View Full Version : E-420, ideal 2nd camera

1st May 2009, 08:03 PM
I adore my E-3 and SWD's but there are many times when I dont take it with me, it's just too big and heavy and wished I had a high quality small/compact. Ive looked at the Canon G10, the Panasonic LX3 and G1 but really like the idea of a E-420 and maybe the 25mm pancake. Thing is, out of these cameras, the E420 is probably the least technically advanced and certainly the only one without image stabiliser technology.

So, given there must be plenty of you on the forum using the E420 or maybe an E410 either as your primary or as a companion to your E-3/E-1 etc., I thought you'd have view on whether you miss IS, how to mitgate for it, whether you've had experience of any of the other cameras Ive mentioned in comparison to it etc., I'd be interested to hear from you!

1st May 2009, 08:39 PM
I have both the E410 and the E520.
I love the 410 and still use it for evening/nightshots for its lower noise levels and banding, it is a great little camera, even for a pro like me.

Given the choise between a free E410 and a free E420 + some money I still would go for the 410.

If you don't need IS it is a perfect alternative for the heavier E3.


1st May 2009, 09:25 PM
Love my little E-420 and kit lenses when I want to travel light and it all fits in a tiny bag and i don't find the lack of IS that much of a issue for me.:)

David M
1st May 2009, 10:41 PM
Great little camera. I got my E-410 twin lens kit, licensed the fourth shot I took with it to a tourism organisation and a couple of weeks later sold my E-1, 14-54 and 50-200.

I must admit that I was never impressed with my samples of the 14-54 or 50-200 and was always planning on replacing them with the 12-60 SWD and 50-200 SWD when they shipped. But I'd never consider selling the 7-14 or OMZ 350 mm f2.8.

I keep the 410 and kit lenses in a small Pelican case which means I can leave it lying around anywhere and don't have to bother about dust or moisture.

Kiwi Paul
2nd May 2009, 05:35 PM
I use the E520 as my second camera I don't think there is much difference between it and the 4xx series size wise but as it has the same battery as the E3 that is convienient, the E4xx's use a different battery.
I often take it out with the 25mm pancake or 9-18mm when walking the dogs or just fancy travelling light, with the pancake it is very light and compact for an SLR.


3rd May 2009, 09:50 AM
Like you Peter I have an E3 and got an E420 for my second camera and really enjoy it. It is a 'get back to basic's' camera, but thats what I like about it.

However, I recently purchased the Pana G1 with 14-45 and 45-200mm and have to say it kicks the E420's butt, and is a very near equal to the E3 and the high grade lenses (12-60, 50-200) for image quality. The 14-45 is a superb kit lens and nearly as good as the Oly 14-54 although it is slower, hence 'kit'. If you can get used to the EVF the G1 becomes a very exciting camera if you want to mount other lenses on it. I have the Leica M adapter and plan to get the 4/3rds adapter. I should say I have become accustomed to very different viewing systems in cameras over the years (from large format to medium format to rangefinder) and don't find the EVF a problem, it is just another mental adjustment. So with some potentially exciting Micro 4/3rds news from Olympus and new lenses gradually coming on stream the G1 would get my vote for a second camera.


3rd May 2009, 10:12 AM
I got very interested in the G1 too, it's good to get a real-world take of all the rave reviews, especially within the context of being a second camera to an E-3/SWD lenses. I've handled a G1, a 420, a Canon G10, owned a 520 and now own the E-3 and for me, a second Camera is not so much a lighter, smaller back up, it's something I'd like to be able to just have with me all the time, in my work bag/travel bag and also be able to pocket, maybe not in jeans or trousers, but at least in a jacket.

Whilst the G1 is small, its form factor, without a pancake lens doesnt really do that job, so I'm really down to an E420/pancake or a Canon G10, Lumix LX3 or Nikon P6000. My heart says E420/pancake, but the others, especially the G10, would seem to offer a lot more flexibility and an IQ not far off. I guess I was looking for somebody to say where the E420/Pancake was vastly superior to these high-end compacts!

Kiwi Paul
3rd May 2009, 01:13 PM
. I guess I was looking for somebody to say where the E420/Pancake was vastly superior to these high-end compacts!

The latest Amatuer Photogragher mag has a comparison between the G1 and the G10.


3rd May 2009, 01:29 PM
The G1 with Leica adaptor and Voitlander Heliar 15mm pretty much does the in-your pocket job:D

It really needs a better lens hood though, the vestigal 15mm one doesn't really work on an equivalent 30mm FL. If you don't like 30mm efl standard lens there is also the 21mm (42mm efl) and 25mm (50mm efl) which is my favourite. They are not much bigger.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/DSCN3310.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/14811)

If you don't know the Voigtlander lenses see http://www.cameraquest.com/voigtlen.htm

3rd May 2009, 10:33 PM
I should have said I have a G10 as well as the E3, etc. And while it is a nice enough camera it only gets as good as the E420 in image quality in a narrow-ish band of low ISO and mid zoom range and mid aperture. Either side of these it starts to fall apart for the G10, but the images can be stunning when its in the happy zone. It is my carry around camera, but I wouldn't call it my 'second' camera. The other thing about the G10 is the slow processing and shutter lag (compared to a DSLR) before you can take another picture, so it isn't a street/action camera by any means.

As for the E420 and 25mm combo...., well the E420 is great with a high grade lens as you would expect. But while the 25mm pancake (which I also have) is a great little lens, its not stellar in performance. And it produces a good bit of (easily correctable) distortion which you have to factor in during composition if its going to be intrusive and worked on in post processing.


4th May 2009, 10:01 AM
Thanks for all the insights, very helpful. With an E-3 as a main body, seems to me that a 420 would be a great 2nd body (esp with a 25mm or kit lens for portability) or a Lumix G1, but for a "carry round", the G10 would fit that bill. Maybe I'll hang on until Oly ship their micro fourthirds. As always with this game, pros and cons, what ever you do. Thanks again.

6th May 2009, 01:34 PM
I remained torn between the 420/pancake and a compact, saw a lovely Komachi Kit for 389 and very very nearly went for it, but went for a Leica D-Lux 4 and its retro brown leather case, a beautiful thing, but we'll see.:o

15th May 2009, 01:45 PM
Couldn't help it, got bargain hardly used E420 and 25mm Pancake. Would like to get a nice 14-42mm too, so if anybody has one for a bargain price, let me know!