This tiny SLR is a solid performer
- Small build, great colour balance, excellent noise performance, speedy burst mode
- Pictures a little soft at default settings, no image stabilisation, menu can be a little clunky, small design may not suit everyone
If you're after a petite SLR then the Olympus E-420 is a solid performer. It keeps pace with the competition in most areas, while maintaining dimensions that are significantly smaller.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The E-420 is a small camera at the bottom of Olympus' SLR line-up. Despite the camera's diminutive design, not much has been sacrificed in the way of features. We were disappointed by the lack of image stabilisation, but live view is present as is Olympus' dust reduction technology. The 10-megapixel (Mp) sensor captures some fairly good quality snaps, making this unit a competitive choice for those looking to take their first steps into SLR territory.
Measuring 129.5x91x53mm and weighing just 380g, the E-420 is definitely a petite SLR. While it is slightly outdone in the size department by its predecessor the E-410, it still provides the best current option for users looking for a somewhat pocketable SLR.
The 10Mp sensor doesn't quite match up to competing entry-level units when it comes to resolution. That said, it still performed well in our tests and will be fine for most enthusiastic amateurs.
Pictures were quite sharp on the default settings, with fairly good resolution and detail, although they did have a slightly soft tone. This was easily remedied by increasing the onboard sharpness, which resulted in a more pleasing balance. We used a 14-42mm Olympus lens and spotted some minor chromatic aberration during our testing — some slight haloing on high contrast edges in our indoor chart shots. Some minor purple fringing could be seen outdoors, but again it wasn't problematic.
Noise performance was quite impressive. ISO sensitivities only extend up to ISO 1600, but at all levels shots are usable for small and medium prints. It isn't until ISO 800 that noise really becomes visible at all; even at ISO 1600 it is well controlled and there is no noticeable detail loss.
Colour performance was equally solid. We tested mainly using the Vivid preset, which produced a fairly well-balanced look that tended towards being strongly saturated. Reds were particularly rich and vivid, but overall everything was extremely accurate. Imatest confirmed this, giving the E-420 an impressive score in its colour checker test.
In terms of speed, this model did quite well. Its burst mode operated at a magnificent five frames per second — extremely speedy. Shutter lag was basically non-existent, and time between shots was a relatively low 0.3sec. Start-up time was a little slower than some of the competition at 1.2sec, but this is thanks to the dust reduction system, which activates automatically at power up.
Aside from dust reduction (which operates very well), live view also makes a welcome return. It has received an upgrade and has contrast-based autofocus, which significantly improves focus speeds when viewing through the LCD. Previous generations required the mirror to actually flip up out of the way so the sensor could focus properly, which took several seconds. This method eliminates that problem. While it still takes a second or so, it is considerably quicker than some competing models. We were a little disappointed to find the sensor-based stabilisation on other Olympus units hadn't made its way to the E-420. That said, all the other features you'd expect are present, including face detect, shadow adjustment and full manual shooting modes. Wireless flashes are also supported and the setup process is quick and intuitive which will greatly appeal to portrait enthusiasts.
This time around Olympus has bulked up the design a little, giving this model a slightly chunkier hand grip (an area of complaint with the E-410). This makes it slightly easier to hold, although users with big hands will still struggle to get a proper grip. That said, the design is sturdy and solid and the controls are well laid out. We found the menu a little counter-intuitive at times (functions like the custom white balance can be fiddly to setup).
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
cloudandco Smart Cane
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Google Daydream View VR Headset
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Panasonic Announces Compact, Lightweight ultra-telephoto LEICA Lens
- Panasonic announce still-shooter flagship G9
- Sony Announces Development of New G Master Super-Telephoto Full-Frame E-Mount Lens
- Sony Expands Full-frame E-mount lens lineup
- Sony’s New Full-Frame α7R III Interchangeable Lens Camera promises to delivers both resolution and speed
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTTM1 Application Management AnalystOther
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTChange Analyst, Transformation, SAPOther
- FTService Desk EngineerOther
- CCSystem Analyst - AxwayACT
- FTBusiness Project ManagerOther
- FTICT Cloud Transformation Program Coordinator - SAPOther
- FTGraduate C# DeveloperNSW
- TPProject Manager - Pre Sales Development ProcessNSW
- FTJunior Infrastructure EngineerACT
- FTInfrastructure Migration EngineerOther
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Business Case - Risk & Compliance - ContractNSW
- FTFinance Business PartnerOther
- CCSolaris / Oracle SPARC administratorVIC
- FTSenior Technical ConsultantACT
- CCJunior to Mid Level - Java/ J2EE DeveloperVIC
- TPCyber Security ConsultantNSW
- FTAPI Integration Technical Lead -$1150 per dayOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCAnalyst Programmer / DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork Engineers- Transmission, IP Core and ITOther
- FTTechnology Development ManagerQLD
- TPSenior Business Analyst - HealthQLD
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst (Finance/Grants)QLD