The 10-megapixel Olympus E-400 digital SLR harks back to the past with a diminutive design closely modeled on the Olympus OM-1.
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In terms of photographic controls, the E-400 certainly doesn’t disappoint, with metering options ranging from 49-zone ESP metering, through centreweighted and spot patterns to the very useful highlight and shadow spot patterns, to help avoid ‘burnt out’ or ‘blocked up’ areas at the tonal extremities.
The choice of exposure modes is equally comprehensive, ranging from fully automatic to manual, with a host of preset and semiautomated options in between. By the time you’ve thrown in the ISO 100-1600 sensitivity range (selectable in 1/3 stop increments), an all-encompassing white balance system and a plethora of colour-control options, it’s fair to say the E-400 has something for every situation and experience level.
It almost goes without saying that the E-400 also features a Supersonic Wave filter in front of the sensor for dust removal – as seen in all E-System cameras – and when the light dips, there’s the obligatory pop-up flash. With a guide number of 10 (GN10m@ISO100) the flash is a bit weaker than most, but the hotshoe will accept any E-System flashgun if you need more power. The only question remaining is why – with so much technology on tap and a sensor capable of delivering such large files – has Olympus equipped the E-400 with a slow USB 1.1 connection?