Canon 250D vs Olympus E-420
The Canon EOS 250D (called Canon SL3 in some regions) and the Olympus E-420 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2019 and March 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (250D) and a Four Thirds (E-420) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 10 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Canon 250D||Olympus E-420|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|4K/25p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)||ISO 100-1600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||2.7" LCD, 215k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||3.5 shutter flaps per second|
|1070 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|122 x 93 x 70 mm, 449 g||130 x 91 x 53 mm, 440 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 250D and the Olympus E-420? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 250D and the Olympus E-420. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The 250D can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the E-420 is only available in black.
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 somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Canon 250D. However, the E-420 is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the 250D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 250D 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 (250D) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-420).
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Canon 250D»||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599||Canon 250D|
|Olympus E-420«||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 850D« »||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749||Canon 850D|
|Canon 2000D« »||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon 2000D|
|Canon 4000D« »||129 mm||102 mm||77 mm||436 g||500||n||Feb 2018||399||Canon 4000D|
|Canon M50« »||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70« »||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D« »||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D« »||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649||Canon 760D|
|Fujifilm X-T100« »||121 mm||83 mm||47 mm||448 g||430||n||May 2018||599||Fujifilm X-T100|
|Olympus E-450« »||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520« »||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410« »||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400« »||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699||Olympus E-400|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The two cameras under review were launched at the same price and fall into the same market segment. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 250D features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-420 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-420 is 32 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 250D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-420 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 24MP, the 250D offers a higher resolution than the E-420 (10MP), but the 250D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.74μm for the E-420). However, the 250D is a much more recent model (by 11 years and 1 month) than the E-420, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 250D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 250D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-420 are 18.2 x 13.7 inch or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inch or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inch or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The 250D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS 250D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-420 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 250D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/25p||..||..||..||..||Canon 250D|
|Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 850D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon 850D|
|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 M50||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon 760D|
|Fujifilm X-T100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T100|
|Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-400|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 250D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-420 does not. The highest resolution format that the 250D can use is 4K/25p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 250D 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 250D has a higher magnification than the one of the E-420 (0.54x vs 0.46x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 250D and Olympus E-420 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 250D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 250D|
|Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 850D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.5||Y||n||Canon 850D|
|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 M50||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70||2360||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 760D|
|Fujifilm X-T100||2360||n||3.0||1040||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T100|
|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|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 250D has a touchscreen, while the E-420 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The 250D has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the E-420 does not have a selfie-screen.
The Canon 250D has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The 250D 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 250D only has one slot.
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 250D and Olympus E-420 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 250D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon 250D|
|Olympus E-420||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-420|
|Canon 850D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon 850D|
|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 M50||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M50|
|Canon SX70||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon SX70|
|Canon 77D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon 800D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 800D|
|Canon 760D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 760D|
|Fujifilm X-T100||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T100|
|Olympus E-450||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-520||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-520|
|Olympus E-410||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-400||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
It is notable that the 250D offers wifi support, while the E-420 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The 250D is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the E-420 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the E-420 from Olympus. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 250D better than the Olympus E-420 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 250D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 10MP) with a 58% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/25p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.46x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 215k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1070 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 11 years and 1 month of technical progress since the E-420 launch.
Advantages of the Olympus E-420:
- 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 relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 250D is the clear winner of the match-up (19 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 250D and the Olympus E-420 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 250D or the E-420 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1000D vs Canon 250D
- Canon 1D C vs Canon 250D
- Canon 250D vs Nikon D1X
- Canon 250D vs Sony NEX-5N
- Canon 400D vs Olympus E-420
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Olympus E-420
- Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Olympus E-420
- Nikon B700 vs Olympus E-420
- Nikon D610 vs Olympus E-420
- Olympus E-410 vs Olympus E-420
- Olympus E-420 vs Olympus E-P3
- Olympus E-420 vs Panasonic FZ1000 II
Specifications: Canon 250D vs Olympus E-420
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 250D||Olympus E-420|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2019||March 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 250D||Olympus E-420|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/25p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-51200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||TruePic III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||56|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||527|
|Screen Specs||Canon 250D||Olympus E-420|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.7 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 250D||Olympus E-420|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|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 250D||Olympus E-420|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon 250D||Olympus E-420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1070 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
122 x 93 x 70 mm
(4.8 x 3.7 x 2.8 in)
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||449 g (15.8 oz)||440 g (15.5 oz)|
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