Olympus E-20 Images Quality And Specification Review

The E-20 is a development from last years 4 mega-pixel E-10. The E-20 has all the same primary performance, management structure, body design and lens. The lens is still same as the E-20’s 5 mega-pixel indicator is the same size as the 4 mega-pixel of a season ago. The E-20 now replaces Olympus’s leading digicam, it has: a set ultra-bright F2.0 – F2.4 4x lens with a automatically connected zoom capability band, 5 mega pixels of quality, a professional ‘locked control’ system, a wide range of guide management and a effective steel case. Competitors this season however is a little difficult with Minolta’s DiMAGE 7, Sony’s DSC-F707 and the future Nikon Coolpix 5000 coming into the 5 mega-pixel arena.

Olympus E-20 Review
Olympus E-20 Review

Obviously with the E-20 being so just like E-10 I have used areas of the E-10 evaluation as a design for generating this evaluation, customers who have study the E-10 evaluation should still pay attention to the whole evaluation as their are several simple variations between the two cmeras. Also remember that with improvement the E-20 Olympus appear to have made the decision to name the NTSC and PAL outcome electronic cameras particularly as E-20N and E-20P, these two electronic camera designs are IDENTICAL other than their video outcome.

Olympus E-20 Body And Design

No gambles here. Olympus have trapped to the tried and examined E-10 style and control structure. This undoubtedly rates of speed up their time to market, make sure understanding for E-10 customers and interface with current ‘E’ components. And why play around with something that works? The E-20’s style is ‘SLR-like’ while still particularly being a electronic SLR. There are a couple of very simple ergonomic office changes (such as the small lip below the visibility settlement button). One’s body system itself has to be the best this part of Nikon’s D1(x/H), a awesome rubberized side hold with a shaped back and rubberized zoom capability band the E-20 seems like a professional device in your side. Indeed the only nasty external elements are battery power and storage space section gates, manages and control buttons.

Olympus E-20 Body And Design
Olympus E-20 Body And Design

LCD Observe (rear)

The E-20’s slanting LCD is launched from our bodies by pushing a small handle on the left part of you. When started out there are two ‘clicking’ positions; 20 levels down and roughly 80 levels up. The procedure itself is firm enough to hold the LCD at any position in-between. The pictures below signify some of these different roles, the first of course is the regular closed into our bodies.


The E-10 and E-20 are exclusive in the electronic world in using a prism to divided the light coming through the lens to provide a TTL perspective through the eyepiece. This impressive remedy has pros and cons. It means you got a bigger, better opinion of the picture exactly as the lens recognizes it, no parallax mistakes, better creating and (in theory) concentrate.

While the E-20’s viewfinder is good (and significantly better than discovered on any customer electronic camera) it’s still not perfect. I came across the eyepiece itself challenging to see through without the rubberized cup vignetting the perspective, this seemed to be associated with its horizontally size and the fact that it’s circular rather rectangle-shaped.

The second issue is that despite what was published in the E-20’s news launch I missed any proof a concentrating display (and even the cutaway plan below looks no different than the E-10), thus the issue of your eye concentrate ‘through’ the lens is still here. This issue makes it extremely tough to use the viewfinder for guide concentrate or even verifying auto-focus.


Another thing that makes the E-10 and E-20 unique among digital SLR’s is that it features a non-removable lens. This could be seen as a restriction but there is a fairly useful 35 mm – 140 mm (equiv.) variety of central measures and a technical zoom capability ring. It’s made of top quality multicoated glass with the use of aspherical pieces. With an F2.0 – F2.4 aperture variety it’s also VERY fast and bright allowing lots of light in. Another important reason for applying a non-removable lens is that it keeps the picture area enclosed and prevents the issue of dust on the indicator. The image on the right below shows the lens with the provided lens bonnet attached.

Battery Compartment

The E-20 has a detachable container which is used to load battery power power, this container can take either two Olympus CR-V3 Lithium battery power features or four AA battery power power (like a good set of NiMH standard rechargeable AA’s). When you first put AA’s in this container you’ll be pardoned for thinking there’s an issue as the top connections don’t touch battery power power. Fear not, the entire top board is spring packed and is forced down onto battery power power when they’re packed.

Olympus E-20 Images Quality

Overall Picture High quality / Particular Issues

There were no unpleasant excitement with the E-20, it is after all a ‘matured’ E-10 with a new the best quality indicator. One significant enhancement is the ‘relative resolution’, that is the common electronic camera generates in comparison to the common we would anticipate for that pixel depend. To me the E-10 was a a little bit frustrating four mega-pixel, later four mega-pixel digital cameras demonstrated that it was not getting all it could from the pixel depend.

