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Olympus E-450: Specification
- Resolution: 10Mp
- Sensor size: 4/3in
- Sensor type: LiveMOS
- Image size: 3648x2736
- Aspect ratio: 4:3
- Focus system: TTL phase difference detection system, contrast detection system
- Focus points: 3 point automatic and manual selection (11 point in contrast detection)
- Crop factor: 2x
- Lens mount: FourThirds
- File type: RAW, JPEG
- Sensitivity: ISO100-1600
- Storage: Compactflash, Microdrive, xD picture card
- Focus types: Single, continuous, manual
- Metering system: TTL open aperture, 49 zone
- Metering types: ESP, spot, centre-weighted
- Exposure compensation: +/- 5EV in 1/3 step increments
- Shutter speed: 60sec-1/4000sec, bulb (30min)
- Frames per second: 3.5fps
- Flash: Built-in (Guide 12), external hotshoe
- Flash metering: TTL auto
- Flash sync speed: 1/180sec, 1/4000sec (Super FP mode)
- Integrated cleaning: Supersonic Wave Filter
- Live view: Yes, 100% coverage, phase difference and contrast detection AF
- Viewfinder: Optical, 95% coverage, dof preview
- Monitor: Hypercrystal II LCD, 2.7in (230,000dot)
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Power: Li-Ion
- Size: 129.5x91x53mm
- Weight: 380g (body only)
Buttons are in a simple layout, ideal for the beginner.
It's busier on the other side where all the action takes place.
On top is a built-in flash and dedicated hotshoe compatible with the FL-50R or FL-36R.
Current Olympus users will have no problem getting to grips with this camera as the company have used the trialed and tested layout and GUI (Graphical User Interface). On top is a large command dial with the power switch sat underneath. Next to that is the thumb dial for changing the aperture or shutter speed while up at the front is the shutter release and exposure compensation button.
Because of the E-450's diminutive size, the layout looks a lot busier and this could be a problem for people who aren't current Olympus users. They'll see a camera with lots of buttons all over it and be put off. In a sharp comparison, the new Sony Alpha A230 has 13 buttons and dials to the Olympus 17. Not a massive difference but look at the pictures and the Olympus looks a lot more cluttered.
The menu system follows the olmypus ideaology of having everything infront of you. Again, it looks busy but works really well and doesn't take long to get used to. Simply pressing the ok button flags up the menu and the yellow box can be moved around using the pad on the back of the camera. The benefit is that when you're using the white balance, for example, the image will change colour in the background so you can see the effect.
Olympus E-450: Performance
A start up time of around 1.5sec means you're not waiting for very long before you can start shooting. A lot of this time is used shaking the sensor in the dust removal process. This si indicated by the SSWF light flickering for around half a second.
In the colour test chart image, primary blue is really saturated as are the warmer colours such as red, yellow and orange. Mono tones are balanced nicely and I like the richness of the colours overall. The skin tone tile looks a bit on the pink side but the expanded skin tone tiles towards the bottom of the board look good.
Taken in aperture-priority at f/2.
Taken in macro mode.
The colours are warmer in the aperture-priority mode and more background is in focus using macro mode. Macro mode has produced a sharper image though this could be down to f/2 being such a small focal plane that the plant moved out of range in the wind.
Despite only having three of the six available Art scenes, you can adjust the colour output on the camera using the quick menu on the screen. It's located in the top corner and there are five available to use.
In the portrait test, I had to shoot the picture without flash three times before it locked focus. I find it annoying that cameras will still take a shot regardless of whether it's in focus or not. Adding flash ensured a sharp image first time and even though it was set to full power, it's not overpowered the subject. Skin tones are level with nice catchlights and subtle fill of the shadow areas.
Taken without flash, the camera had trouble locking focus.
Using flash gives a nice even image with a hint of catchlight.
There are five focusing options on the Olympus E-450 DSLR camera. They are quickly located in the rear screen menu below the drive options. You can choose from single AF, continuous, manual and then two mixtures of the previous settings. These final two allow you to override the lens AF system without burning out the motor.
There's also face detection in live view and interestingly, when live view is switched on, continuous shooting is disabled.
You also have expanded metering options on the E-450. They include the usual options of centre-weighted, multi metering and spot. However, there's also the additional options of spot high and spot shadow. These two latter options are used when you're shooting a bright area and the highlights start to grey out. Using the spot high mode will over expose slightly to bring them white again. The same procedure works in reverse for spot shadow, underexposing for blacks to remain black.
Olympus E-450: Noise test
Olympus have made an amazing technological stride recently in terms of noise control. The noise on a 12Mp resolution E-30 is better than the 11Mp E-3 flagship.
It's handled beautifully on the E-450 too with pots of detail in the petals and a super smooth grey card area. Noise does gradually creep in even from a low setting such as ISO200 but only very mildly. In fact, if you didn't magnify to full size, you'd never see it.
Even at the maximum setting, ISO1600, noise is controlled very well and I'm surprised that olympus didn't expand it further. I think they could have got away with putting in two extra stops of sensitivity in and letting the camera go to ISO6400.
The ISO100 test.
The ISO200 test.
The ISO400 test.
The ISO800 test.
The ISO1600 test.
||DxOMark provides objective, independent, RAW-based image quality performance data for lenses and digital cameras to help you select the best equipment to meet your photographic needs.
Visit the DxOMark website for tests performed on the Olympus E-450.
Olympus keep releasing cameras that are competing really well with Canon and Nikon. The menus are easy to use and they sport features that comparable cameras from the other manufacturers don't have. In this case it's the Art Filters and exposure compensation giving that extra bit of freedom to expand your creativity.
I like some of the features that Olympus have put on the E-450 and I think it could do well as long as people start to understand that FourThirds isn't a bad system to buy into. It works easily enough I can just see a lot of newcomers to photography being turned off because of all the buttons on the body.
Image quality is great, though, as is noise control and colour rendition. If you can see past the complexity of the buttons then you will bag yourself a lovely little camera.
Olympus E-450: Plus points
Lots of features for the newcomer to try
Standard menu system for back-up camera
Good colour reproduction
Excellent noise control
No loss of screen when focusing in live view
Too many buttons
ISO levels too low
Only three Art modes
The Olympus E-450 costs around £398.99 and is available from Warehouse Express here: