[Top] [All Lists]

[OM] E-300 Surprise

Subject: [OM] E-300 Surprise
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2020 12:32:14 -0900
I will admit to being a little surprised and pleased with the E-300.
The extended testing and use of the Kodak sensor will, of course, be
of major interest to me, but the camera itself is actually redeeming
itself. Honestly, I didn't hold it in very high regard, but the camera
is exceeding many expectations. OK, I'll admit it. I've always thought
this camera to be the most unattractive and gut-wrenching camera
design I've ever seen. It's (r)E-Volt(ing). But with the 14-54, it
doesn't look too bad and the top-down (photographer's viewpoint) angle
is pretty reasonable.

Several things have come to my attention rather immediately, though:

1. The viewfinder, while tiny, is massively better than the similar
poro-finder of the L1. It doesn't stick out and the view is slightly
less tunnel-like. Not as good as the E-1's finder, though. The E-3
finder is the best of the bunch. It's a bummer that OlySonic screwed
it up with the E-330/L1.

2. Kodak CCD sensor. Not as good as the E-1 in color/contrast, but
largely addresses my Kodak nemesis - white lines at the transition
between contrasting colors.  I don't think I can pull the shadows up
quite as much as with the E-1, so usable dynamic range for editing may
be more of a challenge. Color integrity in "golden hour" light is
better than the CMOS sensor cameras. This may be more an issue with
Alaska mountainscapes due to atmospheric issues. I am appreciating
that the colorcast is much more neutral.

3. Single dial. Convoluted. I might figure this out and get used to it
in 10 or 12 years.

4. Size/weight/grip. This is a very strange camera to hold. The grip
was evidently designed by Dante. Honestly, this is the oddest camera
to hold because it wants to be a left-handed camera (Leica brick
shape), but the shutter release is forward on the grip, not in the
typical top-of-body position. The camera feels heavier than it is, but
is quite stable to hold. The thumb dial just doesn't make sense. By
far, the quirkiest camera I've used. It feels decent with the 14-54,
but is a mismatch with every other lens. Honestly, I don't quite know
what to think about it other than my previous hatred of the body is
somewhat muted because as off as the camera shape is, it still works
in some bizarre way.

5. The mode dial is too easy to accidentally turn. I don't know if
it's better or worse than the E-400, but it forces a visual check
before every picture.

6. Menu system. Improved over the E-1, but without the insanity of
every Olympus camera that followed. The LCD monitor is also better
than the E-1, but really looks odd as the glass is bigger than the
postage-stamp sized image.

7. Shutter Sound. It has the long, drawn-out sound of the porro-finder
based cameras, but lacks the "pull up your pants and close your
zipper" sound that the E-330/L1 has. That's the biggest irritant of
the L1 and it's missing with this camera. However, it's certainly not
the same clean sound that the other E-bodies have.

8. Auto-WB is an adventure.

9. Shutter Release. While the physical position is a dog's breakfast,
the feel is very close to that ideal compromise between the E-1 and
the E-3. The E-3 is too notchy, the E-1 is too soft. I think I like
the shutter release about the best of every camera in my digital kit.

Overall, I'm puzzled by this camera. I want to go back to hating it,
but I don't quite know what to make of it. I like the sensor, I like
the picture quality, but the camera is certainly an acquired taste.
It's like a plate of raw oysters or a Hummer H2. But it will be
replacing the L1 in my big digital bag.

AG Schnozz
Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
Sponsored by Tako
Impressum | Datenschutz