Since the introduction of the first single-lens reflex SLR camera, photographers have prized SLRs because they can see with the naked eye, through an optical viewfinder, exactly what is passing through the camera's lens. The "reflex" of a mirrored shutter that bends light to the camera's viewfinder, and then snaps open rapidly to create exposures, makes this possible and gives the SLR its advantage. But this SLR advantage, while delivering high-performance speed and accuracy, has one drawback in the digital age. Because the image sensor is blocked by the mirror and shutter until the moment the shutter button is pressed, the mirror and shutter mechanism prevents a traditional digital SLR from viewing and composing a photo using only the camera's Liquid Crystal Display as a viewfinder.
As anyone who has used a compact digital camera knows, composing a photo just by viewing the camera's LCD is easy and commonplace, and many compact cameras do not even offer an optical viewfinder. Composing on an LCD has its own advantages, and Olympus engineers asked the question: How can we design a new digital SLR that delivers not only the traditional through-the-lens optical viewfinder experience of an SLR, but also adds the ability to frame photos with an LCD like a compact camera?
Live View is Designed to Do More
Users of the Evolt E-330 will quickly realize that when composing an image on the LCD, they can do more with this camera than they could with comparable SLRs without Live View. Because the camera's LCD is "articulated," it can extend out from the camera body and swivel downward or upward so the E-330 can be held overhead to shoot over a crowd, held at the hip, or even placed on the ground--something that's not possible with a traditional SLR that relies on an optical viewfinder alone. Whether shooting from a low angle for dramatic composition or in close for detailed macro photos, with the exclusive Olympus Live View LCD photographers can follow action easily and capture just the right moment with greater creative control.
Big and bright with 215,250 pixels, the E-330's 2.5-inch high-resolution HyperCrystal LCD offers many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors, so captured images can be beautifully displayed in vivid color on the screen with exceptional clarity. Because photos are for sharing, the E-330 LCD features a wide, 160-degree viewing angle on the vertical and horizontal axis, ensuring excellent visibility and beautiful image quality even when everyone huddles around the camera to see what you've created. The larger LCD also means the icons and text on the camera's menu display are large enough for easy viewing.
A New Live MOS 7.5-Megapixel Image Sensor
The excellent image quality of the Olympus E-System takes a giant step forward with the Evolt E-330. Newly developed specifically for this camera, the 7.5-megapixel Live MOS image sensor, with its high dynamic range, captures photos with accurate true colors, detail from edge to edge, and lower noise--bringing home all the benefits of Live View and the E-System.
Patented Dust-Reduction System for Spot-Free Photos
Dust is all around us, and when swapping out a lens on a digital single-lens reflex camera, there's a chance that a camera's electrostatically charged image sensor will attract microdust that can ruin photos. Since the main advantage of using an SLR camera is the ability to change lenses for better imaging effects, Olympus has developed a way for photographers to enjoy the freedom of using all the lenses of the Olympus E-System in the most challenging, dusty environments without compromising image quality.
Olympus's Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter, a patented ultrasonic technology that shakes at 35,000 vibrations a second to remove dust from in front of the camera sensor every time you turn the camera on, then captures the dust to prevent it from reappearing. These spot-free photos liberate users from hours spent retouching images at the computer. The new Evolt E-330, like all Olympus digital SLR cameras, is equipped with this exclusive user-friendly technology, and only Olympus has a solution to provide spot-free photography in a digital SLR.
Olympus offers the largest selection of lenses designed for digital excellence, and they're all fully compatible with the E-330. Since each lens is perfectly matched to the camera's image sensor, light is received by each pixel. As a result, images are brighter, more colorful, and super-sharp from edge to edge.
The E-330 outfit includes a compact, Zuiko Digital 14 to 45mm f3.5 to f5.6 lens (equivalent to 28mm to 90mm in 35mm photography) that perfectly matches the imager so light strikes the sensor directly to ensure rich, accurate colors and edge-to-edge sharpness. Its 3.2x zoom covers the range most frequently used in ordinary photography and weighs just 10 ounces (285 grams) offering users an extremely dynamic, portable everyday-use zoom. Close-ups as near as 15 inches (38 centimeters) are possible throughout the zoom range.
The E-330 camera body is lightweight with a smart design that fits naturally in your hand with a full-sized grip, and it's light and compact enough to comfortably shoot with all day. In place of the traditional pentaprism design, the camera incorporates the exclusive Olympus TTL Optical Porro Finder coupled with an exclusive side-swing mirror that gives the camera its unique "flat-top" appearance and makes it more compact for greater portability. This design also enables the camera's full-time Live View capabilities.
TruePic TURBO for Clarity and Speed
Olympus's TruePic TURBO Image Processor provides fast camera response, operation and processing speed for more responsive camera operation. This is done by closely integrating the image processor and hardware elements to eliminate unnecessary processing tasks, accelerating camera operations.
