Though Live Preview--LCD previewing on dSLRs--hasn't gained widespread popularity, this spring Olympus is betting two cameras that snapshooters trading up to dSLRs are unwilling to part with the ability to frame scenes using the LCD. The nearly identical and closely priced Evolt E-410 and Evolt E-510 come in an array of configurations ranging from $699 to $999, with body only, single lens, and two lens kits. (Click here for photos.)
The 10-megapixel cameras differ by one feature, sensor-shift image stabilization, which is incorporated into the higher-end E-510. Olympus claims up to a 4-stop latitude for its image stabilization, and it has a vertical only as well as 2-axis stabilization mode. Both cameras use the Four Thirds lens system and mount, making the 35mm-equivalent focal ranges for the kit lenses 28mm-44mm and 80mm-300mm.
Olympus is pricing the cameras pretty aggressively, and even if you don't want to use the Live Preview, a body plus two lenses for $699 seems like an attractive deal, especially for a first-time buyer. The hardest part will be choosing between the stabilized and non-stabilized models. Perhaps too much choice is not such a good thing.
Available May 2007
EVOLT E-410 (body only): $699
EVOLT E-410 with ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 lens: $799
EVOLT E-410 with ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 and ED 40-150mm f4.0/5.6 lenses: $899
Available June 2007
EVOLT E-510 (body only): $799
EVOLT E-510 with 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 lens: $899
EVOLT E-510 with 14-42mm and 40-150mm Lenses: $999