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Olympus E420

Camera contraction continues as Olympus announces its latest baby DSLR, the E420 and a compact lens to combine with it. The E420 is a 10 megapixel digital camera featuring the now-widespread Live View feature that Olympus pioneered. Alongside the diminutive DLSR is the equally bijou 25mm f2.8 pancake lens, creating a near pocket-sized combo. Updated: now with 25mm lens specifications. OLYMPUS E-420: World’s smallest and lightest consumer digital SLR delivers enhanced autofocus Live View.

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Compact Size Makes It the Ultimate DSLR to Take Anywhere, Next-Generation Live View Ensures It Performs Better When You Get There.

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 5, 2008 – Olympus today announces the extremely portable E-420 – perfect for everyone who wants to step up to the power and performance of a digital SLR (single lens reflex) yet enjoy the ease of use and ability to compose images on the LCD common to point-and-shoot cameras. Weighing a mere 380 grams (13.4 ounces), the E-420 is 20 to 40 percent lighter than competing DSLRs. Good things come in this small package, including Live View, which enables users to hold the camera away from their faces and interact with their subjects – ideal when capturing photos of children, for example.

This lightweight 10-megapixel DSLR offers heavyweight technologies, including a bigger, more viewable 2.7-inch LCD and consumer-friendly fast On-Screen Autofocus, Face Detection, Shadow Adjustment Technology and Perfect Shot Preview to get the most out of the Live View experience. Additionally, when it comes to Live View, not all LCDs are created equal. At 2.7-inches, the portable E-420 LCD is large enough for users to compose and review images without squinting. The small camera’s LCD is not just larger, it is part of a camera with technologies intelligent enough to take advantage of the Live View photography experience. These innovative technologies include:

• On-Screen Autofocus works as seamlessly as a point-and-shoot to display subjects in focus on the LCD the instant the shutter is pressed half way;

• Face Detection Technology targets and locks on up to eight faces to ensure they are in focus and crystal clear for amazing portraits;

• New and Improved HyperCrystal II™ Technology delivers twice the contrast and better viewing in extreme lighting conditions, a broader range of color detail, and a wider angle of view on the LCD so you and your friends can see it up to 176 degrees off-center;

• Shadow Adjustment Technology captures detail in the bright areas of a frame and opens up detail in the shadows that other cameras would render too dark or underexposed; and

• Perfect Shot Preview enables you to view and select your favorite effect right on the LCD, and see how the image will look before you even capture it, so you know that what you see is what you get.

“The Olympus E-420 delivers the professional-grade image quality of a digital SLR with the simple operation of a point-and-shoot camera,” said John Knaur, senior marketing manager – DSLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “Thanks to the camera’s small size and lightweight body, users can take the E-420 everywhere, and they will never miss another shot because the of the camera’s straightforward controls. Additionally, our innovative technologies help consumers get more from Live View.”

World’s Smallest Digital SLR
A camera designed to be held away from the face lets you take great photographs without weighing you down. The E-420 is small enough to fit into a purse or a jacket pocket and light enough to shoot with comfortably all day. Measuring 5.1 inches by 3.6 inches by 2.1 inches (excluding protrusions), it is the world’s smallest digital SLR. And at a featherweight 13.4 ounces, only its predecessor (E-410) weighs less. The E-420’s new ergonomic grip on the front of the body allows for easier one-handed operation and ensures a secure hold in the most challenging shooting conditions.

One of the World’s Thinnest Lenses Meets the World’s Most Compact DSLR
The world’s smallest DSLR deserves a similarly compact lens, and Olympus has it: the ultra compact Zuiko 25mm f2.8 digital specific lens. This 0.9 inch-thick lens offers a fixed 50mm equivalent angle of view. Together with the E-420, the Zuiko 25mm f2.8 lens will offer the ultimate combination of ease of use and portability.

Photographers can also purchase the E-420 in a kit with a compact, Zuiko Digital 28-84mm equivalent (ED 14-42mm Four Thirds) f3.5-f5.6 lens that perfectly matches the imager so light strikes the sensor directly to ensure rich, accurate colors and edge-to-edge sharpness. Both lenses (Zuiko 25mm f2.8 and 28-84mm f3.5-f5.6) are part Olympus’ expanding line of 100 percent digital lenses – designed specifically for digital photography. Unlike other camera companies, Olympus does not rely on old film lenses, which often result in images with soft edges or other imperfections.

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The Live View Experience
Olympus was the first to bring Live View to a consumer DSLR (the E-330 in 2006), and Live View has revolutionized DSLR photography. Anyone who has photographed young children knows that you get the best reactions when you hold the camera away from your face and maintain eye contact and an engaging smile. If you have tried to take photos high above the heads in a crowd or low near the ground, you will appreciate that it is easier to use a swivel LCD screen than to climb a ladder or lie on your stomach.

The E-420 solves these problems with its Live View LCD, which enables photographers to hold the camera away from their faces and at angles they just cannot reach by using the optical viewfinder alone. The E-420’s new Live View autofocus functionality now simplifies the process by working just like a point and shoot. By simply pressing the shutter button halfway, your subjects come into focus on the LCD, so when the perfect moment occurs it is easy to capture sharp images.

