By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Olympus has unveiled what it claims is the world’s thinnest, smallest digital SLR – the E-420.

Due in May, the 10 megapixel E-420 weighs 380 grams for the body and is only 53mm in depth. Width is 129.5 mm, while height is 91 mm.

olympus slr digital camera e-420

The E-420 comes with a live view sensor, 2.7-inch screen and can take photos up to ISO1600. It also features ‘shadow adjust’ technology to deal with high contrast situations, face detection and also has buttons coloured to be visible to colour blind people.

Retail price has yet to be confirmed.

Despite the lack of an industry-wide trend to shrink their DSLR’s, Olympus Imaging Australia professional photography manager Lucas Tan said the company had taken the decision to slim down their consumer-focused models after conducting market research.

“We had a good look at the market some years ago, as to where the consumer digital market would go, and we realised that a lot of consumer digital camera users were actually upgrading into digital SLR-type cameras. And we’ve also … discovered that a lot of these users were not exactly very thrilled that single lens reflex cameras tend to be a little bit on the thick and chunky side,” said Tan

Tan also confirmed the size-reduction regime would also continue with new E-400 series cameras in the future, but would not flow on to higher-end models.

“For Olympus, we feel the initial single lens market is very clearly segmented into a category where the E-400 series sits, where the consumers demand the smallest and lightest cameras. But I think as you go into the other categories, like the enthusiasts and professional categories, users will be more likely inclined the buy cameras that are a little bit larger.”

In addition to the E-420, Olympus has also launched the Olympus Zuiko Digital 25mm f2.8 lens. A lightweight single-focus standard focal-length snapshot lens, 25mm lens is fully compliant with the company’s Four Thirds System DSLR design standard. It is due for local release in May, for RRP $349.