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The E-420 is supplied with a CD-ROM containing:

  • Olympus Master 2 - simple image transfer, browsing, basic editing, simple RAW
    conversion, printing and sharing.
  • Olympus Studio 2 Trial - a 30 day trial copy of Olympus's more advanced image
    editing and RAW conversion application.

RAW conversion

As is normal in our digital SLR reviews we compare the supplied RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. The development engines in Olympus Master and Olympus Studio produce exactly identical results and therefore here we have only used Olympus Studio along with a beta version of Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 which supports the E-420.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • Studio - Olympus Studio 2.11
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 Beta

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. There is almost no difference between a RAW converted using Olympus Studio (or Master) and a JPEG straight from the camera, obviously both the RAW conversion engine and camera using the same tone and color mapping.

Olympus E-420 Compare to:  
Adobe RGB

Sharpness and Detail

The output from Olympus Studio with default settings is virtually identical to the an out-of-camera JPEG. Note some jagged pixelation on the arc on the left hand side (a little stronger on the Studio output than on the JPEG but visible in both images). Adobe Camera RAW delivers slightly softer output with marginally more detail but no artifacts.





Olympus Studio's RAW conversion engine is clearly designed to emulate JPEG from the camera but there are still some subtle (but visible) differences in the image output. While resolution is identical (softness is caused by the AA filter rather than noise reduction) there is more color moiré in the Studio output. In conclusion, while Olympus Studio gives you the flexibility to adjust parameters after shooting it won't give you any better image quality than your out-of-cam JPEG.

Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 Beta delivered the cleanest image without any moire but slightly softer and no more resolution.

JPEG from camera Olympus Studio 2.11 (RAW)
Adobe Camera RAW 4.5 Beta (RAW)  
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Total comments: 2

I have had this DSLR for almost a year, as it is my first one. It came with two lenses, and one of the lenses recently has been having problems focusing. I had bought it refurbished, so that could have been the problem. Other than that, I have loved it. It takes great pictures, and is nice and compact. I don't know how it works in its automatic settings, as I only use any camera in full manual mode. But for a first DSLR, I have loved it, and I would use an olympus any day.


I bought this oldie digital as a first experience vith digital cameras, even still use film mainly. So may it was a wrong decision, but I stay beside classic film photography. This camera slow, cheap and only manual mode able to firing promptly. I missed such a moments just because it wait so much before release the shutter. The lens as it is, so far from my zeiss with contax 35mm. Obviously nonsense to compare 66 rolleiflex images. There are lots of set up features, but practically takes long time to modify them, which disturb so much the picture taking. The CF card door a slim plastic door, very fragile. The viewfinder very small. All around this model are far away any real reflex cameras, it seems who design it just never take pictures with a proper camera. I can not recommend this camera, better to smash them all in the name of photography.

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Total comments: 2