Olympus E-400 vs Panasonic L10
The Olympus E-400 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2006 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10 megapixels.
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 Olympus E-400 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10? 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 Olympus E-400 and the Panasonic L10 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic L10 is notably larger (10 percent) than the Olympus E-400. Moreover, the L10 is markedly heavier (28 percent) than the E-400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-400 nor the L10 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.||Olympus E-400||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Sep 2006||699|
|2.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|3.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|4.||Olympus Stylus 1s||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||450||n||Apr 2015||699|
|5.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|6.||Olympus E-450||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2009||499|
|7.||Olympus E-620||130 mm||94 mm||60 mm||521 g||500||n||Feb 2009||699|
|8.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|9.||Olympus E-520||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||535 g||750||n||May 2008||699|
|10.||Olympus E-410||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||435 g||500||n||Mar 2007||699|
|11.||Olympus E-510||136 mm||92 mm||68 mm||538 g||750||n||Mar 2007||799|
|12.||Olympus E-500||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599|
|13.||Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599|
|14.||Panasonic L1||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The L10 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the E-400, 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.
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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies 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.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 10 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the E-400 and the L10 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the L10 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the E-400, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Olympus E-400 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
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. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Olympus E-400||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|4.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|5.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|6.||Olympus E-450||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.5||512||56|
|7.||Olympus E-620||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||none||21.3||10.3||536||55|
|8.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|9.||Olympus E-520||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.4||10.4||548||55|
|10.||Olympus E-410||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.1||10.0||494||51|
|11.||Olympus E-510||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.2||10.0||442||52|
|12.||Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..|
|13.||Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
|14.||Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..|
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-400 and the L10 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%), as well as the same magnification (0.46x). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-400, the Panasonic L10, and comparable cameras.
|4.||Olympus Stylus 1s||1440||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
The E-400 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or xD Picture cards, while the L10 uses SDHC cards. The E-400 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the L10 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 Olympus E-400 and Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Olympus Stylus 1s||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
Both the E-400 and the L10 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-400 was replaced by the Olympus E-410, while the L10 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Olympus and Panasonic websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Olympus E-400 or the Panasonic L10 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-400:
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 121g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 450) on a single battery charge.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2006).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC- L10:
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (4 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 Olympus E-400 and the Panasonic L10 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the E-400 and the L10 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
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 (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.||Olympus E-400||..||85/100||..||4/5||4/5||Sep 2006||699|
|2.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|3.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|4.||Olympus Stylus 1s||..||..||..||..||..||Apr 2015||699|
|5.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|6.||Olympus E-450||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Mar 2009||499|
|7.||Olympus E-620||3/5||88/100||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2009||699|
|8.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|9.||Olympus E-520||..||87/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2008||699|
|10.||Olympus E-410||..||86/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||699|
|11.||Olympus E-510||..||89/100||+ +||3.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2007||799|
|12.||Olympus E-500||..||76/100||+ +||..||..||Sep 2005||599|
|13.||Panasonic G1||..||+ +||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599|
|14.||Panasonic L1||..||85/100||+||..||3.5/5||Feb 2006||999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Olympus E-400 vs Panasonic L10
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||Olympus E-400||Panasonic L10|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Four Thirds lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2006||August 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Olympus E-400||Panasonic L10|
|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||10 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||3648 x 2736 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.74 μm||4.74 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.44 MP/cm2||4.44 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||55|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||21.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||429|
|Screen Specs||Olympus E-400||Panasonic L10|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||215k dots||207k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Olympus E-400||Panasonic L10|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF or XD cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Olympus E-400||Panasonic L10|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Olympus E-400||Panasonic L10|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||450 shots per charge|
130 x 91 x 53 mm
(5.1 x 3.6 x 2.1 in)
135 x 96 x 78 mm
(5.3 x 3.8 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||435 g (15.3 oz)||556 g (19.6 oz)|
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