View Full Version : Olympus Evolt E-410

03-27-2008, 04:41 PM
I have been contemplating buying the Olympus E-410. I bought the Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS (http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=10691&pq-locale=en_US) last summer, when I realized I was interested in photography as a hobby. Will I notice much of an improvement with the E-410? I am mostly interested in taking photos of people (friends, family, etc) when they are not posing for the camera. Ergo, fast shutter speed and being able to take multiple pictures quickly in sequence are important to me.

Thank you in advance.

03-27-2008, 05:03 PM
I own the Olympus E-410, several lenses, and the Olympus FL-50 Flash, so I want to assure that I am making this post based on a lot of hands on experience. I was stupid to purchase this camera, the lenses, and the flash! It truly was a sizable expense!

The E-410 takes photos that are no better than my Sony H-3 camera that cost just $(US) 230.00, so as you might assume, I am really disappointed. My advice is to really re-think your camera desires. Getting a DSLR camera is certainly not an all in one answer to your photo IQ wishes. I had some real problems especially with getting the correct White Balance.

It is, of course, entirely your decision. I am just sharing with you my experience.

Sarah Joyce

03-27-2008, 11:48 PM
You'll see a huge improvement! The E-410 is a very nice camera, far superior to any point and shoot. I just posted a dozen images a few minutes ago that were far above anything my Canon A710 IS could have done, and that is a nice camera. It is *excellent* for taking pictures of people who are not posing, especially with the 40-150 mm lens, because they don't know you can zoom so far in with such a small lens. I posted two examples within the last half hour, automatic WB all the way. It does help to use manual controls, fortunately I am a fast learner. But it works ok in automatic too.

Photographic proof here:
First walk with E-410, critique me too (http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38175)

The camera is so much fun to use for the sound and feel of the mechanical shutter alone that you won't go back to the -beep- of a P&S. I almost don't even care if the pictures come out right as long as I get to have the shutter go off. Get the two kit lenses + body as a GREAT deal right now ($500 for mine) and a 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens.

Don't even kid about the H-3, it is not as good as even an A710IS.

03-28-2008, 07:40 PM
Thank you to you both.

I am a little confused, though. :confused:

raven15, I do not have the money right now to afford the E-410 with a 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens. Do you still think it is worth it?

03-28-2008, 08:49 PM
sounds like u understand that better pics r out there. first, buy a book for your camera (or camera u r seriously considering buying). magic lantern or whatever. i also bought a book called dslr photography for dummies. and i am a dummy. but it has explained alot of things in general that apply to all cameras. (dslr)
read all u can online, google search "olympus evolt 410 reviews" and read all u can find. check as many forums as u can and get the "pulse" of 410 owners.
also, amazon.com. most products there have have plenty of owner opinions.
i dont particularly pay any attention to a bad review, but what percentage of bad reviews a particular product has.
lastly, i bought a nikon d40x about a month ago. i was tired of the point and shoot i had taking overxposed flash photos, taking forever to focus and then expose and missing too many pics of grandchildren i dont get lot of time with.
i also wanted to shoot portraits the few times a year all my children and grandchildren get together. and of course trying to be artsy, contemplative, insightful and take pictures that convey a thought or circumstance is a lot fun too. as well as nature and sight seeing.
the biggest thing to learn about a dslr is understanding the f stops and shutter speed. when u learn the effect of those 2 items u can begin to spread your wings and fly.
dslrs really can "snap" pics a lot faster then p&s cams. u just have to read the manuals and set up certain features (like focus modes, focus area, and metering) so the camera will perform at optimum for what u r trying to achieve.
one more thought. actually 2 words. image stabilization. or optical stabilization. or a few other trade names by different mfgrs.
i think many of the old heads around here (said with respect) would tell u not to bother with it if u r using mostly short lenses. but from my experience and being the novice i am, u will reap faster satisfaction with your photos with the stabilization.
my camera uses lenses with stabilization in the lenses. some other mfgrs are leaning this way. a few mfgrs are putting the feature "in body" just use any lense that fits your camera. oly is going in body. the 410 does not have it.
but the 510 does. i really looked hard at the 510. there some great deals out there on the 510.
my advice would be a 510 w/1-2 kit lenses. start to learn your camera. figure out what it will and wont do to your satisfaction. find out why it has certain problems doing certain things. then if u narrow that down to a lense issue u can make an informed decision on what lense would accomplish your goal.
hope this has not been too confusing. good luck. if u do go dslr i am sure will entirely enjoy the journey.

