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Olympus E420 | Digital Camera Review | Control
Improving the E-410 to the Olympus E420 did not result in enhancing the resolution. And why should it? Ten Megapixels is gradually becoming the standard resolution for a DSLR camera, and suffices to do exactly what you want to do with it. Whether you want to print postcard sized prints or edit a picture and print it on poster size; it is all possible. The amount of pixels is no longer that important; more important are the user's ease and user-friendliness for a DSLR as the E-420.
Olympus E420 | Digital Camera Olympus E420 | Digital Camera
Olympus E-420 with Live View
Live View is a feature that greatly adds to the ease. Although Live View is not new for an Olympus DSLR, the function has been enhanced compared to that of its predecessor. Adding contrast AF to the existing AF that works through the image sensor, enables focussing without pausing Live View. It's not necessary anymore to fold up the mirror! As a result the shutter release lag has disappeared mostly; however, what remains is the focus lag whilst the speed of contrast AF can't be compared to the speed of a standard AF sensor. It's of great importance to be aware of the fact that this enhanced functionality only works with the standard included 14-42mm lens, the 40-150mm and the 25mm f/2.8 lenses. The other lenses are only supported with a hybrid Live View option, which works a lot slower.

10x zoom on the Olympus E-420
Was the optical viewfinder of a DSLR camera extremely important not so long ago; it now seems less so for cameras equipped with a Live View function. The extra functionality like enlarging the images up to 10x in manual focus mode, simplifies taking close-up pictures. It's extremely pleasant to work with Live View in studio environments such as product photography. Live View has conquered its place with the DSLR camera, a successful innovation.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm

Olympus E420 with 2.7-inch LCD monitor
Due to the lack of a small monitor displaying information on the top side of the camera, communication takes place mainly on the camera's back. And this is convenient. The 2.7 inch sized monitor becomes the Super Control Panel and it suits the camera well. It's ever so convenient to use the monitor for displaying all setting possibilities in a well-arranged way.
On the other hand, it makes working blindfolded with the camera somewhat more difficult, as the functions of the buttons on the camera are taken over by the monitor. It's a matter of every advantage has its disadvantage, which were once famous words of Johan Cruijff, a legendary Dutch football player, meaning that no matter how good something is, there is always a shadow side to it too. The reproduction of the LCD monitor has been improved drastically. The angle of view has been broadened and the contrast has been increased. Especially in daytime when the sun is shining brightly you will notice the improved reproduction.

Olympus E420 SLR

Set elements via the monitor
Vital elements such as white balance, ISO, compression, resolution etc, have to be set through the monitor. Pressing the OK button on the back briefly makes an overview appear on the monitor with all the main setting possibilities. For someone who is not used to this way of operating, it might take time to get used to. My experience is that there is next to no lag, if even any at all, in the operation and to be honest, I quite like an overview like this. In short; very convenient!

Handy & compact digital SLR camera
The easy and compact size of the Olympus E-420 is undoubtedly the great potency of the device. It is for a reason that a compact camera was able to become this successful, and with the DSLR market strongly on the rise, these features of lightweight and compact size could be the key to success. Just as was the case with its predecessor, I am convinced of the concept and I can only admit that these features add greatly to the user's ease.
Olympus E420 Olympus E420
   
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