Olympus E-410 Review

 
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Olympus EVOLT E-410 Operation

The E-410's user interface is similar to the previous E-series models, though with a slightly different control layout. One change on the E-410 versus the previous E-330 is the Control Panel, which is essentially a shortcut to many of the camera's LCD menu options. When the Control Panel is displayed, simply pressing the OK button lets you use the arrow keys as a cursor to select an item and then make changes. This is a great shortcut once you get used to it. Once you delve into the LCD menu, layouts are straightforward. A Mode dial on top of the camera changes capture modes quickly. In any of the manual exposure modes, aperture and/or shutter speed is adjusted externally, as is exposure compensation. The other tricky aspect is juggling between the camera's Live View mode, the Control Panel, and information display screens. A somewhat complex system between the Live View, Display, and Info buttons controls the LCD's display modes; but once you understand how each functions, operation is much faster. On the whole, the E-410 is a fairly intuitive camera, just plan to spend an hour or two getting to know it (and keep the manual close at hand!).

Viewfinder
The E-410 has an optical viewfinder, although it's a little cramped. Still, you get something better than Live View mode on the LCD: a true live view of what you're about to shoot, with no electronic delay. Three autofocus points are arrayed across the center of the screen. At the right of the screen, the E-410 keeps you posted about its settings and status, including Aperture, Shutter speed, Focus confirmation, Flash status, Exposure compensation, Metering mode, Battery status and Exposure mode. See the complete list below.

1
AF frame
7
AE Lock
2
Aperture value
8
Exposure compensation value
3
Shutter speed
9
Metering mode
4
AF confirmation mark
10
Battery status
5
Flash
11
Exposure mode
6
White balance

 

Record Mode LCD Display
In record mode, the LCD monitor displays a Control Panel that you can navigate around in and make changes to a handful of menu options (ISO, White Balance, etc.). If you're in optical viewfinder mode, pressing the Info button cycles through a basic and an enlarged Control panel display, then turns the LCD monitor off entirely.

Controlled by the Live View button, Live View mode shows you exactly what the sensor sees; however, to focus, you must press the AEL/AFL button on the back, or just press the shutter button and the camera will autofocus right before it takes the shot. While in Live View mode, pressing the Info button a few times brings up a small green box. You can use the arrows to move the box around the screen and press the OK button to enlarge the center of the frame 10x for more precise focusing (manual focus must be enabled in advance).The information display in Live View mode includes exposure mode, AF mode, Live View mode setting, resolution, memory card selection, number of available images, flash mode, any currently-selected exposure compensation setting, ISO setting, and any Picture Mode setting. You can also enable a live histogram. A half-press of the Shutter button displays the shutter speed and aperture settings. You can bring up a Status display by pressing the OK button and make settings changes there as well. Through the Record menu, you can also enable one of a range of grid settings, which display alignment outlines for a range of conditions. Operating the display modes is a bit of a trick, given the combination of buttons involved, but is much less daunting once you get the hang of things.

An interesting side-note is that in Live View mode, the LCD display switches to black and white in low light to avoid colored speckles as it gains up. The result is a slightly improved ability to see detail onscreen in low light. Images are captured in color.


Playback Mode LCD Display
In Playback mode, the default image display shows the most recently captured image, with a modest information overlay present. Pressing the Info button cycles through the main display (with no information), a basic information overlay, more detailed information overlay, a thumbnail display with main and RGB histograms, a main histogram overlay, a blinking highlight display, and a blinking shadow display. Pressing the Display button returns you to the status display or live view mode, depending on the last setting.

Turning the Control dial to the left cycles through a four, nine, 16, or 25-image index display, and finally a Calendar display. Turning the dial to the right enlarges the captured image as much as 14x. You use the four arrow keys to move around the zoomed image.

 

Olympus EVOLT E-410 Modes and Menus

 Manual Exposure Mode (M): Noted on the camera's Mode dial with an "M," Manual mode provides complete user control over the exposure, with an extended shutter speed range that includes a Bulb setting for variable length exposures up to eight minutes.

 Shutter Priority Mode (S): Indicated by an "S" on the Mode dial, this mode lets the user control the shutter speed from 1/4,000 to 60 seconds, while the camera selects the best aperture setting.

 Aperture Priority Mode (A): The user controls the lens aperture setting while the camera selects the best corresponding shutter speed. Aperture ranges will vary with the lens in use.

 Program Mode (P): In Program mode, the camera controls both aperture and shutter speed settings, while the user can adjust all other exposure variables. Turning the Control dial in this mode enables Program Shift, which offers a range of equivalent exposure settings (for example, if you want a wider aperture or faster shutter speed for a given shot, you can change it while keeping the exposure value the same).

 AUTO Mode: In Auto mode, the camera controls both aperture and shutter speed settings. In low light the built-in flash will pop up automatically.

 Portrait Mode: This mode optimizes the camera for capturing portraits. A larger aperture is used, so that the subject will appear sharply focused in front of a slightly soft background.

 Landscape Mode: This mode is for capturing wide views of scenery, with both the foreground and background in focus, and enhances any blue or green colors in the image, for more vibrant trees, water, and skies.

