As DSLRs become increasingly affordable perhaps the biggest barrier to their mainstream adoption is bulk. So, technology being technology, guess what just happened…
With the release of the E-400 Olympus has announced the smallest and lightest DSLR ever made. At just 130 x 91 x 53mm and a bulimic 380g it is around two thirds the width and half the weight of a regular DSLR and, while this may have the purists up in arms, I – as a fashion cam victim – think it’s absolutely marvellous.
Despite its runway skinniness the E-400 is no airhead either since it boasts a new CCD capable of 10 megapixels and sequential shooting at up to 3fps with a five image RAW buffer in burst mode. A 2.5in LCD is still fitted despite the compact design, the ISO can be set up to 1600 and both CompactFlash and xD flash memory is accepted. One minor flaw which jumps out at me from the spec is the surprising choice of USB1.1 connectivity, amazing really considering the 10MP sensor.
That said, there is little skimping elsewhere. Like every Olympus E-System camera, the E-400 is equipped with the company’s own ‘Supersonic Wave Filter’ to avoid dust contamination when lenses are changed and there are a massive 32 different shooting modes.
Two new E-System lenses will also be introduced to coincide with the E-400’s launch. The EZ-1442 ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 (right - equivalent to 28-84mm on a 35mm camera) is designed for standard applications while the EZ-4015-2 ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 (left - equivalent to 80-300mm on a 35mm camera) clearly targets shots where magnification is of greater importance. With the former measuring just 65.5 x 61mm and weighing only 190g and the latter little more at 65.5 x 72mm and 250g Olympus is certainly maintaining the compact theme.
At this stage we have no idea how much you’ll shell out for all this portability but we do know the E-400 will arrive in November. Of course Riyad already has his eye on one and if you keep up your best behaviour, do all your homework on time, brush your teeth morning and night and remember your pleases and thank yous there’s a chance a review may turn up before too long... ;)