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November 5, 2008

Olympus introduces new E-30 interchangeable lens type digital SLR

Four Thirds System compliant intermediate-level model
with Art Filter function for creative photographic expression

E-30 with ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm F2.8-3.5II E-30 (back)

E-30 with ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm f2.8-3.5II

E-30 (back)

Olympus Imaging Corporation (President: Masaharu Okubo) today announced the launch of the E-30, the latest addition to the Olympus E-System series of interchangeable lens type digital SLR cameras. Positioned as a mid-level model, the E-30 is intended for anyone who wants to express their creativity through photography, whether they are an amateur just starting out or a profession with years of experience behind them. The E-30 complies with the Four Thirds System standard, and is scheduled to go on sale in the first quarter of the year 2009.

Main Features

  1. Easy-to-apply Art Filters for enhanced creativity, a choice of 9 different aspect ratios, High-Speed Imager AF for responsive Live View shooting, a dual-axis variable-angle HyperCrystal II LCD monitor, and other features for versatile photographic expression
  2. A newly developed 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS Sensor, new TruePic III+ image processing engine, and a built-in image stabilization system that offers up to 5EV* of effective compensation
  3. High-speed 11-point full twin cross AF, high-speed 5 fps continuous shooting, high-speed 1/8000 sec. shutter, and other high-speed performance features inherited from the E-3

The E-30 is positioned as a mid-level model between the E-520 and the E-3 models. In addition to inheriting the superior image quality and high-speed performance of the E-3, it offers a wealth of new features designed to expand the photographer's range of creative and artistic expression.

Six Art Filters, including a bright, colorful, Pop Art filter and a dreamy, ethereal, Soft Focus filter, enable anyone to easily achieve modes of photographic expression that ordinarily require the use of special lenses, add-on filters, or the use of complex image processing techniques. Although the E-30's standard aspect ratio is 4:3, it offers a choice of 9 different aspect ratios, including wide-screen 16:9 and medium-format 6:6. In addition, it makes Live View shooting more enjoyable with a High-Speed Imager AF that enables autofocusing with compact-camera ease, and a dual-axis, variable-angle monitor that supports both horizontal- and vertical-format Live View shooting.

The highest standard of image quality is assured by the E-30's newly developed 12.3-megapixel, high-speed Live MOS Sensor and new TruePic III+ image processing engine. It also boasts a built-in image stabilization system that offers up to 5EV* steps of shake compensation, and works with the entire range of Four Thirds System lenses, from wide-angle to telephoto, as well as macro and fisheye lenses.

The E-30 also offers outstanding high-speed performance, and incorporates the same 11-point, twin-cross AF sensor, 5 fps high-speed continuous shooting, and 1/8000 sec. high-speed shutter featured on the Olympus E-3.

To provide an ever-wider range of offerings for entry-level, intermediate, and professional digital SLR photographers, Olympus will continue to develop and expand its lineup of digital SLR systems that comply with the Four Thirds System standard.

In-house testing

Other Features

  • Multiple-exposure function with LCD monitor display of current view on top of previously captured image
  • Auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows
  • Face & Background Control for beautifully balanced exposures of foreground subjects and background scenery
  • Perfect Shot Preview to enable comparison of the results of various settings adjustments before actual shooting
  • Reliable Dust Reduction system
  • Built-in flash with Commander function for wireless off-camera flash synchronization
  • Large optical viewfinder with 98% field of view and 1.02x magnification
  • Shooting information display via top-mounted LCD panel and Super Control Panel LCD monitor display for superior visibility and operating ease
  • High-precision, 49-zone metering system
  • Easy activation of shooting functions via sample image selection
  • Versatile bracketing functions for ISO, white balance, exposure, and flash
  • Lightbox view with enlargement function for easy side-by-side comparison of images
  • Indication of the level gauge in/on the viewfinder, Control panel, Rear LCD monitor

