Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
The Canon EOS 1100D (called Canon T3 in some regions) and the Olympus E-420 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2011 and March 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (1100D) and a Four Thirds (E-420) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 1100D||Olympus E-420|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|720/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-6400||ISO 100-1600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.7" LCD, 230k dots||2.7" LCD, 215k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||3.5 shutter flaps per second|
|700 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g||130 x 91 x 53 mm, 440 g|
Body comparison: Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
The physical size and weight of the Canon 1100D and the Olympus E-420 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-420 is notably smaller (9 percent) than the Canon 1100D. Moreover, the E-420 is markedly lighter (11 percent) than the 1100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1100D nor the E-420 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1100D) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-420).
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon 1100D»||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||17.5 oz||700||n||Feb 2011||449||-||Canon 1100D|
|Olympus E-420«||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 2000D« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||16.8 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||5.1 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||15.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 1200D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 650D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.3 oz||440||n||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX50« »||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon 600D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.1 oz||440||n||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.7 oz||440||n||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon 450D|
|Canon 1000D« »||5.0 in||3.9 in||2.6 in||17.7 oz||500||n||Jun 2008||449||-||Canon 1000D|
|Olympus E-450« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1100D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the E-420, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1100D features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-420 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-420 is 30 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 2.0. The sensor in the 1100D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-420 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 12.2MP, the 1100D offers a higher resolution than the E-420 (10MP), but the 1100D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.15μm versus 4.74μm for the E-420) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 1100D is a somewhat more recent model (by 2 years and 11 months) than the E-420, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The Canon EOS 1100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-420 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 1100D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the E-420 (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.6 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 1100D»||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||720/30p||21.9||11.0||755||62||Canon 1100D|
|Olympus E-420«||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.4||527||56||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 2000D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||11.9||1009||71||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.4||695||63||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 1200D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 650D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||722||62||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX50« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47||Canon SX50|
|Canon 600D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||793||65||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.5||784||66||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61||Canon 450D|
|Canon 1000D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||-||-||-||-||Canon 1000D|
|Olympus E-450« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.1||10.0||494||51||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 1100D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-420 does not. The highest resolution format that the 1100D can use is 720/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1100D and the E-420 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 1100D has a higher magnification than the one of the E-420 (0.50x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 1100D and Olympus E-420 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 1100D»||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1100D|
|Olympus E-420«||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 2000D« »||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||optical||n||2.7||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 1200D« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 650D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||1/4000s||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX50« »||202||n||3.0||461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon SX50|
|Canon 600D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.7||Y||n||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Canon 450D|
|Canon 1000D« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 1000D|
|Olympus E-450« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||Y||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-400|
The 1100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-420 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-420 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 1100D only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 1100D and Olympus E-420 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 1100D»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1100D|
|Olympus E-420«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 2000D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 1200D« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 650D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX50« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon 600D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 450D|
|Canon 1000D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1000D|
|Olympus E-450« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
Both the 1100D and the E-420 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 1100D was replaced by the Canon 1200D, while the E-420 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.
Review summary: Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1100D or the Olympus E-420 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 1100D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.50x vs 0.46x).
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the E-420 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-420:
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 55g or 11 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2008).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 1100D is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
Do the specifications of the Canon 1100D and the Olympus E-420 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing.In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 1100D or the E-420. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
Expert reviews: Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Canon 1100D»||80/100||69/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||449||-||Canon 1100D|
|Olympus E-420«||85/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 2000D« »||o||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||o||-||3.5/5||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon 1200D« »||+||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon 1200D|
|Canon 650D« »||++||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849||-||Canon 650D|
|Canon G1 X« »||+||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon SX50« »||++||72/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon 600D« »||o||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2011||599||-||Canon 600D|
|Canon 550D« »||++||77/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2010||699||-||Canon 550D|
|Canon 450D« »||++||++||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-||Canon 450D|
|Canon 1000D« »||82/100||++||3.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2008||449||-||Canon 1000D|
|Olympus E-450« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||o||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520« »||87/100||++||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||86/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400« »||85/100||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
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Specifications: Canon 1100D vs Olympus E-420
|Camera Model||Canon 1100D||Olympus E-420|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2011||March 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 449||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 1100D||Olympus E-420|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.0 x 14.7 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||323.4 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.5 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12.2 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4272 x 2848 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.15 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.76 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||720/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 4||TruePic III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||62||56|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.9||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||755||527|
|Screen Specs||Canon 1100D||Olympus E-420|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.7 inch||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 1100D||Olympus E-420|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 1100D||Olympus E-420|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Canon 1100D||Olympus E-420|
|Battery Type||LP-E10 power pack||BLS-1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||700 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
130 x 100 x 78 mm
(5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||495 g (17.5 oz)||440 g (15.5 oz)|
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