Phill D
03-29-2008, 01:41 AM
Wow Sarah thats a pretty daming post for the E410 & Oly in general. As someone who was contemplating a move from a Panasonic FZ20 to an E510 would you care to give me some more insite into your experiences with the E410 & Oly in general. The last thing I want to do is "step up" to a dslr & regret it.

03-29-2008, 02:05 AM
The E-410 takes photos that are no better than my Sony H-3 camera that cost just $(US) 230.00, so as you might assume, I am really disappointed.

You should be the one taking the photos. Your camera should just be along for the ride.


03-29-2008, 08:52 AM
I have been a long time Olympus user and have generally liked Olympus a lot. However, this past summer, a friend of mind was having some problems with his E-410 and asked if I would take a look at it.

I was about to leave on a month long contract and took the E-410 with me along with the FL-50 flash, plus the 14-42mm and 40-150mm lenses. Perhaps it was that prticular copy but that E-410 has a devil of a time with both focus and white balance. Add those two complications, to the "workarounds" required to get both the E-410 and E-510 (please see www.dpreview.com's review of the E-510) and it became a frustrating camera.

I don't see many postings on the E-410 nor photo samples, in fact Raven's photos were among the few that I have seen. So, let me just say this: perhaps, and most likely, the problem was with the copy I was using, but I was not overly impressed by my experience.

No, I am not finding fault with Olympus as a company. The acquisition by Hoya has been tough on them. I hope that that struggle is not being reflected in their products. It probably is not, and I just had a bad sample to work with, that is all. I just feel as, CDI posted, that the camera should be an almost invisible interface between the photographer and the scene. Which mean that you shoud expect the camera to function well.

Sarah Joyce

03-29-2008, 11:58 AM
After seriously question myself about being "closed minded" and not giving the Olympus E-410 an even shake. I went down this morning to visit our local camera store who happens to be an authorized Olympus dealer.

I explained my qualms about the E-410 and asked if he was pleased with the IQ of the E-410 and E-510. His answer was, there had been no real IQ issues with either camera. Well, it was time for me to be open minded too.

So, I have an E-410 to use for 30 days and to determine if I will purchase the E-410 or the E-510. I have given him a lot of buiness and he has always been very co-operative.

So here is my first photo from the E-410. It is nothing fantastic, but it does clearly show that this E-410 does indeed work well. And it was time for me to let go of the impression I had about the E-410 from my experience last summer.

So a tip of the hat to Raven, for making his point. As I go on experimenting with the E-410, I will post more photos.

Sarah Joyce


03-29-2008, 12:08 PM
Maybe the first E-410 was going through a bitter divorce, and hated women as a result. ;)

03-29-2008, 04:14 PM

That's the answer, for sure.

Sarah Joyce

03-29-2008, 06:12 PM
I just improved upon the pictures I took, decided they actually weren't that good. Walking the same route again and reshot a few things, plus countless new ones. But I have been extraordinarily pleased with the camera. Not sure if it would be the same with any brand and model, but it is exactly what I was looking for, the pictures are stunning compared to the A710, which I pushed to the limits fairly often. I have taken 1500 shots with the E-410 in three weeks, compared to only 3000 with the A710 in 18 months, if that says anything about how happy I am. I did wish for IS a few times, though not at the cost of size.

Speaklightly: I do, of course, respect your opinions. You posted several times to help me when I was buying my first camera.

Yochanan: The 14-42mm isn't a bad lens, I just don't use it much. If you are like me, you will end up with more shots on the 40-150 anyhow. At least for now, I haven't been around any great landscapes or buildings recently. But the kit lenses are slightly limited in shooting versatility (macros, portraits, and indoors, that's saying a lot because I noticed and I almost never shoot those), you'll want the 14-54mm or something similar eventually.

03-29-2008, 07:42 PM

Are you going to post the new results? If so where might I find them?? Here are a couple of shots from today with the NEW E-410.

Sarah Joyce




03-29-2008, 09:25 PM
But the kit lenses are slightly limited in shooting versatility (macros, portraits, and indoors, that's saying a lot because I noticed and I almost never shoot those), you'll want the 14-54mm or something similar eventually.