Main Feature Details

1. Easy-to-apply Art Filters for enhanced creativity, a choice of 9 different aspect ratios, High-Speed Imager AF for responsive Live View shooting, a dual-axis variable-angle HyperCrystal II LCD monitor, and other features for versatile photographic expression

Easy-to-apply Art Filters for enhanced creativity
The E-30 does not just reproduce images with amazing fidelity − it also enables users to express themselves creatively by using Art Filters to produce the precise effect they want. As a result, virtually anyone can easily enjoy modes of photographic expression that ordinarily require the use of special lenses, add-on filters, or the use of complex image processing techniques. The following 6 Art Filters are offered:

Pop Art
Emphasizes colors and creates bright, vibrant images with a pop-art tone

Normal Shooting

Art Filter Shooting
Soft Focus
Gives images a light, ethereal look and evokes a dreamy, mystical mood

Normal Shooting

Art Filter Shooting
Pale & Light Color
Utilizes muted color tonalities to create a mood of reflection and nostalgia

Normal Shooting

Art Filter Shooting
Light Tone
Subdues highlights and shadows to reflect the ambience of a perfectly illuminated scene

Normal Shooting

Art Filter Shooting
Grainy Film
Recreates the rich, grainy look and tonality of black & white photography, imparting a dramatic feel to images

Normal Shooting

Art Filter Shooting
Pin Hole
Reproduces the peripheral vignetting and unique color tone of photos taken with a toy camera

Normal Shooting

Art Filter Shooting

A choice of 9 aspect ratios
During Live View shooting, users are offered a choice of 9 aspect ratios. In addition to the standard 4:3 aspect ratio, the E-30 offers widescreen 16:9 and medium-format 6:6, as well as 3:2, 5:4, 7:6, 6:5, 7:5, and 3:4 aspect ratios.

High-Speed Imager AF for responsive Live View shooting
The E-30 is equipped with the widely acclaimed AF Live View system featured on the Olympus E-520 and E-420, which uses High-Speed Imager AF to detect contrast at the image sensor − without having to retract the camera's main mirror. As a result, Live View shooting is as easy and carefree as it is with a compact digital camera.

Dual-axis variable-angle HyperCrystal II LCD monitor
The E-30's 2.7-inch HyperCrystal II LCD monitor boasts a 176° viewing angle from all directions, and a dual-axis variable-angle mechanism that enables the monitor to be rotated on both the vertical and horizontal axis. So users can use Live View shooting to comfortably capture high-angle and low-angle shots without looking through the viewfinder or assuming an awkward position. The variable-angle monitor also permits waist-level portrait shooting, so you can maintain eye contact with your subject and get them to maintain a natural facial expression by talking to them to put them at ease.

2. A newly developed 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS Sensor, new TruePic III+ image processing engine, and a built-in image stabilization system that offers up to 5EV* of effective compensation

Newly developed 12.3-megapixel high-speed Live MOS Sensor and new TruePic III+ image processing engine
The E-30's newly developed 12.3-megapixel Live MOS Sensor offers high resolution, rich gradations, and bright, natural color reproduction that faithfully renders your subject in fine detail. Based on proven MOS signal amplification technologies, the new sensor features a simplified structure that was achieved through fundamental improvements to materials and production technologies. The sensor is also mounted on a flexible circuit board as single unit, greatly reducing signal and circuit resistance, power consumption, heat, and noise. In addition, the sensor's low power requirements make it possible to use Live View on a fulltime basis.

The newly developed TruePic III+ image processing engine employs the image processing technologies listed below to improve image quality, tonal gradation, and color fidelity, and (via the new Art Filter function) to offer a rich range of creative expression.

Art Filter function
The Art Filter function adds artistic effects to images by analyzing the scene the user is about to shoot, regulating shooting parameters, and optimally applying artistic processing programs.

Wide Dynamic Range
The dynamic range in high light area is further improved.

