The Olympus digital SLR lineup has been missing a midrange offering to suit folks who want a bit more camera than the $649.99 (with 14-42mm kit lens) E-520 and don't need the pro-level features of the $1,699 (body-only) E-3. The newly announced Olympus E-30 drops right in between the two, with an estimated street price of $1,299 (body-only) when it ships in January 2009. This places the 12.3-megapixel shooter in direct competition with the recently released 15.1-megapixel Canon 50D ($1,399, body-only) and 12.3-megapixel Nikon D90 ($995.99, body-only).
The highlights: 12.3-megapixel LiveMOS sensor, 2.7-inch flip-and-swivel LCD with LiveView, 11-point AutoFocus, 5-fps continuous shooting mode, ISO 100 to 3200. Olympus also includes six in-camera special-effects "Art Filters," that mimic Warhol-esque pop art with oversaturated colors, grainy high-contrast black and white film, and a pinhole camera effect among others. Other interesting features include an internal digital level sensor that detects pitch and roll and helps you correct vertical and horizontal perspectives to ensure that your subjects are level in the frame, as well as in-body image stabilization, and face detection for up to 8 faces.