The E-20 is a different monster, as you’ll see in later webpages it has the best quality and is definitely ‘in the zone’ of what we’ve come to anticipate from a customer quality five mega-pixel digicam. In regular Olympus style color is demure but precise, this means you won’t reduce color details due to over-saturation but you may like to ‘boost’ vividness in certain pictures to give them a little more zest.

The E-20’s only significant image quality frustration are disturbance levels, for a ‘professional’ digicam it’s ISO 80 displays more disturbance than we’d wish or come can be expected, especially when evaluating its pictures to other high end compact level five mega-pixel digital cameras. I see no reason why Olympus could not have the sleek and relatively disturbance free pictures we’ve seen of less expensive five mega-pixel digitals.

JPEG/RAW Picture Dimension & Quality

The E-20 allows you to reprogram the three JPEG presets ‘SHQ, HQ and SQ’ to your own mixture of top quality (2560 x 1920, 1792 x 1344, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768 or 640 x 480) and JPEG pressure rate (1/2.7, 1/4, 1/8). On top of this you can also use uncompressed TIFF (15,616 KB each) or Olympus RAW (.ORF: 9,676 KB). The pre-production electronic camera used for this evaluation was not offered the Olympus RAW transformation application, as soon as we acquire a complete manufacturing electronic camera I’ll add a RAW example below.

Olympus E-20 Images Quality
Olympus E-20 Images Quality

Image Handling Adjustments

The E-20 provides power over image comparison and improving. You can choose one stage above or below the conventional comparison or improving configurations, Olympus’s latest customer electronic cameras present an overall of five stages of modification. What’s also amazing is that there’s no power over color vividness.

Progressive Check out mode

The E-20 uses an intertwined scan CCD (much like many other electronic cameras). This implies that information is study from the CCD in two ‘fields’, first the even series and then the odd series. The E-20’s modern scan method seems to merely miss the change in one of the areas (even or odd, it’s challenging to tell), this results in the same horizontally top quality but far less straight top quality (to me it looks like much less than 50 percent, see the examples below).

ISO Breathing difficulties & Noise

ISO equivalence on a digicam is the cabability to increase the level of sensitivity of the CCD to allow for quicker shutter rates of speed and/or better efficiency in low mild. The way this works in a digicam is by “turning up the volume” on the CCD’s indication amps, nothing is without its price however and doing so also increases any disturbance that may be present and often impacts color vividness.

The E-20 features three selectable ISO sensitivities of 80, 160 and 320 as well as Automated method which differs the level of sensitivity based upon on available mild. I made the decision to use the same system suitable for our EOS-1D review. This includes capturing our conventional color areas in regular mild (9 EV) at the extensive variety of ISO sensitivities.

White Balance

Overall the E-20’s automatic white-colored stability operated very much like many other high end compact digital cameras, excellent in daylight and less excellent in synthetic. That said it does have one of the largest variety of pre-programmed white-colored stability configurations (each noticeable with their Kelvin temperature) which did seem to work very well (in many cases better than guide preset).

Aperture Concern Mode

Aperture priority is where you assign the aperture and electronic camera determines the best shutter rate, if the visibility is outside of the digital cameras variety (either over or under exposing) the nearest shutter rate will show in red on the LCD display. Used effectively Aperture Concern can be important as it has a positive change on details of area (the range at the front side and behind the centerpiece which will be in concentrate when taking the shot).

Macro Focus

The E-20’s local macro capability could be described as ‘above average’, change into macro method and use guide concentrate (it’s easier to secure to the lowest possible concentrate distance) and you can use the entire zoom capability variety, the best protection (without distortion) was available at complete telephoto. This designed a nearest protection of around 73 mm (2.9 inches) across the structure.

Flash Performance

According to the requirements the E-20 has a extremely effective on board show, with a ranked variety of 0.6 – 8.9 m (2.0 – 29.2 ft) at extensive position and 0.5 – 7.4 m (1.6 – 24.3 ft) at telephoto it’s as highly effective as many off-camera show models. Our assessments seemed to back up some of this, although I feel the numbers estimated by Olympus are a little optimistic. I also discovered that at range or with the lens set to extensive position the show designed a a little bit irregular protection (as you can see below).

Studio Flash

Realizing that quite a few E-10 customers have linked up their electronic camera to studio room show systems Choice to fireside off a few photos with the E-20. Installation was extremely common, an Elinchrom Design 300S with a 70cm softbox revoked over a ‘curved sheet’ of card. Synchronize wire attached to the E-20, guide visibility of 1/100 sec, F8.0. A little excellent adjusting of the head power outcome and the results are very attractive (clearly better still with a more extensive setup, this was just a quick test). White stability was almost identify on, a little heated but nothing to bother with.

