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Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review

Have a look at the new Olympus E-30 via 29 pictures in our preview tour

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Welcome to our first hands-on preview of a pre-production Olympus E-30 DSLR, with the new Mark II Zuiko Digital 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 standard zoom. Much of this article is pictorial and our 27 image captioned gallery (see below) is designed to give you a feel for the camera's design and controls, as well as providing a comparison with other Olympus E-System DSLRs.

This is a pre-production engineering sample. The body doesn't have a production serial number and the firmware version is 0.80. So there is no possibility to show sample images taken by the camera. The lens does have a production release firmware version of 1.0, and I was able to use the lens normally on a Micro Four Thirds Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1, via the Panasonic DMW-MA1 mount adapter.

The E-30 is a fair bit larger and heavier than the E-520, but most of the extra bulk accommodates a wealth of welcome new functionality.

 

I've already been asked about the weight, feel and handling of the E-30 compared to the E-3, for example, as well as the optical viewfinder. The E-30 handles very similarly to the E-3 in terms of size and weight, being slightly less heavy and tall. The similarity is concentrated when the E-3's HLD-4 grip is attached. Full marks for Olympus for a) providing a grip for the E-30 and, b) not going for a new design that is incompatible with any other.

The viewfinder will be a very welcome improvement compared to E-520 or E-420. It's large and bright; about the same size as the E-1's finder and only slightly smaller than that of the E-3, for example. The information display now lives under the frame, rather than to the right, which is the same arrangement as the E-1 and E-3.

E-1 owners can now see how the size of the E-30 compares with their cameras.

 

The pictures linked to below from our thumbnail gallery may well answer other questions you have to ask. We've only had the camera for 24 hours, so we will follow up with a closer look at the operational features of the camera in a subsequent article.



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Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review

Four Thirds User editorial team Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Here is our initial detailed hands-on review of a pre-production fully working sample of the new Oly... (more)

Ian Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Apologies, there was a problem with the captions in the featured gallery. This has now been fixed... (more)

hschnee Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Thank you for the detailed image gallery, Ian! Very much appreciated! :) - Hal -... (more)

Ian Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
That's what I'm here for, Hal. If you feel this article would be of interest and value to an... (more)

Atlasman Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Ian, Is live preview the same implementation as the E-3?... (more)

Ian Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Ummmm - not exactly sure what you mean, but it's closer to the E-520 and E-420 than the E-3, which i... (more)

Atlasman Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Mostly the mirror action during the process of capturing an image.... (more)

Ian Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Right! I've just done some quick timings. Pre-focused in live view mode, with AF on, the shutter ... (more)

Atlasman Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Excellent! Thanks.... (more)

markie731 Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Good day Sir, What is your assessment of the new 14-54 ver II lens compared to the old one? does ... (more)

Ian Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
There really doesn't appear to be much difference in performance. The lens has been given a minor... (more)

Kuifje Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Interesting for the lens will be if the circular apperture blades will give (even) more pleasing "ou... (more)

Ian Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
I've already had a look at this and there is no significant difference between the old and new 14... (more)

Kuifje Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Thanks, Ian. Martin... (more)

geohsia Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Ian, How loud/quiet is the E-30 vs. something like the E-1? Thanks. George... (more)

Ian Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
The E-30 sounds quite similar to an E-3, so it does have a slight metallic ring to it. It's not a... (more)

geohsia Re: Pre-production Olympus E-30 hands-on review
Thanks Ian. I wonder when they'll have a mirrorless shutter actuation. I thought they had that wit... (more)

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