Olympus Evolt E-300 digital camera resource
Last update: Feb. 2nd, 2012
Feb. 2nd: Lenses section updated
Will you help me ?
I can't have my eyes everywhere and if you are aware of any information
specific to the Olympus E300 which isn't yet available here, or if
you'd like to leave your own user report, you can send it to me here.
a notice in the message box below (leave name and email adress if
you'd like me to reply to you):
- The E500,
a successor to the E300, has been launched.
- Looks like a more compact version of the E300, with a pentaprism
instead of a porroprism.
- All other features seem the same.
data and reference manuals
- The quick start guide can be downloaded here.
- The complete reference manual can be downloaded here.
E300 complete specifications
- The CCD used in the E300 is the KAF-8300CE
manufactured by Kodak.
- It has 5.4 x 5.4 micrometer pixels, with a total
25500 electrons per pixel.
- Total CCD noise is 16 electrons, which means that the
range is 1600:1 - over 10 stops (64 dB).
- Warthog prepared a comparison table
listing the current consumption of the Olympus 5060 compared to the
Olympus E300. You will see that the E300 consumes less power than the
Reviews and previews
RAW file format
- Olympus has released a codec
for Windows Vista.
The codec is a piece of software running under Windows Vista with which
Vista can import and display RAW images of all Olympus DSLRs.
- Give a try to Olympus
Studio, the software Olympus offers for processing RAW files.
Comment by Jens Birch: It
has some very nice features designed to effectively sift through large
amounts of images. It also has a better .ORF conversion engine than any
other program I am aware of. It can do most of the basic photo editing
you need. However, it is quite slow in some of its tasks.
- Adobe Photoshop CS is not capable of converting E300 RAW files. You will need CS2 and the Camera
RAW 3.1 plugin. But you can also buy the cheaper Adobe Elements 3,
which also supports the plugin.
- There is also the Photoshop
plugin from Olympus, which allows to import RAW images into
Photoshop starting from version 6.0.
- Give a try to Silkypix's
Developer Studio RAW converter. Not free, but it is getting very
good feedback from those who are using it. It seems to be THE raw
converter with virtually any control you can imagine. Some feedback
from Jerry Beggs:
- "I have tried the Silkypics raw
converter - it is the best I've found and importantly, it runs on old
pc's; I use Windows ME on a PIII 800 processor with 256mb RAM. It
works perfectly and is fast enough. Many of the new RAW
like Pixmantecs Rawshooter Essentials and Phase One's Capture will not
run on less than 500mb RAM and Windows XP. "
- Another RAW converter is Phase One's Capture One LE which allows
the file as a 16-bit TIF. This allows saving the full range and tuning
a high contrast image in CS preserving detail at both ends of the image.
- The E300 generates 13.4 MB RAW files.
- To convert E300 RAW files to JPEG either use the Camedia software
which came with the camera or the much better Adobe Photoshop
Which memory card to use with the
Olympus E300 ?
- Find here the detailed results of
a survey about write speeds with different memory cards. Here are
- The Olympus E300 is currently the digital camera with the
card write speeds. The camera reaches over
9MB/s sustained with a
Sandisk Ultra III Extreme card - no other digital camera, not even the
fastest DLSRs, comes even close.
- The limiting factor here is not the camera. Only the fastest
memory cards allow access to the camera's full potential.
- The max. writing speed of the E300 is over 9 MByte/s.
- For the highest performance only use the fastest memory cards
currently available (80x). See the test
results for details about write speeds with different memory cards.
- If you don't shoot a lot of RAWs, consider getting a cheaper
memory card. The newer "medium range" CF cards achieve 4-5 MB/s, which
is very acceptable for most uses.
- November 20th: Firmware
v1.5 for the E300 is available.
- Improved the focusing
accuracy when using the EC-20 Teleconverter.
- June 22nd, 2006: Olympus releases firmware
v1.4 for the E300.
- Improved exposure precision
when taking pictures in the macro mode using SPOT metering.
- July 19th, 2005: Olympus has released firmware
1.3. The new firmware
incorporates the following changes:
- It is now possible to set the
interval between pressing a button and when the control dial can be
- Stability of Digital ESP and Center
weighted average metering has been improved.
- The (camera) start up process has
been changed to support interchangeable lenses to be released in the
- Two scene modes, Underwater
Macro and Underwater Wide, have been added.
* When taking pictures
underwater, the optional underwater housing must be attached.
- Some comments on Firmware 1.3:
- I took my new E-300
firmware out for a walk today. Exposures/metering certainly seemed very
good, but what I think I noticed were much truer greens, maybe from
improved white balance. My lawn seemed more saturated and less on the
magenta side, something that has irritated me. Had absolutely no
problem downloading and installing.
- Just upgraded firmware to
V1.3. Did some photo shots in the home (10:15pm in Singapore) and found
the results much better.
- Improved ESP metering most
important update. Button time outs and under-water modes added.
- Mar. 28th, 2005: Olympus has released firmware
1.2. The new firmware
incorporates the following changes:
- New high speed CompactFlash cards
are supported. Operation with
the following card(s) has been verified: Extreme III (Sandisk)
- The following functions have been
added to enhance camera
- 1:SHADING COMP
- 3:RELEASE PRIORITY S
- 4:RELEASE PRIORITY C
- The battery check indicator
for use with the HLD-3 Power battery
holder has been improved.
- The previous firmware update (v1.1) incoporated the following
- [AUTO] of the white balance setting
has been improved to better accommodate subjects containing yellows.
- Highlighted parts appeared pink
when the color space was set to [Adobe RGB] and [CUSTOM WB] was set to
a low color temperature. This situation has been improved.
- Battery consumption during
sleep mode has been improved.
- Check here
to see if firmware updates for the E300 are available.
- To install the firmware follow the procedure described at the Olympus
aberrations / Purple fringing
- To remove chromatic aberrations you can process the RAW image
with the Adobe Photohop RAW plugin.
- To remove chromatic aberrations with
an image editor (desaturation of the magentas):
- It is very simple to remove chromatic
aberrations from an image. Simply use a photo editor and set the
level of magenta (also green where this makes sense) to the minimum. In
some images you might have to set the saturation level of red to the
It might also make sense to limit the processing to the affected area
select the affected image area and only process that).
filter and other filters
- A polariser filter helps to obtain deep
blue skies and to remove unwanted reflections. Consider the following
(both images taken with the polariser filter):
Perhentian island image
Same image with polariser rotated
by 90 degrees
- See the difference ? In the picture
to the right, the polariser filter substantially reduced the amount of
light reflected by the water surface making the sea ground more visible
and made the sky more dark.
- Polariser filters are also useful when
the lower part of the image is dark and the top (the sky) too bright.
- Have a look at Darwin
Wigget's page on filters for further information on polariser,
blue-yellow polariser, graduated neutral density and other filters
- See also Jeremy
McCreary's page on filters
- The ME-1
eyecup magnifier enlarges the view by 20%. The eyecup incorporates
two lenses and measures 40 x 30 x 12mm.
- Jan Steinman (Jan at Bytesmiths
dot com) adapted an OM-System
Varimagni finder to the E300. Here is how he did it:
- put a 1/4th inch carbide router bit
in the drill press.
- removed the two small screws to
take the coupling mechanism off the Varimagni Finder.
- clamped the coupling mechanism into
the cross vise, using small bits of hard rubber to square it.
- adjusted the cross vise while the
bit was spinning to remove about 1/2mm from either side of the coupling
- re-attached the mechanism to
the Varimagni Finder
- NOTE: the Varimagni Finder
will no longer work properly with OM cameras after this mod!
- The FP-1 Power Flash grip is designed for use with the FL-50
high-voltage pack and can be used in combination with the flash unit's
built-in power supply to provide fast flash charging for an extended
number of shots. The head is can be rotated by 180° for increased
- The HLD-3 battery holder almost doubles the number the number of
shots you can take with the E300. Featuring a shutter release button at
its base for easy vertical shooting, a remote socket for use with the
RM-CB1 Cable Release, and a standard tripod socket.
- There is also a BCM-1 fast battery charger - recharges the BLM-1
battery in two hours instead of five.
