The Olympus E-410 is a 10 megapixel Four Thirds DSLR camera oriented toward the entry-level DSLR market. Announced in March 2007 to succeed the E-400, it a 10-megapixel Live MOS sensor, a new TruePIC III processor, a 2.5 inch LCD, and uses both CF and xD memory cards.
After using the E-410 for a couple of months I really grew to like it. The body itself is very light, and – when combined with the plastic-shelled (but otherwise pretty good) 28 – 84 mm equiv. kit lens – makes for a great carry-around digital SLR. We’ve become accustomed to large hand grips, but the E-410’s design works just as well; you just hold it slightly differently (ring and little finger tucked under the body).
It may be small, light and styled like an SLR of the 80s, but Olympus has packed the E-410 with the latest technology. The Live View facility may be clunky at times and not as smooth as a consumer compact, but we found it invaluable on several occasions, whether delivering 100% coverage, overlaid guidelines or a depth-of-field preview.
Photo quality is somewhat disappointing at default settings, though it can be improved upon easily. Straight out of the box, the camera produces images that are pretty soft, and often underexposed. Fixing the first one is easy: go to the menu and turn the noise filter option to either low (my choice) or off. Yes, your images will be noisier (especially if you turn the thing off), but they’ll be sharper and more detailed.
Ergonomically, the Olympus E-410 is excellent, and most SLR users should feel comfortable using the camera in a short time. Controls are well-spaced, making them easy to use precisely, even without looking.
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.
The Olympus E-410’s portability is perhaps its biggest boon, and certainly one of its greatest sales assets – although in truth there is not a great deal of difference in terms of dimensions with the likes of Nikon’s 10MP D40x. It’s also, for me, less reliable than Nikon’s baby DSLR when it comes to the likes of white balance, and the 14-42mm lens suffers from more pronounced distortion at extreme wideangle, but other than that the E-410 has much to recommend it.
The 10-megapixel resolution is, itself, a helpful item for beginners, since it allows you to crop a shot closer without suffering from any digital pixelation. And the settings, Olympus’ standard grid pattern of options such as flash, image quality and ISO setting, are easy to access once you get the button sequence down. It’s intuitive, possibly more-so than the D40, whose interface relies more heavily on the large LCD than than Nikon’s previous D models.
Of course the Olympus E-410 is replete with Scene modes, 20 in all. I managed to make good use of the Fireworks mode this past Fourth of July. This one earned a place on my wall, but there’s another in the Gallery. I was pleasantly surprised by how little I had to do to get great results. A tripod was required, of course.
Official Olympus Resources
Olympus RAW codec for Vista
Where to Buy
First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices. Additionally, purchasing your camera through these links helps support this site.
[tags]olympus, e-410, review, test, dslr, digital camera[/tags]