Olympus Evolt E30 Digital SLR Reviews & Specifications

Olympus Logo

Easy to Shoot Like a Pro with 20 Intuitive Scene Select Modes

Olympus E30 DSLR Body Olympus Evolt E-30 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera

The Olympus Evolt E-30 SLR Digital Camera is the ideal camera for photo hobbyists and serious digital photographers alike. The high resolution Live-MOS image sensor combined with the TruePic III+ processor gives you better color and quality with true-to-life skin tones, brilliant blue skies, precise color transitions, more detail and less image noise.

The camera also features a 2.7" HyperCrystal II LCD enables images to be beautifully displayed in vivid color, even from 176-degree viewing angles or in bright sunlight, and the Autofocus Live View feature provides users with the choice of framing images with the viewfinder or on the LCD Display. In addition the Display flips out and swivels - making it simple to preview and review your images, even when shooting at an odd angle - the perfect tool for macro photography.

The E-30 makes it easy to shoot like a pro with 20 intuitive Scene Select Modes like Fireworks, Night Scene, Portraits and even underwater modes. Plus features like Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology and In-body Image Stabilization ensure clear, crisp images in any shooting situation; while six Art Filters instantly provide your images a variety of creative looks. The E-30 also solves the dust problem commonly found with SLR Cameras by providing a proven anti-dust system so your pictures will be spotless - every time.


12.3 Megapixel Resolution
The high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor provides professional quality image resolution with excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity and lower noise than other image sensors

Uses Professional Quality Zuiko-Digital Lens
Olympus Zuiko lenses are precision-engineered and designed especially for digital photography to provide edge-to-edge clarity and even brightness across your image. Furthermore, there is a large selection of Zuiko lenses available ranging from extremely wide angle to high zoom telephoto lenses as well as specialty lenses, and all Zuiko Digital lenses are compatible with all Olympus E-System digital SLR cameras

In-Body Image Stabilization
The In-Body Image Stabilization system utilizes sensor-shift technology to counter the effect of camera shake so you can shoot sharp steady images - always. When shooting in low light the system can compensate for camera shake by up to 5 shutter speed steps. And because the stabilization system is built into the camera body, it can be used with any compatible lens, eliminating the added expense of specialized lenses

Anti-Dust System
The proven anti-dust system ensures that you'll get spotless pictures - every time. Every time you turn on the E-30, the Supersonic Wave Filter - located between the shutter and the image sensor - silently vibrates an amazing 30,000 times per second, so dust is flung away and collected so it can't come back. As a result, you can change lenses anywhere without worrying about dust

TruePic III+ Image Processor
The TruePic III+ Image Processor provides fast camera operation and processing speed for more responsive camera operation. Along with the speed advantages, TruePic III+ also produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide you with brilliantly clear and bright photos with accurate skin tones

20 Easy-to-use Scene-select Modes
The E-30 makes it easy to shoot like a pro with 20 easy-to-use Scene Select Modes covering practically every common shooting scenario including Portrait, Fireworks, Sports, Landscape, Sunset, and many more. Simply select the right mode for your shot, and the camera takes care of the rest

Face Detection
The Face Detection feature distinguishes between people's faces and the background and is shown right on the LCD. This innovative technology tracks up to eight faces within the image area and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures

Shadow Adjustment Technology
Compensating for extreme contrast when shooting under bright light conditions such as afternoon sunlight, Shadow Adjustment Technology adjusts the exposure in the shadows while retaining all the detail in the bright areas

Built-in and External Flash
Use the built-in, auto pop-up flash with six modes including auto and redeye reduction, and even manually adjust the flash intensity for a custom look, or attach an external flash such as the FL-36 to the Hot Shoe for even more illuminating options. The E-30 is also compatible with Olympus wireless flashes such as the FL-50R, so you could utilize wireless multi-flash photography to truly expand your creative options

Autofocus Live View
In addition to a traditional optical through-the-lens viewfinder, the E-30 boasts a Live View LCD, which makes it easier to compose and shoot in any situation, from any angle. In addition The E-30's on-screen Autofocus works as seamlessly as a point-and-shoot to display subjects, in focus, on the LCD the instant the shutter is pressed half way - making composition of your shots even easier. In addition, Perfect Shot Preview enables you to view and select your favorite effect right on the LCD, and see how the image will look, even before you capture it

2.7" Swivel LCD Display
The 2.7" HyperCrystal II LCD has approximately 230,000 pixels, and provides many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors, making it easy to view your shots, even in bright sunlight. Plus, you'll be able to see the screen from almost any angle thanks to the 270-degree swivel range of the display so photographers can compose at tough angles, including overhead and down low. And combined with the Live View feature, users can now hold their digital SLR camera at waist level when taking portrait photos for a more intimate connection with your subject

