Olympus has come out with their second ever Digital SLR camera, the E-300. It doesn’t seem as this is the successor to the E-1, the E-300 looks more like a consumer level DSLR rather than a pro model. The 4/3 size CCD will capture eight megapixel images, it also uses a unique TTL Optical Porro Finder with mirrors instead of glass prisms, a sideways swinging mirror system is used in the viewfinder. No price was mentioned for this camera.
See press release below.
Introducing the Olympus E-300 Digital SLR
Olympus has a well founded reputation for revolutionising the design and construction of cameras. By challenging the accepted methods and form of camera production great strides have been made in developing the next generation of products for photographers. Olympus has done this most recently with the introduction of the E-system, Digital SLR products that are based on the revolutionary FourThirds technology. The Olympus E-1 was the first product in this series. Now we have the next step in Digital SLR evolution with the introduction of the Olympus E-300.
This 21st century development of Digital SLR products by Olympus mirrors the advances that were made with the Olympus OM-1 and OM-10 in the 1970s. These 35mm SLR cameras transformed picture taking by providing cameras that packed startling performance into a light, compact and affordable body that was loved by millions. And now we are set to see another favourite with the launch of the compact and newly designed Olympus E-300 Digital SLR.
Based on the TIPA Award-winning FourThirds Standard, The Olympus E-300 comes in a kit featuring a new 14–45mm ZUIKO DIGITAL zoom. The impressive features of the kit include:
– Lighter, smaller and more powerful lenses
– A Supersonic Wave Filter to ensure dust does not interfere with image quality
– Nearly telecentric optics construction draws maximum performance from the camera’s Full Frame Transfer CCD
– The TruePic TURBO image processor boosts picture quality and processing speed
– The Olympus E-300 kit includes a 14–45mm ZUIKO DIGITAL zoom
The eight million pixel Olympus E-300 Digital SLR combines innovative design, stunning performance and a tempting price to bring digital SLR photography to the masses. The traditional penta prism has been replaced by a TTL Optical Porro Finder to enable a lean, more appealing, compact look. This is the ideal everyday companion for enthusiastic photographers.
The size and shape of the Olympus E-300 is strikingly different. But the camera doesn’t just look good. It is lighter and more compact than other digital SLRs, and the lean design has enabled the inclusion of a built in flash. In addition, the E-300 is based on the TIPA award winning FourThirds Standard, enabling keen amateurs to have a professional standard digital SLR that they can take and use almost anywhere.
A Full Frame Transfer CCD (FFT CCD) ensures the Olympus E-300 captures more image data. Compared with Interline Transfer, which is used in the majority of digital SLRs, the FFT CCD has a larger pixel area, as well as bigger photodiodes and transfer channels. As a result, the CCD captures more electrons, to deliver a higher signal/noise ratio and a wider dynamic range. The end result is greater exposure latitude, more detail and less noise. The TruePic TURBO image processor further contributes to picture quality and helps speed up the image recording process.
It is virtually impossible to prevent dust entering an SLR when swapping lenses, but even minute particles can ruin shots if they land on the CCD. The E-300 offers an ingenious solution, which saves users the time and cost of cleaning the chip. The Supersonic Wave Filter generates ultra-high-speed vibrations to dislodge dust from the CCD so that it can be captured on a special adhesive panel. This function operates automatically at start-up, but may also be used manually.
The Olympus E-300 digital SLR – additional features:
8.0 million pixels
User-friendly menu plus full manual operation
Single AF, continuous AF and manual focusing
Digital ESP, centre-weighted average and spot exposure metering
Scene programme and scene select programme modes
Records to CompactFlash cards and Microdrives
Compatible with the complete range of Olympus E-System lenses*:
NEW! ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-45mm (28-90mm) f3.5-5.6 (from November 2004)
NEW! ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm (80-300mm) f3.5-4.5 (from November 2004)
ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm (28-108mm) f2.8-3.5
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm (100-400mm) f2.8-3.5
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50mm (100mm) f2.0 Macro
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm (600mm) f2.8
ZUIKO DIGITAL 11-22mm (22-44mm) f2.8-3.5
NEW! ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150mm (300mm) f2.0 (from October 2004)
Compatible with new accessories including ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm (80-300mm)* lens f3.5-4.5, FL-36 external flash and HLD-3 power battery holder
An underwater case will be available from beginning of 2005