- The official system
chart from Olympus Europe showing all accessories for the E300
Digital Accessories compatibility page: lists all accessories and
if they are compatible with the E300.
BLM-1 battery and cheaper 3rd party alternatives
- According to Federico del Vall 3rd party BLM-1 batteries fail in
Been recently to Ushuaia -
(Patagonia, Argentina) and found Oly's BLM-1's made sense.
I have three different
compatible batteries and tree Olympus, two for each cam.
BLM-1's are rated at -10 °C worst case, so I made no worries. But at this temperature, quite
common around Ushuaia these days, while a BLM-1 would last one to two
of my photoshooting days at 20°C, lasted no more than an hour or so. Compatibles failed after no more
than 10 minutes.
So set to the task of
heating the batteries to ~30° for half an hour, and found the BLM-1
could still be used once more for one hour, and the compatibles too,
but for other 10 minutes or so. But then none.
At these temperatures (-10-0 °C) Oly's BLM-1's are worth their price. On the other hand, in Salta,
(north Argentina) where temperature is nice troughout the year, both
types endured quite the same.
- Warthog did his own comparison test of original
Olympus BLM-1 batteries and 3rd party ones (page is in Finnish!):
- I tested this
original Olympus batteries (3 pieces, two of them 2,5 years, one is 9
months old) and two replacement batteries (2 years old). I used 15 Ohm
resistor, pictures taken every minute with my E-300 and Canon TC-80N3
timer remote controller. I tried QuickTime to record my measurements,
but that timer is more practical.
Original batteries are
expensive, but very good. Replacement batteries are cheap and good....
results of replacement batteries
results of Olympus batteries & evaluation of both batteries
- See this
which contains an overview of currently available BLM-1 battery clones:
Olympus BLM-1 (original), PS-BLM1 (7DayShop.com), WT-BLM1
(SterlingTek.com), Energizer OM-1, Hahnel HL-M1, UNiROSS VB104295,
WinTop PS-BLM1 and e-Film (Delkin) BLM1. The author rates the batteries
according to construction, capacity, (low voltage) protection and cost.
It appears that not all 3rd party alternatives are created equal.
- Test added which shows
capacity the original Olympus BLM-1 battery and cheap 3rd party
alternatives have. With the batteries I had (one original and two 3rd
party ones) I measured the following:
- Original Olympus battery: 1299 mAh
- 3rd party battery 1: 1077
- 3rd party battery 2: 744
- This is OK, since
the Olympus original BLM-1 battery costs 17 times more than the 3rd party
alternatives I bought.
- The complete test results
are available here.
- The original BLM-1 battery from Olympus is rated at 7.2 Volt and
1500 mAh. The alternatives have voltages of 7.2 or 7.4 Volt and
capacities of 1300 or 1500 mAh.
- The voltage difference is no problem:
- The 7.2 Volt which Olympus officially quotes varies in reality
between 6.7 Volt (discharged battery) and 7.7 Volt (fully charged
battery). These are voltages measured under a pretty heavy load of over
1 Ampere (battery loaded with a 6.8 Ohm resistor).
- With no load the measured voltages become 7.37 Volt in a
discharged state (emtpy battery screen showing) and 8.2 Volt (battery
=> In other words, it's highly
irrelevant if the battery is rated at 7.2 or 7.4 Volt - the camera can
withstand 7.7 Volts without problems.
- The capacity difference is also something not to worry about.
There is no big difference between 1500 and 1300 mAh (we are talking of
a 10% difference), but the 3rd party battery costs a fraction of the
- Personally I bought two 3rd party BLM-1 batteries in August 2004
from a Hong Kong eBay seller.
- Price per battery was
US $ 5.49 and the total cost including
shipping was US $17.
- The batteries arrived
in 10 days to my home in Germany.
- I tested one of
these cheap "counterfeit" batteries. It lasted
for over 600 shots (SHQ, all with the LCD on, about 10% with flash) and
still had juice left when I got tired and interrupted the test. It just
fast battery charger (this has been reported by Rod in the Olympus E510
My results are the
Oly charger took around 5 hours to get to a
full charge and the Vidpro about half that (which is what they
advertise). BUT, it could be the second battery I charged on the Vidpro
didn't need that much charging - what I did wasn't under very
controlled conditions re residual charge before recharging.
