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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Olympus EVOLT E-300 digital SLR


Olympus EVOLT E-300 Review

Review Date: May 26, 2005

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2005 Award

Category: Advanced Amateur - Prosumer

The Olympus EVOLT E-300 digital SLR is an 8-megapixel digital SLR in a die-cast aluminum chassis, topped by an aluminum top cover for added protection. If you are wondering where the traditional pentaprism has gone, it has been replaced by a TTL Optical Porro Finder coupled with an exclusive side swing mirror that enables the unique "flat top" appearance.

The Olympus EVOLT E-300 boasts the only dust-reduction system around. Dust has been an annoying and frustrating issue for digital SLR users requiring frequent cleaning, but Olympus has incorporated a Supersonic Wave Filter™ –- a “digital duster” –- that uses a high-speed vibration to shake dust and other particles that might settle on the image sensor, causing them to fall away and be caught on an adhesive material. This vibration automatically takes place each time the camera is powered up, and can also be manually initiated through the camera’s menu.

The Olympus EVOLT E-300 digital SLR is compatible with the full line of Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses™ -- specially designed for optimum results using the Four Thirds System (4/3-System) image sensor.

Major features of the Olympus EVOLT E-300:

  • 8 megapixel FFT-CCD on a 4/3 System sized image sensor
  • Exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter eliminates dust and debris from the CCD for clear results
  • Compatible with the full line of Zuiko Digital Specific Lenses
  • TruePic TURBO Image Processor for increased speed and smoother image results
  • Newly-designed "flat top" body for increased portability
    Side swing mirror box
  • TTL Optical Porro Viewfinder
  • Slide Pop-up Built-in Flash
  • Innovative new HyperCrystal LCD for clear viewing of images up to a 160-degree angle, even in bright conditions
  • Aluminum chassis and top body cover for increased durability
  • Steel reinforced Lens Mount
  • 2.5 fps Burst Mode
  • 64MB internal RAM buffer
  • Quick Metering System
  • 14 easily selectable Scene Modes including Landscape, Night Scene, Fireworks, Sunset, Portrait, Macro, etc.
  • Aperture and Shutter Priority
  • PictBridge compatible so you can directly connect to any PictBridge-enabled printer (such as the Olympus P-10) and print on the spot...no computer necessary
  • Full Speed USB 2.0 (12Mb/s)
  • Olympus Master software for image editing capabilities, image storage and organization options, and more
  • Fast TTL Autofocus system
  • Three Metering systems
  • Simultaneous RAW and JPEG Image Data Recording
  • Contrast, Sharpness and Tone Curve Controls
  • A Choice of Two Color Space Settings
  • Auto and Custom White Balance
  • Noise Reduction
  • High-Precision Flash Control
  • Histogram Information Display
  • Support for High-Capacity Memory Media
  • Self-timer and Remote Control
Read our Olympus EVOLT E-300 Review...
Olympus EVOLT E-300
QuickFact™ Sheet
  Olympus EVOLT E-300  
Type Type Interchangeable Lens Digital SLR Camera
Media Compact Flash Card (Type I, II), Micro Drive
Imaging Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
Lens Mount Four Thirds Mount
Compatible Lens Zuiko Digital, Four Thirds System Lens
Number of Effective Pixels 8 million pixels
Image Sensor Type Full Frame Transfer CCD (4/3 FFT-CCD)
Effective Pixel Number Approx. 8.15 million pixels
Aspect 4:3
Filter Array Primary color filter (RGB)
Dust Proof of Image Sensor Yes - Supersonic Wave Filter
Recording System Recording Format DCF, DPOF compatible/Exif compatible, PRINT Image Matching II compatible
Recording Mode RAW ( 12bit ), TIFF ( RGB 8-bit ), JPEG
RAW + JPEG Recording Yes: RAW + SHQ/HQ/SQ modes
File Size RAW: Approx. 13.5MB (3264x2448)
