What are the main features of the E-3?
The E-3 is Olympus’ flagship professional SLR digital camera. It features groundbreaking technological advances, including a Live View LCD monitor that can be swung out from the camera and swiveled 270 degrees; a powerful, 10-megapixel Live MOS sensor; Olympus’ patented Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF™) dust-reduction system, which makes it easy to change lenses anywhere without worrying about dust ruining a shot; the stunningly fast TruePic® III processor; and a 2.5-inch, high-resolution, dual-axis, wide-angle HyperCrystal® screen for superior visibility (even in direct sunlight).
Of course, the E-3 is also precision-engineered to work perfectly with Olympus' Zuiko® Digital Specific Lenses™ for pixel-perfect, edge-to-edge clarity. When coupled with Zuiko Digital Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD™) lenses, the E-3 attains unmatched AF speeds – and the fastest AF speed in the world with the ED 12-60 mm F2.8 – F4.0 (24-120 mm equivalent) SWD lens. (The AF speed of this lens, combined with the E-3, was measured during in-house testing by Olympus and is based on similar available lenses for digital SLR cameras as of Oct. 17, 2007.)
The E-3 boasts Olympus' most advanced anti-blur technology to date: Sensor Shift Image Stabilization. The exclusive Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD) motors provide two modes of accurate, high-speed stabilization. One mode provides blur-free photography for everyday situations such as low-light settings. The other mode helps capture sharp images even while panning during action shots. This technology is built into the body of the E-3 so it works with every lens, unlike legacy film technologies that are built into individual lenses.
The magnesium-alloy frame and seals around all of the controls and ports make the E-3 a rugged camera and the only truly weatherproof DSLR available today. The 11-point biaxial autofocus system provides numerous autofocus setup options and accurate autofocus in low-light situations.
The built-in flash also serves as a control for the wireless, remote-controlled flash system, built around the optional FL-50R and FL-36R accessory flash units. The system enables camera control of up to three groups of individually programmed flashes.
The E-3 is also fully compatible with the accessory flash systems developed around the E-1, so the equipment you may already be using can be used with the E-3.
The E-3’s bright optical viewfinder is the only one on a digital SLR that shows 100% of the image area with a 1.15X magnification. The interactive control panel on the LCD monitor and the numerous controls on the surface of the camera enable rapid management and selection of the E-3’s features.
The E-3 is bundled with OLYMPUS Master® software and a trial version of OLYMPUS Studio®, which enables computer-tethered shooting and computer camera control.
How do I update the firmware in the E-3 camera body and Olympus E-System lenses?
Firmware updates of Olympus E-System digital SLR bodies and Zuiko® Digital lenses are performed using OLYMPUS Master® or OLYMPUS Studio® software. Each version of the software has an Update Camera function that is used to initiate the update procedure.
Below are the locations of the update functions in the various software versions:
- OLYMPUS Master 2.x: In the Browse window’s toolbar, click on Update/Language.
- OLYMPUS Studio 2.x: In the Browse window’s toolbar, click on Update/Language.
Before updating, mount an Olympus Zuiko Digital lens to the camera body and set the camera body’s USB MODE to STORAGE. Connect the camera to a computer via its bundled USB cable. The computer must be connected to the Internet because the download and installation are managed online from an Olympus server. The camera battery should be fully charged. The LCD screen on the camera should be facing outward. When these prerequisites are met, launch the software and click on the update function.
The update process will first poll the camera and lens to determine what firmware versions are currently installed. It will then ask if you want to search for a newer version. If it finds a newer version, you will be prompted to perform the update. Step-by-step instructions will guide you through the process.
Follow the on-screen instructions carefully. If you deviate from the instructions, the firmware installation may not complete and the firmware may become corrupted. If this occurs, the camera will have to be sent to an Olympus Repair Service Center to have its firmware replaced. Do not do a firmware update during a storm or when there is a risk of losing power because this will also cause a corrupted firmware installation.
Once the firmware is updated, it is not possible to go back to a previous version.
You can check the firmware version of your camera and lens at any time when the camera is not connected to a computer. Open the camera menu, go to the menu, scroll to FIRMWARE and toggle right. The LCD will display the firmware version for the camera body and the currently mounted lens.
Lenses can be upgraded individually using the same update process even if the camera body already has the most current firmware. Mount a different lens on the body and repeat the update process as though you were updating the camera body.
I don't own an E-System camera body. How can I update the firmware of my E-System lens?
Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. Therefore, the lens firmware can be updated by mounting the lens to a Panasonic camera body.
To update the firmware of an E-System lens when mounted to a Panasonic camera body, refer to the Panasonic support Web site.
For more information on the joint firmware update service, visit the Four Thirds System Web site.
Can I use the E-3 to update the firmware of any Four Thirds System-compliant lens?
The answer depends on what company manufactured the lens.
Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. The service is not available for Four Thirds System-compliant lenses manufactured by other companies, such as Kodak, Fuji and Sanyo.
Panasonic/Leica and Sigma lenses mounted to an Olympus E-System camera body can be updated using the software packaged with the camera. Click on the appropriate link below for complete instructions.
Update using OLYMPUS Master 2.x.
Update using OLYMPUS Master 1.x/ OLYMPUS Master Plus 1.x.
Update using OLYMPUS Studio 1.x / OLYMPUS Viewer 1.x.
For more information on the joint firmware update service, visit the Four Thirds System Web site.
The E-3 features Live View. What is it, and how does it work?
The Live View feature provides the next generation of composition control in digital SLR photography. It allows the photographer to use the LCD monitor as a viewfinder to compose shots or to shoot while viewing an enlarged display on the monitor.
Can I preview the adjustments I make to camera settings on the Live View LCD monitor?
With LIVE VIEW BOOST set to OFF, while setting up a shot, changes you make to the Exposure Compensation setting are previewed on the Live View monitor so you can see their effects before shooting. The effects are previewed in all shooting modes, including those in which the camera automatically adjusts exposure and/or white balance.
With LIVE VIEW BOOST set to ON, the camera automatically adjusts the brightness level and displays the subject on the monitor for easier confirmation. The effect of the exposure compensation adjustments will not be shown on the monitor. The eyepiece shutter should be closed so that light entering through the viewfinder does not affect the exposure while shooting with Live View.
It is also possible to preview the effect of the Image Stabilizer on the LCD monitor while using Live View. Hold down the [IS] button to see the preview. While in that position, press the shutter button fully to take a picture. Release the [IS] button or hold it for several seconds to turn off the Image Stabilizer.
Note: When IMAGE STABILIZER is set to OFF, pressing and holding the [IS] button activates the image stabilizer in I.S. 1 mode.
How can I download the images in the camera to a computer?
Complete instructions may be downloaded by clicking here.
Adobe Reader® software is required to view the file. It is available as a free download from Adobe's web site. Click here to download the latest version.
What is the origin and meaning of the Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF™)? Where does the dust go?
The filter is so named because it shakes dust off the image sensor by using supersonic wave vibrations. The dropped dust is affixed to a dust-collection component under the filter.
Is the E-3 body splashproof?
The construction and design of the E-3 features seals on all of the controls and ports and around the flash component, making the E-3 body splashproof and dustproof. When used with Olympus Zuiko® Digital Super High-Grade and High-Grade lenses, the E-3 can be used safely in dust storms, rain and snow.
Is it necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components?
It is not necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components under normal use for several years. The dust-collection system can easily deal with the particles that are a result of the dust-reduction system. If the camera is used constantly in severe conditions, Olympus recommends that the camera body be sent to an authorized Olympus repair service center approximately at an interval of three to five years. As part of Olympus' camera service maintenance, the dust-collection components are replaced.
What are the advantages of lenses that are designed specifically for digital camera use?
Although the small size of the individual pixels in CCD, CMOS, and Live MOS image sensors enables them to capture even more detail than film, the sensitivity of the sensor elements is highly directional. That is, they respond best to light that strikes the elements straight on. With lenses designed for use with film, the light rays passing through the periphery of the lens strike the image sensor at an angle, and this tends to degrade picture quality at the periphery of the image area.
On the other hand, lenses developed specifically for digital camera use are designed to match the imaging characteristics of CCD, CMOS and Live MOS sensors, ensuring high image quality at both the center and the periphery of the frame.
Can I use my OM- Series 35mm SLR lenses on the E-3?
Olympus OM-series lenses can be mounted on Olympus E-System DSLRs with the optional MF-1 OM Adapter. OM-series lenses are unable to communicate with the firmware in E-System camera bodies. Therefore, their use in this fashion has the following restrictions:
- Autofocus is not available.
- OM- series autofocus lenses cannot be manually focused.
- Stop-down metering is used.
- Spot metering does not work properly.
- Although it is possible to use the A (Aperture priority AE) shooting mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
- The aperture display in the M (Manual) shooting mode is not available.
- In P (Program AE) or S (Shutter speed priority AE) shooting mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure control does not work.
- The distance scale on the OM-series lens may not indicate the actual distance. Always use the viewfinder or Live View for focusing.
When mounted to the E-3, OM-series lenses may take advantage of the camera's Image Stabilizer function, provided that the firmware in the DSLR body has been updated to the latest release.
Because the OM-series lenses were designed for film rather than for use with a digital sensor, the image quality may not equal that produced by Zuiko® Digital lenses.
To purchase the MF-1 OM Adapter (Item #260231) from The Olympus Store, click here.
Does the Image Stabilizer function in the E-3 work with Olympus OM- Series lenses?
The Image Stabilizer function in the E-3 can be applied to OM- Series manual lenses after the E-3 DSLR body firmware has been updated. The latest firmware release provides the option to set the focal length of the lens being used.
The Image Stabilizer function must know the focal length of the attached lens in order to apply the correct compensation to the sensor when the camera senses camera shake. Zuiko® Digital lenses, being "smart" lenses, automatically provide this information from the firmware in the lens to the firmware in the camera body. Manual lenses contain no electronics, so focal length information must be entered manually by the photographer. Updating the firmware adds an option in the IMAGE STABILIZER menu to set the focal length of the OM- Series lens being used.
The MF-1 OM Lens Adapter is required to attach an OM- Series lens to the Four Thirds® mount on the E-3. To purchase the MF-1 OM Lens Adapter (Item #260231) from The Olympus Store, click here.
To set the focal length of an OM- Series lens, update the E-3 DSLR body firmware and then do the following:
- Press the [IS] button to display the IMAGE STABILIZER screen.
- Press and release the  button.
- Set the focal length using the Control Dial or the Up or Down arrow keys, and then press the [OK] button.
The focal length settings available in the E-3 after the firmware update are shown in the table below:
Do not take into account the 2x magnification factor applied in the Four Thirds system; enter the actual focal length of the lens being used. If the attached lens has a focal length that is not shown on the chart, please select the closest value.
The focal length setting cannot be entered manually when a Four Thirds system lens is attached.
Click here to download a printer-friendly copy of these instructions.
What are the purposes of the different record modes?
Record modes allow photographers to quickly and conveniently vary the quality settings used to capture and save images in-camera. While it is possible to always shoot at the higher-quality settings and then process the images down into smaller file sizes later with a computer, it may be more convenient in some situations to use other than the higher-quality settings. For example, it may be preferable to shoot using a lower-quality setting when the shots are intended for use on the Internet, where small file size is more important than rich detail.
Record modes can be selected via the Super Control Panel, the Control Panel or the camera menu. The E-3 offers nine record modes, whose benefits are outlined below.
- RAW: This is the highest-quality record mode available in the E-3, and it allows the photographer the most creative control in post-production. Images are saved to the memory card from the camera sensor with minimal image processing. Factors such as white balance, sharpness, contrast and color are unchanged so they can be modified later on a computer. Some photographers prefer to shoot RAW all the time for all subjects, while others may shoot RAW in situations that pose complicated exposure problems, such as wedding photography.
Each camera manufacturer has its own version of RAW tailored to its cameras; therefore, special software is required to process RAW files and convert them to other image file formats such as JPEG and TIFF. OLYMPUS Master® and OLYMPUS Studio® contain RAW processing and conversion software for the Olympus RAW format, which bears the file extension *.orf. Third-party imaging software and operating systems may use RAW plug-ins or upgrades to process Olympus RAW files. Without them, they would not be able to read RAW images from Olympus digital cameras. Most photo kiosks, printers and photo labs cannot read unconverted RAW images.
- JPEG: Four record modes in the E-3 create compressed JPEG image files. When the camera processes a captured JPEG image and saves it to the memory card, it uses algorithms to discard some of the data to make the file size smaller. The process of mathematically reducing a file’s size by discarding some of its data is called compression. The greater the compression ratio, the more data will be discarded and the smaller will be the file size. When the image is opened on a computer, the JPEG algorithms reconstruct the discarded data.
The E-3 allows the photographer the option to customize the four JPEG record modes by mixing and matching their quality settings. The factors that define a JPEG record mode are image size (determined by number of pixels) and compression ratio.
The table below shows all of the combinations of image size and compression ratio available in the E-3.
Customization of the quality settings is performed via the option, which is found in Custom Menu 1G. Pixel counts are expressed as either L (Large), M (Middle) or S (Small). The PIXEL COUNT menu item, also in menu 1G, further customizes the M and S settings by offering a choice of display resolutions.RAW+JPEG: Four record modes in the E-3 save both a RAW and a JPEG image when a picture is taken. This can be advantageous when shots are intended for use in multiple media or when the medium in which the images will ultimately be published has not been determined.
The quality settings used to process the JPEGs in the RAW + JPEG record modes are tied to the quality settings defined for the four JPEG record modes. The first RAW + JPEG record mode uses the JPEG settings of the first registered JPEG record mode; the second RAW + JPEG mode uses the JPEG settings of the second registered JPEG mode; and so on. Changing the JPEG quality settings via the and PIXEL COUNT menus affects both a JPEG record mode and its RAW + JPEG record mode "counterpart."
Why doesn't the E-3 offer a TIFF record mode like my other Olympus cameras?
TIFF files are very large files that take longer to write to the memory card and fill up the memory card more rapidly than RAW or JPEG files. A TIFF file in the E-3 would be about 30 MB. It is more efficient to shoot in RAW and save the RAW conversion as a TIFF file using the OLYMPUS Master® or OLYMPUS Studio® applications.
In the White Balance (WB) menu, what do all of those numbers followed by a “K” mean?
The color balance of different light sources in the color spectrum is rated numerically by color temperature in the standard Kelvin (K) temperature scale. A color temperature value is expressed as a number followed by a “K,” for Kelvin.
The chart below shows approximate values of different light sources in the E-3 White Balance menu:
- 5300K - Use for shooting outdoors on a clear day, or to capture the reds in a sunset or the colors in a fireworks display.
- 7500K - Use for shooting outdoors in the shadows on a clear day. The light in shadows areas is bluer, so this setting compensates for the color shift.
- 6000K - Use for shooting outdoors on a cloudy day. This setting makes the color slightly warmer in tone.
- 3000K - Use for shooting under a tungsten light. This setting keeps the images from coming out with a yellow color cast.
- 4000K - Use for shooting under white fluorescent lighting.
- 4500K - Use for shooting under a neutral white fluorescent lamp.
- 6600K - Use for shooting under a daylight fluorescent lamp.
- 5500K - Use for flash shooting.
Color temperature settings can be applied in situations for which they are not intended for creative effects. For example, a tungsten setting can be used on a cloudy day to produce a surreal effect suggesting cold.
The Custom White Balance (CWB) settings in the White Balance menu allow photographers to select more accurate color temperature settings. Many commercially available lamps are labeled with color temperature ratings that fall between 3000K and 4000K, so a photographer is able to set up the camera for more accurate color rendition.
With so many White Balance settings available, why and when should I use One-Touch White Balance?
There are many light sources and situations that are not covered by Auto White Balance or the other settings in the White Balance menu. There are many noncontinuous light sources that do not have all of the colors of the spectrum, such as fluorescent, mercury vapor, and sodium vapor lights. There are also situations in which many different types of lights are used in one environment. These do not neatly fit into what the camera firmware knows about white balance, so it is necessary to “educate” the camera about the specific light balance by shooting a white reference subject such as a white card and saving the data in the White Balance menu as a One-Touch White Balance.
In the PICTURE MODE > MONOTONE menu feature, what is the purpose of the B&W Filter options?
In black-and-white film photography, different colored filters are placed in front of the lens to modify the tones in the final image. These are called contrast filters. One popular effect created with contrast filters results in a landscape photograph with majestic clouds against an almost black sky. This effect is obtained by shooting through a deep red filter, which makes the blue in the sky darker.
A general rule of thumb regarding the use of contrast filters is: The filter makes its own color lighter in tone and its opposite color darker in tone.
The E-3 is able to create these effects without using physical filters by modifying the performance of the red, green and blue color channels in the MONOTONE mode.
The functions of the B&W filters are described below:
- RED - The red filter darkens blues and greens and lightens reds. In landscape photography, it produces dark skies that make clouds look more dramatic. The red filter can also cut through atmospheric haze to some degree. It can be used in portraiture to diminish skin blemishes on light-skinned people.
- YELLOW - The yellow filter darkens the blue in the sky so clouds separate from the sky without producing the dramatic effect of the red filter. Many black and white photographers routinely keep a yellow filter on their camera because the effects appear more natural than those of other filters. In copy photography of old documents, the yellow filter brightens the look of yellowed paper.
- ORANGE - The effect of the orange filter falls midway between that of the red and yellow filters.
- GREEN - The green filter lightens plants in images. It will also make red subject matter darker and add contrast to sunsets.
The B&W Filter effects can be previewed on the Live View screen before shooting.
Is it possible to take time-lapse photo sequences with the E-3?
This camera can take time-lapse photo sequences when connected to a computer running the optional OLYMPUS Studio® 2 application software. Unlike built-in intervalometers found in some digital cameras, OLYMPUS Studio 2 offers very detailed computer camera control over preset time periods.
To use this functionality, please do the following:
- Connect the camera to a computer using the USB cable bundled with the camera.
- Set the camera’s USB Mode to CONTROL.
- In the application, open the Camera Control window and choose Time Lapse from the menu or click on the Time Lapse icon on the Camera Control window’s toolbar. A dialog will be displayed.
- Configure any or all options in the dialog, and then click the Start Shooting button to begin the time-lapse sequence.
The images will be saved on the computer – not the memory card.
My 35mm SLR had a mirror lockup to let the camera vibration settle down before the shutter tripped. Does the E-3 have this?
The E-3 has an [ANTI-SHOCK] function that diminishes camera shake caused by vibrations when the mirror flips up. This feature can be useful in astrophotography, photo microscopy or other applications where a very slow shutter speed is used and camera vibration needs to be minimized. The interval between the mirror flipping up and the shutter opening can be preset from one second to 30 seconds via the menu.
Does the E-3 have a programmable Custom Function button?
The  button in the upper right corner of the camera back is the E-3’s Custom Function button. To change the function assigned to , do the following:
- Press the [MENU] button.
- Press the Down Arrow button repeatedly until Custom Menu 1 is selected. The menu's icon looks like this:
- Press the Right Arrow button once to enter the menu.
- Press the Down Arrow button to select and then press the Right Arrow button.
- Use the arrow pad to select the Custom Function menu item. It looks like this: FUNCTION
- Press the Right Arrow button to view the Custom Function menu. Use the arrow pad to scroll through the functions that can be assigned. The available functions are:
- OFF – This option disables function allocation.
- (One-Touch White Balance) – This function is useful when you need a more precise white balance than preset White Balance can provide. When this function is registered to , the optimum white balance for the shooting conditions can be saved in the camera by photographing a white piece of paper under the light source that will be used in your shot. While holding down , press the shutter button once. Press the [OK] button to register the white balance. The setting is retained until a new custom white balance is registered by repeating the procedure.
- TEST PICTURE – This enables a photographer to shoot a picture and see it on the monitor without saving it to the memory card. This can be useful in a studio situation where it would be desirable to shoot setup tests and not use up space on a memory card. Simply hold down  while shooting.
- MY MODE – If a photographer has registered special settings in MY MODE SETUP, this option allows the photographer to apply those settings without having to go into the menu. Instead, simply hold down  and shoot.
- PREVIEW / LIVE PREVIEW (electronic) – This is the default factory setting for the  button. It is used to check the depth-of-field while looking through the lens. When  is pressed, the camera will stop down to the selected f-stop.
- - Press  to switch to the registered AF home position. Press this button again to switch to the original AF target mode.
- MF - Press  to switch AF mode to MF. Press the button again to switch to the original AF mode.
- - Press  to switch the record mode from JPEG to RAW+JPEG or from RAW+JPEG to JPEG. You can change the record mode by turning the main dial/sub dial while holding down .
- P/A/S/M – You can change the shooting mode by turning the main dial/sub dial while holding down .
- – Press  to switch to the Underwater Wide shooting mode and to switch between the Underwater Wide and Underwater Macro shooting modes. Alternatively, turn the main dial while holding down the [MODE] button to select either underwater shooting mode.
- Press [OK] to activate the selection, and then press [MENU] to exit the menu.
The functions of the [AEL/AFL] and the  buttons can be interchanged. To swap them:
- Press the [MENU] button.
- Press the Down Arrow button until is selected.
- Next, press the Right Arrow button to enter the menu.
- Press the Down Arrow button to select and then press the Right Arrow button.
- Use the arrow pad to select the function swap icon, which looks like this:
- Press the Right Arrow button to enter the sub menu. Select ON to have AEL/AFL functions performed when  is pressed, and vice-versa.
Why does the E-3 offer underwater exposure modes if the camera is not waterproof?
Olympus Imaging Corporation is a global company and designs products for worldwide distribution. Some models include features intended for use in a particular geographic region, although the model may be sold in other regions.
Olympus does not sell a corresponding underwater housing for this model in the Americas. However, the underwater scenes are included for the sale of this model in other Olympus markets.
Where can I find the documentation for this camera?
The E-3 is packaged with a printed Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual. The documents can also be downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.
Adobe Reader® is required to view the PDF files. The software is available as a free download from Adobe's web site.
What does the optional OLYMPUS Studio 2 software do, and how can I get it?
OLYMPUS Studio 2 is imaging software for personal computers that allows photographers to speed up organizational and post-processing tasks associated with the photography workflow, such as examining and selecting the best shot from a large number of images; searching disparate folders and albums for a desired image; comparing similar images side-by-side on a virtual lightbox; batch processing edits and print jobs; etc. It also has a camera control function that lets photographers operate Olympus E-System cameras remotely or save images directly to a computer instead of a memory card. (These operations require that the camera be connected to the computer using its bundled USB cable.) The software can also be used to update the firmware of Olympus digital cameras or to change the language of the camera's menu system and LCD displays.
The software is supported on the following operating systems: Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional (32-bit), Windows Vista (32/64-bit), Windows 7 (32/64-bit, but please see these caveats), and Mac OS X 10.3 ("Panther") through 10.5 ("Leopard").
To download a free, 30-day trial of the latest version of OLYMPUS Studio 2, please click on the appropriate link:
For information on obtaining a permanent license key, please send an email to email@example.com.
How do I insert a memory card into the E-3?
To insert the memory card into the E-3, power off the camera and then do the following:
- Slide the card cover door lock in the direction shown below.
- Open the card cover door on the right side of the camera.
- Orient the card as shown below. For CompactFlash™ media, hold the memory card so that the contact area is on the card’s left, pointing into the card slot, and the CF Mark is in the upper left corner of the card. For xD-Picture Card™ media, hold the memory card so that the gold contact area is facing the front of the camera and the notch is facing down.
- Insert the card into the card slot. Push the card gently straight in until it clicks.
- Close the card cover door and slide the lock back to its original position.
Is it possible to view the Live View image on a computer?
The E-3 has a VIDEO OUT jack that can be used to display images on a television screen. When the E-3 is connected to a computer in the CONTROL USB mode, the VIDEO OUT can be enabled using the Camera Control option in OLYMPUS® Studio 2.0.
In the Shooting/Camera Settings column on the right side of the Camera Control window, the last item in the Camera Settings list is VIDEO OUT. Setting this option to ON opens up a video output of the Live View image. The bundled Video Cable is used to connect the E-3 to a television or secondary computer monitor to display the Live View image in real time.
The Live View display option can be useful in studio setups, teaching and scientific or engineering applications in which the E-3 is mounted on instruments such as microscopes or bore scopes.
How is the Enlarged Display operation used in Live View?
The Live View Enlarged Display option provides an enlarged view of a selected area in the image to facilitate fine manual focus.
When Live View is enabled, pressing the [INFO] button reveals a green target area that is to be enlarged in the center of the LCD screen. The target area can be repositioned on another area of the image by using the arrow keys on the camera back. Pressing the [OK] button causes the target area to be enlarged.
The degree of magnification can be changed to 7x or 10x by turning either the main dial or the sub dial. Pressing [OK] will return the image on the LCD screen to the normal viewing size.
How can I set up FRAME ASSIST on my LCD screen?
FRAME ASSIST superimposes ruled lines on the image in Live View. The purpose is to assist in composition of images for the purposes of square alignment, centering and compositional balance. The options are:
- Off: No ruled lines are selected.
- Grid: Horizontal and vertical lines are displayed. These are useful in copy and architectural photography to correctly align the image.
- Golden Section: This pattern is used to aid composition using the “Rule of Thirds.”
- Scale: Cross hairs with graduations are displayed. This is useful in centering subjects within an image.
To select which ruled lines will be used when FRAME ASSIST is activated, do the following:
- Open the menu and use the arrow pad to select .
- Press the Right Arrow on the arrow pad to enter the submenu.
- Select FRAME ASSIST.
- Toggle right to show the options.
- Select an option.
- Press the [OK] button to set the option and exit the menu.
To display the superimposed ruled lines over the Live View image, press the [INFO] button repeatedly. Each time it is pressed, the display will change until the ruled lines appear.
The ruled lines do not become a part of captured images when the photographs are taken.
Sometimes when I turn off the E-3, I feel a slight vibration or hear a noise. Why is that?
When the camera is powered down, slight vibration and noise occur as the Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD™) motor resets the image sensor to its default position. The E-3 takes this action when shooting with the Image Stabilizer function set to I.S. 1 or I.S. 2. In either mode, the camera moves the sensor during shooting in order to counter the effects of camera shake. When the power is turned off, the camera moves the sensor back into the default position.
When Image Stabilizer is set to OFF, the sensor does not move during shooting and so does not need to be reset. However, if shooting with a zoom lens, some noise may still be heard when the camera is powered off as the lens resets its focus to infinity.
If both Image Stabilizer and Lens Reset are set to OFF, the camera will power down in silence.
What is the difference between the I.S. 1 and I.S. 2 image stabilizer options?
In I.S. 1, the Image Stabilizer corrects for camera shake on both the horizontal and vertical planes. In I.S. 2, the Image Stabilizer only corrects for vertical camera shake. This is to allow a photographer to use a low shutter speed and pan horizontally for creative effect. Situations in which this technique can be applied include tracking rapidly moving subjects such as flying birds, running wildlife, racing cars and athletes with the intention of blurring the background for a visual effect in the image. The result would be a sharply defined subject against a blurred background that might otherwise appear cluttered.
I have a lens from another manufacturer that has built-in optical image stabilization. Will I get more image stabilization if I mount it on the E-3 and enable its Image Stabilizer?
In such a scenario, it is recommended to use one or the other, but not both image stabilizers simultaneously. If both lens and body image stabilization are being used at the same time, the combination may be counter-productive because the camera image stabilization would be trying to compensate for the lens image stabilization and not be able to arrive at a stabilized image.
What are the P, A, S and M modes and how are they used?
The P, A, S and M modes are exposure modes. These exposure modes allow the photographer creative flexibility by enabling more control over shutter speed and f-stop settings while shooting. The exposure modes enable total access to the menu options, unlike the AUTO and Scene exposure modes found in Olympus consumer DSLRs. They are also the modes required for use with E-System flash accessories.
Briefly, the exposure modes and their applications are as follows:
- P (Program shooting) – This mode allows shooting using an aperture and shutter speed set by the camera. However, the Program Shift function allows some creative control. When powered on with this mode selected, the E-3 displays P in the upper left of the Control Panel screen. Rotating the main dial or the sub dial changes the P to Ps, which is Program Shift. This permits the selection of a shutter speed or aperture other than the default while maintaining the same exposure. If a higher shutter speed is selected, a wider aperture will be set. If a slower shutter speed is selected, a smaller aperture will be set. In effect, it is an AUTO mode that accepts input from the photographer.
- A (Aperture Priority shooting) – This mode allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens by rotating the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and on the Control Panel screen will blink.
- S (Shutter Priority shooting) – This mode allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body using the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speeds are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values in the viewfinder and Control Panel screen will blink.
- M (Manual shooting) – This mode allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independently. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. Manual mode is invaluable to photographers using studio electronic flash systems and manual hot shoe electronic flashes because it allows the user to set the correct sync speed for flash and set an f-stop determined by a flash meter reading or testing. It also allows for use in exotic photographic situations such as scientific and engineering photography beyond the parameters of the camera firmware. In the Manual shooting mode the shutter speed is set using the main dial and the aperture is set using the sub dial.
Note: When  is set to , two additional exposure modes are available: Underwater Wide and Underwater Macro. Press the [Mode] button while turning the main dial to select these exposure modes. To use the E-3 for underwater photography, attach a commercially available underwater housing. While using either underwater exposure mode, the following functions are not available: CUSTOM RESET, PICTURE MODE and MY MODE SETUP.
The E-3 has five focusing modes. Which should I use?
The five focusing modes are provided to offer the photographer greater flexibility in setting up the camera for diverse shooting situations. Any of the focusing modes that have an MF in their designation allow the photographer to adjust the focus by turning the focusing ring on the lens.
- S-AF (Single AF) – Every time the shutter button is pressed halfway, the camera focuses. This mode is suitable for taking pictures of still subjects or subjects with limited movement.
- C-AF (Continuous AF) – The camera continuously refocuses as long as the shutter button is held down halfway. When the subject is in motion, the camera focuses on the subject in anticipation of its movement using Predictive Autofocus technology. When shooting in the Sequential Shooting Drive mode, Continuous AF resumes after a burst of images when the shutter button is returned to the halfway position.
- MF (Manual Focus) – The lens is focused manually by rotating the lens focus ring. Still life and landscape photographers may prefer this focus mode as it allows more creative control. Manual Focus must be used for accurate focus when the EC-25 Extension Tube is mounted between a lens and camera body.
- S-AF+MF (Simultaneous use of the S-AF and Manual Focus) – This mode allows the photographer the option of fine adjusting the focus using the lens focus ring after the shutter button has been pressed halfway and autofocus has been locked. This mode allows the photographer more creative control over the autofocus to focus on a specific area the autofocus may not have selected.
- C-AF+MF (Simultaneous use of the C-AF and Manual Focus) – This mode allows the photographer to manually focus before pressing the shutter button halfway to enable C-AF. It allows the photographer to pre-focus the lens closer to a focus zone to provide the autofocus with a more rapid response in situations such as sports or wildlife photography.
The subject I want in focus doesn’t line up with any of the AF frames in the viewfinder. How do I get the camera to focus on the subject?
The Focus Lock function enables the photographer to prefocus on a specific subject, lock the focus, and then re-compose the image and shoot the picture.
- Position the AF frame on the autofocus subject and press the shutter button halfway until the AF confirmation mark lights up. The focus will be locked.
- While holding the shutter button in the halfway position, recompose the image and press the shutter button all the way to shoot the picture.
At first this may seem cumbersome, but with practice it can become a fluid movement.
What is the difference between NORMAL and SMALL AF SENSITIVITY?
NORMAL AF SENSITIVITY is used for most shooting situations. In this setting, the camera uses a focusing area (focusing point) that is slightly larger than the area indicated in the viewfinder. SMALL AF SENSITVITY focuses only within the selected AF area. This setting can be useful in situations such as wildlife photography where it is necessary to photograph animals through tree branches in the foreground. Using a more precise AF area will reduce the chance of the autofocus system becoming confused by the branches.
Is there a way to shoot if I don’t want to wait for autofocus to lock or the flash to recycle?
Normally, the E-3 will not shoot while autofocus is operating or the flash is charging. However, situations may arise where the photographer would want to override the camera and force it to fire under marginal shooting conditions when the camera may not be ready to shoot.
The Shutter Release Priority function will permit the camera to shoot even though normal shooting requirements are not met. The function is found in the menu under Custom Menu 1. Two options are available:
- RLS PRORITY S: Set to ON to enable the camera to fire immediately, without waiting for focus confirmation, in the S+AF autofocus mode.
- RLS PRIORITY C: Set to OFF to force the camera to secure focus before firing in the C+AF autofocus mode.
Be advised that overriding the camera creates special considerations. Shooting before the flash has recycled may cause images to be underexposed if ambient light is insufficient to illuminate the subject. Shooting before autofocus has locked may result in blurry images, particularly when the subject is in motion. To compensate for the loss of autofocus, increase the depth of field by shooting with the smallest aperture that is practical for acquiring the shot.
In the CARD SETUP menu, the options are ALL ERASE and FORMAT. What is the difference between these settings?
ALL ERASE deletes all of the images from the memory card directory except for those that have been protected. FORMAT deletes all of the images from the memory card directory and overwrites the directory. In both cases, the actual digital images are still on the memory card until new images are shot that overwrite the old images. Therefore, if images are inadvertently erased or formatted, it may be possible to retrieve them via image recovery software.
If ALL ERASE is used exclusively to delete images, over time a buildup of artifacts in the directory may corrupt the memory card. The FORMAT option is recommended to preserve the integrity of the memory card and extend its useful life.
When and why should I use the camera’s Eyepiece Shutter?
During normal shooting, the photographer’s face and the camera’s eyecup work together to shade the viewfinder and prevent light from entering the camera's metering system through the viewfinder. When the camera is on a tripod or Live View is enabled, light can enter the viewfinder from behind the camera because the photographer may be standing away from the camera. This is most likely to happen if the sun is low and behind the camera or the photographer is shooting a night shot and street lighting is shining into the viewfinder. In both cases, this extraneous light can shine into the metering system and can skew the exposures, resulting in underexposed images. Closing the Eyepiece Shutter blocks extraneous light from entering the viewfinder so the exposures will be more accurate.
How do I use the different metering modes?
The E-3 provides several metering options that allow the photographer to have greater creative control over exposure. The metering modes can be set in the Control Panel screen or the camera menu. Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:
||Digital ESP metering is recommended for general use. The camera measures and calculates the light differences in 49 separate areas of the image. The mode can be changed to ESP+AF in the menu to center the metering on one of the three AF frames seen in the camera viewfinder. |
||Center Weighted Averaging metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weight on the center of the frame. Use this mode to prevent the light level of the background from affecting the exposure value of the main subject. |
||Spot metering meters an area of about 2% of the frame around the center AF frame. This mode can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness of the subject area that the metering spot is centered on can dramatically influence the final exposure.|
||HI Spot metering performs the same as Spot metering but compensates toward overexposure, allowing accurate white reproduction. For example: with normal Spot metering, snow would be captured as grey rather than white. The HI Spot Metering compensates so that the snow would appear whiter in the exposure. |
||SH Spot metering is the inverse of HI Spot metering and compensates toward underexposure to keep dark areas from exposing lighter toward grayness. An example would be photographing a black cat on a light background. SH Spot metering would underexpose the cat so that it would expose as black rather than gray. |
What is the purpose of Exposure Compensation?
Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter. This phenomenon is called subject failure. As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures. Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.
The Exposure Compensation scale is shown on the LCD’s control panel. It looks like this:
In the example, Exposure Compensation is set to underexpose one f-stop. The function can be set to under- or overexpose up to three f-stops in 1/3-stop increments.
It is important to set the compensation back to 0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed. When the Exposure Compensation is set to 0, the scale is not displayed in the Control Panel screen.
The Exposure Compensation value is also displayed in the viewfinder.
How do I select which ISO setting to use?
Think of the ISO values as film speeds. Low ISOs such as 100 and 200 are better suited to situations in which there is a lot of light – outdoors scenes. ISOs 400 and 800 would be used outdoors where there is plenty of light and fast shutter speeds are desired – sports and air shows, for example – or indoors for available light shooting. ISO 1600 and above would be used where there are very low light levels, such as indoors or at night.
How does the E-3 combat noise commonly found at high ISOs?
Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo. When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot. Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions. The result is a graininess known as “noise.”
Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor. Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time. All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. The E-3 uses a new sensor that dramatically decreases noise. In addition, it combats noise with two methods: NOISE FILTER and NOISE REDUCTION.
The NOISE FILTER function is found in the menu. It has four options: OFF, LOW, STANDARD and HIGH. The majority of digital cameras have a default noise filter that is always on. Some photographers feel that this reduces detail, so Olympus has included the option to not use a noise filter at all.
If NOISE FILTER is set to OFF, it is recommended to set the SHARPNESS setting to –2. If SHARPNESS is set to 0 it may exaggerate the noise when no noise filtering is being applied.
The NOISE REDUCTION function can also be enabled from the menu. After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed. It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image (essentially, any pixels that aren't black) and deletes the corresponding pixels from the first image. This doubles the shooting time. If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second, black exposure will also be 12 minutes 30 seconds for a total exposure time of 25 minutes.
What do the fractions in the Manual Flash settings represent?
The camera gives the photographer the option of using different power settings in the Manual Flash mode to balance the fill flash with available light exposure. Celebrity and news photographers use fill-flash outdoors to throw a little extra light into shadows to “open” them up and get a more pleasing image. This technique is also used in landscape and travel photography to show a little more detail in the shadows of foreground subjects.
The fractional settings (FULL, Ľ, 1/16, 1/64) allow the photographer control over how much light is needed to fill the shadows at varying distances. The sync speeds used are between 1/60 and 1/250 second.
I shot in the RAW format and I need a JPEG image, but I’m away from my computer. How can I convert the RAW files to JPEGs in the field?
The E-3 has a RAW editor in the camera menu that allows the photographer to not only convert the RAW file to a chosen JPEG record mode, but also apply white balance, sharpness, contrast and color adjustments in the converted JPEG image.
To edit a RAW file in camera:
- Press the [MENU] button. Select the menu, and then select the PICTURE MODE, RECORD MODE and WB (White Balance) settings to be applied to the RAW image to be edited.
- Exit the menu by pressing [MENU] again.
- In the playback mode, select the RAW image to be edited.
- Open the menu, select the third tab (Edit), select EDIT and then toggle right. The RAW image to be edited will be displayed.
- Press the [OK] button.
- In the RAW DATA EDIT screen, select YES and then press [OK].
A JPEG copy of the RAW image that reflects the settings selected in the menu will be saved to the memory card. The RAW image remains unchanged.
Can the E-3 use a flash with shutter sync speeds higher than 1/250th of a second?
The optional FL-36, FL-36R, FL-50 and FL-50R flash units have a Super FP Flash mode which enables flash sync at shutter speeds higher than 1/250th of a second. This is accomplished by the flash emitting what is essentially a very high-speed stroboscopic “flicker” flash, rather than a single flash of light. Situations in which this would be desirable would be fill-flash outdoors in bright sunlight where high shutter speeds would be needed.
I have E-System flash accessories that I’ve been using with my E-1. Are these compatible with the E-3?
The E-System flash accessories are fully compatible with the E-3. These include:
- FP-1 Flash Power Grip
- SHV-1 High Voltage Power Pack
- FC-1 Macro Flash Controller
- RF-11 Ring Flash
- TF-22 Twin Flash
Can I use my Olympus FL-40 external flash on the E-3?
The Olympus FL-40 external flash is not compatible with the E-3 because it was not designed to work with the TTL firmware in the camera.
I have a third-party electronic flash. Can I use it on the E-3?
Flash units that are not part of the Olympus E-System may pose problems if used on the E-3.
Thyristor-type flash units can be used with the E-3’s Manual shooting mode as long as the sync voltage does not exceed 6 VDC. Third-party TTL flash units will not have TTL capability because the contact pins in the camera hot shoe probably won’t align with the contacts on the flash. In addition, the TTL communication with the E-3 may damage the camera circuitry or corrupt the camera firmware.
Can I use the E-3 with my studio flash equipment?
The E-3 uses an electronic rather than mechanical sync circuit that is rated at 6 VDC maximum sync voltage. Also, the polarity of the studio flash sync pulse may be opposite the polarity of the E-3 sync circuitry.
Studio flash equipment should be connected to the E-3 using the Safe Sync Hot Shoe to PC Sync Adapter. The adapter protects the camera from excessive sync voltage up to 400 VDC, and automatically corrects sync pulse polarity.
This item (#200329) may be purchased from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order from The Olympus Store, click here.
How many images can be shot on a single charge of the BLM-1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery?
Although the number of images that can be captured depends upon the shooting conditions and the camera functions used, a fully charged BLM-1 battery should take approximately 400 images before it needs to be recharged.
Do I need a voltage converter to use my battery charger outside the U.S.?
The bundled BCM-2 Battery Charger bundled with the E-3 is rated at 100-240 V AC and automatically adjusts itself for the local electrical current. However, you may have to get a set of plug adapters for the different wall outlets used in foreign countries. Plug adapter kits are available at electronics and luggage stores.
Olympus offers a replacement battery charger, the BCM-1, through authorized dealers and also directly online via The Olympus Store. To purchase the BCM-1 Battery Charger from The Olympus Store, click here.
What size CompactFlash™ cards can the E-3 accept, and does it support the benefits of Write Acceleration CF cards?
The E-3 accepts CompactFlash cards up to 16 GB capacity and supports Write Acceleration CompactFlash cards. When the camera polls the card at power up, if it detects Write Acceleration technology, it enables its own Write Acceleration firmware. The E-3 also supports UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) CompactFlash cards.
Can I use Microdrive storage media in the E-3?
Microdrive storage media that support the CF + Type II (CompactFlash extension standard) are compatible with the E-3. Because Microdrive media use a spinning hard disk drive (HDD) as the recording medium, they are susceptible to damage from impact, vibration, and strong magnetic fields – especially during recording and playback. Be sure to carefully read the instructions that come with Microdrive media.
Note: The data on Microdrive cards will not be erased completely even after formatting the card in-camera or deleting the data. When discarding Microdrive cards, destroy the cards to prevent leakage of personal information.
What accessories are available to remotely control the E-3?
Two optional remote controllers are available for the E-3: The RM-CB1 Remote Cable Release (item #200698) and the RM-1 Remote Control (item #200597). The RM-CB1 connects to the Remote Cable Connector on the side of the camera. The RM-1 is a wireless controller.
Both devices remotely trigger the camera’s shutter button, and both can be used for long (BULB) exposures such as night photographs. The camera can be set to release the shutter immediately or two seconds after the shutter button on the remote control is pressed. The response time is set by pressing the [MODE] button, located on the top of the camera to the left of the viewfinder, and then using the sub dial to select the setting. The setting is viewed on the Control Panel on the top right of the camera.
Both remote controllers are available online from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-CB1, click here. To order the RM-1, click here.
The E-3 can also be remotely controlled from a computer using the bundled USB cable and the Camera Control feature of the OLYMPUS Studio® 2 application.
How can I take long (BULB) exposures using the optional RM-CB1 Remote Cable Release?
The RM-CB1 has a sliding lock to lock the cable release for BULB exposures such as night photographs. When the lock is in the "Up" position, the camera shutter will remain open after the shutter button on the remote control is pressed. Slide the lock to the "Down" position to close the shutter.
The RM-CB1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and also online from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-CB1 from The Olympus Store, click here.
How can I take long (BULB) exposures using the optional RM-1 Remote Control?
The procedure is as follows:
- Select the M (Manual) shooting mode.
- Using the Main Dial, set the shutter speed to BULB.
- Aim the RM-1 Remote Control at the Remote Control Receiver and press the [W] button on the RM-1 to open the shutter.
- Press the [T] button on the RM-1 to close the shutter.
What is the purpose of the LBH-1 lithium battery holder?
The BLM-1 rechargeable battery is powerful and economical but it is sometimes inconvenient to charge. By offering the LBH-1 battery holder, photographers have the option to use commonly available CR123A lithium batteries to power the camera. Three CR123A batteries will allow approximately 200 pictures to be taken.
The LBH-1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and online from The Olympus Store. To order, click here.
When attempting to install OLYMPUS Studio® on a computer running Macintosh™ OS X 10.5.x ("Leopard"), I get the following error: The current user does not have administrative privileges. Log on as an administrator. What should I do?
Download the latest version of OLYMPUS Studio by clicking here. Run the installer file (OS222EN.dmg). This will overwrite the previous installation of OLYMPUS Studio and allow you to use the application in your environment.
When attempting to install OLYMPUS Master® on a computer running Macintosh™ OS X 10.5.x ("Leopard"), I get the following error: The current user does not have administrative privileges. Log on as an administrator. What should I do?
Download the latest version of OLYMPUS Master 2 by clicking here. Run the installer file (OM211EN.dmg). This will overwrite the previous installation of OLYMPUS Master 2 and allow you to use the application in your environment.
Why does the ISO value displayed in the viewfinder blink when it is set to ISO 2000 or higher?
At high ISOs such as 800 and 1600, image noise in the E-3 is very clean and resembles film grain. At ISOs of 2000 and higher, the noise is still relatively clean, but the photographer may want to change the setting of the NOISE FILTER to reduce image noise in-camera. The blinking ISO value serves as a reminder to refer to the NOISE FILTER setting before shooting at high ISOs. The NOISE FILTER options are OFF, LOW, STANDARD and HIGH.
Changing the NOISE FILTER option does not stop the ISO value displayed in the viewfinder from blinking.
When I look through the viewfinder, the image does not appear to be sharp. Why?
You may need to adjust the viewfinder’s diopter to your vision. To the left of the viewfinder eyepiece cup is the diopter adjustment dial. While looking through the viewfinder, rotate the diopter adjustment dial until you can see the AF frame clearly in the center of the viewfinder.
Olympus also makes –3 and +3 diopter viewfinder eyecups. They can be purchased through authorized Olympus dealers or directly, online, via The Olympus Store. To purchase the Dioptric Eyecup DE-N3 –3 Diopter from The Olympus Store, click here. To order the Dioptric Eyecup DE-P3 +3 Diopter, click here.
After I attach a lens to the camera body, my camera seems unable to secure autofocus. This problem is intermittent but affects multiple lenses. Why is this happening?
If the problem occurs with every shot taken with every accessory lens, the camera may be broken. However, if the problem occurs sporadically – and chiefly only after attaching a lens – then it is possible the lens(es) may not have been attached properly.
Remove the lens from the camera and look at the silver mount. Nine gold-colored pins are arranged below the mirror in an arc. These pins must make firm contact with the gold-colored touch points on the back of the lens. This happens naturally when the lens is attached properly, but if the lens is not locked into place then one or more pins may not receive sufficient pressure to maintain contact during use.
To attach a lens to the camera body, align the lens attachment mark (red circle) on the camera mount with the alignment mark (raised red knob) on the side of the lens. Then insert the lens into the camera’s body. Rotate the lens clockwise and listen for a click. The click is an audible indication that the lens lock pin has snapped into place on the back of the lens and has secured the lens in the proper position. The lens lock pin is the small silver pin on the lens mount in between the mirror and the lens release button.
Do not press or hold down the lens release button while attaching a lens to the mount. The lens release button forces the lens lock pin to retract into the camera so that the lens can be removed without breaking the pin. If the button is held down while attaching the lens, it may not align with the hole on the back of the lens after the button is released. This will result in a situation in which the lens is attached to the camera mount but is not locked into place. It is possible that this condition will prevent the lens from making and retaining a firm connection to the camera. This will inhibit autofocus and may increase the lag time between shots.
Sometimes when I’m shooting in dim light I have difficulty getting the camera to focus. What can I do?
Digital cameras autofocus by detecting differences in the contrast between light and dark areas of the image projected onto autofocus the sensor. If the light is dim or the image has somewhat flat contrast, the camera may have difficulty focusing. The E-3 has an AF Illuminator feature that uses the flash to illuminate the subject just before the exposure is made, thereby assuring autofocus.
To enable the AF Illuminator:
- Open the camera menu by pressing the [MENU] button.
- Using the Down Arrow key, go to the menu.
- Toggle right to enter the menu, highlight the menu, and then press the Right Arrow key.
- Toggle down to AF ILLUMINAT.
- Toggle right, and select ON.
- Press the [OK] button to apply the setting.
- Press the [MENU] button to exit the menu.
When I’m shooting close-up subjects, I can hear the lens trying to focus and see it trying to focus through the viewfinder, but it does not secure focus. What can I do?
If the lens seems to be unsuccessfully searching for a focus point, you may be too close to the subject matter for that particular lens. Lenses have a minimum focusing distance, and zoom lenses have different minimum focusing distances at different zoom settings. If you back away from the subject, the lens will focus at some point.
If you intend to do macro or close-up photography, you may want to invest in a macro lens or the EX-25 Extension Tube.
The E-System has two macro lenses:
- The Zuiko® Digital 35 mm f3.5 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 70 mm and focuses from 5.75” (146 mm) to infinity.
- The Zuiko Digital ED 50 mm f2.0 Macro has a 35 mm format equivalent focal length of 100 mm and focuses from 9.45” (240 mm) to infinity.
The EX-25 Extension Tube mounts between the lens and the camera body and reduces the minimum focusing distance of E-System lenses by moving the lens 25 mm away from the camera sensor. Lenses mounted with the EX-25 are not able to focus to infinity. It is necessary to manually focus lenses mounted with the EX-25 for more accurate focus. A table of the adjusted focusing distances of E-System lenses when mounted on the EX-25 can be found here.
After inserting an 8GB Hitachi Microdrive™ memory card into the card slot, the card access lamp blinks and I am unable to shoot. Why is this happening?
When using an 8GB Hitachi Microdrive cards in the E-3, the card access lamp may blink for up to two to three minutes the first time the card is inserted into the card slot. When the card access lamp stops blinking, the camera is ready to shoot.
When I put a formatted CompactFlash card in my E-3, the display shows a capacity of RAW files that doesn’t appear to be accurate. Why?
When the E-3 saves a captured image as digital data and writes it onto the memory card, it performs complex mathematical calculations to convert the image into binary code data to be saved and later retrieved. Since images are unique, each calculation is unique. The manual for the E-3 shows that a RAW file is approximately 11 megabytes. However, since the factors comprising each image are unique, each calculation is unique and the results of the calculation will vary. The E-3 writes a lossless RAW file, and one of the ways it does this is by sampling some of the factors in the image. A winter landscape consisting of predominantly white snow and blue sky will produce a smaller data file than a scene such as Times Square at night. The richness of the latter scene will result in a larger file.
When the E-3 polls a formatted memory card, it is looking at a blank slate. It has yet to do the math for any images and is programmed to start out with a conservative capacity estimate. As the camera shoots more images, it recalculates the capacity as it “learns” about the image files it is creating. As the card fills up, the estimated capacity of RAW files on the display will become more accurate.
The majority of photographers carry more than one memory card in the event that the memory card in the camera should fill up. The E-3 also features an xD-Picture Card™ slot to hold a second card. If the capacity of the CompactFlash card is close to maximizing, the photographer can switch to the xD-Picture Card media or can transfer files from the CompactFlash card to the xD-Picture Card media to free up more capacity on the CompactFlash card.
On an assignment used several memory cards. Now, when I’m downloading the images onto my computer and trying to save them, I get a message that says, “Image file_name.jpg already exists. Replace it with the new file?” What’s going on?
The E-3 has two settings for creating file names for the images it captures:
- AUTO - Even when a new card is inserted, the folder numbers are retained from the previous card. If the new card contains an image file whose number coincides with one saved on the previous card, the new card’s file numbers start at the number following the highest number on the previous card.
Put simply, the camera picks up where it left off when naming files.
- RESET - When a new card is inserted, the folder numbers start at 100 and the file numbers start at 0001. If a card containing images is inserted, the file numbers start at the number following the highest file number on the card. If the card has been formatted, the file names will start with 0001.
Put simply, the card starts naming files anew beginning at 0001. At some point, the computer will start seeing duplicate numbers. When multiple cards are downloaded in this setting, each duplicate file name will have to be renamed individually or else the like-named files will overwrite their predecessors when they are saved to the computer. The original images will no longer be viewable.
When my images are displayed on the E-3’s LCD screen, there are blinking black areas in the image. How do I get rid of them?
What you are seeing is a part of the histogram feature. In the lower right corner of the LCD screen, you will see a little box that says either SHADOW or HILIGHT. The blinking black regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to overexposure (HILIGHT) or underexposure (SHADOW).
The blinking display doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the camera. Like film cameras, digicams have a limited brightness range within which they can capture images. If the camera metering is weighted toward the highlights, there will be a lack of shadow detail. If the camera metering is weighted toward the shadows, there will be a lack of highlight detail. In bright sunshine, a picture may have areas lacking both highlight and shadow detail. On a grey, cloudy day, there may be detail throughout the image. The purpose of the black blinking areas is to give the photographer feedback about the exposures. If necessary, the photographer can apply options such as AE Bracketing or Exposure Compensation to reshoot the image.
The SHADOW and HILIGHT views are among seven options that can be selected by pressing the [INFO] button while displaying images in Playback mode. Pressing [INFO] repeatedly cycles through the views, each of which displays different image information.
When I try to use the AE Bracketing function, why do I only get one frame instead of three?
The camera’s Drive mode is set to Single Frame shooting. Configured this way, which is the default setting, the shutter button must be pressed for each bracketed frame. If the Drive mode is set to a Sequential Shooting option, then pressing and holding down the shutter button will cause the camera to shoot all three bracketed frames in one burst. In (Sequential Shooting H) drive mode, images are captured at a rate of five per second for as long as the shutter button is held down. In (Sequential Shooting L) drive mode, images are captured at the rate (between one and four per second) registered in the function for as long as the shutter button is held down. The function is located in the menu.
To change the Drive mode, do the following:
- Press the  (Remote control/Self-Timer/Sequential shooting) button, located on the top of the camera. It is the middle of the three buttons to the left of the hot shoe when the camera is held so that the LCD faces the photographer. (This is the same button used to switch shooting modes.)
- Using the sub dial to move the cursor, select either (Sequential Shooting H) or (Sequential Shooting L).
- Press the [OK] button to activate the new Drive mode.
On the E-3’s LCD screen, I see the message “Internal camera temperature is too high. Please wait for cooling before camera use.” Then the camera shuts off. What causes this message to appear?
As a safety measure, the E-3 issues this message and shuts itself off whenever its internal temperature climbs too high. This may happen after frequent or continuous use of Live View or a shooting mode that captures many images in a short time, such as the Sequential Shooting drive mode. In these situations, the image sensor may not get a chance to cool off in between shots. The heat of the sensor raises the camera’s internal temperature. If it gets high enough, the camera must turn itself off. Once the camera has cooled for a few minutes, you will be able to resume shooting.
My camera is connected to my TV with the video cable to play back my photos, but I don’t see any images.
TVs have AV (Audio Visual) input channels (usually found below Channel 2) to play images and videos from digital cameras and camcorders. Using the TV channel selector, move downward through the channels until you see the camera menu on the TV screen. If the image quality on the TV screen appears to be distorted, the camera may be set to a video output format that is incompatible with your TV. In the menu, check the VIDEO OUT setting. In North America, the setting should be NTSC.
I cannot control my camera with the RM-1 Remote Control although the camera is set up correctly for remote control shooting. Why not?
Other than the battery being exhausted, the frequency of the RM-1 may need to be changed for the remote control to be recognized by the camera. With the camera on, point the RM-1 at the Remote Control lamp on the front of the camera. On the RM-1, press the [CH] button and the [W] or [T] button simultaneously until the camera emits a beep sound. The RM-1 frequency will then be compatible with the camera.