Olympus E-420

Last update (27 January’09):
- Review & Sample Photos @ Biofos

The Olympus E-420 is the world’s smallest digital SLR features 10-Megapixel Live MOS image sensor, Autofocus with Live View, Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology, Dust Reduction, Digital Image Stabilization, and a 2.7″ LCD Screen. The camera supports the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes and it measures 5.1 inches by 3.6 inches by 2.1 inches and weighs 13.4 ounces.

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Reviews | Sample Photos | User Manuals | Guides | Press Release

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ | Latest Price Info

Olympus E-420 Reviews

Biofos reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
” I’m happy with ISO up to 800. 1600 produces too much noise for me. However, some folks like the ‘grainy’ look of noisy images; it reminds them of high speed film.”
Rating: N/A

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“This is a very capable compact dSLR with great image quality, robust performance, impressive burst mode shooting, and loads of useful exposure options. Users will be able to capture great photos, regardless of their photography experience with this camera. ”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyReview reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“The E-420 won’t give comparable Nikon or Canon digital SLRs a run for their money in terms of image quality, but it certainly will in size and weight. For many photographers, packing the world’s smallest DSLR will be worth trading a little image quality.”
Rating: N/A

CEN reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“Would I recommend the Olympus E-420? In a second. Its easy for mom or dad to carry around when they are out with the kids. It can be as simple to use as you want, plus has enough features and accessories available…”
Rating: N/A

CNET.UK reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“The E-420′s shots are noticeably noisier than those from other dSLRs, even at low ISOs, and it does tend to clip highlight detail fairly heavily if you’re not careful with the exposure.. Picture quality? The lens is very good but the sensor is a tad noisy, so it evens out.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Shutterbug reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“This D-SLR is not only sleek but also speedy. Start up takes just over a second but that includes the very effective automatic sensor cleaning. Outdoors, the camera responds almost instantly, without any noticeable shutter lag…”
Rating: N/A

RegHardware reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“Colour reproduction was subtle and detail was generally sharp… The focus systems worked well, although close-up shooting in the macro mode was a struggle at times, with the E-420 taking quite a while to lock onto the subject.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CNETAsia reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“The Lithium-ion battery is rated at approximately 500 shots. We gave the juice pack a full charge and after 300 shots, the power gauge indicated that the remaining power was at about half. This was quite impressive, and we think the figure can be better if we reduced the times we used Live View.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

TrustedReviews reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“There’s very little to criticise in the overall specification and performance of the E-420. I like it’s size – it’s ideal for travelling and is reminiscent of my old OM4 in some aspects of its handling. Images are generally good too, with excellent sharpness and detail. Colour is crisp and while exposures are slightly underexposed to my taste, they do maintain good tonality throughout the range.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

ComputerActive reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“Good points: Improved grip over the earlier E-410 and £170 cheaper on launch, Faster operation, while larger LCD screen aids visibility, More consistent white balance performance from shot to shot, Realistic colours, with a vivid option to increase saturation still further. Bad points: Functional improvements over the earlier E-410 are relatively minor ones, Two of the E-410’s scene modes have sunk without a trace”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DigicamReview reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
” Image quality is very good to excellent: auto white balance and exposure is very good and the images have excellent colour, with good saturation, contrast and detail, with low noise except for high ISO images…Given the excellent value for money this camera provides, and the extensive features, I’d highly recommend this camera!”
Rating: N/A

ePhotozine reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“the E-420 is fitted with the Trupic Turbo III processor and so produces really good results at low ISO. That aside, I’m actually very impressed with the resolution of the high ISO images too.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotographyBlog reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“Olympus E-420 delivers realistic and at once flattering skin tones and overall colours are realistic and exposures even, with the ability of course to add a bit more punch by selecting the vivid picture mode”
Rating: ★★★★½

ImagingResource reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“Image quality improves on previous models in the line with excellent color accuracy and resolution, though evidence of its small Four-Thirds sensor is pronounced at its highest ISO settings. Photos suffer from limited dynamic range and high-contrast mid-tones, as did the E-410..”
Rating: N/A

LetsGoDigital reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“if we look solely at what we discovered in practice with the addition of the technical DIWA test results, we can only conclude that the Olympus E-420 is very close to the E-3 as far as image quality is concerned, an excellent performance.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DCRP reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“If you’re looking for a compact digital SLR, then the Olympus E-420 is absolutely worth a look. Heck, it’s worth checking out if you don’t care about the size of the camera and just want a good entry-level SLR.”
Rating: N/A

GoodGearGuide reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“If you’re after a petite SLR then the Olympus E-420 is a solid performer. It keeps pace with the competition in most areas, while maintaining dimensions that are significantly smaller.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CameraLabs reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“The body is extremely portable without compromising handling or comfort, the control system quick and easy to use, the SSWF filter remains the best around”.

