Olympus' E-450 lacks the quality comforts that you'd expect from other DSLRs

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Olympus' E-450 lacks the quality comforts that you'd expect from other DSLRs

We've been fans of the E-450's body since we first saw it a little over a year ago, in the identical-looking E-420. Since then, it's had a minor makeover, and now has an improved image processor among other things.

It's a tempting-looking camera, not least because the 14-42mm Zuiko lens seems perfect for those who want to take ultra wide-angle shots. Unfortunately, the numbers are too good to be true.

The E-450 has Olympus's Thirds standard sensor format and lens-mount, and hence has a crop factor of 2x. So in terms of 35mm film, the widest at which the E-450's lens can shoot is 28mm; roughly the same as every other camera on test.

This isn't the biggest disappointment, though. Since Olympus has had to crowd 12.3 million pixels on to a sensor with around 60% of the surface area of standard DSLRs, there's more potential for image noise.

Despite this, our image tests turned out surprisingly well. Viewed up close, shots lost a little more detail in our ISO 1600 tests compared to test shots from the Canon 500D and Nikon D5000, but unless you crop heavily into your images and print them at large sizes, you're unlikely to spot the difference.

Our lower ISO tests also closely matched the output from other cameras. And the Olympus is fast: in continuous mode it shot nine frames in 2.3 seconds, at nearly 4fps.

Our complaints about the E-450 stem from its design. The grip around which your right hand curls is shallow, and we found it difficult to hold securely. The viewfinder feels cramped compared to other cameras, making it hard to use manual focus, although by way of compensation the 2.7in screen has a Live View mode.

Unusually, the E-450 has dual memory card slots and caters for both CompactFlash and xD-Picture cards - useful for those bridging the gap between an Olympus compact and a DSLR.

The E-450 takes good, clean images, but its design hasn't aged well. Although other cameras have only a slight edge on it in terms of noise performance, it's an edge nonetheless.

And finally, the lack of image stabilisation, either in the lens or body, consigns the E-450 to the position of also-ran this month.

Olympus E-450
4 6
Verdict
An interesting body design, but it isn’t comfortable, and doesn’t compare well with the Sony A330
Performance
Features & Design
Value for money
Overall
Specs
$800
• Price: 800 • Camera type: DSLR • Megapixels: 10 • Sensor size: 17.3 x 13mm • Max resolution: 3648 x 2736 • ISO range: 100 - 1600 • Dimensions (WDH mm): 130 x 53 x 91mm • Weight: 610g • Manufacturer: Olympus
This review appeared in the January, 2010 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing
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