Kodak S-1 vs Olympus E-420
The Kodak PixPro S-1 and the Olympus E-420 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2012 and March 2008. The S-1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the E-420 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The Kodak has a resolution of 16.1 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.
|Kodak S-1||Olympus E-420|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|16.1 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 200-12,800||ISO 100-1,600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 920k dots||2.7 LCD, 215k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4 shutter flaps per second||3.5 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|410 shots per battery charge||500 shots per battery charge|
|116 x 68 x 36 mm, 290 g||130 x 91 x 53 mm, 440 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Kodak PixPro S-1 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 Kodak S-1 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The S-1 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 considerably larger (50 percent) than the Kodak S-1. Moreover, the E-420 is substantially heavier (52 percent) than the S-1. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the S-1 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (S-1) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-420). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Kodak S-1, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.
The power pack in the S-1 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
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.
|Kodak S-1||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.4 in||10.2 oz||410||n||Jan 2012||299|
|Olympus E-420||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|Olympus E-P5||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||14.8 oz||330||n||May 2013||999|
|Olympus E-PL6||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||May 2013||599|
|Olympus E-PL5||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||599|
|Olympus E-PM2||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.3 in||9.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||499|
|Olympus E-PL3||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.0 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PM1||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||499|
|Olympus E-450||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|Olympus E-620||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.4 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|Olympus E-520||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||18.9 oz||750||n||May 2008||699|
|Olympus E-410||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-400||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|Panasonic GF6||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||11.4 oz||340||n||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic GX7||4.8 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||14.2 oz||350||n||Aug 2013||999|
|Panasonic G3||4.5 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||11.9 oz||270||n||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic GX1||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||11.2 oz||320||n||Nov 2011||699|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
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 S-1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the E-420, which puts it into a different 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better 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.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the S-1 offers a higher resolution of 16.1 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the E-420. This megapixels advantage translates into a 27 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the S-1 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.74μm versus 4.74μm for the E-420). In this context, it should be noted, however, that the S-1 is much more recent (by 3 years and 10 months) than the E-420, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The resolution advantage of the Kodak S-1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S-1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23.2 x 17.4 inches or 58.9 x 44.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.6 x 13.9 inches or 47.1 x 35.4 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.5 x 11.6 inches or 39.3 x 29.5 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 Kodak PixPro S-1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800. 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 is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Kodak S-1||Four Thirds||16.1||4640||3480||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|Olympus E-P5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72|
|Olympus E-PL6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|Olympus E-PL5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72|
|Olympus E-PM2||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72|
|Olympus E-PL3||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.9||10.3||499||52|
|Olympus E-PM1||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||21.0||10.3||499||52|
|Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|Panasonic GX7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70|
|Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The S-1 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-420 does not. The highest resolution format that the S-1 can use is 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-420 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the S-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Kodak S-1, the Olympus E-420, and comparable cameras.
One feature that differentiates the S-1 and the E-420 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The S-1 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the E-420 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.The S-1 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 S-1 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 S-1 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 Kodak PixPro S-1 and Olympus E-420 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
It is notable that the S-1 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 S-1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Kodak. 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 Kodak and Olympus websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Kodak S-1 and the Olympus E-420? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Kodak PixPro S-1:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 10MP) with a 27% higher linear resolution.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- 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 (920k vs 215k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (116x68mm vs 130x91mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 150g or 34 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 10 months of technical progress since the E-420 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-420:
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (500 versus 410) 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 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 S-1 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 5 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. 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 Kodak S-1 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 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 S-1 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 where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.
|Kodak S-1||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Jan 2012||299|
|Olympus E-420||85/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|Olympus E-P5||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2013||999|
|Olympus E-PL6||..||..||..||..||..||May 2013||599|
|Olympus E-PL5||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599|
|Olympus E-PM2||..||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|Olympus E-PL3||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||..||4/5||Jun 2011||599|
|Olympus E-PM1||86/100||71/100||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jun 2011||499|
|Olympus E-450||..||..||4/5||..||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|Olympus E-620||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||o||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|Olympus E-520||87/100||+ +||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|Olympus E-410||86/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|Olympus E-400||85/100||..||4/5||..||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|Panasonic GF6||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|Panasonic GX7||+||79/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999|
|Panasonic G3||+ +||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599|
|Panasonic GX1||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date 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 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.
- Canon 450D vs Olympus E-420
- Fujifilm X-E2S vs Olympus E-420
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Olympus E-420
- Kodak S-1 vs Nikon D5600
- Kodak S-1 vs Olympus E-PL8
- Kodak S-1 vs Pentax MX-1
- Kodak S-1 vs Sony A6000
- Kodak S-1 vs Sony NEX-C3
- Nikon D5600 vs Olympus E-420
- Nikon P1000 vs Olympus E-420
- Olympus E-420 vs Panasonic G90
- Olympus E-420 vs Sony NEX-7
Specifications: Kodak S-1 vs Olympus E-420
|Camera Model||Kodak S-1||Olympus E-420|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2012||March 2008|
|Launch Price||USD 299||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Kodak S-1||Olympus E-420|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4640 x 3480 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.74 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.18 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||56|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||527|
|Screen Specs||Kodak S-1||Olympus E-420|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||2.7inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||215k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Kodak S-1||Olympus E-420|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||3.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Kodak S-1||Olympus E-420|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Kodak S-1||Olympus E-420|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||500 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
116 x 68 x 36 mm
(4.6 x 2.7 x 1.4 in)
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||290 g (10.2 oz)||440 g (15.5 oz)|