Rating: ★★★★½

Photoxels reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“The E-420 produces excellent image quality (including excellent low-light performance) up to ISO 400 with plenty of detail preserved…We find that the AF is very responsive and images snap quickly into focus.”
Rating: N/A

DigitalCameraReview reviews the Olympus E-420 and writes;
“Examination of the crops show 100 and 200 ISO to be clean and fairly indistinguishable from one another; there is a hint of noise showing up at 400 and certainly at 800, with a more dramatic jump from 800 to 1600, but the high settings are perfectly usable.”
Rating: N/A

Olympus E-420 Video Review (Spanish);

PopPhoto has a preview of the Olympus E-420;
“Speaking of holding, the preproduction E-420 we handled proved nearly shocking in its tiny size and light weight. (Some staffers initially thought it was a compact!) Large-handed testers — men and women both — found it a little too small. Small-handed users, though, loved it.”
Rating: N/A

Olympus E-420 Samples

- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ PhotographyReview
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ RegHardware
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ DigicamReview
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ DCRP
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ Photoxels
- Olympus E-420 Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraReview

Olympus E-420 User Manual (PDF)

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- Download Olympus E-420 User Manual (PDF – 12 MB)

Olympus E-420 Guides, Tips & Tricks

- Olympus E420 QuickPro Camera Guide – Visit Site
- Olympus E-420 / Evolt E-420 JumpStart Guides – Visit Site

Olympus E-420 Press Release

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 5, 2008
– Olympus today announces the extremely portable E-420 – perfect for everyone who wants to step up to the power and performance of a digital SLR (single lens reflex) yet enjoy the ease of use and ability to compose images on the LCD common to point-and-shoot cameras. Weighing a mere 380 grams (13.4 ounces), the E-420 is 20 to 40 percent lighter than competing DSLRs. Good things come in this small package, including Live View, which enables users to hold the camera away from their faces and interact with their subjects – ideal when capturing photos of children, for example.

This lightweight 10-megapixel DSLR offers heavyweight technologies, including a bigger, more viewable 2.7-inch LCD and consumer-friendly fast On-Screen Autofocus, Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology and Perfect Shot Preview to get the most out of the Live View experience. Additionally, when it comes to Live View, not all LCDs are created equal. At 2.7-inches, the portable E-420 LCD is large enough for users to compose and review images without squinting. The small camera’s LCD is not just larger, it is part of a camera with technologies intelligent enough to take advantage of the Live View photography experience. These innovative technologies include:

• On-Screen Autofocus works as seamlessly as a point-and-shoot to display subjects in focus on the LCD the instant the shutter is pressed half way;

• Face Detection Technology targets and locks on up to eight faces to ensure they are in focus and crystal clear for amazing portraits;

• New and Improved HyperCrystal II™ Technology delivers twice the contrast and better viewing in extreme lighting conditions, a broader range of color detail, and a wider angle of view on the LCD so you and your friends can see it up to 176 degrees off-center;

• Shadow Adjustment Technology captures detail in the bright areas of a frame and opens up detail in the shadows that other cameras would render too dark or underexposed; and

• Perfect Shot Preview enables you to view and select your favorite effect right on the LCD, and see how the image will look before you even capture it, so you know that what you see is what you get.

“The Olympus E-420 delivers the professional-grade image quality of a digital SLR with the simple operation of a point-and-shoot camera,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager – DSLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Thanks to the camera’s small size and lightweight body, users can take the E-420 everywhere, and they will never miss another shot because the of the camera’s straightforward controls. Additionally, our innovative technologies help consumers get more from Live View.”

World’s Smallest Digital SLR A camera designed to be held away from the face lets you take great photographs without weighing you down. The E-420 is small enough to fit into a purse or a jacket pocket and light enough to shoot with comfortably all day. Measuring 5.1 inches by 3.6 inches by 2.1 inches (excluding protrusions), it is the world’s smallest digital SLR. And at a featherweight 13.4 ounces, only its predecessor (E-410) weighs less. The E-420’s new ergonomic grip on the front of the body allows for easier one-handed operation and ensures a secure hold in the most challenging shooting conditions.

One of the World’s Thinnest Lenses Meets the World’s Most Compact DSLR The world’s smallest DSLR deserves a similarly compact lens, and Olympus has it: the ultra compact Zuiko 25mm f2.8 digital specific lens. This 0.9 inch-thick lens offers a fixed 50mm equivalent angle of view. Together with the E-420, the Zuiko 25mm f2.8 lens will offer the ultimate combination of ease of use and portability.