Capture in JPEG or RAW
Shoot using JPEG format for no-hassle sharing, printing, and viewing, or shoot using RAW format for highest image quality and control. You can even shoot in both JPEG & RAW formats simultaneously for the ultimate in file management options

Multi-Aspect Ratio Shooting
The E-30 provides nine aspect ratios including the standard 4:3, as well as 16:9 for cinematic-style images, and square format for the classic medium format camera look. There are also other popular aspect ratio selections available

Multiple Exposure Function
Combine images shot in different locations and moments - the Multiple Exposure function overlays up to four RAW images and saves it as a single image- right in the camera, for dramatic and surreal results

Digital Level Sensor
The internal Digital Level Sensor indicates the cameras orientation in the optical viewfinder on the control panel, and during Live View operation. It is extremely useful to landscape and architectural photographers who must ensure that horizon lines and vertical elements are properly oriented in the image

Versatile Color Modes
The E-30 is compatible with sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces, and you can fine-tune your photo's colors with five modes (Vivid, Natural, Muted, Monotone, Sepia), shoot in black and white using monotone filter effects or use picture tone settings (Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green tone available) for even more image color options. Altogether, the advanced color modes of the E-30 let you be as creative as your imagination allows

Art Filters
The Art Filters replicate six dramatic effects so users can produce photographic artwork. Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, and Pin Hole Camera are all available right in the camera so you can apply these effects at the time of shooting to ensure that you've captured the mood just right

Dual Card Slots
The E-30 has two memory slots, one that hold Compact Flash (Type I & II) or Microdrive cards and one for xD-picture cards. Use the dual slot design to transfer images you want to save from one card to another for better management of your important images. The CF Card slot is also compatible with UDMA compliant CF cards for improved data transfer rates, and therefore camera performance

Auto-Connect USB & Direct Print Compatible
Transfer your images faster and easier to a computer for viewing, editing, printing and more with a simple USB connection (USB 2.0 Full Speed), no software installation necessary. The E-30 can also connect to any PictBridge-enabled printer via the included USB cable for fast and easy PC-free printing. Simply select the images that you wish to print on the camera's LCD and print

Camera Includes
Olympus E-30 SLR Digital Camera
BLM-1 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery
BCM-2 Battery Charger
USB/Video Muti-Cable
Shoulder Strap
Body Cap
Eyepiece Cap
Olympus Master Software CD-ROM
Instruction Manual
1-Year Manufacturers Limited Warranty

Shop for the Olympus Evolt E30 Digital SLR Camera here from these stores
Link to Amazon

Camera Type
SLR Digital Camera
Effective: 13.1MP, Recorded: 12.3MP
17.3 x 13mm MOS
Bit Depth
File Formats
File Size
Not Specified by Manufacturer
Color Spaces
sRGB, Adobe RGB
Image Stabilization
Crop Factor
Lens Mount
Four Thirds
Focus Type
Auto and Manual Focus
Focus Range
Accessory Lens/Filter Mount
ISO 100-3200
Shutter Speeds
1/8000 - 60 sec, bulb
Digital ESP, Center-weighted Average, Spot
Exposure Modes
Auto, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Scene
White Balance
Auto, Lamp, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Custom
Mirror Lock-Up
Burst Capability
High-speed continuous: 5fps, Low-speed continuous: up to 4fps
Self Timer
2 seconds or 12 seconds
Interval Recording
Remote Control
RM-UC1 Remote cable (optional)
RM-1 infra-red remote control (optional)
Built-in Flash
Effective Flash Range
Up to 39' (12.0 m)
External Flash Connection
Hotshoe, PC Terminal
Dedicated Flash System
Olympus FL Series
Max Sync Speed
1/250 sec
Built-in Memory
Memory Card Type
CompactFlash I/II, xD
Still Images per GB
RAW: 73
JPEG: High Res:124 - Low Res:10,240
Video Recording
Video Resolution
Video Clip Length
Audio Recording
Viewfinder Type
Eye-level Single-Lens Reflex
Viewfinder Coverage
2.7" LCD
USB 2.0, A/V
System & Software Requirements
Windows 2000, XP, Vista
Macintosh OS X (10.2 or later)
Operating/Storage Temperature
Operating Temperature: 32-104F/0-40C
Humidity: 30-90% (operating), 10-90% (storage)
Not Specified by Manufacturer
Not Specified by Manufacturer
Battery Type
BLM-1 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
Power Adapter
AC-1 Adapter Kit (optional)
4.3 x 5.6 x 2.9" (108 x 142 x 75mm)
23.1 oz (655g) body only


More like an E-3 MKII, January 5, 2010

By R. Sarma "rssarma" (New York)

I started out with an E-510, went to the 520, then took a couple of steps back and started using the E-1 and the E-500, then added the E-3 to my bag which saw about 6 months use, but all the jumping around came to an end the day I bought the E-30. After exactly two months, I've sold all my old Olympus gear (except the E-1) and I'm happy to say that I'm very satisfied with my purchase of the E-30.

