Friday, October 16, 2009

Initial Impressions: Olympus E-410

Olympus E-410 Camera Body Front

Today I received a used Olympus E-410 body in the mail, and so I'm going to give my initial impressions of the body in today's entry. I'm not going to do a full review right now, since the Olympus 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens shipped separately, which means I cannot give any example shots or comment on auto focus and lens operation. First of all, I love the size and wight of the camera body, and the size and shape are very similar to our Nikon FE camera body, but it does have one advantage, it is lighter! It does have a small grip of sorts, and seems to be more than enough for a camera this size, although it is hard to say how it will feel once I have a lens mounted. The build quality is good for a low end camera body, and it feels solid, very similar to the quality of the Nikon D3000, and maybe a little better. The buttons are solid and don't move around like on some other lower end cameras. The command and mode dials are well placed on the body, although the mode dial does feel a little stiff. The CF/XD card slot door feels stiff and wont pop open on its own, which is a nice touch.

Olympus E-410 Camera Body Back

Although there is no top LCD panel, there is a wealth of shooting information on the rear 2.5" LCD panel. You can change settings very quickly via the rear LCD, and my first impression is that I wont miss the dedicated buttons of the mid-range Nikon cameras too much, considering the way I will be using the E-410. There are many reviews covering the menu system, so I wont dive into that, although it is nice to know that Olympus entry level cameras, unlike most other entry level DSLRs have mirror lockup, which Olympus calls "Anti-Shake", and you have the ability to set how long the mirror stays up before it takes the shot. The ability to set how long the mirror locks up seems like a nice feature, even the Nikon D300 does not have an option to do that.

So my initial impression is, very nice camera body, well made for an entry level camera, and it is feature rich. I love the small size and weight of this camera, holding it reminds me of a 1980's SLR camera, like our Nikon FE. I'll post my full review in a few weeks once I've had a chance to test the camera in different environments and play around with settings.