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:


Performance: Page 2

Burst Speed

With the minimum processing employed (deactivating noise reduction and so on), we managed to capture an average of eight Raw frames and six Raw+JPEG frames onto a formatted 133x speed CompactFlash card, before the buffer slowed down. The buffer also takes a good five seconds or so to clear after this, though JPEGs are captured at a slower but more consistent pace.

LCD Display

With the LCD screen having seen improvements, we still found it a little tricky to view images clearly in brighter conditions – particularly with regards to contrast. This meant that we often thought an image was underexposed when reviewing it, when in fact flatter lighting conditions showed it to be accurate. Nevertheless, brightness and contrast may be adjusted in the cameras’ menu system, and we’d suggest that in strong light this is used.

Live View

With live view, the addition of the two new AF modes is most welcome, with the system in itself appearing refined and capable. Focusing in Hybrid AF mode doesn’t quite match the benchmark set by Sony’s A350, but for more sedate subjects this type of system is still impressive and more than usable. It’s a touch noisy, though in good light the system works swiftly to find focus and the ability to zoom in to the image tenfold makes distant subjects and very fine detail easy to home in on.

  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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