At first glance, the E-1's black body seems to share a great deal with the older Olympus Camedia E-20n, a 5MP ZLR with a fixed 4X optical zoom now selling for about $1,250. But the E-1 is built with a more durable magnesium-alloy body, and has splash-proof seals on both the body and lenses. So this camera should be able to handle its share of abuse, and while it's heavier than the older E-20n, we found it balances nicely with the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens, one of four initially introduced with the camera. Most buttons were also easy to find, but scattered around the camera as on the E-20n. The locking-mode button situated on the camera's top right sets shutter, aperture, program, and manual modes. The other half of the dial is empty, almost begging to be used for quick access to other controls and presets. However, to the E-1's credit, several control buttons are programmable, and the manual-focus ring can be set to work in either clockwise or counterclockwise direction, depending on your habits. A button on top sets redeye reduction, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, and an optional external flash to auto, but the E-1 is conspicuously missing a pop-up flash like the one on the E-20n and most other digital SLRs in its price class. That may be in keeping with its "pro" designation, but being forced to add an external flash (such as the Olympus FL-50, $499 list) boosts the already high price of this camera system. On the other hand, the E-1 features a regular 1/180-sec flash sync, higher-speed sync with the FL-50, and has a PC flash-sync connector for studio and third-party flash units.