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Olympus E-3

Olympus E-3
alaScore 92

454 reviews

Apr, 2014

alaTest has collected and analyzed 454 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers are impressed by the usability and build quality. The image quality and screen also get good views, whereas some have doubts about the video and size. There are some mixed opinions about the flash and battery.

performance, screen, image quality, build quality, usability

value for money, size, video

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital SLR Cameras the Olympus E-3 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 92/100 = Excellent quality.

See all Olympus Digital SLR Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 454 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 217 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 217 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (147)

Expert review by:

Olympus E-3


Olympus's Four Thirds sensor limits your lens choices, but the E-3 takes excellent pictures. The Olympus E-3 is a beefy, 10-megapixel, semipro DSLR aching to beat up on the competition. But at $1,700 for its magnesium-muscled body and another $900...

Solidly built, weatherproof, excellent picture quality, Live View with articulating LCD screen

JPEG images a bit noisy above ISO 800 ; requires expensive Supersonic Wave Drive lenses for maximum focusing speed

Expert review by:

Olympus E-3


Updated 12/23/08: The 10.1-megapixel E3, the top dog in Olympus's line of digital single-lens-reflex (DSLR) cameras, is an attractive package for both pros and serious amateurs. You have to be serious about your photography--and have plenty of arm...

Rotating, swiveling LCD with live view ; Very quick autofocusing

Very heavy

This big, heavy, rugged camera has extensive advanced controls, fast burst-shooting speed, and can autofocus very quickly.

Expert review by:

A Sharp Shooter With a Speedy Focus


Olympus has been the avant-garde of a few notable DSLR trends like dust removal, live view and the articulating LCD. Initially poo pooed, the first two are now

The comfiest eyepiece. One-touch menu access to nearly 20 functions. The quickest focusing. Articulating LCD makes Live View a real asset, instead of an afterthought

The back of the camera is a jumble. The 2.5-inch LCD is smallish compared with competitors. Employs Olympus's XD memory card format, instead of SD, as the second memory card slot. Presently only two super-fast focusing lenses in the quiver


Expert review by:

Olympus E-3


Four years is a very long time in the digital camera market, and four years in the digital SLR market is virtually a lifetime. In the four-odd years between the launch of the Olympus E-1 - the camera that heralded the first all-new SLR system for over...

Excellent build quality, weatherproofing, 150,000 shot shutter life ; Big, bright viewfinder with 100% view ; Articulated screen ; Effective sensor-shift image stabilization ; Very fast focus with new SWD lenses (less impressive with other lenses,...

Resolution not as good as best in class (stronger AA filter?), though you won't see it in JPEGs ; Highlight dynamic range not quite as good as competitors (better than other E-Series cameras) ; Some highlight clipping on bright days unless you reduce...

If you've taken the trouble to read every page of this review you'll already have a good idea where this conclusion is likely to go. To start with there's no doubt that the E-3 is, without a shadow of a doubt the best Four-Thirds camera ever made and a...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-3 (body only)


I was a big fan of the Olympus E-1 back in the day, and when Olympus belatedly introduced its successor, the E-3, last fall, I was eager to get one in my hands to shoot with it for a while. It comes in a body-only version or a kit with a f/2.8-3.5...

Excellent photo quality; fast performance; solid, dust- and splash-proof body; flip-and-twist LCD; large, 100 percent coverage viewfinder; built-in wireless flash controller

Relatively low resolution for the price; smallish LCD, some clunky design aspects

Despite some interface quirks and a slightly awkward design, the Olympus E-3 fares quite well against its midrange dSLR competition.

Expert review by:

Olympus E-3 SLR


Are you ready for the "World's Fastest Autofocus" dSLR? Used in combination with the Zuiko Digital SWD ED 12-60mm f2.8-4 lens, the E-3's new AF system is the world's fastest. The newest SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) lenses focus twice as fast as previous...

An amazing 1/8000-second, high-speed, precision shutter is available for you to shoot that gazelle while on safari or your child at the soccer match. The E-3 can also capture images at the highest quality setting at a rate of 5 frames per sec. The...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-3


Directly competing against the Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D300 the Olympus E-3 is one big, bad shooter: Even for a D-SLR, it's pretty huge. But with girth comes superb image quality and a hearty assortment of features, such as a swiveling LCD, live...

Articulating LCD. Live view. Mechanical image stabilization. Fast autofocus. Excellent image quality in nearly all environments. Well-placed buttons

Large body. Small LCD. Unintuitive menu system. Flash shots slightly underexposed at times ; Watch the Olympus E-3 Video Review

Not yet reviewed by editors.

