Olympus E-3

The E-3 provides photographers with the convenience of a continuous Live View on its multi-angle, 2.5”/6.4cm HyperCrystal LCD. This allows for truly unique shots from the most unusual perspectives, as it enables experimentation with completely new shooting styles. Photographers can do and see more as they needn’t stay glued to the viewfinder. Thanks to the option of LCD magnification of 5x, 7x and 10x, accurate focusing during macro shooting is also made easy. In addition, the effects of Shadow Adjustment Technology (SAT), White Balance and Exposure Compensation can be viewed directly on the LCD in real time: So, what you see is really what you get.

Reliability – exceptional durability

The E-3 also takes viewfinder performance up a notch. Full professional level coverage of 100% plus 1.15x magnification enhances framing ease even when using the eyepiece.

* Since the development of the world’s first dust protection system in 2003, Olympus has continuously improved on it so that it still remains the most effective solution available today. The critically acclaimed Supersonic Wave Filter ingeniously protects the High Speed Live MOS sensor from dust and other foreign particles that could otherwise compromise image quality and serves as a symbol of Olympus’ long-standing commitment to imaging excellence.

Its magnesium alloy construction combined with dust and splashproof protection lets the E-3 go wherever the action is: No matter at a rainy football game or on the dusty plains of the Serengeti. The power grip and a wide selection of lenses are equally protected against the elements, thereby considerably reducing the risk of downtime as the E-3 is always ready for the next assignment no matter the conditions. And with a shutter life of 150,000 operations, professionals will really come to appreciate this model’s extreme reliability.

Ideal selection

Naturally, low light doesn’t put an end to shooting opportunities. In addition to the built-in flash (GN13), the E-3 allows wireless control of flash units, such as the new Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R, in up to three groups – enhancing lighting options dramatically.

In addition, the E-3 boasts flawless automatic white balance. This is due to a hybrid detection system which employs a dedicated white balance sensor in conjunction with the image sensor. The combination of colour data from two different sources results in stunningly faithful colour reproduction.

A complete D-SLR system

Adhering to the Four Thirds Standard, the E-3 is optimised for the special demands of digital photography and provides photographers with a superior level of flexibility and freedom. Cross-manufacturer compatibility ensures a future-proof investment that users can rely on. 32 lenses and three lens converters are available to date, including many from the award-winning ZUIKO DIGITAL range, which is designed for the specific demands of digital SLR photography. Furthermore, Four Thirds enables a smaller, lighter lens construction which means photographers benefit from more mobility and control, thus increasing the likelihood of magnificent imaging results.

In addition to the many lenses which include the recently-introduced ZUIKO DIGITAL SWD models for attaining the world’s fastest* autofocus speeds, a wide and exciting range of E-System accessories await professionals looking to customise their photographic experience with the E-3. For flash control without the need for cables, Olympus offers the FL-50R and FL-36R wireless flash units. And for assignments that go into overtime, the Power Grip HLD-4 provides long-lasting battery power and conveniently includes a shutter release button on its side to make the quick capture of shots in portrait format just as simple as landscapes. Two new eye-cups (DE-P3 and DE-N3) are also available to broaden the camera’s dioptre correction adjustment capabilities. Shifting the dioptre either up or down by 3m-1, an expansive total range spanning -6m-1 to +4m-1 is possible. Moreover, the optional FS-3 Focusing Screen provides a grid matte screen in the viewfinder on which the image area is divided into 4 x 6 sections to assist in framing (purchase & installation via Olympus Service Dept. only).

With the E-3, Olympus answers the demand for uncompromising endurance, speed and image quality. This professional D-SLR will commence sales at the end of November 2007.

* Among interchangeable lenses for D-SLR cameras. In combination with the new Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm, 1:2.8-4.0 SWD and E-3, as of October 17 2007, according to survey by Olympus.

For further technical information, see also:

  • Built-in image stabilisation: www.olympus-europa.com/consumer/dslr_16742.htm
  • Live View: www.olympus-europa.com/consumer/dslr_12806.htm
  • Supersonic Wave Filter: www.olympus-europa.com/consumer/dslr_7051.htm
  • Four Thirds Standard: www.four-thirds.org

The Olympus E-3 – main features:


  • World’s fastest autofocus* for quick and precise image capture
  • Fully-biaxial high-speed 11-point AF system
  • 1/8000th sec. high-speed and high-precision shutter control, X: 1/250
  • 5fps sequential shooting with 19 image RAW buffer

Image Quality

  • High-performance built-in image stabiliser to stabilise all lenses (up to 5 EV steps) with two modes
  • High Speed 10 Megapixel Live MOS sensor
  • Qualified image processing with new TruePic III
  • High image quality with a variety of bright dedicated-to-digital ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses

Live View

  • 2.5”/6.4cm multi-angle HyperCrystal LCD for greatest flexibility
  • Real-time effect monitoring
  • Pre-control over white balance and exposure compensation
  • Preview of Shadow Adjustment Technology (SAT)
  • 5x/7x/10x magnified view for precise focusing – especially for macro shots


  • Large viewfinder with professional-level coverage of 100% and 1.15x magnification for accurate image control
  • Spotless photography with most effective dust reduction system (Supersonic Wave Filter)
  • Splashproof body and lens system
  • Professional quality shutter life of 150K operations

Additional features of the Olympus E-3:

  • Based on the Four Thirds Standard
  • Ergonomic design of body, control buttons and GUI for easy operation
  • AE/AF lock functionality for individual customisation
  • Second display for Super Control Panel
  • ISO 100-3200 for wide-ranging sensitivity
  • Accurate white balance with two sensors
  • Built-in flash (GN13) and wireless flash control directly from the camera body.
  • Wireless flash control in up to 3 groups (separate press release available for Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R flash units)
  • High-speed USB 2.0 interface
  • High-speed data writing and lossless RAW compression for quick processing
  • Simultaneous writing of RAW and JPEG
  • Dual memory slot for CompactFlash and xD-Picture Cards (incl. support for UDMA High-Speed CF cards and Microdrive)

New accessories for the Olympus E-3:

  • Power Grip HLD-4 for ideal portrait shooting and long battery life
  • Wireless flash units FL-50R and FL-36R
  • Soft rubber dioptre-correcting Eye-cups DE-P3 (+3m-1) and DE-N3 (+3m-1)
  • Focusing Screen FS-3 grid matte screen dividing image area in 4 x 6 sections. (Purchase & installation via Olympus Service Dept. only)

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7 Responses to “Olympus E-3”

  1. Terrance Hodgins says:

    In your review, you repeated the common line about the in-body image stabilization working with any lens:
    “This means sharper shots every time – no matter which lens is used…”
    Alas, I doubt that. I have a new Olympus E-510, and the in-body image stabilization only works with newish four-thirds lenses. There is NO support for legacy lenses. If you mount a classic manual-focus lens on the camera with an adapter, the camera immediately turns the image stabilization off. Focus confirmation is also disabled.

    You might want to check on that.

  2. Brian Mosley says:

    Terrence is correct, no support for legacy lenses (i.e. non-4/3rd standard)… however there’s plenty of good news. We had a multi-user field trial last weekend, the results of which are here :

    Hope that helps, Kind Regards

    Brian Mosley

  3. Brian, thanks for the link!

  4. Zbigniew B. says:

    new samples (firmware 0.9) http://www.fotopolis.pl/index.php?n=6553

  5. Roger Cathey says:

    Is that the same Terrance Hodgins who once worked at Los Alamos? Willamette Web Weavers Terrance Hodgins?

  6. Brian Mosley says:

    Hi Terrence, you make a fair point… although the E-3 is actually the most capable 4/3rd camera available for us legacy lens users – due to the larger focusing screen and improved auto exposure performance.

    I am doing my best to encourage Olympus to add IS, FC and a split screen focusing option – but it will take some time. Thanks for keeping the issue in the limelight!

    Kind Regards

    Brian Mosley

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