Olympus E-420 review

Review Date : Mon, 9 Jun 2008

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Olympus E-420
Olympus E-420 Olympus E-420 back Olympus E-420 front Olympus E-420 top

The 10-megapixel Olympus E-420 is a purposely compact DSLR that features Live View and Shadow Adjustment technology.

Pros: Little effort to carry, dust reduction, excellent value for money, consistent AWB
Cons: Handling, position of right eyelet, highlight control, slow AF system with standard lenses

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the Four Thirds system has been around longer than its years. Having quietly celebrated its fifth birthday last year, the system has to date notched up 13 DSLR bodies and 37 lenses, with help from a range of manufacturers and the backing of an ardent supporter base.

Olympus has been at the forefront of this, most notably pioneering live view and its dust reduction system, technologies later adopted by other DSLR manufacturers for their own models. Needless to say its new E-420 and Olympus E-520 models features both of these, and continue the evolution of the live-view system. Their announcement came as a bit of a surprise - not least because of Olympus's prolificity in releasing three DSLRs last year - though their keen price points stand to threaten the entry-level market, an area most manufacturers are muscling in on now more than ever.

As with the two models they replace, they vary in few areas from each other. Both have been therefore tested together, to avoid repetition and to gain a better understanding of the differences between them. In either case, I'm keen to find out what's been tinkered with under the bonnet and whether their respective upgrades have been justified.

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Olympus E-420 features

Olympus E-420 design

Olympus E-420 performance

Olympus E-420 image quality

Olympus E-420 value for money

Olympus E-420 verdict

Olympus E-420 specifications


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Design 17/20
Image Quality 17/20
Performance 16/20
Value 18/20
Features 18/20
Overall Score 86%