A viewable LCD is where a great Live View experience begins. Few things are more annoying for a photographer than squinting to see an image on an LCD screen in bright sunlight or a dimly lit room. The E-420 solves this problem with its large, bright 2.7-inch LCD display that incorporates new HyperCrystal II technology. This display offers twice the contrast for better viewing in extreme light conditions (i.e. when the sun is at your back), a broader color gamut that displays a greater range of color detail, and a 176-degree viewing angle.

Always Find a Face in the Crowd
A camera this consumer-friendly is perfect for taking portraits of friends and family while out and about. The E-420’s Face Detection feature distinguishes between people’s faces and the background. It tracks up to eight faces within the image area and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures. Even if your subjects are moving, the camera continuously tracks their faces.

Bright Day or Deep Shadow, Never Miss a Detail
Shooting scenes with shadows can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark and bright areas. The E-420 addresses this challenge with Shadow Adjustment Technology that compensates for extreme contrast when shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. Now users can preview and capture images with the same fine contrast they see with their own eyes.

Preview All the Possibilities
With 18 pre-set scene-select modes for every imaginable shooting scenario and full manual controls, the E-420 offers a world of possibilities to photographers. Additionally, Perfect Shot Preview enables users to preview and select various photographic effects on a live, multi-window screen on the LCD before snapping the shot. This feature shows photographers what their images will look like beforehand under various settings, ensuring that they capture exactly what they want. It is an ideal way for novice users to learn about the effects of different photography techniques, such as exposure compensation, white balance and metering.

Enlarge Your Photos
Capturing, enlarging and displaying amazing images on your wall is a snap thanks to the E-420’s 10 million pixels for high-resolution photos. The 10-megapixel sensor gives users the flexibility to enlarge prints to the sizes supported by many of today’s printers, or crop the image to print only a part of the image that is important to them. The high-performance Live MOS image sensor in the E-420 delivers excellent dynamic range for accurate color fidelity and a new state-of-the-art amplifier circuit dramatically reduces noise and captures fine image details in the highlight and shadow areas.

Improved Auto White Balance
Many digital SLR users want to focus their attention on things other than white balance while they are on the move. As a result, the E-420 features an improved automatic white balance performance with a new algorithm for more accurate color.

TruePic III for Image Clarity & Speed
Olympus’ TruePic III Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible for every photo with accurate color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal representation in between. TruePic III also lowers image noise by one step to reduce graininess in images shot at higher ISO settings, enabling great results in low-light situations.

Worried about missing the winning goal at the soccer game? The image processor on the E-420 enables it to shoot up to 3.5 frames per second in sequenced shooting mode, which means that photographers will be able to capture fast-paced action as it happens.

Dust Reduction System for Spot-Free Images
Life moves too fast to spend time worrying about dust ruining your images. Olympus’ proven Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter™. The patented ultrasonic technology vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor and captures it on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on. These spot-free photos liberate users from hours spent retouching photographs at the computer or sending their cameras back to the manufacturer to remove dust trapped inside.

Media Versatility
Accepting both CompactFlash Type I & II, Microdrives, and xD-Picture Cards, the E-420 provides a choice of data storage options for enhanced flexibility, and it is possible to transfer image files from one card to the other right inside the camera.

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Wireless Flash Capability
If you decide to venture into the arena of advanced lighting, the E-420 is ready to meet the challenge. The E-420 is compatible with the Olympus FL-50R and FL-36R wireless electronic flashes that are designed exclusively for digital photography. When these flashes are used in combination with the E-420, wireless multi-flash photography is possible. The E-420 can control up to three wireless flash groups independently, with several flash units per group.

The Olympus E-420 Digital SLR will be available in May 2008. It includes: E-420 Body, USB Cable, Video Cable, Li-Ion Battery Pack (BLS-1), Li-Ion Battery Charger (BCS-1), Shoulder Strap, OLYMPUS Master Software CD-ROM, Manuals and Warranty Card.

Olympus E420 specifications

Kit price

$499.99 – Body Only
$599.99 – with ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom lens
$699.99 – with ED 25mm f/2.8 Zuiko Digital lens

Body color



• Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
• 10 million effective pixels
• 11.8 million total pixels
• RGB Color Filter Array

Anti-dust measures

• Supersonic Wave Filter

Image sizes

• 3648 x 2736
• 3200 x 2400
• 2560 x 1920
• 1600 x 1200
• 1280 x 960
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480

Image quality

• ORF (12-bit compressed RAW)
• JPEG Superfine (1:2.7)
• JPEG fine (1:4)
• JPEG normal (1:8)
• JPEG basic (1:12)

Color space

• sRGB
• AdobeRGB

Lens mount

Four Thirds mount


• TTL Phase detection
• Contrast detection system (with 25mm f2.8, 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, 40-150mm f4-5.6)

Lens servo

• Single AF (S-AF)
• Continuous AF (C-AF)
• Manual focus (MF)