Night exposures / Noise reduction

In guide visibility method the E-20 has some of a long visibility times (without using Light bulb mode) of any digicam. You can choose exposures of up to A minute, this together with black structure subtraction disturbance decrease (enabled through the history menu) can generate some excellent evening exposures.

Olympus E-20 Images Quality Night
Olympus E-20 Images Quality Night

Olympus E-20 Specification

Street Price (US) $ 1900
Street Price (EU) ??
Body Material Metal
CCD effective pixels Click for help 4.92 megapixels
CCD size** Click for help 2/3″
CCD Colour Filter Array Click for help G – R – G – B
Max resolution 2560 x 1920
Lower resolutions • 1792 x 1344
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h 4:3
Image formats Click for help • JPEG (EXIF)
• RAW (2576 x 1924) – final output is 2560 x 1920
• TIFF (8-bit)
Quality Levels • 1/2.7
• 1/4
• 1/8
Sensitivity equiv. Click for help • Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 160
• ISO 320
Lens Thread 62 mm
Zoom wide (W) Click for help 35 mm
Zoom tele (T) Click for help 140 mm (4 x)
Zoom type Mechanically linked
Lens Aperture Click for help F2.0 – F2.4
Lens Construction 14 elements in 11 groups
Digital zoom Click for help None
Auto Focus Contrast detection
AF Illumination lamp Click for help Yes, Infrared
Manual Focus Click for help 20 cm – Infininty (focus-by-wire ring on front of lens barrel)
Normal focus range Click for help 60 cm – Infinity
Macro focus range Click for help 20 cm – 60 cm
Min shutter Click for help • Program / Aperture Priority / Shutter Priority: 2 sec
• Manual: Bulb, 60 sec
Max shutter Click for help • IS (2560 x 1920) 1/640 sec
• PS (1792 x 1344) 1/4000, 1/18000 sec
Noise reduction Yes, can be manually enabled
Pixel mapping Yes, menu option
Metering Click for help • Digital ESP
• Center-Weighted Average
• Spot
Exposure adjustment Click for help -3EV to +3EV in 1/3EV steps
Auto bracketing Click for help • 3 images
• 0.3 – 1.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Aperture priority Click for help • Wide: F2.0, F2.2, F2.4, F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0, F9.0, F10.0, F11.0
• Tele: F2.4, F2.8, F3.2, F3.6, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0, F9.0, F10.0, F11.0
Shutter priority Click for help • IS mode: 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 1/1.3, 1/1.6, 1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640 sec
• PS mode additionally: 1/800, 1/1000, 1/1250, 1/1600, 1/2000, 1/2800, 1/4000, 1/18000 sec
Full manual Click for help As above plus these shutter speeds:
• Bulb, 60, 47, 38, 30, 25, 20, 15, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.5 sec
Exposure Modes • Program AE
• Aperture Priority
• Shutter Priority
• Manual
White Balance Click for help • Auto WB
• 3000 K (Tungsten)
• 3700 K (Tungsten – Warmer)
• 4000 K (Fluorescent)
• 4500 K (Fluorescent – Warmer)
• 5500 K (Daylight)
• 6500 K (Cloudy)
• 7500 K (Shade)
• Manual Preset
Continuous Click for help • IS: 2560 x 1920 – 2.5 fps max 4 images
• PS: 1792 x 1344 – 4.5 fps max 7 images
Built-in Flash Yes, pop-up (manually released)
Flash Range • Wide: 0.6 – 8.9 m (2.0 – 29.2 ft)
• Tele: 0.5 – 7.4 m (1.6 – 24.3 ft)
Flash modes • Auto
• Red-Eye Reduction
• Flash On
• Flash Off
Flash compensation +/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps
External flash • Hot-shoe (Olympus FL-40 flash)
• PC Sync terminal
Tripod mount Yes, metal
Self-timer Yes, 2 or 12 sec delay
Remote control Yes, supplied Infrared
Video out Yes, E-20P – PAL, E-20N – NTSC
Storage media Click for help • SmartMedia (up to 128 MB)
• Compact Flash (Type I / II – Microdrive 1 GB supported)
Storage included 16 MB SmartMedia card
Viewfinder Click for help Optical, TTL (prism), 95% view
LCD Click for help 1.8″ TFT, can be tilted by 20 degrees down and 90 degrees up
Playback zoom Yes, 2x, 3x, 4x
Operating system Proprietary
Connectivity Click for help DC-In, USB, Video Out, PC Sync Terminal, Remote control jack
Timelapse Yes
Battery Click for help 1 x CR-V3 Lithium (non-rechargeable) supplied
Battery charger Click for help • 2 x CR-V3 Lithium, or
• 4 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
Weight (inc. battery) 1170 g (2.6 lb)
Dimensions (inc. grip) 128 x 103 x 161 mm (5.1 x 4.1 x 6.3 in)