Olympus E-1 vs Olympus E-3

  • Four Thirds
  • 5 megapixels
  • Four Thirds
  • 35
    Overall
  • 7
    Imaging
  • 18
    Features
  • 71
    Size
  • 1
    Price
  • Four Thirds
  • 10 megapixels
  • Four Thirds
  • 40
    Overall
  • 13
    Imaging
  • 44
    Features
  • 70
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Olympus E-1 vs Olympus E-3: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this overview, we are going to take a look at two different camera models that fall into different categories: the first model we are about to review, Olympus E-1 is a camera from Pro DSLR category. It features CCD sensor with a resolution of 5.0 MP. The second model we are looking at, Olympus E-3, falls into a Semi-Pro DSLR category and it is equipped with CMOS sensor that has a resolution of 10.0 MP.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3.

Olympus E-1 Key Features:

  • 5.0 MP Four Thirds CCD sensor
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 141 x 104 x 81 mm
  • Weight: 735 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Olympus E-3. Compare

Olympus E-3 Key Features:

  • 10.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 142 x 116 x 75 mm
  • Weight: 890 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-1. Compare
  • Replaced by Olympus E-5. Compare

Since Olympus E-1 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Olympus E-3.

Why is Olympus E-1 a better choice than Olympus E-3

Weight 735 g vs 890 g 155 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Olympus E-3 over Olympus E-1

Sensor Resolution 10.0 MP vs 5.0 MP 50% more pixels
Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 5 fps vs 3 fps 2 fps faster
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 13 vs No 13 better flash range
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Number Of Focus Points 11 vs 3 8 more focus points
Screen Size 2.5″ vs 1.8″ 0.7" larger screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type Flexible shooting positions
Screen Resolution 230k dots vs 134k dots 41.7% higher resolution screen
Viewfinder Magnification 0.58 vs 0.48 0.1 better magnification

Key PROs of Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3

Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions

Key CONs of Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Size 1.8″ | 2.5″ Not suitable for flash photography
Screen Resolution 134k dots | 230k dots Small screen resolution
Sensor Resolution 5.0 MP | 10.0 MP Small sensor resolution
AutoFocus Face Detection No | No No Face Detection
Timelapse Recording No | No No timelapse recording
Bracketing No | No No AE bracketing
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps | 5.0 fps Low continuous shooting

Olympus E-1 vs Olympus E-3: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 from the front view.

Olympus E-1
Olympus E-3
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Olympus E-1
Olympus E-3
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Olympus E-1 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 155g less than the Olympus E-3. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Olympus E-1 features a 5.0 MP Four Thirds sized CCD sensor . Olympus E-3, in its turn, comes with a 10.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and TruePic III processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 by the size of their sensors.

Olympus E-1
Olympus E-3
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Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3
Portrait Photography
10%
65%
Street Photography
36%
91%
Sports Photography
79%
88%
Daily Photography
100%
98%
Landscape Photography
64%
56%

Olympus E-1 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

No Significant Advantages

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • No Image Stabilization

Olympus E-3 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Olympus E-1 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (141 x 104 x 81 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (3)

Olympus E-3 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (142 x 116 x 75 mm)
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Olympus E-1 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Big size (141 x 104 x 81 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (3.0 fps)
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (3)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)

Olympus E-3 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big size (142 x 116 x 75 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (571)

Olympus E-1 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (735 g)
  • Big size (141 x 104 x 81 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash
  • Video is not available

Olympus E-3 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (890 g)
  • Big size (142 x 116 x 75 mm)
  • Video is not available

Olympus E-1 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (5 MP)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (3200)

Olympus E-3 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (10 MP)
  • Bad Dynamic Range (10.5)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (571)

Comparison of Olympus E-1 vs Olympus E-3: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Olympus E-1 or Olympus E-3, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Olympus E-1 and Olympus E-3 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Olympus E-3 deserves a higher Total Score than the Olympus E-1. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Olympus E-1 vs Olympus E-3 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Olympus E-1 Olympus E-3
General
Brand Olympus Olympus
Model E-1 E-3
Announced Nov 29, 2003 Feb 20, 2008
Body Type Large SLR" Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CCD CMOS
Sensor Size Four Thirds Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 17.3 x 13 mm 17.3 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 224.90 mm2 224.90 mm2
Sensor Resolution 5.0 MP 10.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 2560 x 1920 3648 x 2736
Max Native ISO 3,200 3,200
Max Boosted ISO n/a n/a
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Four Thirds Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 45 45
Focal Length Multiplier 2x 2x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No No
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View No No
AF Face Detection No No
AF Contrast Detection No No
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 3 11
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fully Articulated
Screen Size 1.8″ 2.5″
Screen Resolution 134k dots 230k dots
Live View No Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.48 0.58
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps 5.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No Yes
Built-in Flash No Yes
Flash Range 0 13
Flash Modes Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing No No
WB Bracketing No No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment No No
Average No No
Spot No No
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No No
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a n/a
Max Video Resolution
Video Formats n/a n/a
Microphone Port No No
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No No
HDMI No No
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 735 g 890 g
Physical Dimensions 141 x 104 x 81 mm 142 x 116 x 75 mm
Battery Life n/a n/a
Battery Type n/a n/a
Battery Model n/a n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No No
GPS
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II) Compact Flash (Type I or II), xD Picture Card
Storage Slots 1 1

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