Olympus E-410 Review

Review Date: July 23rd 2007
Author: Gavin Stoker

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Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 10 megapixel SHQ JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

Noise

There are 5 ISO settings available on the Olympus E-410 which you can select at any time if the camera is in the normal shooting mode. Noise seems better handled than previous generations of Olympus DSLRs the company doubtless putting this down to its decision to switch from a conventional CCD to a Live MOS sensor although the maximum setting of ISO 1600 appears to be a case of Olympus quitting while it's ahead. Though coloured sand-like specks are noticeably creeping in at this setting, noise is not horrendous, and up to ISO 800 perfectly acceptable. So stick to ISO 800 and below and you won't have cause for complaint. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are just a little soft at the default sharpening setting. You can change the in-camera sharpening level to one of the 5 different preset levels if you don't like the default look.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   
   

Chromatic Aberrations

The Olympus E-410's 28-82mm kit lens handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very small levels of purple fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)
Example 2 (100% Crop)
   

Flash

The flash settings on the Olympus E-410 are Auto, Red-eye reduction, Slow synchronization, Slow synchronization 2nd curtain, Fill-in, Slow synchronization with red-eye reduction and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (82mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (82mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64
   

And here are some portrait shots. The Auto setting caused a tiny amount of red-eye, which the Red-eye reduction mode successfully removed.

Auto

Auto (100% Crop)
   

Auto & Red-eye reduction

Auto & Red-eye reduction (100% Crop)
   

Night Shot

The Olympus E-410's maximum shutter speed is 60 seconds, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/10 second, aperture of f/5.6 at ISO 100. I've included a 100% Crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)
   

Overall Image Quality

I don't like to start with a grumble but here it is. Left on auto setting, the Olympus E-410 doesn't always get white balance correct with interior pictures shot using natural daylight taking on a distinctly tell-tale blue hue, and likewise tungsten lighting providing that yellowy-orange cast. So remember to set the white balance manually if you're shooting in less than bright daylight without flash, and you'll steer clear of such issues. For getting in close on detail and those awkward yet creative shooting situations where it isn't always possible to get your eye fully to the viewfinder low angle shots for example the Live View feature really comes into its own, while the ability to focus manually given such scenarios means the camera doesn't end up giving emphasis to the wrong part of the frame when you're not looking. Noise also seems better handled than previous generations of Olympus DSLRs the company doubtless putting this down to its decision to switch from a conventional CCD to a Live MOS sensor although the maximum setting of ISO 1600 appears to be a case of Olympus quitting while it's ahead. Though coloured sand-like specks are noticeably creeping in at this setting, noise is not horrendous, and up to ISO 800 perfectly acceptable. So stick to ISO 800 and below and you won't have cause for complaint. Another niggle is that there's some very obvious barrel distortion at the extreme wide angle of the kit lens though if you're a fan of the (almost) fish eye lens effect like I am then it will cause you less distress. If you're majoring on landscapes however, it's more of a pain. However, most of the audience for this camera will likely be upgrading from a point and shoot compact and therefore in the main wanting to shoot portraits of family and friends with a bit more pep'. It's in this area that the Olympus E-410 excels, delivering sharp, flattering portraits with vividly healthy skin tones. Distortion aside, the lens is capable of delivering commendably sharp images to boot.

Page 1
Introduction / Ease of Use
Page 2
Image Quality
Page 3
Sample Images
Page 4
Design
Page 5
Specifications
Page 6
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Olympus E-410 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

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