Olympus—as with other camera manufacturers—release multiple digital single-lens reflex (D-SLR) cameras in multiple classes each year to meet the needs of their customers. In 2007 Olympus released both the E 3, a high-end D-SLR, and the E 510, a mid-range D-SLR. While the two cameras share some basic features, they also have a number of differences.
The more megapixels your camera has, the larger the photos you can print without compromising the integrity of your photos. To print photos that are 8-by-10 inches or larger, or smaller photos with fine details, use a camera with at least six megapixels. Both the E3 and the E 510 exceed that recommendation with 10.1 and 10 megapixels, respectively.
Continuous shooting in a D-SLR allows you to take a lot of photos in succession by simply pressing and holding the shutter button. The faster your camera can shoot, the better it will be for faster subjects like children, sporting events and pets. The E 510 can shoot up to three frames-per-second, whereas the E3 can shoot up to five frames-per-second. The E 510 can continue that shooting burst for eight consecutive RAW photos and the E 3 can shoot up to 16 consecutive RAW photos. When shooting lower-quality JPEG photos, both cameras can continue that burst until the memory card is full.
The LCD on a D-SLR serves many functions: viewing your photos after you take them, setting your camera‘s settings and using the live view function to compose your photos rather than the optical viewfinder. Both the E 3 and E 510 have a 2.5-inch, 230,000-pixel LCD. Where they differ is the E 510’s LCD is stationary, while the E 3’s LCD swivels, allowing you to shoot pictures from virtually any angle.
Both the E 3 and the E 510 operate on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack, which are more powerful and last longer than standard batteries. Both cameras operate on the BLM-1 battery, which allows the E 510 to take approximately 650 photos and the E 3 to take approximately 610 photos when using the optical viewfinder on the cameras rather than the LCD screen.
Because of their advanced functions, D-SLRs are by nature larger than point-and-shoot cameras. The E 510 is 5.35 inches wide, 3.6 inches high, 2.67 inches deep and it weighs 16.6 ounces. The E 3 is even bigger—5.6 inches wide, 4.58 inches high, 2.9 inches deep and it weighs 1.79 pounds.