New Olympus E-450 previewed

Olympus' new E-450 is a refreshed E-420 featuring Creative Art Filters

  • Read the official Olympus E-450 press release
  • Ships in May
  • UK price: 450 with 14-42 kit lens.
  • US price: $699 with 14-42 and 40-150 twin lens kit (QVC exclusive until summer 2009).
  • Euro prices: EU 550 with the 14-42 kit lens and EU 650 for a 14-42 and 40-150 twin lens kit. Body only EU 450.

Olympus has given its E-420 entry-level E-System DSLR a minor refresh and the result is the new E-450, launched today. It's also the third new Olympus DSLR to be launched in less than six months.

The main new features of the E-450 include a sub-set of the creative Art Filters, which have proven surprisingly popular with the E-30 and E-620, implementation of the latest Olympus image processor; an upgrade from TruePic III to TruePic III+, and an increase in RAW buffer capacity from 6 frames to 8 frames. The Bulb mode long exposure shooting time limit has also been extended from 8 minutes to 30 minutes.Externally, there are no differences to the E-450 compared to the E-420, apart from the E-450 logo. The AF system remains largely as before, with only 3 AF points, though spote mode has been reclassified from 1% frame area coverage on the E-420 to 2% on the E-450.

The E-450, which is the fourth E-400-series model continuing Olympus' claim to offer one of the smallest and lightest DSLRs, slots in between the E-420, which remains on sale for now, and the E-520. The UK guide price for the E-450, with its Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, is - coincidentally - 450, and is expected to be available during May.

Art Filters

Buoyed by a positive response to creative Art Filters first introduced with the E-30, Olympus has included three of the six Art Filters found on the E-420 and the E-620; Pop Art, which produces a subtle psychedelic colour effect, Pin Hole, which softens the image and adds a vignette, and Soft Focus. The three filters not include are Pale and Light, Grainy Film, and Light Tone. Art filters are accessible from a revised mode selection knob on the top plate of the E-450. Olympus believes Art Filters are one of the latest pillars of the E-System, following on from Olympus innovations like Supersonic Wave sensor dust protection, and sensor-shift image stabilisation.

'Only' 10MP but the E-450 gets TruePic III+

There is no change to the pixel count compared to the E-420, remaining at ten megapixels. It will be interesting to see if the change from TruePic III to III+ image processor for the E-450 solves the E-420's high ISO banding problem.

One core feature that E-4xx fans will continue to miss is integrated image stabilisation. From a mechanical point of view, the E-450 appears to be identical to the E-420. If you want a small and light E-System model with IS, the new E-620 is aimed at you.

Below you can peruse some E-450 product images released by Olympus. Don't forget to let us know what you think of the new E-450!:







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