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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:09 am 
after getting a chance to hold the e-30 @ calumet, couldn't help myself, had to purchase one (hopefully can pay off the bill without much interest). There are a couple of things I note with this camera:

1. Depending on your raw development software of choice, these files are excellent. In Lightroom 2.5, the raw files look alright, albeit not 100% satisfactory. In the Lightroom 3 Beta, these files look MUCH better. noise performance is also much better. Even in the beta iso3200 is usable. No banding, film grain like noise which should also be able to be taken care of once Lightroom 3 is officially is released (though I have no issues with this type of noise and very much enjoy it in black & white shots). I took some iso3200 shots today in a low light restaurant, no issues with focusing. With that said, though the E-30 has more noise than the E-3, the E-30's noise is much more of a fine grain. Pushing high iso files so far hasn't resulted in banding. I feel more confident in using this camera over the E-3 when shooting music events in low light. With the sensor technology constantly improving, I'm sure the E-3 successor will turn heads.

2. Coming from the E-3, I couldn't tell a major difference between viewfinders. Both of these viewfinders are excellent.

3. The AWB performance of the E-30 so far has been absolutely no match against the E-3. As I shoot raw, I tend to keep my WB on auto and correct as necessary in Lightroom. However if you shoot jpeg, the AWB performance of the E-3 is much better, though it would be much wiser to do a one touch WB first before shooting.

4. This one is very interesting indeed: I feel I get better performance with the HLD-4 attached to the E-30 than I do with the E-3. With the Hld-4 and 2 batteries I took well over 1,000 shots with IS turned on for a dominant portion of these shots. No Live View was used. On my E-3 I get the notorious empty battery message frequently. I usually end up having to detach the grip, switch the position of the batteries, reattach the grip and keep shooting. Hasn't been a problem with the E-30.

5. The angle gauge/level has been very useful in the viewfinder.

With that said, for certain jobs I do believe I'll be using this one more than the E-3. However as winter approaches I doubt I'll be using it for much outdoor work, in which case I'll be giving some thorough testing of the E-3 weather sealing. Both are excellent cameras and either would make a great upgrade from that of the e-4xx/5xx series.

Happy shooting!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:43 am 
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You seem to be quite heavily invested in the Olympus system. I'm wondering if you've tried other systems for comparison? I love using my E520 but I just grimace during those times when I have to pump up the ISO. Also, I have sometimes to do a lot of PP to brighten shadows and darken highlights on landscapes, while being careful not to blow out too much of the detail with a fraction of an overexposed shot. This in turn further increases noise.

Could you tell me how much of an improvement the dynamic range and high ISO performance is on the E30 compared with the E520? I assume the E3 would slot somewhere between the two in performance here? All Olympuses are bottom of the DSLR class on dxomark.com but I suspect they perform relatively better than that in the field.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:09 pm 
Unfortunately I haven't had a major chance to test out another system. I work for a multimedia non-profit that has a good amount of Nikon gear so when I have the time I'll go through the storage and see what I can use to test. As far as ISO performance goes: If you're strictly shooting jpeg and don't plan on using any PP software, perhaps another system might better suit your needs if you want better noise performance. If you're going to be using PP software, I feel the playing field becomes more leveled. I have no issues so far with the ISO performance so far, but keep in mind I'm developing raw files in the Lightroom 3 beta (I suggest all who haven't to go and check this beta out).

Compared to the E-520, I would say the E-30 tends to blow highlights much less. I've spent much less time using the exposure compensation and more time shooting. Compared to the E-3: In my testing (which is not scientific by any means, just looking at real life examples) the E-3 has given me better detail in shadow region while the E-30 has given me better detail in the highlights. Both cameras are solid performers in my opinion.

Though 4/3 ranks terribly in dxo mark charts and graphs, In most real life shooting I can't tell the major difference. When photos are being post processed and shown online @ standard web resolution sizes, the only difference I notice from 4/3 cameras is the aspect ratio.


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