The Vidpro (US $30)
charger base is a little larger than the
Oly, and also has an AC to DC module (a little smaller than the Oly
unit itself) that plugs into the AC wall socket whereas the Oly unit
accepts AC directly with the supplied AC cord. Both the Oly &
Vidpro accept 100v-240v, but the big difference I like is that the
Vidpro has a 12v DC (vehicle, etc.) adapter allowing the batteries to
be charged in the field.
photography with the Olympus E300
- The site Infrared
photography with your digital camera contains interesting
about infrared photography with Olympus cameras and an overview of
filters with their spectral characteristics.
- These sites contain useful information about infrared photography
with digital cameras:
Digital infrared photography - site devoted to digital infrared
photography with image galleries, information about filters and
equipment and links.
Infrared Photography page
- excellent information resource devoted to infrared photography with
Olympus cameras. Information about infrared filters, exposure settings,
focus, post-processing, sample images and links.
- Also see the Infrared
photography page of the Apogee magazine: this is an interesting
general introduction to infrared photography with digital cameras.
|Focal length in mm
(multiply by 2 to get
rectilinear ultra wide angle
| Not available, filters
cannot be screwed on
DC HSM 10-20
|Focal length in mm
(multiply by 2 to get
- Prime lenses (fixed focal length)
- Extension tubes, teleconverters and adapters
Tube for double magnification
|Adapter to connect OM lenses to
- Here is a resolution test for the 14-45 and 40-150 kit
and a comparison to the lens of the Olympus 8080. For the test I used
images supplied as RAW by Moshe
Ronen and a test target developed by Jens Birch:
- The test pattern consists of sets of five squares with
horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. Each square (1..5) has lines a
different spatial resolutions, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest
- In the test I check in which squares the lines are still visible
individually (beyond the resolution limit the lines start to merge).
target only covers approx.
80% of the image
- The 14-45 lens is sharper than the 40-150 lens as one would have
expected. Interestingly the lens of the 8080 is even sharper (the videozona.ru
review also reaches the same conclusion).
- To see how the lens of the kit lens of the E300 compares other
DLSRs see the following pages of the videozona.ru review:
- June 17th, 2006: Metz has started offering an inexpensive
flash with high speed synchronization.
- Thanks to Jens Holm for reporting that Metz
created an adapter with which you can use Metz flashes with the E300.
Here is the email of the Metz technical support:
Dear Ladies & Gentlemen
from now on we are able to
provide a NEW version M4 of the adapter
SCA3202 which supported
the electronic of a Olympus E300 in addition.
Former adapters of version
M to M3 can be up-dated to M4. Other hints you can read in the file
M e t z - W e r k e GmbH
& Co KG
note: the attached file is in the Files section of the Olympus E300
- Apr. 5th, 2005:
- The Metz flash units doesn't work as of April 05, but
Metz is collecting User information and seems to be in the progress of
making a new adapter (the old SCA3202 adapter can't be used with the
- The FL40 from Olympus doesn't work either. FL20 does
- The Olympus E300 has a standard flash hotshoe and can
- Try out the Metz flash units - cheap and reliable. Alternatively
try the FL-36 or other Olympus flash units.
- See here
for how to measure the trigger voltage of your flash.
- See Jeremy
McCreary'page on external flash for Camedia cameras.
the Olympus E300 with a computer
- Try these software
- Pine Tree Camera
Controller works with the 5050 (and possibly also with the E300).
Follow these steps:
- Open the card door on the camera
- turn on (for instance in P mode)
- press the OK/Menu button
and the Monitor button simultaneously (not the Quick View button) for a
- a menu
the LCD screen - put camera in to control mode.
- Close Media door, plug
in USB cable and fire up the software (the software won't work if the
is not in control mode).
- Cam2Com: see this information.
