Olympus E330 - It all depends on the sensor... but nice specs!

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by Chrlz, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. Chrlz

    Chrlz Guest

    Well, I suppose it is a completely new sensor, so we shouldn't be harsh
    until the reports start dribbling in.. but frankly, unless it is bloody
    quiet at least up to ISO 800, all of the E330's nice specifications may
    be somewhat irrelevant.

    Note that it has *dropped* to a 7Mp sensor, less than the E300's 8 -
    but having said that, the 8Mp of the E300 behaved like they were less
    than 6, compared to a Canikoltax (ie any other DSLR).. So if it is a
    *good* 7Mp.... ..but I won't hold my breath.

    I *do* like the sound of those specs - it also has the following
    improvements over the E300, which wasn't exactly a dog:

    *New 49 area metering mode (I think Olympus were stung by the criticism
    of the E300's metering)
    *Metering modes include Highlight- and Shadow-based spot - now that
    sounds very interesting..
    *New noise filter that can be turned OFF (- and there's the live or die
    *'My Mode's
    *B&W Mode with selectable filters
    *3 Custom WB memories
    *Kelvin WB from 2000 - 14000 K (E300 was limited to 10000K)
    *Flash bracketing
    *Histogram with blinking highlights/shadows
    *Play magnify up to 14x (it was 10 but what does that mean - I presume
    it is now better than actual pixels...?)
    *Larger, finer LCD monitor - 2.5", 215,250 pixels (was 1.8", 134,000

    PS - I am a fan of many of the Olympus products, and I still think the
    4/3 system has a place, but until they get their sensor act together...
    it's not a very big place and I'm not living there! (O:
    Chrlz, Jan 26, 2006
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  2. Chrlz

    nrh Guest


    And if Phil's specs are accurate, then why have they removed the onboard DC
    connection? With a live preview (2 in fact) available on the rear LCD
    screen, that is surely going to drink up the battery juice in double quick
    time? I would use this tethered to a copy stand, and theoretically offers me
    a better framing facility. But if I have to keep changing batteries, it's
    going to be a pain.

    Not to mention the antiquated USB1.1 transfer speeds.

    Another novel, and highly revealing aspect, is your already acknowledged
    reduction in sensor resolution. WTF! I understand the claims of theoretical
    net gains in resolution bit, but IMO it only serves to underline the fact
    that the 4/3rds system has not only reached the limit in photosite density
    with the E-300, but overstepped it too! Without any real-world tests,
    however, we can only speculate to an extent. But I cannot help but feel that
    Olympus has merely prolonged the agony. I wish it were not so, as their
    build quality is great and we need as much competition as possible in this
    market. However, I think it has only made the camera what it should have
    been when the 4/3rds system really needed it, and that time has now long
    gone. I think we know 'For whom the bell tolls'.

    nrh, Jan 26, 2006
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  3. Chrlz

    Tony Polson Guest

    Yes, we do. It tolls for Konica Minolta.

    Tony Polson, Jan 26, 2006
  4. Chrlz

    nrh Guest

    Yes, I should have added 'again'! :p

    nrh, Jan 26, 2006

  5. Well, it's not going to toll for Pentax, because Pentax has just released
    the DL2, which is just like the DL, which was just like the DS2, which was
    just like the DS, which was an inferior version of the D - at this rate,
    Pentax can keep going for years, churning out the DL7***** , with no
    research & development costs at all.

    Ingenious - or, at least, it would be if only people would actually buy the
    damn things.............
    Pinky & Perky sing sea shanties shoberly, Jan 26, 2006
  6. Chrlz

    nrh Guest

    I guess, to a certain extent at least, the 'facelift' syndrome with buying a
    new car comes into play here too.
    If it looks new, it must be cool. :) But look what happened to Rover.

    nrh, Jan 26, 2006
  7. Chrlz

    Kyle Jones Guest

    We haven't seen Oly's next pro body yet. If it's a 7MP camera then I
    think most would agree the jig is up. But the E-330's uniqueness is its
    main selling point. I don't think Oly needs 10 MP to make this camera
    sell. Putting a higher MP and higher cost sensor on it might have made
    the camera unaffordable to those who otherwise might have bought it.
    Kyle Jones, Jan 26, 2006

  8. Credit to Olympus for trying, whatever the result. It's a sharp contrast to
    Pentax, who seem content to re;lease one pissy little re-badge after another
    while their market share flushes away down the pan.

