Olympus E-3 Digital SLR Announced

by Reads (52)

After plenty of anticipation, Olympus is officially announcing their new professional-level digital SLR, the Olympus E-3. The weatherproof, 10 megapixel E-3 sports a swiveling LCD, fast auto focus and a shutter rated for 150,000 cycles.  The E-3 body will be available in November 2007 for an estimated street price of $1700.

olympus e-3
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Along with the E-3 announcement, Olympus is also rolling out two updated flash units, the FL50R and FL36R that will run $500 and $300 respectively.

The new E-3 features Olympus’ Dust Reduction system, Live View, TruePic III processor, and the mechanical image stabilization that we’ve seen on their other digital SLRs.  Building on that base, the E-3 has a new auto-focus system, a swiveling 2.5 inch LCD, 5 fps continuous shooting, maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 second, and a measure of durability to stand up to the needs of a pro photographer.

The fast AF time on the E-3 is enabled via the new 11 point AF sensor that includes twin cross-type focus points.  The E-3 also works with Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD) lenses to focus quickly, quietly, and accurately.  Olympus also precisely aligns the optical axis of lens with the AF phase detection sensor to provide accuracy and adjusts for temperature differences by using a built-in thermometer.  Each of the 11 AF points can work individually or in conjunction with its neighbors.

The 2.5 inch LCD swiveling LCD can be moved and rotated to be viewable at any horizontal or vertical viewing angle.  It has 230K pixels of resolution and includes HyperCrystal technology from Olympus.  For capturing your images, the optical viewfinder provides 100% coverage of the frame with a 1.15x magnification.

olympus e-3
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A magnesium chassis protects the guts of the camera, and seals make the E-3 weatherproof.  To provide plenty of life, the shutter is rated at 150,000 cycles.

The E-3 accepts CompactFlash Type I and II, Microdrives, and xD-Picture Card media for storing images.  It is powered by a lithium-ion battery (BLM-1).  There is an optional battery grip that holds two additional BLM-1 battery packs.

olympus e-3
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The two new flash units, the FL-50R and FL-36R are new wireless flashes.  Both flashes have a rotary head that can be rotated in four directions.  The E-3 features a commander function that can control these flashes in combination with the built-in flash.  The camera can control three wireless flash groups independently.

FL-50R (view large image)

FL-36R (view large image)


Olympus E-3 specifications

  • 10 megapixel Live MOS sensor ( 0.68 in. x 0.51 in.)
  • Lens mount: Four Thirds
  • Mechanical image stabilization
  • Live View
  • Dust Reduction system (Supersonic Wave Filter)
  • Weatherproof body
  • Magnesium chassis
  • File formats: RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG
  • Viewfinder: 100% coverage, 1.15x magnificatation, diopter adjustment
  • 2.5 inch, 230K pixel, swiveling LCD
  • 11 point AF system, 2 cross-type points
  • Metering:  Digital ESP (49 point multi-pattern), center weighted, spot
  • ISO range : 100-3200
  • Shutter speed range: 60-1/8000 second, up to 30 minutes in Bulb mode
  • White balance: 7 settings (3000K – 7500K), Lamp (3000K), Fluorescent 1 (4000K), Fluorescent 2  4500K), Fluorescent 3 (6600K), Daylight (5300K), Flash (5500K), Cloudy (6000K), Shade (7500K)
  • Timer: 12 seconds, 2 seconds
  • Continuous shooting: 5 fps (up to 16 RAW files at a time)
  • Flash sync speed: 1/250 sec. or less, Super FP up to 1/8000 sec.
  • Power: BLM-1 Li-ion battery.  Good for approximately 610 shots per charge
  • Dimensions: 5.6 in. (W) x 4.58 in. (H) x 2.9 in. (D)
  • Weight: 1.79lbs

olympus e-3
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