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Olympus’s latest digital offering, the four-megapixel Camedia E-10, should find as many devotees among professional photographers as among consumers. Although it doesn’t offer a large stable of interchangeable lenses, when compared to the £1,872 EOS D30, the E-10 offers good value – and the option to add auxiliary lenses. But what’s unique about the SLR-style E-10 is its 9-36mm zoom lens – the manual zoom control lets you switch between wide angle and telephoto with a twist of the lens barrel. You can pop out the 1.8-inch LCD and rotate it, so you can hold the camera over your head and see what you’re capturing. The E-10 generates 11.4MB images that you can save at one of several JPEG compression levels and at five resolutions. In our tests, the camera did well with both SmartMedia cards and CompactFlash Type I and Type II cards – but not IBM’s Microdrive. The quick shutter release and excellent colour fidelity will appeal to professional users, although the images do show evidence of noise problems.
Although the Camedia E-10 can’t match the flexibility of Canon’s EOS D30 and its stable of 55 interchangeable lenses, pros new to the digital medium will find that the E-10 can capture images faster and take advantage of larger storage cards. Both pros and amateurs ready to step up from consumer models will appreciate the E-10’s flexibility.