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

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Olympus E-420

Overall score:86%
Image Quality:85%


  • Little effort to carry, dust reduction, excellent value for money, consistent AWB


  • Handling, position of right eyelet, highlight control, slow AF system with standard lenses


Olympus E-420 Review


Price as reviewed:



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.


AF Points:3 (11 in live view Imager AF mode)
Cable Release:Optional
PC Socket:No
Max Flash Sync:1/180 sec.
Built-in Flash:Yes, GN 12m @ ISO 100
DoF Prview:Yes
Colour Temp Control:Yes (2000K - 14000K)
White Balance Bracket:Yes
Colour Space:sRGB / AdobeRGB
Exposure Comp:+/- 5 EV / 1/3 steps
Shutter Type:Electronically-controlled focal plane
Focusing Modes:Single shot AF, single shot AF+MF, continuous AF, continuous AF+MF, MF
Dust Reduction:Yes
Built-in Image Stabilisation:No
Dimensions:129.5 x 91 x 53 mm
Weight:380g (without card or battery)
Live Mode:Yes
White Balance:Auto, Overcast, Shade, Tungsten, Sunlight, Flash, Fluorescent 1, Fluorescent 2, Fluorescent 3
Connectivity:USB 2.0
Field of View:95% coverage
Viewfinder Type:Eye-level pentaprism-type optical viewfinder
Memory Card:xD / CF
Drive Mode:3.5 fps / Up to card capacity Large Normal JPEG / 8 frames RAW
Metering System:49 zone ESP Multi-pattern – multi, centre-weighted, spot, highlight, shadow
Compression:Super fine, fine, normal, basic
Exposure Modes:Auto, PASM, 18 scene
File Format:Raw, JPEG, Raw+JPEG
Shutter Speeds:1/4000 – 60sec. / Bulb
Lens Mount:Four Thirds
Focal Length Mag:2x
Sensor:LiveMOS Four Thirds type, 11.8MP total / 10MP eff, 17.3 x 13mm
Output Size:3648 x 2736 pixels
LCD:2.7in LCD, 230,000 dots
  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features: Page 1
  3. 3. Features: Page 2
  4. 4. Features: Page 3
  5. 5. Features: Page 4
  6. 6. Design
  7. 7. Performance: Page 1
  8. 8. Performance: Page 2
  9. 9. Image Quality
  10. 10. Value For Money
  11. 11. ISO Comparison
  12. 12. Olympus E-420 Controls Layout
  13. 13. Verdict
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