AF Area mode

• Auto
• Option selectable

Focus area

• 3-point multiple AF with phase detection
• 11-point multiple AF with contrast detection

Focus lock

Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AEL button (customizable)

Focus tracking

Interlocked with Continuous-AF

AF Assist


Exposure mode

• Programmed auto (P) with flexible program
• Shutter-priority auto (S)
• Aperture priority auto (A)
• Manual (M)
• Scene program AE
– Portrait
– Landscape
– Macro
– Sport
– Night + portrait
• Scene select AE
– Portrait
– Landscape
– Landscape + portrait
– Night Scene
– Night + portrait
– Children
– Sport
– High-key
– Low-key
– Digital image stabilization
– Macro
– Nature Macro
– Candle
– Sunset
– Fireworks
– Documents
– Beach/snow
– Panorama (when using Olympus xD-Picture Card)


TTL open-aperture exposure metering system
• Digital ESP metering
• 49-point multi pattern metering
• Center-weighted average
• Spot: Meters approx 2% for viewfinder screen
• Spot with Highlight control
• Spot with Shadow control

Metering range

• EV 1 – 20 (at normal temperature, 50mm f2, ISO 100)

Exposure compen.

• +/- 5.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps

AE Lock

Exposure can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway or by pressing AEL button (customizable)

AE Bracketing

3 frames in 0.3, 0.7 or 1 EV steps


• Auto
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600


• Computerized focal-plane shutter
• Auto mode: 2 – 1/4000 sec
• P,S,A, M modes: 60 – 1/4000 sec
• Bulb: up to 30 min

White balance

• Auto (TTL white-balance with Live MOS sensor)
• Eight manual modes with fine-tuning
o Lamp (3000K)
o Fluorescent 1 (4000K)
o Fluorescent 2 (4500K)
o Fluorescent 3 (6600K)
o Daylight (5300K)
o Flash (5500K)
o Cloudy (6000K)
o Shade (7500K)
• Preset white balance (can register 2000K – 140000K)

WB fine tuning

+/- 7 steps in Amber-Blue or Green-Magenter axis

Image parameters

• Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone
• Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness adjustable in 5 steps (no Saturation in Mono)
• Four levels of gradation available
• Picture tones and filter effects availabl in Monotone mode


• Optical fixed eye-level
• Penta-mirror type
• Built-in diopter adjustment (-3.0 to +1.0 m-1)
• Frame coverage 95% (approx.)
• Viewfinder magnification approx. 0.92x with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1
• Focusing screen: Neo Lumi-Micro Mat screen

Viewfinder information

• Aperture value
• Shutter speed
• Record mode
• AF confirmation mark
• Flash
• White Balance
• AE lock
• Number of storable still image remaining
• Exposure compensation value
• Metering mode
• Battery warning
• Exposure mode
• AF frame (super impose)

Live view

• 100% field of view
• Exposure adjustment preview
• White Balance adjustment preview
• Gradation setting preview

LCD monitor

• HyperCrystal II LCD (semi-transmissive TFT color LCD)
• 2.7″
• 230,000 dots

Playback field of view


Built-in flash

Guide number 12 at ISO 100 (m)

Sync speed

1/180 sec or less. Super FP up to 1/4000

Flash control

• TTL-Auto (with pre-flash)
• Auto
• Manual

Flash mode

• Auto
• Red-eye reduction
• Red-eye reduction slow sync
• Slow sync at first curtain
• Slow sync at second curtain
• Fill-in

Flash compensation

• -2 to +2 EV
• 1/3 steps

Wireless flash

• Compatible with FL-50R or FL-36R
• 4 channels
• 3 groups

Shooting modes

• Single-frame shooting (3.5 fps)
• Sequential shooting
• Self-timer
• Remote control

Continuous buffer

• Unlimited Large, Normal compression JPEG, 8 RAW frames


12 or 2 sec

Remote control

RM-UC1 cable release or RM-1 optical remote control

Playback functions

• Single frame
• Index (4/9/16/25/49/100 frames)
• Calendar
• Zoom (2-14x)


• Compact Flash Type I and II
• xD Picture Card

Video output

NTSC or PAL selectable


• High speed USB
• Dedicated AV multi-connector


English, French, Spanish, Portuguese (US Spec)


• BLS-1 Li-ion battery

Working environment

• 0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F)
• 30-90% humidity


129.5 x 91 x 53 mm (5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)

Weight (no batt)

380 g (13.4 oz)

Supplied accessories

E-420 body, Li-ion battery BLS-1, Li-ion battery charger BCS-1, USB cable, Video cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Master CD-ROM, Instruction manual, Registration card, Eye piece cap EP-4

Other images

Lens specifications

Lens name Zuiko Digital 25 mm 1:2.8 Pancake Focal length

25 mm

Focal length (Equiv. 35mm)

50 mm

Maximum aperture


Minimum aperture


Lens construction

5 lenses, 4 groups

Closest focus distance


Maximum reproduction ratio


Aperture blades


Filter attachment size

43 mm


floating focus mechanism


23.5 mm× 64 mm




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