Do you mean the standard lenses shoots macros, portraits and indoors well or that they do not shoot those well?

speaklightly, what lens did you use for your posted photos?

Phill D
03-30-2008, 12:22 AM
Sarah glad to see you gave the E410 a second try. The shots you posted look nice but they seem a bit washed out to me, especially the skys in the seascapes. Did you use the standard camera settings or were they modified? It could be my monitor that isn't calibrated I supose but I just wondered if that was an example of what dpreview was commenting on regarding lack of dynamic range & highlight clipping?

03-30-2008, 08:10 AM

After they came up posted, I felt that the looked a bit washed out as well. I will add more contrast and saturation to the next ones posted.


I was actually using the Zuiko 18-180mm lens. It does not have a true wide angle, like the 14-54mm but it does have a lot of reach. The Battery Point Lighthouse shot was at the 180mm mark on the lens, which as you know for an Oly is 360mm in 35mm terms.

Sarah Joyce

03-30-2008, 10:54 AM

I pulled out the FL-50 Flash and shot this bounce flash shot of Bradley. I also increased the saturation and contrast a bit to see if the posted image looks any better.

Sarah Joyce


03-30-2008, 12:05 PM
I guess the 40-150 is OK for macros. It has a narrower aperture, so not as good inside, or for isolating subjects (which doesn't bother me). In general, it is better outdoors.

PhillD: No, when E-410 highlights go they REALLY go. Speaklightly's are just in need of gamma correction, or something. You would not say that about blown highlights, because it is clear they will never be anything but white. You just have to be a little careful of what you are shooting, and keep in-camera contrast down.

Speaklightly: Most recent shots are posted in the same thread:

Blown Highlight Example:

03-30-2008, 12:17 PM

I am getting the impression that the E-410 need the EV at least EV -0.3 all the time. Perhaps EV -0.7 might be required. What do you think?

Sarah Joyce

03-30-2008, 03:00 PM
Still pondering the clipped highlights problem on the E-410, I decided to pull out the old but trusty Oly E-300 camera. I charged the battery, swapped lenses, taking the 18-180mm off the E-410 and putting it on the E-300. Then I swapped the same FL-50 Flash from the E-410 to the E-300.

Keep in mind that the E-300 uses an older and different CMOS imager. Outside without the FL-50 flash, the E-300 had no clipped or blown highlights.

Sarah Joyce




03-30-2008, 04:12 PM
It isn't a huge problem, just something to keep in mind in high contrast situations, light grays make an abrupt transition to whites. That shot was mostly my fault because I accidentally turned the contrast up +2, it is not typical. If you intend to post process, slight under exposure might be useful in some occasions. Most of my good swan shots that did not have blown highlights were seriously under exposed, then brought back via my computer. I don't know what things would have been like if I had the contrast at -2 like normal, probably much better.

03-30-2008, 04:41 PM

Of course this is just my personal opinion, or perhaps I am too old fashioned, I am, after all, 73 years old. But, I sincerly think that a camera right out of the box should perform correctly without employing a lot of so called "work arounds."

My old E-300 handles contrasty lighted items without clipped highlights, why shouldn't this new E-410 do the very same thing. If we put up with inferior cameras, then Olympus will keep shipping us inferior cameras that require a bunch of "work arounds."

"Work arounds" are really stupid in my opinion. It would appear that BOTH the E-410 and the E-510 cameras will require these "work arounds" to get them to operate a real cameras. That is just not logical at all. And I am not sure that I want to put up with that kind of sham. It would be a great deal more logical to purchase a Canon XTi body because it does not take these really dumb/stupid "work arounds."

Any camera worth its salt, should work well right out of the box. It is as simple as that!

Sarah Joyce

03-30-2008, 07:32 PM
In this case, using the camera at its default settings would have been ok, the problem was caused by me adding +2 contrast on top of that. I mostly posted that picture as an example of what blown highlights look like, not an example of a typical picture. I guess simply by talking about the problem I exaggerated it. Likewise, the under exposure I mentioned was caused by my own settings on the camera, that probably should have been changed to shoot swans. At that point, I really had no choice but to fix them later.

The E-410 pictures you posted looked fine to me, not a single white area in all of them. I don't actually think its a problem.

Now, I do agree that the Canon entry level DSLR bodies are the best of the five major makers in photo quality. But in my case, I prefer Olympus for the size, cost, and lenses.