The E-30 is not just an E-3 packed into a smaller body, it's much more! The AF system seems vastly improved over the E-3, the LCD screen is slightly better, IQ at higher ISOs is a lot more usable as there is no banding and the overall size is a lot more manageable.

Let me start with some Pros:

1. AF system is a huge upgrade, the E-30 seems to have an AF system which is much more sure footed and accurate than the E-3. The biggest plus is the ability to perform micro adjustment on the AF. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC HSM Four Thirds Lens for Olympus and Panasonic Digital Cameras is one of my favourite lenses which unfortunately had AF problems on every 4/3s body, but with the E-30, I've dialled in an AF adjustment and it works flawlessly! In the S-T-D mode the AF is simply spectacular, locking focus in very, very low light! In short, the AF is a huge upgrade from the E-3.

2. IQ is an improvement over all other 4/3s bodies. In fact the IQ of the E-30 came closes to what I was used to seeing from the E-1; accurate white balance and excellent colors with lovely saturation and just the right amount of contrast. The sharpening is a touch too much for my taste, but keeping it at -1 makes the images look a lot nicer with lesser noise. Noise is slightly on the higher side, but with the noise filter at either "Low" or the manufacturer recommended "Standard" this is a complete non-issue.

3. High ISO performance is by far the best I've seen on any 4/3s body. I fearlessly use the E-30 at ISO 1600 with no issues whatsoever. In fact I've made several 8x10 and 13x19 prints of ISO 1600 JPEGs straight from the camera and not once have I seen any issues. With the E-3, E-510/520 I almost always saw banding in the shadows, no such thing with the E-30.

4. Dynamic Range is a toss-up, but has definitely seen some improvement. At ISO 200, the images show a lot more highlight detail than ISO 100. Olympus hasn't documented it's ISO implementation very well and as a result this may leave many users confused. When used in "Auto ISO" the lower range starts from ISO 200, whereas when selecting the ISO manually, ISO 100 is available. Based on certain tests, I noticed that highlights definitely retain more detail at ISO 200, but shadows are a tad noisier. Basically, if you want ultra-clean noise free images, continue to shoot at ISO 100 with careful metering and you'll be happy. If a scene has too much DR, ISO 200 may help a little, but don't expect miracles.

5. Lastly, metering seems very conservative just like the E-3, this is a good thing, but I'd definitely recommend keeping an eye on the histograms. Overall, the metering is very predictable.

Now that we're done with the Pros, here are some Cons:

1. Build quality is nice, but nowhere near E-3 standards, considering that the E-30 is priced so close to the E-3, I was hoping for better. For example, the pop-up flash in my unit actually has some play. The shutter however seems to be the same as the E-3 which I really like; its quiet and has very little lag and non of the whining and moaning that you get on the E-620, 520 and similar.

2. There is a problem with the AF point illumination light spilling into it's neighbouring points; I spoke with Olympus regarding this and they confirmed that this was a known issue with no solution at this point. The best thing to do is make sure your eye is dead-centre on the OVF (thank you very much!).

3. Images lack the biting detail that I was used to seeing from previous Olympus cameras, especially at higher ISOs. As a result, at times they do require a greater degree of sharpening.

4. Image noise is so far the highest amongst all 4/3 DSLRs, while this is only an issue when pixel peeping, it's definitely a bigger issue if you plan to print very large or if you plan to crop heavily.

5. I'm not very crazy about the button placement. The combination button to enable bracketing isn't great and I find the placement of the ON/OFF switch to be very counter-intuitive, although this is just a very small matter of getting used to. Also, the 4 buttons on the bottom of the LCD are very difficult to get to especially if you're using the camera with gloves.

Overall, the E-30 is a fine camera and houses a lot of improvements that could have essentially been used in an E-3 MKII. I'm glad to have bought this camera and will definitely recommend this to anyone considering it.I will keep my eyes open for the next big thing, but until then I will be using this camera with a lot of pleasure!

Olympus Camera

Olympus E30 DSLR Body
Olympus Evolt E30 Digital SLR Camera Main Body

Olympus E30 DSLR-Swivel LCD
Olympus Evolt E30 Digital SLR Camera with Swivel LCD

Olympus E30 DSLR-Back
Olympus Evolt E30 Digital SLR Camera Back LCD 

Know the Olympus Camera you are looking for?
Go directly to the lens by using the drop-down menu below

See also