TIFF: Approx. 23.3MB (3264x2448)
JPEG SHQ: Approx. 6.1MB (3264x2448) 1/2.7
HQ: Approx. 4.3MB (3264x2448) 1/4
HQ: Approx. 1.9MB (3264x2448) 1/8
SQ: Approx. 5.9MB (3200x2400) 1/2.7
SQ: Approx. 4.1MB (3200x2400) 1/4
SQ: Approx. 1.9MB (3200x2400) 1/8
SQ: Approx. 4.0MB (2560x1920) 1/2.7
SQ: Approx. 2.4MB (2560x1920) 1/4
SQ: Approx. 1.2MB (2560x1920) 1/8
SQ: Approx. 1.4MB (1600x1200) 1/2.7
SQ: Approx. 0.9MB (1600x1200) 1/4
SQ: Approx. 0.5MB (1600x1200) 1/8
SQ: Approx. 0.9MB (1280x960) 1/2.7
SQ: Approx. 0.6MB (1280x960) 1/4
SQ: Approx. 0.3MB (1280x960) 1/8
SQ: Approx. 0.6MB (1024x768) 1/2.7
SQ: Approx. 0.4MB (1024x768) 1/4
SQ: Approx. 0.2MB (1024x768) 1/8
SQ: Approx. 0.2MB (640x480) 1/2.7
SQ: Approx. 0.2MB (640x480) 1/4
SQ: Approx. 0.1MB (640x480) 1/8
Viewfinder Type Optical eye level single lens reflex viewfinder
View field coverage 94% Centered Horz./Vert.
Magnification Approx. x 1.00 with 50mm lens set to infinity on -1diopter
Eye Point 20mm on -1 diopter
Diopter Adjustment Built-in type -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Focusing Screen Fixed (Mat Screen with AF/Metering Marks)
Mirror Side Swing Quick Return Mirror
Viewfinder information AF frame (Super Impose), AE lock, Shutter speed, Aperture value, Exposure mode, White balance, Flash, AF confirmation mark, Metering mode, Number of storable sequential pictures, Exposure compensation value indication, Record Mode, Battery Level Indicator
Eye Piece Shutter Eye Piece Cover included
Depth of Field Preview Preview Button
Playback Monitor Type HyperCrystal TFT Color LCD
Size 1.8 inch/4.6 cm
Pixel Number 134,000 pixels
View field coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness Control +/- 7 steps
Auto Focus Type TTL Phase Difference Detection System
Focus Mode Single AF/Continuous AF/Single AF + MF/Manual Focus
Focus Area 3 points
Detection Range EV 0 to 19 (ISO 100)
Focus Area Selection Automatic Selection / Manual User Selection
AF Assist Lamp Built-in optional Olympus Dedicated Flashes
AF Lock Locked by first position of Shutter Button / OK Button (Customizable)
Focus Tracking Available in Continuous AF Mode
Manual Focus Available by rotation of a Lens Focus ring
Available for setting Manual focus operation in AF Mode
Exposure Control Light Metering Mode Exposure measurement at open aperture
Digital ESP/Center Weighted Average/Spot (2%)
Detection Range Digital ESP/Center Weighted Average; EV 2 to 20 Spot; EV 3 to 17 (50mm F2, ISO 100)
Exposure Mode Program with Program Shift/Shutter Priority/Aperture Priority/Manual Scene Program/Scene Select
Scene Program Portrait, Macro, Landscape, Night Scene, Sports
Scene Select Portrait, Macro, Landscape, Night Scene, Sports, Landscape & Self Portrait, Night Scene & Self Portrait, Fire Work, Sunset, High Key, Document, Manor Shot, Beach & Snow, Candle
Sensitivity AUTO/100/200/400 (AUTO: 100-400) Expandable to 800/1600
Exposure Compensation Up to +/- 5 EV in each 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV step
AE Lock Locked by first position of Shutter Button / AEL Button (Customizable)
Exposure Bracketing 3 Frames in +/- 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV step (selectable)
White Balance System Auto WB System Advanced Detection System with CCD Imager
Preset WB 12 Types (3000K - 1000K)
WB Compensation up to +/- 7 step in each Auto/Preset setting
Custom WB Compensation up to +/- 7 step
2000-6000K in 100K steps
6000-8000K in 200K steps
8000-10000K in 500K steps
One-touch Mode 4 one-touch Settings
WB Bracketing 3 Frames with +/- 5/10/15 mired steps
Color Mode Color Space sRGB/AdobeRGB
Saturation Saturation 5 levels
Image Quality Sharpness 8 levels
Contrast 5 levels
Shutter Type Electronic Controlled Focal Plane Shutter
Shutter Speed P,Ps,A: 1-1/4000
S,M: 30-1/4000
Bulb (up to 8 minutes by limiter)
Scene Program and Scene Select: 4-1/4000 (depends on selected mode)
1/3, 1/2, 1EV step selectable
Self Timer 12 or 2 seconds
