Olympus E-420 Review
Top of camera controls (right)
The layout on the top of the camera is identical to the E-410's - The exposure mode dial with the power switch below it, the shutter release and exposure compensation buttons and the main dial overhanging the rear. Some settings such as exposure compensation are changed by holding a button and turning the main dial, others just by turning the dial (such as aperture in aperture priority mode). The dial is responsive, ideally located and allows for quick alteration of settings.
Exposure Mode Dial
|AUTO||Fully Automatic Mode
In Auto mode the camera is essentially 'point and shoot' with automatic pop-up of the flash and Auto default settings. Interestingly however you can still access the same range of settings as in the 'advanced shooting modes' (PASM).
Programmed Auto (Flexible)
Aperture Priority Auto
Shutter Priority Auto
Full Manual Exposure
Selects large apertures (low F numbers) to provide narrow depth of field, this creates the out of focus 'blurred' background effect which enhances portrait photographs.
Selects smaller apertures (high F numbers) to provide larger depth of field (foreground and background appear in focus). This mode also appears to adjust color balance to optimize blues and greens.
WB: Daylight, Image parameters: Sharpness +1, Contrast +1
Selects an aperture above F4.0 to improve sharpness from the lens, also enables the continuous manual focus mode (S-AF + MF).
Selects large apertures (small F numbers) to achieve the fastest possible shutter speed to try and freeze fast action and avoid blurring. Enables continuous AF (C-AF).
|Scene: Night Scene and Portrait
Enables noise reduction and configures the camera for optimum night exposures (although for some reason the camera picks Daylight WB, this won't work in a city night shot environment). Also enables Slow Sync flash.
WB: Daylight, Image parameters: Sharpness -1, Contrast -2. Flash: Slow Sync
Buttons (Shooting mode)
• -5.0 EV to +5.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps
|Auto Exposure / Auto Focus Lock
The AEL/AFL button can be programmed in a variety of different ways for different focus modes (Single AF, Continuous AF and Manual Focus). It can be programmed to be momentary AE Lock or Memo/Cancel AE Lock, it can also be programmed to perform and lock Auto Focus at the same time (these modes are described later in this preview). It's also used to trigger Auto Focus in Live View mode.
Buttons (Play mode)
Although not labeled as such pressing the exposure compensation button while in play mode rotates the displayed image through 90, 180 and 270 degrees.
|Thumbnail index / zoom out
Rotate the main dial clockwise to switch to thumbnail index view, the E-410 provides a range of index views; four images, nine images, sixteen images, twenty-five images, fourty-nine images, one-hundred images and finally a calendar view. If the playback magnification is active then turning clockwise steps out.
Rotate the main dial counter-clockwise to magnify the currently displayed image, there are a range of magnifications available; 2.0x, 3.0x, 5.0x, 7.0x, 10x and 14x. Use the multi-direction controller to move around the magnified image.
|Protect / Unprotect
Protects (or unprotects) the current image, this sets the file system 'Read Only' flag which means you can't accidentally delete the image using the erase button, however this does not protect against formatting of the storage card (an extra 'This card contains protected images, really format?' dialog would be good).
Top of camera controls (left)
On the top left of the camera are two more buttons, at the front the flash up / mode button and towards the rear the drive mode button. Once pressed these buttons display an on-screen selection menu, you can either turn the main dial or use the multi-direction controller to adjust.
Buttons (Shooting mode)
|Flash up / Flash mode
The first flash button is an electronic release for the pop-up flash, note that the flash will only automatically pop-up in Auto mode and some scene modes otherwise it must be raised by pressing this button (even if flash mode is Auto). You can hold this button and turn the main dial to select flash mode:
• Red-eye reduction
• Flash on (Fill flash)
• Flash off
• Red-eye reduction & Slow-sync
• Slow-sync (Rear curtain)
• Single shot
• Continuous (3.5 fps)
• 12 sec Self-timer
• 2 sec Self-timer
• IR remote
• IR remote with 2 sec Self-timer
Buttons (Play mode)
|Copy / PictBridge Print
Allows you to copy images between the CF and xD cards (multiple images using the marking system, see below). If a PictBridge printer is connected to the camera via USB then you can print the currently displayed image.
- 17 Photographic tests (Noise)
- 18 Photographic tests (DR)
- 19 Photographic tests
- 20 Compared to
- 21 Compared to (JPEG)
- 22 Compared to (JPEG)
- 23 Compared to (JPEG)
- 24 Compared to (JPEG)
- 25 Compared to (RAW)
- 26 Compared to (RAW)
- 27 Compared to (RAW)
- 28 Compared to (Higher ISO)
- 29 Compared to (Resolution)
- 30 Conclusion
- 31 Samples