 Macro Mode: The traditional macro flower symbol marks this mode on the Mode dial, which is intended for shooting closeups of small subjects. Of course on an SLR, the closest shooting distance is determined by the abilities of the currently mounted lens. This mode also sets flash power for Macro distances.

 Sports Mode: This mode biases the camera's exposure system toward faster shutter speeds to freeze action and moving subjects.

 Night Scene Mode: This mode is best for capturing night portraits or night scenery, such as cityscapes. A slower shutter speed lets you shoot under darker conditions.

 Scene Mode: Scene Mode accesses all 20 of the preset Scene modes. The following Scene menu automatically displays when the mode is accessed.

  • Portrait: This mode optimizes the camera for capturing portraits. A larger aperture is used, so that the subject will appear sharply focused in front of a slightly soft background.
  • Landscape: This mode is for capturing wide views of scenery, with mostly the background in focus, and enhances any blue or green colors in the image, for more vibrant trees, water, and skies.
  • Landscape + Portrait: Similar to the above mode, this mode is for capturing portraits in front of scenery. Both the foreground and background are in sharp focus, and the camera also emphasizes blues and greens in this mode.
  • Night Scene: This mode is best for capturing night scenery, such as cityscapes. A slower shutter speed lets you shoot under darker conditions.
  • Night + Portrait: As with Night Scene mode, this mode uses a slower shutter speed to allow more ambient light into the image. However, the flash now fires in Slow-Sync mode with Red-Eye Reduction so that the subject is accurately exposed.
  • Children: This mode is best for wiggly children, and uses a faster shutter speed to catch those fleeting expressions.
  • Sport: This mode biases the camera's exposure system toward faster shutter speeds to freeze action and moving subjects.
  • High Key: This mode is best for capturing bright subjects. An image is essentially allowed to be bright, rather than forced to fit into a standard histogram. Use this mode to maintain better highlight detail.
  • Low Key: Opposite of High Key mode, this mode allows a scene to be dark, without working to balance lights and darks with the meter. Use this mode to maintain better shadow detail.
  • Digital Image Stabilization: This mode raises ISO automatically in low light situations to enable faster shutter speeds, thus reducing blur caused by subject and photographer movement.
  • Macro: This mode is intended for shooting closeups, the minimum shooting distance determined by the lens in use.
  • Nature Macro: In addition to optimizing the camera for smaller subjects, this mode boosts color for brighter flora and fauna close-up.
  • Candle: This mode uses a slow shutter speed and emphasizes a warm color balance for bright images in candlelight.
  • Sunset: This mode also uses a slow shutter speed for capturing vivid sunsets and sun rises. Reds and yellows are emphasized in the final image.
  • Fireworks: This mode uses a slow shutter speed to accurately capture the color and full pattern of firework displays.
  • Documents: Best for shooting black and white documents, this mode increases contrast for better viewing.
  • Panorama: Here, the camera lets you capture a series of images to be stitched together into one panoramic image. As with many Olympus cameras, this function is only available with an Olympus brand xD-Picture Card in use.
  • Beach and Snow: This mode is best for bright subjects such as beach and snow scenes. The camera attempts to preserve detail in the bright highlights.
  • Underwater Wide: For use with the E-410's underwater housing accessory, this mode captures bright underwater images at normal wide angle. The camera boosts reds to simulate the addition of a red filter, for better looking color underwater.
  • Underwater Macro: This mode also boosts color underwater, but is for macro shooting of smaller objects.

Playback Mode: Accessed by pressing the Playback button on the rear panel, this mode lets you view previously captured images using the Arrow Pad to scroll through frames stored in memory. The Command dial switches the image display to Index mode when moved in the wide angle direction, and when moved in the telephoto direction, enlarges a single image as much as 14x. While zoomed in on an image, the Arrow buttons move the enlarged view around the full image area, allowing you to inspect all parts of it.

Still Picture Shooting Menu: In any camera mode, pressing the Menu button brings up following five-tab menu screen. Note that not all Camera menu options will be available in all modes.

 

Camera 1 Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Card Setup

- All Erase
- Format
  

- Confirm

All Erase erases images without write protection.

Format erases all images, even protected ones.

 

Custom Reset Setting

- Reset
- Reset1
- Reset2
 

- Set/Reset

"Set" saves custom user reset options to be recalled after powering off the camera, while "Reset" restores settings to the factory defaults.
Picture Mode
- Vivid
- Natural
- Muted
- Monotone
(For all options)
- Contrast
- Sharpness
- Saturation(except in Monotone)

(For Monotone only)
-B&W Filter (Neutral, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green)
- Picture Tone (Neutral, Sepia, Blue, Purple, Green)
Gradation
- High Key
- Normal
- Low Key
- High Key option extends bright gradations
-Low Key option extends dark gradations

(Contrast adjustment is disabled with High and Low Key settings.)
Resolution
- RAW
- RAW + SQ
- RAW + HQ
- RAW +SHQ
- SHQ
- HQ
- SQ
White Balance
- Auto
- Daylight (5,300K)
- Shade (7,500K)
- Cloudy (6,000K)
- Incandescent (3,000K)
- Fluorescent1 (4,000K)
- Fluorescent2 (4,500K)
- Fluorescent3 (6,600K)
- One-Touch
- Custom
- All settings except Custom can adjust red and green values from -7 to +7 in arbitrary units
- Custom setting adjustable from 2,000K to 14,000K
ISO
- Auto
- 100 to 1600
Noise Filter
- Off
- Low
- Standard
- High
Noise Reduction
- Off
- On

 

Camera 2 Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Metering
- Digital ESP
- Center-Weighted
- Spot
- Spot Highlight Control
- Spot Shadow Control
-Digital ESP can be linked to selected AF point.
Flash Intensity
- -2 to +2
Adjusts the flash output
AF Mode
- S-AF
- C-AF
- MF
- S-AF +MF
- C-AF +MF
Spot AF Point
- Auto
- Left
- Center
- Right
Moves the position of the main AF point
AE Bracket
- Off
- 3F 0.3EV
- 3F 0.7EV
- 3F 1.0EV
Captures three frames, at either 0.3, 0.7, or 1.0 EV variables
Anti-Shock
- Off
- 1-30 Second
Delay between pressing the Shutter button and raising the mirror.

 

Playback Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Slide Show
- 1 image
- 4 index
- 9 index
- 16 index
- 25 index
 
Automatically plays back single frames, or index displays of the images on the memory card
Auto Rotate

- On
- Off
 


Automatically rotates vertical images in the playback display
Edit
- Select frame
 
- Black & White
- Sepia
- Redeye Fix
- Saturation
- Resize
You can select an image to apply special effects to, or to adjust the resolution or the saturation
Print Order

- Print Single
- Print All
 

- Select frame
- Marks images for printing
Copy All

- Yes
- No

 
Copies images between xD Picture Cards and CompactFlash or Microdrive memory cards
Reset Protect
- Yes
- No

 

Setup 1 Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
All WB +/-
- All Set
- All Reset
(All Set)
- Red and Green levels from -7 to +7

(All Reset)
- Yes
- No
- All Set applies the same compensation values to all White Balance settings.
- All Reset restores each setting to its default.
SQ Size and Compression
- Pixel Count
- Compression
Auto Pop up
- Off
- On
Allows flash to pop up automatically in some modes
AEL/AFL
- S-AF
- C-AF
- MF
(S-AF & MF & CF)
- Mode1
- Mode2
Each mode setting controls how the AF mechanism responds to a half-press or full press of the Shutter button, as well as a press of the AE Lock button. (See chart in manual for full description)
AEL/AFL Memo
- Off
- On
On setting locks the AE/AF reading until the AE Lock button is pressed a second time
AEL Metering
- Auto
- Center
- Spot
- Spot Highlight Control
- Spot Shadow Control
Sets the metering mode used by the AE Lock function
Drive Function
- One Touch WB
- Test Picture
- Preview
- Live Preview
- Off
Replaces the function assigned to the Drive button
AF Illuminator
- Off
- On
Activates the AF illuminator, which uses the flash
Live View Boost
- Off
- On
Boosts the brightness of the Live View display in dark shooting conditions
Beep Sound
- Off
- On
Mutes beep sounds
Frame Assist

- Off
- Golden Section
- Grid
- Scale

Dial
- Sport/night or Underwater Macro/Wide
Allows you to switch Sport and Night Portrait modes to Underwater Macro and Underwater Wide

 

Setup 2 Menu Options
Top-Level
Selection
Second-Level
Third-Level
Notes
Date and Time
- Set Date
- Set Time
 
CF/xD

- CF
- xD 

Sets the type of memory card in use
Filename
- Auto
- Reset
 
 
Auto setting retains numbering from memory card to memory card

Reset initiates a new naming sequence with each new card
LCD brightness
Lo to Hi in arbitrary units
Controls the overall brightness of the LCD monitor
Language
- English
- French
- Spanish
- Portuguese
Changes the menu language
Video Out
- NTSC
- PAL
Record View
- Off
- 1-20 Seconds
Controls the amount of time the previously recorded image appears on the LCD monitor
Sleep
- Off
- 1 minute
- 3 minutes
- 5 minutes
- 10 minutes
Sets the time of inactivity before the camera puts itself to sleep
Backlit LCD
- 8 seconds
- 30 seconds
- 1 minute
- hold
USB Mode
- Auto
- Storage
- MTP
- Control
- Print Easy
- Print Custom
- Control option lets you control a PC from the camera
- Print Easy allows direct printing to PictBridge devices
- Print Custom lets you control the number of prints, paper, and other settings when printing to PictBridge devices
Color Space
- sRGB
- Adobe RGB
Pixel Mapping
- Yes
- No
If enabled, instructs the camera to check the image sensor for defects
Cleaning Mode
- Start
Though not recommended by Olympus, this allows you to clean the imaging element.
Firmware
- Body
- Lens
Shows the current firmware versions for the body and lens

 

Olympus E-410

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