Coming close on the heels of two DSLR announcements in the last six months, Olympus has opted to unveil yet another addition to its consumer series of interchangeable-lens cameras with the launch of the E-450.
The Olympus E-450 shares a lot of the same technology on board the E-420 including a 10.1 megapixel Live MOS sensor and a 2.7 inch LCD. Both cameras offer live view and conform to the standards of the four thirds lens mount system.
The E-450 offers full manual control; however, users stepping up for the first time from point-and-shoots can still opt for one of 18 scene-select modes. Physically, the E-450 is almost identical to the E-420. Both cameras weigh in around 13.6 ounces, featherweights in the SLR class, and share similar dimensions.
So what's new?
The E-450 will feature Olympus's creative art filters. They've been previously available only on the E-30 and E-620, so the E-450 will be the first entry-level SLR in Olympus's bullpen to sport them. Shooters looking to add that extra dimension to their photos can choose between pop art, pin hole, and soft focus filters, accessed as before via an "Art Filters" position on the mode dial.
Astute readers will note, however, that some of our favorites from the original list of art filters that graced the E-30 – most notably, the grainy film preset – have been excluded this time around.
What hasn't been left out, though, is advanced flash control: in addition to its built-in flash unit, the E-450 supports wireless flash control for up to three groups of compatible Olympus flashguns.
Other minor changes to the E-450 include a lightly updated TruePic III+ image processor and improved auto white balance performance with a new algorithm.
...the more things stay the same
Keeping in step with the E-420, the E-450 will sport continuous shooting at 3.5 fps, a Supersonic Wave Filter to keep dust off the sensor, and face detection technology capable of tracking up to eight faces at a time. It will also feature Olympus's Perfect Shot Preview function, allowing users to compare the effects of different settings before snapping a photo.
Like previous Olympus DSLRs, live view is a staple technoloy for the E-450. As before, Olympus's latest also provides contrast-detection auto focus, allowing the camera to focus when live view is enabled without disrupting the on-screen preview – helping those transitioning up from point-and-shoots feel right at home.
While Olympus certainly isn't breaking the mold with the E-450, it marks an effort to bring more features to their entry-level DSLRs. With full manual and RAW shooting options, it should offer a beginning photographer flexibility and room to grow.
Pricing and availability
The E-450 will debut first on QVC beginning May 9th. It will reach wider availability this July in a two-lens kit (featuring the 14-42mm and 40-150mm Zuiko lenses) starting at $699.99.
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