Olympus updates its EVolt series of DSLRs, introducing the EVolt E-410 and EVolt E-510 digital SLRs that add a couple of enhanced capabilities. The megapixelidge is raised from the 8MP of the earlier E-400 and E-500 cameras to 10MP. Sensor technology has been beefed up, too, with Olympus claiming its TruePic III Turbo ASIC increases shadow detail on the fly, and also lets you push that ISO number higher with less noise.
Our favorite feature added to this next generation from Olympus is the mechanical image stabilization in the higher-end E-510, and then there's the live-view capability brought into both these cameras from the Olympus E-330, letting you see what you're getting in that 2.5-inch viewscreen while shooting. Plus, there's still that optical viewfinder to see through the lens. More about pricing and lenses, plus a huge gallery, after the jump.
Along for the ride are a couple of new kit lenses available, and both are pleasantly compact. There's a 14-42mm f/3.5 - 5.6 (that's a
12 28 - 84mm 35mm equivalent), and then there's a plenty long 40-150mm f/4.0 to 5.6 which is the equivalent of a 80 - 300mm in 35mm nomenclature. Now there's a lens that will benefit greatly from that image stabilization.
Here's a gallery from Olympus's PR materials of the two DSLRs:
We like the E-410's compact size, recalling an old favorite of ours, the Olympus OM series from the old film camera days that brought professional features in a compact form factor. The E-410 is a step up from E-400 which so far is only available in Europe, adding those two extra megapixels and that convenient live-view screen of its E-330 brandmate.
Too bad there's not a 3-inch viewscreen on both these new models to take advantage of their live view capability, rather than their comparatively measly 2.5-inch viewscreens. And, while we like the compact size of the E-410, we would rather sacrifice a bit of portability and cash to have that internal mechanical image stabilization of the bulkier and pricier E-510.
What we heartily applaud is the way live view is becoming more prevalent in DSLR cameras of all price ranges. Last week we heard that highest-end Canon EOS-1D Mark III camera has live view, and now here it shows up in another DSLR, albeit not in such a lofty perch or price as the $4000 Canon iteration.
Speaking of pricing, Olympus didn't mention that yet, but the E510's predecessor's street price is around $450 for the body only, and about $640 with a 40 - 150 mm lens, so expect similar prices to fall around that area once the dust settles. Expect the E-410 to hit the market in May, while you'll have to wait until June to get your hands on an E-510.