2006 was the year of the 10 Megapixel digital SLR camera. For a camera from this segment, the Olympus E-400 offers a lot of possibilities and will be interesting for a large number of consumers. At first sight, the E400 looks well-ordered with not very many buttons. Because of its compact format, the camera lacks a small LCD, wherein you could normally check the status of the light metering, pictures, resolution and other settings. Instead you have to rely on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. You can find any information you will need to keep the camera under control on the large format LCD screen that is 2.5-inches in diameter.
Olympus E400 - SuperSonic Wave Filter
Like the previous E-series of digital SLR cameras, the Olympus E-400 has a SuperSonic Wave Filter (SSWF) which eliminates the recurring problem of dust. This system has always worked well since it was introduced and I can only welcome it. The SSWF system vibrates a special filter that has been placed in front of the image sensor, so that any dust particles don't get the chance to stick to the sensor. An improved version of SSWF has been included in the Olympus E-400. The main reason for the upgrade was the compact nature of the casing which resulted in a lack of space. Because the SSWF is activated each time the camera is started, the E400's start-up time is slow in comparison to, say the Nikon D80, with one second as opposed to the competition's 0.18 seconds. Despite this slower start up, the SSWF is such a big advantage when it comes to getting a clean photo, that you will soon be willing to overlook any delay.
Olympus E400 - Penta-mirror optical viewfinder
The Olympus E400 has a Penta mirror optical viewfinder, just like other digital SLR cameras for amateur photographers, with image coverage of approximately 95%. We think that the optical viewfinders in FourThirds system cameras are often rather small and dark, but it must be said that this is not the case with the Olympus E-400. On the contrary, the viewfinder is quite clear and works really well with its FourThirds camera models. Despite this, the viewfinder is not as good as the high quality viewfinder with which Nikon has equipped their D80 and D200 models. But this optical viewfinder is a clear an improvement when compared to, for example, the Olympus E-330 or the Panasonic Lumix L1 that both have a Live View mode. To the right, beside the picture in the viewfinder, there is room for information such as aperture, shutter speed, light metering.
Olympus E-400 digital SLR - LCD screen
The LCD screen on the back of the camera has a diameter of 2.5-inches, which is the standard size for digital reflex cameras. The screen's resolution is 250.000 pixels, enough for a detailed reproduction of the picture results.
The lack of a small status LCD on top of the camera means that the LCD is used more intensively to do things like changing the settings and exposure data. The larger format makes it possible to show more and more clearly , but on the other hand, a LCD screen generally has a few more problems with bright sunlight, so that it is sometimes more difficult to read information. The amount of information shown is more than enough to keep the camera adequately under control. It is even possible to adjust the size of the font and pictograms, so that more information can be given.
Olympus E-400 reflex camera - Speed buttons
The Olympus E-400's compact format didn't encourage the designers to add more buttons, so there are no handy speed buttons for settings like compression, white balance and ISO. You will need to consult the LCD screen for this. Thanks to the spacious overview, the most important settings can be found quickly and changed immediately if the situation requires. The menu can be navigated quickly using the arrow keys and the mode dial. The menu is conveniently divided into blue pages on which the chosen setting is shown in yellow. As well as the collection of setting options, the screen indicates the pictures and data during exposure very well. This means you can see a saved picture in full screen or in thumbnail, and the recording data is also shown via a (RGB) histogram.
Olympus E-400 - User friendly entry-level camera
The Olympus E-400 has an extremely compact design and with its light weight, it is the ideal travelling companion and great if you want to just grab it quickly. The ease of operation is of a standard that you would expect and is simple and efficient. The absence of various speed keys is more or less compensated for by the orderly menu and quick navigation. The Olympus E-400 will be a pleasant way of getting acquainted with SLR photography for novice SLR photographers, and more experienced users will appreciate the convenience it offers. The Olympus E-400 can rightly be described as a user friendly entry-level camera which will enable its users to practice digital photography at an advanced.