Built-in image stabilization system
The E-30 is equipped with a sensor-shift image stabilization system to facilitate handheld, low-light and telephoto shooting. Driven by proprietary Olympus SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) technology, it applies advanced image stabilization control algorithms to motion data sent from a high-precision gyro sensor, and instantly shifts the sensor via SWD actuators that offer outstanding response and controllability. Thanks to the system's outstanding effectiveness, users can enjoy the equivalent of up to 5EV steps of image stabilization compensation.

Because it is built into the camera body, the E-30's image stabilization can be used with all ZUIKO DIGITAL and other lenses that comply with the Four Thirds System standard, providing effective image stabilization with everything from super wide-angle to super telephoto lenses, as well as fisheye and macro lenses. As a result, users can enjoy blur-free handheld shooting not only on telephoto shots, but also on long-exposure fisheye and super wide-angle shots in low light.

3. High-speed 11-point full twin cross AF system, high-speed 5 fps continuous shooting, high-speed 1/8000 sec. shutter, and other high-speed performance features inherited from the E-3

High-speed 11-point full twin cross AF system
The E-30 incorporates the same 11-point AF sensor used in the E-3, which assures higher accuracy by using a twin cross configuration with two staggered horizontal and vertical lines at each of the 11 sensor points, for a total of 44 discrete data collection sites.

The twin cross configuration enables the sensor to accurately detect contrast in both horizontal and vertical directions with virtually any type of subject, while the staggered arrangement of the lines significantly increases accuracy and improves AF performance in low light. The layout of the 11 AF points is based on statistical analysis of the position of the main subject in thousands of different photos, and on extensive interviews with professional photographers.

The E-30 also employs the latest rangefinding algorithms and a dedicated AF data processing engine to process data from all sensor points simultaneously, thereby achieving significantly improved subject recognition and tracking performance, and AF speed equivalent with that of the E-3. In addition, proprietary Olympus pixel addition technology enables rangefinding at light levels from 19 EV down to -2EV, ensuring high-precision autofocusing even in low light.

High-speed 5 fps continuous shooting and high-speed 1/8000 sec. shutter
To assure outstanding high-speed performance, the E-30 features a high-speed Live MOS sensor with fast write speeds, a high-speed TruePic III+ engine with fast image processing, a high-precision mirror mechanism, and other advances to enable high-speed continuous shooting and high shutter speeds.
The E-30's maximum continuous shooting speed is 5 frames per second, and its maximum shutter speed is 1/800 sec., with flash synchronization at 1/250 sec. When used with the FL-50R or FL-36R external flash units, it also supports the use of Super FP flash for daylight synchro (fill-in flash) shooting at shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec.

Other Feature Details

Multiple-exposure function with LCD monitor display of current view on top of previously captured image
Multiple-exposure photos can be taken when using either the optical viewfinder or Live View. During Live View shooting, previously captured RAW image data can be displayed on the LCD monitor and used as the base for a multiple exposure, with currently visible scene overlaid on the base image. Up to 4 exposures can be made on a single frame, with or without auto gain adjustment according to the user's preference. In addition, RAW format images already recorded on the camera's memory card can also be composited together in the same way. So in addition to conventional multiple exposure images, they can also easily create multiple exposures of subjects widely separated in space and time.

Auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows
When Gradation is set to Auto, Shadow Adjustment Technology controls highlight and shadow exposure to help prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows, and ensure that even high-contrast subjects are rendered naturally, as they appear to the human eye.
A total of 4 gradation settings are offered: Auto, High Key, Normal (default), and Low Key.

Face & Background Control for beautifully balanced exposures of foreground subjects and background scenery
The E-30's face-detecting function can detect, and optimize focusing and exposure for, up to 8 faces. In addition, a Face & Background Control function balances the exposure of faces in the foreground and scenery in the background, applying Auto Gradation as needed to properly expose subject faces without overexposing the background, even when shooting subjects in strong backlight. As a result, users can easily obtain natural-looking images in which both foreground subjects (people) and background scenery appear almost as they do to the naked eye. Face detection is also possible during image playback, making it easy to select and enlarge the faces of people in a photo to check their expression.

