|Upon arrival of a Olympus E-450 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data of the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Olympus E450 DSLR camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed.|
|Olympus E-450 entry-level digital SLR
It remains surprising to see how close an entry-level model DSLR like the Olympus E-450 comes to the more expensive semi-professional SLR cameras of Olympus in terms of image quality. This was also the case for its predecessor, the E-420, and it seems that Olympus has a clear strategy in mind: the introduction of high-quality technology innovations in top models, and then rapidly integrating these in the lower-ranked DSLRs in the Olympus series. A smart strategy that has already proven itself in practice.
Hardware in Olympus SLR cameras
Put bluntly, it are the differences in options and functionality including the quality of the housing, that make the real difference between the various Olympus SLR cameras. In terms of image quality, the differences are not as big and noticeable as when it comes to the genuine hardware. Therefore, it might be wise to ask yourself what it is you need in terms of hardware, as well as asking yourself whether you would fully use that kind of hardware, before purchasing a DSLR camera.
Olympus E-450 image quality
The image sensor of the Olympus E-450 has remained unchanged, and its resolution of 10 Megapixels approximately equals the average of what is available today. You will not really need more pixels in practice. Its predecessor was vastly improved when it came to details, and the Olympus E-450 now maintains the same quality. The RAW pictures are close to the quality of the E-30, and there are ample opportunities to get a lot of quality out of the captured picture. The JPEG pictures show more noticeable differences; it are mainly the details in the pictures made by the E-30 that emerge more clearly.
Olympus E-450 white balance
A constant factor of the Olympus E-450 is its performance when it comes to white balance. In particular the manual white balance setting is able to very effectively filter out incandescent light, and over the entire sensitivity range, an accurate result is achieved. The dynamic range of the Olympus E450 seems to have slightly improved, which is most obvious at higher ISO up to 1600. It's only minimal differences, but Olympus seems to have squeezed the utmost results out of the image sensor. If we compare results to those of the competition, such as Nikon and Canon, we see that both brands are able to obtain a large dynamic range. However; these differences become apparent in the lab, but in practice you won't be using a magnifying glass on the picture.
|Olympus E450 signal/noise ratio
The signal / noise ratio steadily decreases at higher ISO settings. The results from the DIWA Labs are good to acceptable up to ISO 400+, but actually, it ends between 400 and 800 ISO, while noise is then clearly visible. You could grumble about the signal / noise performance; however, in practice these high ISO values are hardly used. Still, rivals like Nikon and Canon with their larger image sensor have an advantage when it comes to high ISO. In general, we can compare the noise of the Olympus E450 more or less to that of the E30, which is a decent performance.
Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm lens
The kit lens that comes with the Olympus E-450 is a ZUIKO Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6. We put this lens through an intensive DIWA test that showed the distortion is visible the most at 14mm and an aperture of f/22, as expected. The difference in distortion at a maximum and minimum aperture is marginal with only 0.05%. Such a distortion is acceptable and it is the maximum we find on this lens. The remaining distortions are hardly visible with the naked eye.
Chromatic aberration in wide angle and telephoto mode
The wide angle of 14mm suffers from chromatic aberration which can be solved by using an aperture value from f/5.6, below that chromatic aberration is clearly visible. The telephoto mode of 42mm and maximum aperture of f/5.6 also suffers from visible chromatic aberration; however, you can quickly get it under control by one more aperture stop. You will get the most out of this lens in relation to chromatic aberration by using an aperture of f/8 - f16.
Olympus E-450 - Vignetting
Besides that vignetting is also present, and in particular in 14mm mode and aperture of f/3.5-f/4. The other apertures and focal lengths do not suffer from any vignetting at all, and are excellent to superb. When we look at the detail sharpness this lens is capable of, we can see visible blur in the 14mm wide angle with aperture f/3.5 and f4 and from f/5.6 it changes this blur to sharp pictures. The ZUIKO Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 performs best at f/8 and f/11, independent of the focal length. The test results for a kit lens are fine, as expected.