    Shortly, when it becomes apparent to even the most fanatical Pentax die-hard
    that no upmarket Pentax will be forthcoming, even their remaining customer
    base will lose heart and take themselves off to Canon or Nikon.

    It's doubtful if any former Pentax owners will choose Olympus though - one
    experience of the disadvantages of a minority marque is surely enough for

    One thing seems certain, though - the next time the DSLR funeral bell
    tolls, it will be Pentax that's carried out feet first.
    Pinky & Perky sing sea shanties shoberly, Jan 26, 2006
  9. Chrlz

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    To do this, they needed a sensor capable of delivering live preview.
    Perhaps what they have is the best they could get. (Of course, such a
    sensor would be wasting some of its space for the circuitry to do it,
    so the smaller size still does come into play.)
    Jeremy Nixon, Jan 27, 2006
  10. Chrlz

    Steven Wandy Guest

    To do this, they needed a sensor capable of delivering live preview.
    Nope, the live preview sensor is a separate one that Oly developed for one
    of their P&S cameras.
    This new sensor - the main one - was developed because of the size of the
    Steven Wandy, Jan 27, 2006
  11. Chrlz

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Read the specs. Mode B preview uses the main sensor with the shutter held
    open. That's why the optical viewfinder is unavailable and why there is
    no autofocus in that mode. The other mode uses the second sensor in the
    viewfinder light path.
    Jeremy Nixon, Jan 27, 2006
  12. Chrlz

    Steven Wandy Guest

    Nope, the live preview sensor is a separate one that Oly developed for
    I was refering to Mode A that uses a separate sensor. That's the one that
    develeoped for their P&S cameras.
    Steven Wandy, Jan 28, 2006
  13. Chrlz

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    They still needed an image sensor that could do live preview, which are not
    abundant in DSLR size, which helps to explain the drop in pixel count. They
    needed a sensor that could do live preview.
    Jeremy Nixon, Jan 28, 2006
  14. Chrlz

    SMS Guest

    Chrlz wrote:

    The sensor comes from Cypress, which acquired Fill-Factory, who made the
    CMOS sensors for the ill-fated Kodak digital SLRs. Those sensors were
    very noisy.

    Still, you have to believe that Olympus would not be so foolish to
    release a new camera that had the noise problems of the Kodak digital
    SLRs, and of the earlier Olympus digital SLRs. The fact that they backed
    off on the resolution tells you that they understand that while more
    megapixels are great, buyers of digital SLRs are sophisticated enough to
    look beyond megapixels.

    Cypress also has a lot riding on this camera, so it's likely that they
    solved the noise issues that Fill-Factory was plagued with. Cypress also
    has 9MP sensor coming. They are using a 0.18u process for these sensors,
    and they've lessened the space between pixels in order to make the
    pixels larger, to reduce noise.

    Maybe Olympus will pull off what everyone thought was impossible, and
    breathe some new life into 4:3 with a consumer level digital SLR with
    reasonable noise levels, and live-preview.
    SMS, Jan 29, 2006
  15. Chrlz

    Alan Browne Guest

    It would be nice of you would "toll" up with some photos Polson. That
    is to say any that are better than your wretchedly awful train photos...

    Say your Paris Match cover, for example?
    Alan Browne, Feb 18, 2006
  16. Chrlz

    Douglas Guest

    : Tony Polson wrote:
    : > Yes, we do. It tolls for Konica Minolta.
    : It would be nice of you would "toll" up with some photos Polson. That
    : is to say any that are better than your wretchedly awful train photos...
    : Say your Paris Match cover, for example?

    Dream on Alan. That magazine has no knowledge of the man as a contributor or
    Douglas, Feb 19, 2006
  17. It was visibly dimmer when I compared it side by side with a E300 and E500
    in the store. But I saw that in various Canon Pellix SLRs. So you'll have to
    upgrade to a f:2 lens unless you only use the tilt screen. Would be good on
    a copystand because of that.
    Darrell Larose, Feb 23, 2006
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