Olympus E-420

Released March, 2008
  • 10 MP
  • Four Thirds 18 x 13.5 mm NMOS
  • 2.7" LCD
As has been mentioned, the camera is small and lightweight, but nonetheless it is comfortable and easy to hold.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)
9 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Olympus E-420

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

E-420
8.0
D3200
9.5
OM-D E-M5
8.8
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

E-420
9.5
D3200
7.2
OM-D E-M5
7.2
Focus lag

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

E-420
9.3
D3200
8.9
OM-D E-M5
8.3
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

E-420
9.4
D3200
9.0
OM-D E-M5
9.4
Reviews from trustedreviews.com, techradar.com, dpreview.com and 43rumors.com

9

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

E-420
9.0
D3200
9.0
OM-D E-M5
8.9

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Olympus E-420

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

E-420
527 ISO
D3200
1,131 ISO
D3100
919 ISO

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

E-420
138 ms
E-620
298 ms
EOS 600D
283 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

E-420
82 ms
D3100
117 ms
D3200
114 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

E-420
800 ms
EOS 600D
1,500 ms
E-620
1,300 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

E-420
3.5 fps
OM-D E-M5
9 fps
Olympus E-30
5 fps

Battery life How many photos per battery charge (CIPA)

E-420
500 photos
EOS 600D
440 photos
D3100
550 photos

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Olympus E-420


9.0
Colour is crisp and while exposures are slightly underexposed to my taste, they do maintain good tonality throughout the range.

9.0
In terms of value, usability and sheer fun, the E-420 is hard to beat as an entry-level DLSR, but when it comes to performance, we were impressed by the colours and the accuracy of both the auto white balance and metering.

Overall

8.8 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Sensor

An approximation based on the above times would be around 6.2 MB/sec for RAW and RAW+JPEG images.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
If you use the Olympus Master software to convert RAW files you can apply the same type of adjustment and control the strength of the effect.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
Olympus Studio's RAW conversion engine is clearly designed to emulate JPEG from the camera but there are still some subtle (but visible) differences in the image output.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)

Lens

Images are smooth and detailed, with very good sharpness, even with the basic kit lens, and very little sharpness fall off at the corners is evident.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)
It's really very light, and the kit lenses are light, too.
by TechRadar (Jun, 2008)
Of course this comment has to be taken in context; you need to be regularly printing at large sizes or zooming in to a pixel level to see the difference once you've added a bit of sharpening.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)

Focus

In 'AF Sensor' mode the E-420 (like the E-410) focuses in Live View by closing the shutter and dropping the mirror so that the AF sensor can be used.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
Two further AF mode options are in the menu; Sensor AF which uses the sensor built into the pentaprism, and Hybrid AF, which uses a combination of both sensors depending on whether the shutter is depressed halfway or all the way down.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)
The Imager AF offers 11-selectable focus points, while the other two only offer three selectable AF points.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)

Image quality

In conclusion, while Olympus Studio gives you the flexibility to adjust parameters after shooting it won't give you any better image quality than your out-of-cam JPEG.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
The E-420's low light performance is fairly good and dark scenes are perfectly viewable.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
The gradation setting does not have any impact on highlight dynamic range but using the low key option will slightly reduce dynamic range in the shadows.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)

Photography

Its small size will make it a firm favourite for anyone with smaller hands or who likes to travel light.
by TechRadar (Jun, 2008)
Although the differences won't make a difference at normal viewing magnifications they will limit the E-420's ability to produce large prints of very finely detailed scenes.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
Shooting low or high is to me the major benefit and fixed screens by their nature don't allow that.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type NMOS
Megapixels 10 MP
Resolution 3648 x 2736
Size Four Thirds
Area 18 x 13.5 mm
Crop factor 2.0x
Pixel size 24.3 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 1,600 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG

display

Type LCD
Size 2.7"
Resolution 230 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes

shutter

Min 60 s
Max 1/4000 s

performance

Max continuous shooting 3.5 fps
Battery life 500 photos
Continuous shooting 3.5 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 138 ms
Shutter lag 82 ms
Startup delay 800 ms

video

Video None

focus system

Type Contrast detection

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentamirror
Coverage 95%
Magnification 0.92x
Viewfinder size 0.46x

form factor

Size 130 x 91 x 53 mm
Thickness 53 mm
Weight 426 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization None
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