A great digital SLR camera for anyone who wants to make the leap from a compact camera.
- Live View mode works very well, good on-screen menu system, fast performance, more than 30 shots in high-speed burst mode, useful scene modes
- Optical viewfinder is uncomfortable to use, images displayed noticeable noise at ISO 400, no physical focus mode switch
Despite its noisy images, we recommend the E-30 for anyone who is considering making the leap from an advanced compact camera to a D-SLR. It’s an easy camera to use, and the Live View mode will make it a relatively smooth transition.
Price$ 1,899.00 (AUD)
Even though it’s billed as a mid-range digital SLR camera, the Olympus E-30 is one of the better models on the market for inexperienced users who are thinking of making the switch to a D-SLR but have been scared off by all the dials and buttons. In addition to being a fully customisable camera with buttons and dials for all of its exposure settings, the E-30 offers an easy-to-use on-screen menu, preset scene modes, face detection and the best implementation of Live View we've seen.
Olympus should know a thing or two about Live View, since it’s the company that pioneered the technology. In the Olympus E-30 it works like a charm. Its 2.7in LCD screen is crystal clear, there is no lag when you pan and tilt the camera, and, best of all, auto and manual focus functions work — and swiftly, too. In fact, we preferred using Live View to frame all of our test shots, mainly because the optical viewfinder in the E-30 is uncomfortable. It feels too small, and we could never get it entirely blur free, which made it hard to focus. We had a much better time using the Live View mode.
Of course, it’s hard to view the LCD screen while outdoors on a bright day, so you won’t be able to use Live View all the time. The LCD screen can pop open and flip to let you line up self-portraits or low- and high-angled shots. The LCD screen also comes in handy when you want to change settings; there is no need to wade through tabbed menu systems, as all the exposure information is presented on the screen and all you have to do is navigate to each setting using the 5-way controller on the back of the camera. It’s convenient to use this menu if you are new user who isn’t yet comfortable with all the manual controls located on the body itself.
The E-30 is approximately 14cm long and 9cm wide, and very comfortable to hold. It’s not as heavy as we expected, yet it feels solidly constructed. On the inside it has a 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor with image stabilisation and anti-dust technology (which you can hear when you switch the camera off). It uses the Four Thirds lens mount, which was created by Olympus; in addition to using Olympus’ own lenses, you can find Four Thirds glass by Sigma and Leica. We used the Olympus DIGITAL 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 ED lens for our tests, which comes as part of the E-30 Single lens kit for $1899.
The images produced by this kit were quite good overall, with vibrant colours, plenty of detail and only slight lens distortion at the widest angle. Noise was an issue in many shots, however, especially those shot at ISO 400. It was mainly noticeable when scrutinising pictures at their full size, but in pictures with lots of dark areas, the noise became visible even when viewing them at 50 per cent of their full size. Flare from the sun was not handled well by the lens, as it manifested in rainbow streaks rather than a neat array of beams.
Using manual mode, we were able to set the correct exposure levels in dark and bright areas easily, and the aperture priority and shutter priority modes worked well, too. We also made good use of the art scene modes, which pick the exposure settings automatically and add a particular effect to your photos. For example, you can use a black and white film grain setting, a soft focus wedding setting, and a vignette setting. These all looked great, although some people didn’t like the fake-looking vignette pictures.
For focusing, the Olympus E-30 has manual and autofocus modes, as well as face detection. For precise focusing, you can select from 11 focus points on the screen, but you’ll probably need to read the manual to find out how to change these points, as it’s unintuitive. The camera did a good job of focusing fast and with the 14-42mm lens could focus as close as 8cm to subjects.
Even though images were a little too noisy for our liking and the optical viewfinder is poor, we can’t help but like the Olympus E-30 because it’s fun to use. Its Live View mode is very useful and its dials and buttons are all logically laid out; it’s a fast camera with a crisp shutter sound and a high-speed burst mode that is capable of capturing more than 30 frames before its buffer runs out. We do wish there was a switch for quickly shifting between manual and autofocus modes, as well as an easier way to change focal points, but these aren’t major issues once you learn how to use the camera.
We recommend the Olympus E-30 to anyone who is considering making the leap from an advanced compact camera to a D-SLR, as it’s an easy camera to use overall, and the Live View mode will make it a relatively smooth transition.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s New RX10 IV combines Fast AF and 24 FPS continuous shooting with 24-600mm F2.4-F4 Zoom Lens
- Sony announces Australian availability for new waterproof RX0 action-camera
- Panasonic Announces LUMIX DC-GH5 Firmware Update Service
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- First Look: The Evil Within 2
- Huawei Y5 (2017)
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- CCCerner Senior Applications SpecialistQLD
- FTBusiness Analyst with Testing backgroundOther
- TPPrincipal Business AnalystQLD
- FTJunior-Mid level Technical Software Support/Project CoordinatorQLD
- TPBA Enterprise ProgramVIC
- FTInternal Communications ManagerOther
- FTWebMethods DeveloperOther
- FTJAVA DeveloperOther
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPSharePoint Business AnalystVIC
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCData & Reporting AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Tester - HardwareOther
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCDevOps ConsultantQLD
- FTMEAN Stack DeveloperACT
- FTSecurity Consultant - Security SDMNSW
- FTSenior Asset Information OfficerOther
- FTSenior Software EngineerNSW
- FTSolutions Architect (Enterprise Infrastructure)ACT
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- TPSenior Project Manager - Data MigrationNSW
- FTTechnical Support - Level 1 - Sydney WestOther