- Olympus will release in June 2005 the PT-E01
underwater housing for the E300. Quoting from their site:
PT-E01 underwater case has been specially customised for Olympus E-300
and is waterproof up to a water pressure equivalent to a depth of 60
metres. With its durable, high quality polycarbonate construction, it
protects the camera from water, while also cushioning it from knocks
and bumps on land.
TTL flash connector allows optional use of the Olympus FL-20 &
FL-36 TTL flash with the PFL-01 & PFL-E01 flash housing. Three
interchangeable lens ports allow the optional use of 14-45mm, 11-22 or
14-54mm and the 50mm Macro lens."
- Ikelite make an underwater housing for the Olympus E300. See their page
with pictures and technical details. Also have a look at their strobe page
- their DS-50 and DS-125 units can be used with the E300.
- The site Digideep.com
is an online directory for digital underwater photography.
- Interesting forum for underwater photography: DigitalDiver.net
- Convar's PC
Inspector Smart Recovery tool now supports JPEG, TIFF and RAW.
- highly recommended.
by Kurt Stege, is a free tool to recover deleted images from a memory
card. Recommended, alough it involves more work an e tool of
- These software tools are not free, so since Convar's software is
available for free, there is no real need to use them:
- Check this site: Digital
Christian Grau has some software
tools to fix damaged memory cards. The software used to be free, now
also has a software tool (Photorescue) for repairing damaged memory
although it's not free.
is another tool. Price is $39.95.
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus E300 user
- The picture files of the Olympus E300
contain the complete exposure information (aperture, exposure time,
leng, white balance etc.).
- To read this data you can use these
by Ryuuji Yoshimoto. Haven't tried the software myself, but it looks
Image Viewer, by Michal Kowalski. This is the one I'm using.
from his homepage:
"EXIF viewer is a simple image
viewer application for photos taken with digital cameras. It's capable
of reading EXIF information embedded in photos as well as little
Because small thumbnail is already present in most photos displaying it
is really fast.
EXIF viewer can also provide
detailed information about photos (shutter speed, aperture, etc.) and
list them for comparison purposes.
EXIF viewer also displays image
histogram. It also features copying/moving and deleting of selected
Single photograph can be displayed in separate window or in a full
by Friedemann Schmidt. I'm using this one too. It can rewrite EXIF data
to images which lost it due to processing with a software package which
doesn't support EXIF. Quoting from his site:
"Exifer is a nearly free software
(you only should send me a postcard if you're using Exifer frequently)
with which you can manage the metadata (EXIF/IPTC) of pictures taken by
digital cameras. Because many image processing software destroys this
when saving such files, the idea was to create a backup of the metadata
before editing it in any software, and then, after that to restore it
into the processed file. With Exifer you can do this very easily. "
- Below are the steps necessary to connect the E300 to a linux
|here are the
steps (I'm on Suse 9.0 ):
1. boot Suse
$ sudo tail
* use external
-> "USB" must be set to "PC" (not "PRINT")
* set playback
mode on cam
* make sure
camera is turned off
with USB cable
2. turn camera
* drive icon
appears on desktop: sda1
-> properties: device /dev/sda1 mounted at /media/sda1)
on it would mount the cam and open it in Konqueror
=> convenient thumbnail previews)
-f for USB stuff)
... or just
wait a moment
4. get the
$ mount | grep
$ mount /media/sda1
$ mount |
on /media/sda1 type vfat (rw,nosuid,nodev,sync,user=tobi)
$ cd /media/sda1/dcim/100olymp/
$ cp -i ./*
$ mv -i ./*
$ umount /media/sda1
$ mount |
- Brian Miller created a page about using
C-5050Zoom Digital Camera with Linux. Tons of detailed information
on how to interface a 5050 with Linux. This information probably also
holds for a E300.
- The page Using
the Olympus Camedia C-3040 Zoom Digital Camera with Linux and USB
Micheal Schubart contains a description on how to download photos from
an Olympus 3040 to a computer running Linux with USB. The procedure
there should also apply to an Olympus E300.
Comments ? Put them in the Olympus E300 user
with the Olympus E300
Olympus E300 Photo Galleries
© Copyright 2004-2005 Philipp
Sanke and Alfred Molon