|Olympus E-410 Conclusion
The moment it globally sunk in that the first real digital compact SLR camera - the Olympus E-400 - would not be available worldwide, everybody was disappointed. But with the worldwide introduction of the Olympus E-410 Olympus certainly made up for it. Not only the global availability distinguishes the Olympus E-410 from the rest but also its specifications have definitely been improved. The compact size remained the same for the E-410 but the camera's interior has certainly been worked at in this short period of a couple of months. Firstly the image sensor that was delivered by Kodak has now been delivered by Panasonic for the Olympus E410. The 10 Megapixels of resolution stayed on and is largely sufficient to get along with in the busy segment that the Olympus E410 is positioned.
Olympus compact professional DSLR
An extremely compact camera size does not always add to a fine operation and ease of handling the camera but Olympus succeeded in proving the opposite with the Olympus E-410: the small size and light weight of the E-410 go well with ease of use. The Olympus E-410 DSLR camera is a very pleasant camera to work with. It has a perfect hand fit in spite of lacking a firm handgrip. Ten Megapixels of resolution nowadays is the highest amount on a digital FourThirds System SLR camera but more to be expected! Even though the camera is not aiming at the amateur, all eyes are focussing on the professional DSLR from the Olympus stable that is expected soon. Specifications are not yet released but obviously this pro-model will have to distinguish itself from cameras like the Olympus E410 and the E510, soon coming up. Besides the handy size, the Olympus E410 is also equipped with the utter reliable anti-dust system; the so-called SSWF system.
Olympus high ISO sensitivity - Excellent performance
Always a dangerous subject is digital noise and especially noise in combination with high ISO settings. The Olympus E-410 offers the possibility to adjust ISO accurately from a range of 100 - 1600 ISO in 1/3 steps. During testing I found out that the high ISO is very useful for situations where a large focal point is needed together with a certain fast shutter speed required for handheld shooting. The optical image stabilizer has disappeared from the Olympus E-410 but the high quality high ISO sensitivity is a good substitute. Of course noise will be more obvious when photographing in bad light conditions, for example dark parts in under-exposed images, but if you do take that in account and if you don't hesitate to interfere with manual mode you will obtain excellent results with high ISO settings! Even 1600 ISO can be used without a problem so Olympus succeeded in taking this obstacle effortlessly, well done!
Olympus E410 SLR - High image quality
The images made by the Olympus E-410 in combination with both kit lenses are of excellent quality. Colour rendition is fine and resolution outstanding. The quality is fine for a kit lens such as the 14-42 Zuiko Digital. However, if you invest in a higher quality lens, you will be able to capture more detail. The images are on the soft side as far as sharpness is concerned but a small sharpening through an image editing program like Photoshop will do the trick and the results will be accordingly. Besides standard settings the Olympus E410 offers a number of digital effects that lets you manually adjust contrast, colour saturation, black&white, sharpness etc. And if you are a portrait photography enthusiast, you will certainly appreciate the High and Low Key function. The speed at which the camera focuses is fine, but I would like to see more than just 3 AF fields. You will be fine with these three, but it would look better on this camera if it had had some extra AF focus points on board.
Olympus E-410 SLR Verdict
One of the most striking features that come with the Olympus E410 is the so-called Live View mode. I haven't even put it to practice that many times but images with still subjects surely succeeded by holding the camera on a distance and using the Live View function. I'd say studio photography or photography using a tripod will definitely go together well with Live View. The LCD monitor is of excellent quality and replaces the small information display that disappeared from the top of the camera. The viewfinder itself is fine, although somewhat on the small side.
Olympus E-410 Rating
The Olympus E-410 is a beautiful compact digital SLR camera that was tremendously pleasant to work with in practice. The camera has a lot to offer and will certainly satisfy in particular the demanding amateur photographer. Even the beginning photographer will be able to make his first SLR images thanks to the friendly nature of the camera. I can imagine very well that the advanced photographer would want a camera like the Olympus E-410 as second camera, travel camera or camera for taking snapshots. But the Olympus E-410 will surely appeal to the mass too. The quality is high, the operation straightforward and the ease of the compact size and light weight are important features that might be crucial for taking the camera with you a lot more often. It will add to the joy of digital photography in your daily life. A definite must!
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