Temperature 0 - 40° (operation) / -20 - 60° (storage)
Humidity 30 - 90% (operation) / 10 - 90% (storage)
Splash Proof Yes
Box Contents

E-3 body

Li-ion battery BLM-1, Li-ion battery charger BCM-2
USB cable, Video cable
Shoulder Strap
Instruction manual, Warranty card
ESP (Estimated Street Price) US $1699.99

*Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective holder.

Olympus E-3 receives DIWA Gold Award

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

Olympus E-3 DSLR


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