Remote Control Yes (Optional: Remote Control RM-1)
0 or 2 sec. (Selectable)
Drive System Drive Mode Single/Sequential Shooting/IR Remote/Self Timer/BKT
Sequential Shooting Speed Approx. 2.5 fps
Max. Frame Number on Sequential Shooting RAW/TIFF 4 frames
JPEG (depends on compression ratio and pixel number)
Control Panel Control Panel Information Flash mode, Flash compensation value indication, Metering mode, Focus mode, Record mode, Aperture value, Shutter speed, Battery check, Number of storable still pictures, Image quality adjustment, ISO, Color space, Mono tone, Hi/Lo Key, White balance, Remote control, Self-timer, Exposure level indicator, Exposure compensation indicator, AF frame, Number of storable sequential pictures, Exposure compensation value indication, Auto bracket, Noise reduction, Single-frame shooting/Sequential shooting, Color saturation compensation value indication, Sharpness compensation indication value, AE bracket, WB bracket
Flash Control Type TTL Auto FP/TTL Auto for Olympus Dedicated Flash
Built-in Flash Yes. Flash Guide Number: 13
Flash Modes Auto/Red-eye Reduction/Slow synchro/ Fill-in for Exclusive Flash
X-Sync Speed X= 1/180 sec. or less FP 1/30 sec. - 1/4000 sec.
Intensity Control Up to +/- 2 EV in each 1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV step for Exclusive Flash
Syncro Timing 1st Curtain Synchro/2nd Curtain Slow Synchro (Selectable)
Multi Flash Control Yes (control built in and ext FL flash independently)
Playback Display Mode Single/Zoom (2/3/4/10x)/Index (4/9/16 frames)/Slide Show
Information Histogram, High Light Point Warning, AF frame, Exposure Mode, Metering Mode, Shutter Speed, F-Stop, Compensation level, ISO, Color Space, WB Mode, Focal Length, Focus Area, File Type, Contrast Level, Sharpness Level
Erase/Protect Function Erase Mode Single/All/Selected
Image Protect Mode Single, Selected
Menu Menu category REC1, REC2, Play Back, Custom, Setup
Languages English, German, Spanish, French, (English Set as Default OIMA). Add additional languages through Web
Customize Custom Reset 4 types
External Connector Personal Computer Interface Full Speed USB 2.0 (12Mb/s)
Personal Computer Connector USB connector: MiniB
Video Signal Output Video Out Jack (NTSC or PAL selectable)
X-synchronization Socket (PC Socket) Hot Shoe, External Flash Connector
Remote Cable Through PS-HLD3 with Optional Remote Cable RM-CB1
DC-IN DC-IN Jack ( Optional: AC Adapter AC-1)
Power Supply Battery Rechargeable Li-ion battery Pack BLM-1
Battery Check Automatic check
Sleep Mode Yes (1, 3, 5, 10 min. selectable)
Date/Time saving Approx. 5 months using the built-in battery
AC Adapter Optional AC adapter: AC-1 AC 100V-240V, 50-60Hz; DC 9V
Size/Weight Dimensions 5.77 x 3.35 x 2.52 in./146.5 x 85 x 64mm
Weight Approx. 20.5 oz./580g (without batteries and CF Card, Caps)
Operating Environment Temperature Operating Range; 32F to 104F ( 0 to 40C)
Storage Range; -4F to 140F ( -20 to 60C)
Humidity Operating Range; 30 to 90%, Storage Range; 10%~90%
Dust and Splash Proof No
Included Accessories 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 Lens
Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLM-1) & Charger (BCM-2)
USB & Video Cables
Shoulder Strap
Software CD-ROM
MSRP with 14-45mm f3.5-5.6 Lens US$999.99

All capacity figures are approximate.

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.

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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 Evolt E-300 8MP Digital SLR
Body Only with 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6
Zuiko Digital Lens
with 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6
& 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 Zuiko Lenses


Olympus Evolt E-300 Accessories
Electronic Flash FL-36 Semi-Hard Case BLM-01 Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery

Memory Cards

Batteries & Chargers

Cases & Bags







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