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Olympus E-410 versus Olympus E-30

The Olympus E-410 and the Olympus E-30 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2007 and November 2008. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. The E-410 has a resolution of 10 megapixel, whereas the E-30 provides 12.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Olympus E-410 vs Olympus E-30

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Olympus E-410 and the Olympus E-30. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the E-410 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Olympus E-410 vs Olympus E-30
Compare E-410 versus E-30 top
Compare E-410 and E-30 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-30 is notably larger (30 percent) than the Olympus E-410. Moreover, the E-30 is substantially heavier (61 percent) than the E-410. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the E-410 nor the E-30 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 find an overview of suitable optics in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the E-410 gets 500 shots out of its BLS-1 battery, while the E-30 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Olympus E-410» 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Mar 2007 699- i
Olympus E-30« 5.6 in 4.3 in 3.0 in 24.7 oz 750 n Nov 2008 1,299- i
Canon XSi« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799- i
Olympus E-620« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.4 oz 500 n Feb 2009 699- i
Olympus E-450« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2009 499- i
Olympus E-600« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.4 in 18.9 oz 500 n Aug 2009 449- i
Olympus E-420« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.5 oz 500 n Mar 2008 599- i
Olympus E-520« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 18.9 oz 750 n May 2008 699- i
Olympus E-510« » 5.4 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 19.0 oz 750 n Mar 2007 799- i
Olympus E-3« » 5.6 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 30.9 oz 750 Y Oct 2007 1,699- i
Olympus E-400« » 5.1 in 3.6 in 2.1 in 15.3 oz 500 n Sep 2006 699- i
Olympus E-500« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.6 in 16.9 oz 750 n Sep 2005 599- i
Panasonic G1« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 12.7 oz 410 n Sep 2008 599- i
Panasonic L10« » 5.3 in 3.8 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 450 n Aug 2007 599- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-410 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 46 percent) than the E-30, 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-410 vs Olympus E-30

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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.

Olympus E-410 and Olympus E-30 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the E-30 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixel, compared with 10 MP of the E-410. This megapixel advantage translates into a 11 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the E-30 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.29μm versus 4.74μm for the E-410). However, it should be noted that the E-30 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 8 months) than the E-410, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size.

E-410 versus E-30 MP

For most 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the E-30 has a markedly higher DXO score than the E-410 (overall score 4 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.2 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Olympus E-410» Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.110.049451
Olympus E-30« Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.453055
Canon XSi« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261
Olympus E-620« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.353655
Olympus E-450« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.551256
Olympus E-600« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.510.354155
Olympus E-420« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.510.452756
Olympus E-520« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.410.454855
Olympus E-510« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.210.044252
Olympus E-3« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.610.557156
Olympus E-400« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-----
Olympus E-500« » Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448-----
Panasonic G1« » Four Thirds 12.0 4000 3000-21.110.346353
Panasonic L10« » Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736-21.310.842955
Both the E-410 and the E-30 offer Live View, so that they make it possible to use the rear screen for framing. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Olympus E-410 vs Olympus E-30

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The E-410 and the E-30 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-410, the Olympus E-30, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Olympus E-410»optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-30«optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y
Canon XSi« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Olympus E-620« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y
Olympus E-450« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Olympus E-600« »optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 4000 4.0 Y Y
Olympus E-420« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y n
Olympus E-520« »optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 4000 3.5 Y Y
Olympus E-510« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y Y
Olympus E-3« »optical Y 2.5 230 swivel n 8000 5.0 Y Y
Olympus E-400« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n
Olympus E-500« »optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n
Panasonic G1« »1440 n 3.0 460 swivel n 4001 3.0 Y n
Panasonic L10« »optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 4000 3.0 Y n

Both the E-410 and the E-30 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The E-410 was replaced by the Olympus E-420, while the E-30 does not have a direct successor.

Review summary: Olympus E-410 vs Olympus E-30

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Olympus E-410 and the Olympus E-30? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Olympus E-410:

  • More compact: Is smaller (130x91mm vs 142x108mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 266g or 38 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2007).


Reasons to prefer the Olympus E-30:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 8 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-30 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 4 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.

E-410 04:10 E-30

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the E-410 and the E-30 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 hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Olympus E-410»86/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 699- i
Olympus E-30«-71/1004.5/5-4/5 Nov 2008 1,299- i
Canon XSi« »HiRecHiRec4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i
Olympus E-620« »88/10072/1004.5/5rev5/5 Feb 2009 699- i
Olympus E-450« »--4/5-4/5 Mar 2009 499- i
Olympus E-600« »----4.5/5 Aug 2009 449- i
Olympus E-420« »85/100HiRec4/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2008 599- i
Olympus E-520« »87/100HiRec4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699- i
Olympus E-510« »89/100HiRec3.5/5rev4.5/5 Mar 2007 799- i
Olympus E-3« »88/100HiRecrevrev4/5 Oct 2007 1,699- i
Olympus E-400« »85/100-4/5-4/5 Sep 2006 699- i
Olympus E-500« »76/100HiRec--- Sep 2005 599- i
Panasonic G1« »HiRec70/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2008 599- i
Panasonic L10« »85/100Rec3.5/5rev4/5 Aug 2007 599- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If the camera you are interested in is not available, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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