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  • Recommended by TR

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9/10

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Olympus E-3 Digital SLR - Olympus E-3

This makes the camera somewhat button heavy, and many of the buttons are dedicated to performing just one function and I think is often preferable to multi-function buttons that sometimes require several presses and a multitude of dial turning to find the function you need.

Among these buttons is the IS (Image Stabilisation), with two modes, normal and panning, the latter only operating on the vertical axis to allow you to track moving subjects on the horizontal plane.

Many of the functions of the buttons, and the way the camera performs, can be customised in the main menu, including the option to change the operating direction of the front and rear command dials. Like the E-1 before it, this allows the camera to be easily customised to the user's preferences. It also makes it harder to criticise operational faults as they can so easily be changed to suit the user.

The viewfinder of the E-3 is relatively large, with 100% viewing, though the 4:3 aspect ensures that it's still smaller than its competitors such as the Nikon D300. It's easy to view with glasses and the green LED readout inside is clear.

Olympus has encased the camera in magnesium alloy, which lends strength and weight. It's also dust and splash proof, but is not a big camera in comparison to its peers, and Olympus has always maintained small cameras to appeal to the traveler or photojournalist. The grip is comfortable with a thumb rest at the back and finger overhang at the front ensure a secure grip aided by rubberized coatings at key holding areas.

Because of this, the camera feels great and is highly adaptable. The camera may not match the specifications of some of its rivals, but it has plenty of good points. However, it's being marketed as a pro camera with all of the features and build necessary to fulfill those criteria, but the resolution isn't up to the file size many professionals need.

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