Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
Olympus E-3 Gordon Laing, May 2008

Olympus E-3 results :
Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

Support this site by price checking below

Zuiko Digital 12-60mm 1:2.8-4 SWD
Olympus E-3 versus Nikon D300 outdoor scene

To compare real-life performance we shot the same scene with the Olympus E-3 and Nikon D300 within a few moments of each other using their Aperture Priority modes, best quality JPEG and lowest ISO settings. The lenses on each camera were set to f8 and adjusted to deliver the same vertical field of view - see note below.

The E-3 was fitted with the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm 1:2.8-4 SWD and the D300 with the Nikkor DX 17-55mm f2.8 lens.

The image left was taken with the Olympus E-3 and 12-60mm at 20mm f8 and with a sensitivity of 100 ISO; the original JPEG measured 4.49MB. The crops are taken from the upper left, centre, lower right and lower left portions of the originals and presented here at 100%.

Note: The Olympus E-3, like all Four Thirds DSLRs, captures images with a 4:3 aspect ratio that's narrower than the 3:2 aspect ratio of most DSLRs including the Nikon D300. In this test we adjusted the lenses on each camera to deliver the same vertical field of view, so we're not using the full width of the D300 image. The D300 is therefore acting here like a camera which delivers 4:3 shaped images with 10.8 Megapixel resolution rather than one which delivers 12.3 Megapixel, 3:2 shaped images.

Since we're comparing the 10.1 Megapixel native resolution of the E-3 against 10.8 Megapixels of the D300's image, you'd expect to see roughly similar degrees of detail in the crops below. But before talking about recorded detail, there's some significant differences between the samples which need to be addressed first.

Quite simply, the Olympus E-3 crops look much sharper and better defined than those from the Nikon D300. As we discovered in our Nikon D300 review, this camera applies a relatively modest amount of sharpening to its JPEGs using the default settings. Take a look at the second row of crops and it's clear the E-3's default settings are applying much more sharpening, although this in turn has resulted in some undesirable artefacts around some of the roof-tops.

But much more than that, the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm lens is simply performing much better here than the Nikkor DX 17-55mm, even when both are closed to a relatively conservative f8 aperture. As we've seen before, this Nikkor lens can become quite soft towards the edges and corners, but the Olympus lens is sharp across the entire frame. This lens greatly impressed us throughout our tests with the E-3 and is one of the best optics we've had the pleasure of using.

So the Olympus crops below look sharper and better defined thanks partly to greater in-camera sharpening and mostly to superior optics. As we found on our D300 review, you can retrieve more detail by applying greater sharpening to its images, but there's no denying the Olympus lens below is performing much better than the Nikkor model.

In terms of real-life detail recorded, take a look at the second row of crops again, taken from the middle of the frame where both lenses should be performing well. Once again the Olympus crop looks much sharper, but most of this is due to processing differences. Boost the D300's sharpening or soften the E-3's and both cameras can actually deliver quite similar-looking results, with roughly the same amount of real-life detail. Of course the D300 also has an extra Megapixel or so on each side of the image which we're not seeing here.

But either way, it's a good result for the E-3, and an especially good result for the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm lens. Now either scroll down to check out the E-3's RAW performance, or head straight over to our studio tests in the E-3 resolution page.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Olympus E-3
with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm 1:2.8-4 SWD
Nikon D300
with Nikkor DX 17-55mm f2.8
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO


Olympus E-3: JPEG versus RAW

We photographed the scene here in RAW + Large Fine JPEG mode and have presented crops below from each file for comparison. The RAW file was converted using Adobe Camera RAW using its default settings, saved as a 16-bit TIFF, then opened in Photoshop. This was then reduced to 8 bits and processed the same way as the original JPEG for presentation here.

The RAW conversion has taken a slightly different approach to the tone and sharpening, but otherwise they're quite similar results. As always, the benefit of shooting in RAW is being able to further tweak the settings and apply more sophisticated processing, but as seen here and throughout our review, the E-3 can certainly produce some very pleasing images using its in-camera JPEG processing and default settings.

Now to see how the camera performed under studio conditions, check out our Olympus E-3 resolution results.

Olympus E-3 JPEG
with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm 1:2.8-4 SWD
Olympus E-3 RAW
with Zuiko Digital 12-60mm 1:2.8-4 SWD
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO

Olympus E-3 results continued...

Outdoor resolution / Studio resolution / Real life Noise

Support this site by checking prices below or shopping via our affiliate stores

USA readers

UK readers

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs