(Olympus Evolt E-300 in the USA)
Review Date: April 13th 2005
(out of 5 stars)
The Olympus E-300 achieves the difficult feat of offering a wealth of features, great ease of use and good image quality at a price point that would have been difficult to believe only a couple of years ago. £600 / $900 / €800 for an 8 megapixel digital SLR with a fairly reasonable standard zoom lens is a real bargain, being more capable than the Canon EOS 300D and cheaper than the Nikon D70, Pentax *ist DS and the new Canon EOS 350D. The Olympus E-300 is also an attractive proposition for anyone who is currently looking at a high-end prosumer compact digicam, and may tempt even more people to join the DSLR revolution that seems to be happening right now. The fancily named Supersonic Wave Filter removes one of the main obstacles that DLSRs have faced, namely dust getting onto the sensor when you change lenses. For those of you who are looking to "go digital" and upgrade from a 35mm film SLR, the Olympus E-300 is a real alternative if you haven't already got a large number of Canon or Nikon lenses and kit. The main negative aspects of the Olympus E-300 are its high noise levels at ISO 400 and above. ISO 400 is useable, but ISO 800 and ISO 1600 don't compare well to the competition. As one of the main attractions of a DSLR is good performance at a wide range of slow and fast ISO speeds, this may be enough to put you off the Olympus E-300. The viewfinder is a little on the dim side, continuous shooting speed is limited due to the small buffer and the supplied lens does feel cheap (although most standard kit lenses do). Otherwise I can strongly recommend the Olympus E-300 - not only does it have an attractive price-tag, but it is also a very well-made and capable camera that will more than meet the needs of most users.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Olympus E-300 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.