Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
The Olympus E-400 and the Canon EOS 6D are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2006 and September 2012. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a Four Thirds (E-400) and a full frame (6D) sensor. The Olympus has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 20 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.
|Olympus E-400||Canon 6D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Four Thirds lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|10 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||20 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1600||ISO 100-25600 (50-102400)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 215k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||4.5 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|500 shots per battery charge||1090 shots per battery charge|
|130 x 91 x 53 mm, 435 g||145 x 111 x 71 mm, 770 g|
Body comparison: Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-400 and the Canon 6D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the E-400 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 6D is notably larger (36 percent) than the Olympus E-400. Moreover, the 6D is substantially heavier (77 percent) than the E-400. It is noteworthy in this context that the 6D is splash and dust-proof, while the E-400 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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 Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-400) and the Canon EF Lens Catalog (6D).
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.
|Olympus E-400»||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.3 oz||500||n||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Canon 6D«||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1200||Y||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.0 oz||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Nikon D40X« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||n||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Olympus E-P3« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||13.0 oz||330||n||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.7 in||12.8 oz||280||n||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|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-420« »||5.1 in||3.6 in||2.1 in||15.5 oz||500||n||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|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-510« »||5.4 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||19.0 oz||750||n||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-500« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.6 in||16.9 oz||750||n||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic L10« »||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||n||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
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 E-400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 67 percent) than the 6D, 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.
Sensor comparison: Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 Olympus E-400 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Canon 6D a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the 6D is 284 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 1.0. The sensor in the E-400 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the 6D offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 20MP, the 6D offers a higher resolution than the E-400 (10MP), but the 6D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.57μm versus 4.74μm for the E-400) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 6D is a much more recent model (by 6 years) than the E-400, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Olympus E-400 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 6D are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus E-400»||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Canon 6D«||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Full Frame||26.0||6240||4160||1080/60p||24.4||11.9||2862||85||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Nikon D40X« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.4||11.4||516||63||Nikon D40X|
|Olympus E-P3« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||1080/60i||20.8||10.1||536||51||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||720/30p||21.4||10.2||573||55||Olympus E-PL2|
|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-420« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.5||10.4||527||56||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-410« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.1||10.0||494||51||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.2||10.0||442||52||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-500« »||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||-||-||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic L10« »||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||-||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 6D indeed provides for movie recording, while the E-400 does not. The highest resolution format that the 6D can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-400 and the 6D 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-400, the Canon 6D, and comparable cameras.
|Olympus E-400»||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-400|
|Canon 6D«||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n||Canon 6D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.5||n||n||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||16.0||n||n||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Nikon D40X« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D40X|
|Olympus E-P3« »||-||n||3.0||614||fixed||Y||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-450« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||optical||n||2.7||230||swivel||n||4000||4.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||optical||n||2.7||215||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-410« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-500« »||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic L10« »||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L10|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The E-400 has one, while the 6D does not. While the built-in flash of the E-400 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The E-400 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the 6D uses SDXC cards. The E-400 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the 6D only has one slot.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
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 Olympus E-400 and Canon EOS 6D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus E-400»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-400|
|Canon 6D«||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Nikon D40X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40X|
|Olympus E-P3« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-450« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-410« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-500« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic L10« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L10|
It is notable that the 6D offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the E-400 does not offer wifi capability.
Both the E-400 and the 6D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-400 was replaced by the Olympus E-410, while the 6D was followed by the Canon 6D Mark II.
Review summary: Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-400 or the Canon 6D – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-400:
- More compact: Is smaller (130x91mm vs 145x111mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 335g or 44 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- 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 (67 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2006).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 6D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 215k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1090 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years of technical progress since the E-400 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 6D is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-400 or the 6D. 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.
Expert reviews: Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Olympus E-400»||85/100||-||4/5||-||4/5||Sep 2006||699||-||Olympus E-400|
|Canon 6D«||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 6D Mark II« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Jun 2017||1,999||Canon 6D Mark II|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 70D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Nikon D40X« »||79/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4/5||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Olympus E-P3« »||83/100||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2011||799||-||Olympus E-P3|
|Olympus E-PL2« »||83/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||599||-||Olympus E-PL2|
|Olympus E-450« »||-||-||4/5||-||4/5||Mar 2009||499||-||Olympus E-450|
|Olympus E-620« »||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||rev||5/5||Feb 2009||699||-||Olympus E-620|
|Olympus E-420« »||85/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||-||Olympus E-420|
|Olympus E-410« »||86/100||HiRec||4/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699||-||Olympus E-410|
|Olympus E-510« »||89/100||HiRec||3.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799||-||Olympus E-510|
|Olympus E-500« »||76/100||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2005||599||-||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic L10« »||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||rev||4/5||Aug 2007||599||-||Panasonic L10|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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.
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Specifications: Olympus E-400 vs Canon 6D
|Camera Model||Olympus E-400||Canon 6D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2006||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 2099|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||36.0 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||864 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||43.3 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.74 μm||6.57 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.44 MP/cm2||2.31 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50-102400 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic||DIGIC 5+|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||4.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BLS-1 power pack||LP-E6 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||1090 shots per charge|
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
145 x 111 x 71 mm
(5.7 x 4.4 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||435 g (15.3 oz)||770 g (27.2 oz)|
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