Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Olympus E-3

Review by Simon Joinson

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 a decade - and its successor the E-3, the DSLR landscape has changed beyond recognition, with prices dropping and capabilities soaring. The world moved on whilst the Olympus professional system stood still, looking more and more irrelevant and less and less like a serious contender to the long-standing Canon/Nikon duopoly in the pro market.

Of course the Olympus range itself wasn't standing still, and after a few false starts (mainly caused by the almost suicidal tendency for Olympus industrial designers to produce cameras that didn't look like cameras) and some flashes of inspired innovation (bringing live view, kicking and screaming, to the SLR market, for example) the E-series started to be taken a lot more seriously.