A sight to behold
If you are interested in putting your camera to good use in situations that are less than ideal, you'll be glad to know that the E-10 takes great pictures in a wide variety of lighting environments. Its preprogrammed settings work well for both indoor and outdoor shots, but you can also choose among three different light-metering methods and any one of eight color-temperature values. A handy button on the front of the E-10 lets you quickly adjust the white balance for accurate colors. CNET Labs' jury found the image quality to be outstanding, the color extremely accurate, and the image detail nothing less than stunning on the outdoor shots we took. When we shot indoors using the automatic setting, the color on our test images was a bit dull and wasn't nearly as impressive as we've come to expect from a power user's camera. However, using the manual adjustments corrected this problem.
The E-10 includes a dizzying array of features, which enable you to tailor exposure, shutter speed, aperture, and light metering for each shot. And the E-10's many buttons and dials allow you to make many adjustments without ever powering on the color display, saving both time and battery power.
Unlike the viewfinders on almost all other digital cameras, the E-10's viewfinder allows you to peer directly through the camera's impressive 4X zoom lens. If you prefer to frame your shots with the LCD, the E-10 has a shutter that blocks light from entering through the viewfinder (which would otherwise expose the E-10's 4-megapixel CCD to unwanted light). That CCD can capture photos with a maximum resolution of 2,240 by 1,680. That works out to 3,763,200 pixels, just shy of 4 million.
To store those enormous photo files, the E-10 includes not one but two slots for removable storage: a SmartMedia slot and a Type II CompactFlash slot. This feature allows you to choose the style of card in which you wish to invest, and you may also be able to store more images with two slots (depending on the size of your cards). But be forewarned: Though the E-10 accepts both Type I and II CompactFlash cards, Olympus recommends that owners not use the IBM Microdrive in this camera.
The E-10's sturdy aluminum chassis and flat black finish give it the look and feel of a heavy-duty professional camera. With the batteries installed, it weighs a fairly substantial 2.6 pounds, but its ergonomic design makes it extremely comfortable to hold and adjust.