Canon RP vs Olympus E-420
The Canon EOS RP and the Olympus E-420 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2019 and March 2008. The RP is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the E-420 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (RP) and a Four Thirds (E-420) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 26 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS RP 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 physical size and weight of the Canon RP 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 successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Canon RP. However, the E-420 is markedly lighter (9 percent) than the RP. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the RP 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the RP gets 250 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the E-420 can take 500 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 power pack. The power pack in the RP can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon RP||133 mm||85 mm||70 mm||485 g||250||n||Feb 2019||1,299|
|2.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|3.||Canon 850D||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon 250D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon 2000D||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon R||139 mm||98 mm||84 mm||660 g||370||Y||Sep 2018||2,299|
|7.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|8.||Canon 200D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|9.||Canon M5||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|10.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|11.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|12.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|13.||Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|14.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699|
|15.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|16.||Olympus E-400||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 E-420 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the RP, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon RP features a full frame sensor and the Olympus E-420 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-420 is 74 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 2.0. The sensor in the RP has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-420 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 26MP, the RP offers a higher resolution than the E-420 (10MP), but the RP nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.76μm versus 4.74μm for the E-420) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the RP is a much more recent model (by 10 years and 11 months) than the E-420, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The resolution advantage of the Canon RP implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the RP for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 31.2 x 20.8 inches or 79.2 x 52.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25 x 16.6 inches or 63.4 x 42.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20.8 x 13.9 inches or 52.8 x 35.2 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-420 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The RP has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Canon EOS RP has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 40000, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-420 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 RP provides substantially higher image quality than the E-420, with an overall score that is 29 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.8 bits higher color depth, 1.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|1.||Canon RP||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||4K/30p||24.3||11.9||2977||85|
|2.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|6.||Canon R||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.5||13.5||2742||89|
|12.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|13.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|14.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|15.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|16.||Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.0||10.6||127||53|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The RP indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-420 does not. The highest resolution format that the RP can use is 4K/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RP has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the E-420 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the RP offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the E-420 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the RP has a higher magnification (0.70x 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 RP and Olympus E-420 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Canon RP||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||n|
|2.||Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|3.||Canon 850D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.5||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 250D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|5.||Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon R||3690||Y||3.2 / 2100||swivel||Y||1/8000s||8.0||n||n|
|7.||Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|8.||Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon M5||2360||n||3.2 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n|
|10.||Canon 750D||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon 760D||optical||Y||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus E-450||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|13.||Olympus E-620||optical||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Olympus E-520||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||Y|
|15.||Olympus E-410||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|16.||Olympus E-400||optical||n||2.5 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The RP 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 RP 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 RP 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 RP 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 RP 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 RP and Olympus E-420 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon RP||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Olympus E-420||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon 850D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon 250D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Canon 2000D||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Canon 77D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|8.||Canon 200D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Canon M5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon 750D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Canon 760D||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Olympus E-450||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-620||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Olympus E-520||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Olympus E-410||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Olympus E-400||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the RP 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 RP is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the E-420 has been discontinued (but 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 conclusions can be drawn? Is the Canon RP better than the Olympus E-420 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS RP:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (26 vs 10MP) with a 64% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (29 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.8 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.5 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x 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.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- 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 10 years and 11 months of technical progress since the E-420 launch.
Advantages of the Olympus E-420:
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).
- 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 RP is the clear winner of the match-up (22 : 6 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 RP and the Olympus E-420 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the RP or the E-420. 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 table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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.
|1.||Canon RP||4/5||+||4/5||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2019||1,299|
|2.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|3.||Canon 850D||4/5||+||3/5||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749|
|4.||Canon 250D||..||o||4.5/5||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|5.||Canon 2000D||..||o||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2018||449|
|6.||Canon R||4/5||o||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2018||2,299|
|7.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|8.||Canon 200D||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|9.||Canon M5||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||4/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979|
|10.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|11.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|12.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|13.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||..||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|14.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|15.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|16.||Olympus E-400||..||85/100||..||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 650D vs Canon RP
- Canon M200 vs Canon RP
- Canon RP vs Fujifilm GFX 50S
- Canon RP vs Fujifilm X-Pro2
- Canon RP vs Nikon Df
- Canon RP vs Olympus E-PL6
- Canon T6i vs Olympus E-420
- Canon XT vs Olympus E-420
- Leica M9 vs Olympus E-420
- Nikon P900 vs Olympus E-420
- Olympus E-420 vs Olympus E-M5 II
- Olympus E-420 vs Ricoh GR III
Specifications: Canon RP 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 RP||Olympus E-420|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon RF mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2019||March 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 1,299||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Canon RP||Olympus E-420|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 24.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.2 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||26 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6240 x 4160 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.76 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.01 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 40,000 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||TruePic III|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||85||56|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.3||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.9||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||2977||527|
|Screen Specs||Canon RP||Olympus E-420|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon RP||Olympus E-420|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon RP||Olympus E-420|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Canon RP||Olympus E-420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
133 x 85 x 70 mm
(5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||485 g (17.1 oz)||440 g (15.5 oz)|
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