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Olympus E-410 Digital SLR - Olympus E-410 Digital SLR

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


Some reviewers have expressed concern over the smaller battery powering the E-410. In order to fit it inside the small handgrip it uses a 1150mAh Li-ion cell, rather than the large 1500mAh units that power most other DSLRs, including the E-510. I’d have to agree that heavy use of the live monitor view would probably shorten the battery life somewhat, but I don’t think this will be a problem for most users. The majority of people will prefer to use the optical viewfinder, since this is one of the main advantages of the SLR design, and will treat the live view as what it is; a useful extra feature that is used only when needed.

Since the E-410 has the same sensor, lens and image processor as the E-510, it’s not surprising that the image quality is also identical. The 10-megapixel Four Thirds sensor, while physically smaller than the APS-C sensors found in most other DSLRs, still produces an equivalent level of fine detail, and high ISO noise control is as good as anything else on the market. As with the E-510, there is perhaps marginally less dynamic range than an equivalent APS-C camera, but if so it is barely noticeable. All in all, the E-410 produced extremely good image quality under all circumstances, despite the lousy weather available during my test period.


Although currently slightly more expensive than some of its competitors, the E-410 has several advantages, not least its compact dimensions, low weight and useful live view feature. It also offers fast performance, extremely high image quality and a very wide range of creative control. If you want a highly portable DSLR and aren’t too bothered about image stabilisation then the E-410 would make a rewarding enthusiast’s camera.


January 16, 2009, 7:42 pm

My first DSLR was the highly-acclaimed (at the time) Canon 350D, and to be fair it did produce some cracking shots with the much-maligned and seriously underrated 18-55mm kit lens. However, I got fed up having to clean dust off the sensor every 30 minutes so I sold it - at a massive 𧹈 loss - and vowed not to buy another DSLR.

But soon was missing the sheer quality of images that no compact could ever match so I started looking around, and came across the Olympus stable of four-thirds, self-cleaning models. Despite most Canon & Nikon owners looking down their dusty noses at the little Oly, I decided that at a whisker under 𧷤 from my local Currys for the E410 and two lenses, it was a gamble I could afford to take. And I have never regretted that decision.

I swapped the 17.5-45 lens that appeared in the Currys kit, for the 14-42, bearing in mind that tiny Oly sensor has a cropping effect of 2x and I like shooting landscapes. But I hung on to the other kit lens - the magnificent 40-150 mm f3.5 - 4.5 which has proved to be a very nice lens indeed, being super sharp and fast-focusing. Best of all, there is no evidence to suggest these lenses suck in dust and dirt like the cheaper Canons used to. The 14-42 is also pin-sharp, and both lenses enable beautiful defocusing.

The E410 body is a little uncomfortable to hold due to being quite small, without a proper grip, and because the strap mounting rings are where you want to put your fingers! This makes hand-held shots with a lens the size and weight of the 40-150 very tricky, but not impossible. In anything other than full sunlight some sort of resting aid is needed at the 150 end. However the 14-42 is a very lightweight lens and equally good for landscapes and close-ups.

The image quality is great, and JPEGs require little post-processing. There are enough pre-programmed ‘scene’ modes to enable it to be used like a compact point-and-shoot, only with far superior image quality. The menus are easy to navigate and the screen is clear. However some of the buttons do not fall as easily to hand as I would like – again this is down to the size of the body.

If you shoot in RAW you will come unstuck with some image-editing software not recognizing the ORF files, and the supplied Olympus Master has some severe limitations. The trial version of Olympus Studio highlights the deficiencies of the free Master program, and is indeed an excellent piece of software – if you can afford the near-𧴜 price tag. It does produce some fantastic results from RAW files, but is a bit rich for my pocket because I already had PaintshopPro. But if you’re starting from scratch and don’t have any other photo-editing software, then I would thoroughly recommend Olympus Studio.

If you can find a decent kit at a bargain price like I was able to, then the Olympus has much to recommend it – it suits everyone from beginner to enthusiast, and the kit lenses are some of the best available. However other lenses and accessories (like flashes) are not cheap, and there are not enough around yet for them to be available cheaply on eBay. I certainly wouldn’t swap my Olympus, but if long zooms are your thing then it might be wise to spend a few more £££ and get the image-stablised E510/520. I have a good all-round camera kit for very little money, and when I can afford it, I’ll certainly be getting a second Olympus body.

Stephen Harrison

July 2, 2009, 4:57 pm


I really enjoyed reading your reveue on the 410d Olympus. I purchased one 12 months ago now and I love it, it's my first digital slr and the kit that currys offered at the time looked to me to be the perfect start to digital slr photography. I like birdwatching and the 150mm zoom lens is very good for most things but I would like to buy a 400mm or 500mm lens to get in just that bit closer, but have been put of by the cost so far of a larger lens. I will keep looking.


Stephen Harrison



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