Photographers can also purchase the E-420 in a kit with a compact, Zuiko Digital 28-84mm equivalent (ED 14-42mm Four Thirds) f3.5-f5.6 lens that perfectly matches the imager so light strikes the sensor directly to ensure rich, accurate colors and edge-to-edge sharpness. Both lenses (Zuiko 25mm f2.8 and 28-84mm f3.5-f5.6) are part Olympus’ expanding line of 100 percent digital lenses – designed specifically for digital photography. Unlike other camera companies, Olympus does not rely on old film lenses, which often result in images with soft edges or other imperfections.

The Live View Experience Olympus was the first to bring Live View to a consumer DSLR (the E-330 in 2006), and Live View has revolutionized DSLR photography. Anyone who has photographed young children knows that you get the best reactions when you hold the camera away from your face and maintain eye contact and an engaging smile. If you have tried to take photos high above the heads in a crowd or low near the ground, you will appreciate that it is easier to use a swivel LCD screen than to climb a ladder or lie on your stomach.

The E-420 solves these problems with its Live View LCD, which enables photographers to hold the camera away from their faces and at angles they just cannot reach by using the optical viewfinder alone. The E-420’s new Live View autofocus functionality now simplifies the process by working just like a point and shoot. By simply pressing the shutter button halfway, your subjects come into focus on the LCD, so when the perfect moment occurs it is easy to capture sharp images.

A viewable LCD is where a great Live View experience begins. Few things are more annoying for a photographer than squinting to see an image on an LCD screen in bright sunlight or a dimly lit room. The E-420 solves this problem with its large, bright 2.7-inch LCD display that incorporates new HyperCrystal II technology. This display offers twice the contrast for better viewing in extreme light conditions (i.e. when the sun is at your back), a broader color gamut that displays a greater range of color detail, and a 176-degree viewing angle.

Always Find a Face in the Crowd.

A camera this consumer-friendly is perfect for taking portraits of friends and family while out and about. The E-420’s Face Detection feature distinguishes between people’s faces and the background. It tracks up to eight faces within the image area and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures. Even if your subjects are moving, the camera continuously tracks their faces.

Bright Day or Deep Shadow, Never Miss a Detail.
Shooting scenes with shadows can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark and bright areas. The E-420 addresses this challenge with Shadow Adjustment Technology that compensates for extreme contrast when shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. Now users can preview and capture images with the same fine contrast they see with their own eyes.

Preview All the Possibilities.
With 18 pre-set scene-select modes for every imaginable shooting scenario and full manual controls, the E-420 offers a world of possibilities to photographers. Additionally, Perfect Shot Preview enables users to preview and select various photographic effects on a live, multi-window screen on the LCD before snapping the shot. This feature shows photographers what their images will look like beforehand under various settings, ensuring that they capture exactly what they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, such as exposure compensation, white balance and metering.

Enlarge Your Photos
Capturing, enlarging and displaying amazing images on your wall is a snap thanks to the E-420’s 10 million pixels for high-resolution photos. The 10-megapixel sensor gives users the flexibility to enlarge prints to the sizes supported by many of today’s printers, or crop the image to print only a part of the image that is important to them. The high-performance Live MOS image sensor in the E-420 delivers excellent dynamic range for accurate color fidelity and a new state-of-the-art amplifier circuit dramatically reduces noise and captures fine image details in the highlight and shadow areas.

Improved Auto White Balance
Many digital SLR users want to focus their attention on things other than white balance while they are on the move. As a result, the E-420 features an improved automatic white balance performance with a new algorithm for more accurate color.

TruePic III for Image Clarity & Speed

Olympus’ TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible for every photo with accurate color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal representation in between. TruePic III also lowers image noise by one step to reduce graininess in images shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.

Worried about missing the winning goal at the soccer game? The image processor on the E-420 enables it to shoot up to 3.5 frames per second in sequenced shooting mode, which means that photographers will be able to capture fast-paced action as it happens.

Dust Reduction System for Spot-Free Images.
Life moves too fast to spend time worrying about dust ruining your images. Olympus’ proven Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter™. The patented ultrasonic technology vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor and captures it on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on. These spot-free photos liberate users from hours spent retouching photographs at the computer or sending their cameras back to the manufacturer to remove dust trapped inside.

Media Versatility.
Accepting both CompactFlash Type I & II, Microdrives, and xD-Picture Cards, the E-420 provides a choice of data storage options for enhanced flexibility, and it is possible to transfer image files from one card to the other right inside the camera.

Wireless Flash Capability.
If you decide to venture into the arena of advanced lighting, the E-420 is ready to meet the challenge. The E-420 is compatible with the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes that are designed exclusively for digital photography. When these flashes are used in combination with the E-420, wireless multi-flash photography is possible. The E-420 can control up to three wireless flash groups independently, with several flash units per group.

The Olympus E-420 Digital SLR will be available in May 2008. It includes: E-420 Body, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLS-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCS-1), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master Software CD-ROM, Manuals and Warranty Card.

See also: Digital Camera | Olympus

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