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Olympus E-10

A 4 megapixel sensor and unique SLR optics make for a major coup for Olympus! (Final review, based on full-production model.)

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 1/26/2001

True 4 megapixel sensor for resolution to 2240x1680
High-quality 4x zoom lens, 35-140mm equivalent
Unique SLR design with beam-splitter for live LCD preview
Very flexible exposure controls, good user interface
Amazing low light capability

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Manufacturer Overview

As this article was written, Olympus already had one of the broadest digicam lines in the industry. In rapid succession though, they announced the C-2100 Ultra Zoom, the E-100RS ultra high-speed digicam, and the E-10 four megapixel SLR (the subject of this review). What we see in each of these cameras is a product developed to appeal to specific market segments, rather than being just another "general purpose" digicam.

The E-10 is clearly intended to compete at the highest image quality levels of the digital SLR field, thanks to its true 4 megapixel CCD resolution. Our initial impressions from our "First Look" review of a preproduction prototype were borne out by subsequent testing of a full-production model: This is indeed a very capable digicam, with excellent image quality, both in terms of resolution and color. With an initial selling price of $1,999 US, the E-10 is thousands cheaper than most competing models, and actually outperforms them in several areas. After spending a week or so with the camera, we found ourselves liking it quite a bit: The combination of high image quality, good optics, extraordinary low light capability, and a relatively compact design (smaller than many film-based SLRs) added up to quite a package. We suspect there will be a lot of people for whom $4,000 plus for one of the competing SLR models (including a lens) would be an uncomfortable stretch, but who'll happily find the $2,000 for an E-10. Olympus could have a real winner here - Read on for the details...

High Points

  • 4.0 megapixel CCD delivering up to 2240 x 1680 pixel resolution images.
  • 4x professional ED (Extra Dispersion) glass 9 to 36mm lens (35 to 140mm equivalent on a 35mm camera).
  • Optical, SLR viewfinder with focusing screen and full information display.
  • 1.8 inch (4.5cm) LCD monitor that tilts upwards.
  • Auto and manual focus.
  • Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
  • Aperture adjustable from f/2.0 to f/11.0.
  • Shutter speeds from eight to 1/640 seconds, with a Bulb setting for longer exposures.
  • Adjustable white balance with three operating modes (Auto, Quick Reference, and Preset).
  • Built-in, popup flash with five modes.
  • Hot shoe and PC sync terminal for mounting an external flash unit.
  • Sequence, Time-Lapse, and Auto Bracketing shooting modes.
  • Adjustable ISO and metering modes.
  • Infrared and wired remote control capabilities.
  • Sturdy, cast aluminum body.
  • Uncompressed TIFF, Olympus RAW data, and JPEG file formats (Olympus RAW PhotoShop plug-in included).
  • Images stored on SmartMedia or CompactFlash Type II memory cards, with a 32 megabyte SmartMedia card included.
  • 32 megabyte buffer built-in for quick burst photography.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
  • Power from two lithium CR-V3 batteries, four AA alkaline, NiCd, or NiMH, or optional lithium polymer battery.
  • USB cable for high speed connection to a computer.

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