Highly Recommended!

Expert review by:

Olympus E-3 Review


The Olympus E-3 is the new flagship of the Four Thirds Standard-based Olympus E-System. This long-awaited replacement for the original E-1 model offers a plethora of advanced features to tempt the professional photographer away from the competition....

Speaking both literally and figuratively there's a lot to get to grips with on the Olympus E-3. I was surprised at its bulk given the inherent â?? and much boasted about â?? properties of the Four Thirds system allowing for smaller and lighter...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-3 Digital Camera - Review - The Imaging Resource!


Update: 11/15/2007 Full test results and analysis posted. Look for the full review by the end of the month

Olympus has finally announced their long-awaited flagship DSLR camera, the E-3. Billed as a pure pro camera, the Olympus E-3 is really more comparable to the cameras by Olympus's competitors that we've been categorizing as semi-pro, such as the Pentax...

Expert review by:



And there's a lot more too, and I'll cover those features in the review of the E-3, which starts right now

Excellent photo quality in most situations (see issues below) ; Optical image stabilization for every lens you attach ; Superb build quality; body is sealed against dust and moisture ; Supersonic Wave Filter "shakes" dust off sensor ; Live view on a...

Camera tends to underexpose ; Low light / high ISO performance not as good as some of the competition; banding visible at highest sensitivities ; Too many buttons on camera body + poorly located front command dial makes E-3 more difficult to use than...

All things considered, the Olympus E-3 is a solid midrange digital SLR, in more ways than one. It does almost everything well, with just a few weaknesses, most of which have easy workarounds. If you're an enthusiast looking for a powerful D-SLR that...

Product Specifications

With the E-3 Olympus has developed an impressive array of highly reliable new technologies essential for serious SLR photographers. Olympus cameras have a history of raising the bar when it comes to reliability, toughness and durability - and the E-3 takes it to a whole new level. The E-3 is equipped with a large optical viewfinder that provides 100 percent accurate viewing and 1.15x magnification for reliable composition - what you see is exactly what you'll get. Even fine details are seen with astonishing clarity. The E-3's large, precision-crafted pentaprism is crafted from high refractive index glass with a highly reflective silver coating. The eyepiece uses glass lenses. All the lenses are surface coated to maintain brightness. The focusing screen features a Neo Lumi-Micro Mat for bright, easy-to-adjust manual focusing. Spots on photos are now banished forever. The Olympus dust reduction system is an industry first and a proven technology. Every time you turn on the E-3, our Supersonic Wave Filter - located between the shutter and the image sensor - silently vibrates an amazing 30,000 times per second. Dust is blasted away. The dust reduction system even removes dust attached by intermolecular force that can't be shaken off or discharged with static electricity. Dust will no longer get between you and a great shot. Shoot anywhere, anytime, in any condition. The E-3 body, the built-in flash and the LCD are all splashproof and dustproof. Constructed from a magnesium-alloy with a homogeneous composition, the E-3 is lightweight yet strong and rugged. The same goes for Zuiko Digital lenses. You'll find splashproof and dustproof models that are as tightly sealed as the camera. To ensure you can keep shooting, even at 5 frames per second, Olympus utilizes a durable shutter mechanism tested to 150,000 cycles making the E-3 the perfect choice for photographers who demand the most from their equipment, in any situation. This E-3 comes with 14-54mm Digital Zuiko wide-angle zoom lens.

Audio Input

Type: None


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Olympus BLM-1

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:SLR
Supported Flash Memory:CompactFlash / Microdrive / xD-Picture Card/Microdrive / xD-Picture Card / CompactFlash

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Olympus

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8-3.5/F/2.8-4.0
Lens for SD:Body only/Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm lens/Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm lens
Max Focal Length:54mm/60mm
Min Focal Length:12mm/14mm
Optical Zoom:3.9/5
Special Functions:Wide angle
Type:Zoom lens


Microsoft Certification:Certified for Windows Vista
Vista Certification:Certified for Windows Vista

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:13.0 x 17.3mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):13.0 x 17.3 mm
Optical Sensor Type:Live MOS
Sensor Dust Reduction: Yes
Sensor Resolution:10.1Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical (image sensor shift mechanism)

Optical Viewfinder

Type:Fixed eye-level pentaprism

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

ISO (Max):3200
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100-3200
Special Effects:Custom Effect / Monotone / Muted / Portrait / Vivid/Portrait / Muted / Custom Effect / Vivid / Monotone
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW / RAW + JPEG/RAW + JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical