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Photos: Olympus E-30

A tour of the design and features of the Olympus E-30.

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Lori Grunin

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Rear controls

For the most part, the controls on the E-30 are pretty well laid out and easy to differentiate by feel. However, some people might find themselves tripping over the on/off switch when using the left and down navigation buttons. The programmable Fn button is useful, but rather than make the My Mode custom presets available via the mode dial or its Super Control Panel (the interactive back display), you have to assign it to the Fn button, which is frustrating if you prefer to operate with custom modes and something else assigned to the custom button.

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Button and dial combos

You select settings, such as metering and AF mode, via button/dial combinations. I prefer the direct switches, like those offered by Nikon and Sony, especially for metering.
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Camera front

On the camera grip is a sensor for an optional remote control. There's also an external flash connector on the top right front, which (disappointingly) uses a screw-in cover rather than a tethered rubber one.
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Status LCD

Olympus provides a full-size status LCD, which is very nice--especially since so many of the controls require viewing on either that LCD or the rear control panel while you scroll through the options.
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Mode dial

I'd gladly sacrifice some of those scene modes on the dial for access to custom settings.

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