Perfect Shot Preview to enable comparison of the results of various settings adjustments before actual shooting
Perfect Shot Preview enables users to preview and compare the effect of up to 4 different exposure compensation or white balance settings on the LCD monitor before taking a picture. By enabling users to check and compare the effects of various settings in advance, it makes it easier for them to obtain the precise image they want.

Reliable Dust Reduction system
Even the tiniest particles of dust and dirt − whether they enter the camera when changing lenses or are produced inside the body by friction between moving shutter mechanism parts − can show up in a photo and ruin the shot if they adhere to the low-pass filter or the image sensor. Olympus was quick to recognize and overcome the threat that dust presents to digital SLR image quality with a SSWF (Super-Sonic Wave Filter) system that vibrates at supersonic speeds to dislodge dust and dirt every time the main power or Live View are switched on. With the E-30's powerful SSWF system, even tiny particles that are tightly bound by molecular attraction and cannot be removed by simple shaking or anti-static measures can be dislodged and trapped in the dust collection unit.

Built-in flash with Commander function for wireless off-camera flash synchronization
The E-30 is equipped with a GN13 (ISO 100) built-in flash with TTL flash control. It also supports wireless multi-flash control without the use of an external commander unit when used with FL-50R and/or FL-36R external flashes, enabling users to easily control flash mode, brightness, and other settings for up to 3 groups of remote flash units via a menu displayed on the camera's LCD monitor.

Large optical viewfinder with 98% field of view and 1.02x magnification
Although the E-30's viewfinder is more compact and weighs less than half of the E-3's viewfinder, it offers a 98% field of view and 1.02x magnification (-1m-1, 50mm, at infinity) that provide a large, clear view of the subject.
A high-reflectivity silver coating on the pentaprism and anti-reflective coatings on the eyepiece lenses are used to strictly control spectral characteristics and assure a bright view with clear, natural color.

Shooting information display via top-mounted LCD panel and Super Control Panel LCD monitor display for superior visibility and operating ease
An LCD panel on the top of the E-30 displays shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, and other essential settings. In addition, the Super Control Panel displayed on the camera's LCD monitor provides detailed shooting and settings information. An easy-to-use GUI (Graphical User Interface) enables quick, intuitive settings confirmation and selection via the arrow keys and OK button.

High-precision, 49-zone metering system
The E-30's high-precision metering system covers the entire frame with 49 zones, assuring fast, accurate metering even in complex lighting situations with a wide range of light levels. Users can choose proprietary Olympus digital ESP (Electro Selective Pattern) metering, center-weighted average metering, or spot metering. In addition, spot metering highlight and shadow control functions enable users to easily emphasize highlights or shadows if they want to capture whiter whites or blacker blacks.

Easy activation of shooting functions via sample image selection
A total of 25 different shooting modes are accessible via the Mode Dial, with LCD monitor display of sample images and settings options to enable fast, easy selection of the user's preferred choice.

Versatile bracketing functions for ISO, white balance, exposure, and flash
Four types of bracketing help users express themselves creatively and get the precise results they want even when shooting backlit subjects, night scenes, or other scenes where the correct exposure is difficult to determine, as well as when they are using multi-flash setups or want to exercise fine control over photographic expression. With a choice of ISO, white balance, exposure, and flash brightness bracketing, users can capture the image they want in virtually any situation.

Lightbox view with enlargement function for easy side-by-side comparison of images
A Lightbox function enables users to display 2 images side-by-side on the LCD monitor, and enlarge them to confirm fine details. As a result, users can easily compare subtle differences in facial expression and focusing sharpness, enabling them to determine on the spot which image is better.

Level Gauge
The built-in dual axis sensor detects the levels in roll and pitch. The level gauge is indicated in the viewfinder, on the Control panel, Rear LCD monitor.

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