Olympus E-420 review

Verdict

It’s rare to come across a camera that both pleases and irritates you in roughly the same proportions, and here I have found two. There is a lot to like about each; the E-420 for providing masses of features and a good standard of images in such a cheap and compact package, and the E-520 for its handling and effective image stabilisation and equally good image quality.

But as much as I’d like to report that it’s all roses, the 3-point AF system and limited ISO range are still disappointing. There are many other foiblies – the E-420’s awkward handling, the inability to delete images straight after you’ve taken them and so on – though once you get to know each camera these aren’t huge concerns. I am, however, concerned that as the last few Olympus models have all sported effective pixel counts of 10 megapixels, it may suggest that the technology may be reaching some sort of spatial plateau. This is despite the use of different sensors with increasing total pixel counts, and indicates that those manufacturers moving towards full-frame sensors may well have more scope for future development. I hope Olympus proves me wrong, and I’m genuinely interested to see what the Four Thirds future holds.

Nevertheless, as models in their own right they still impress, and being launched at such aggressive price points makes their features-to-price ratio particularly impressive. I won’t pretend that they’re for everyone, but as they are they both stand to make an good impression in today’s DSLR market.

Compact System Camera Reviews

Price as reviewed

£330.00

Scores

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