Along with the speed advantages, TruePic TURBO also produces crystal-clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide you with the best digital images possible for every photo.
The PT-E02 Underwater Housing for E-330s enables users to enjoy underwater SLR shooting. Easy to set up, it offers waterproof protection up to a depth of over 196 feet (60 meters). The Live View LCD is ideal for underwater photography because it's much easier to compose on the Evolt E-330's large, bright LCD when underwater than to use the optical viewfinder. And, with three scene select modes for underwater wide, underwater macro, and underwater wide-angle auto exposures, the E-330 is designed to perform optimally in the deep. (PT-E02 Underwater Housing is not included with this kit and much be purchased separately.)
Oly E 330 not only plastic
I'm shooting (good) pictures since 1985 when I bought my two Contaxes and a bunch of Calr Zeiss and Yashica lenses. Most of my pictures captured in diapositive films and the camera sets were in Aperture Priority mode. My Contaxes are still here and ready to shoot (but where all the images gone?).
But this is another story. From the old ages???!!! I remember that I was admiring the Olympus cameras for their small dimensions OM series), their excellent construction (OM -4 titanium), and their versatility (see the high speed captures with their dedicated flashes.
In the digital age the Oly C5050Z lands into my hands, and her qualities (construction, easy of use, image clearness, luminosity of the lens) won me at once. But I wanted something faster, to be able to captures motorcycle races, like the old days with my manual focused Contaxes. Then came the E 330 which I bought it fron Digital Depot (UK) with the 14-45 Zuiko in a good price. May be is strange but I was attracted of her shape and her price of course. The camera is well fitted in someone hands and everything is close to the fingers. The body (plastic) has its own quality (very good) and for the capturing speed I have to say that I'm completely satisfied (I'm an amateur). Images are sharp and close to filmlike but only till the ASA setting is to 800. Beyond this climax images are really noisy. Autofocus is acceptable when light is enough, but for more accuracy Live View and the enlargement mode is always on the backside of the camera, ready to help (and really does it well).
So to be honest and a good judge.. I've paid 260 GBP for body and lens at a time when Canon and Nikon and even Pentax demanded a lot more. I bought a unique body with lovely design, with rugged construction (even plastic made out shell), quality feeling, versatile use (programs), Live View mode, and supersonic feature for the dust (really no problem at all). I took many shots in a light rain without any protection and the camera is still working well.
Today I have also my Contaxes, the C5050z, the E330 and recently I bought a used E1 from e-bay at a good price. The only thing that is missing is TIME, because as I live in Greece I have the good weather in my site.
Excellent construction and handling (for the money to pay for in nowadays).
Lovely design (for me).
Well balanced colors and natural chroma.
A lot of pre-scene modes, in which one can find everything.
Ready to shoot in just two seconds and keep shooting.
The battery lower door. Its toy-made and you have to handle it very carefully. A little bit the same for the card door.
I was not able yet why the back screen was a lot bigger than the image in view. But the screen is crisp and very clear.
Except the noise that appears beyond 800 ASA all the rest looks very good to me.
Second E-330 for longevity
This is the second E-330 I've bought. I take underwater pictures with the camera in an Ikelite housing. I have the 14-54 Zuiko lens and have had no trouble with the camera. Live view mode "A" is great for quick moving underwater creatures. I get to use the LCD to frame my shot instead of trying to look through the veiwfinder with my mask on. The newer models have not had mode "A" and so are not as useful to me. The Ike housing is expensive so I decided to get a second E-330 body to extend its useful life.
The only negative that I've run into may be due to the lens and not the camera. I started my underwater picture taking career with the C-5050 which has a very bright lens and will lock focus (not always on what you want) in very low light conditions. The set-up I have with the E-330 often does not focus in cloudy or dark water (not enough contrast).
I'll be using this combination for as long as the cameras and housing hold up - hopefully a long, long time.
Excellent Camera for beginners
I had been shooting with this camera for 6 months now and it has served me well. I use it to shoot canned stuff as well as professional events and portraits. As long as you know a little about shooting, you can set the settings to get awesome shots. The basic lens are alright, but if you want to go pro you need to get better lenses and an external flash. I've been using an Olympus 1.4X teleconverter with a 14-54mm lens and got great results. The LCD with live view is a great little touch to the camera. Like any SLR cameras out there, you won't be satisfied unless you get some better quality lenses and an external flash to get the most use out of your SLR camera. Now I have put this camera to good use,I am upgrading to a Olympus EVOLT E-510 and also just bought a 18-180mm lens and can't wait to use them. If you like to take pictures like canned stuff, then this would be a great camera for that and something to get you away from the point and shoot cameras that always causes red eyes in pictures.