Consumer Electronics Show 2005

Olympus' E300 Camera

Last year, a number of companies were showing high-end, 8-megapixel cameras. I expected to go back this year and see 12- or 16-megapixel cameras, but that's not what happened. I may have missed them, but it seems like things topped out at 8-megapixels, at least temporarily. A 7.2-megapixel model was the most I saw at Sony's booth (Sony was not even displaying its 8-megapixel camera), and 8 megapixels was the most I saw at Olympus as well. Maybe 8 megapixels is finally perceived to be "enough" for most people.

The E300 camera that they showed at the Olympus booth was still impressive.

This is a digital SLR with interchangeable lenses intended mainly for professionals and high-end amateurs.

The large, 8-megapixel sensor that Olympus uses has at least two big advantages according to Olympus:

  • There is an ultrasonic system that keeps the image sensor free of dust. The person who demonstrated the camera for me said you could take the lens off the camera and leave the mirror exposed without dust collecting on the sensor.
  • There is no wiring that runs between the photoreceptors on the surface of the chip, so nearly the entire surface of the CCD is able to collect light. All of the wiring is on the back of the chip. This gives the light sensors better range. The claim was +/- 5 f-stops, compared to a norm of 3 to 3.5.

The list price is $999 with one lens.

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