Olympus E-410
4.8Overall Score
Price (RRP): $1,599 Manufacturer: Olympus

Reviewer Byer Gair

This is probably the camera that many have been waiting for. Apart from its Four Thirds lens system, enabling access to a number of lens makers’ optics, the camera is small – ‘world’s smallest DSLR’. It has excellent stabiliser and sensor cleaning mechanisms. You can ‘live view’ your picture pre-shoot on the rear LCD screen. And it looks just like a ‘real’ (film) SLR camera.

Olympus is the company who initially shrank reflex cameras down to sensible sizes. Now they’ve done it again. But not only is the camera body smaller than its rivals but the lenses are as well.

The camera is easy to hold, light in weight and well-balanced, even when the 40-150 mm zoom is fitted and fully extended.

Features

The image stabiliser is worth noting as it uses a mechanism that shifts the image sensor itself to cancel out camera shake, no matter what lens you have fitted.

The sensor itself (a Live MOS device) is kept clean, thanks to the Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF) that has a very thin filter glass in front of it and vibrates at very high frequency. Any dust particles fall away to be trapped on adhesive material inside the camera. This function is triggered each time the camera is powered up.

The E-410 covers all bets by accepting CompactFlash and SD memory cards as well as Microdrive units.

Exposure options include Program AE, shutter or aperture priority as well as manual. Metering includes Olympus’ digital ESP, centre-weighted and spot options; then you can shoot high or low key scenes successfully by choosing Hi-Spot or SH metering.

The mode dial, near the operator’s forefinger, offers portrait, night plus portrait, sports, landscape and macro. If this is not enough there are 20 different scene modes in the LCD menu: fireworks, sunsets, beach/snow, high or low key scenes and more.

Auto focus is normally assessed via three frames shown in the viewfinder: you can select any one of the three (left, right or centre) to be active. Then there are the choices of single frame AF, continuous AF and manual focusing.

The flash department is a lavish one: aside from the normal choices of auto, flash forced off and on you can also choose synch on the first or second shutter pass to achieve those flowing headlight shots. Want to fly solo? You can manually adjust the flash output to ¼, 1/16 or 1/64 normal strength.

As with many upper level cameras the E-410 can save to memory shots in RAW format as well as JPEG plus the combined option of an RAW+JPEG save.

Conclusion

There’s much to enjoy with the E-410. Most of the features will please the advanced amateur while there is not too much to frighten the less-skilled. You could, at a pinch, hand this one to a newbie to use in auto mode and he or she will still make a fair fist of the effort. It is not an intimidating camera.

Picture quality is excellent and level with most DSLRs on the market.

Olympus E-410
Price (RRP): $1,599 Manufacturer: Olympus
Easy to operate, stabilised image sensor, dust removal system.
Kit lenses are slow.
Overall
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
4.8Overall Score
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