The Olympus E-30's viewfinder is cramped, compared to the Canon 50D's. We had a little more trouble making out the data displays and didn't have quite as much room around the corners of the image. Canon says the 50D's viewfinder shows about 95 percent of the recorded image, and Olympus says the E-30 shows 98 percent. The E-30 is marginally better in our use, suggesting that the companies' numbers are correct. The E-30 magnifies the image slightly – 102 percent with a 50mm lens, while the 50D shrinks it to 95 percent. With zoom lenses on each camera, it's hard to make anything of that distinction, but it may play a part in the ease of manual focus with each camera.
|Canon EOS 50D
||Olympus EVOLT E-30
Both cameras display shooting data and camera status in the viewfinder, and it's mostly quite readable. One significant distinction between the two is that the 50D displays flash compensation separately from ambient exposure compensation, while the E-30 combines the two settings into a single reading. Canon got that one right – combining the two can only lead to confusion.