Olympus shrinks the DSLR - again

The words 'Pocket sized' and DSLR don't generally go together but Olympus has been the closest yet. And now it's shaved even more millimetres off with

The words 'Pocket sized' and DSLR don't generally go together but Olympus has been the closest yet. And now it's shaved even more millimetres off with its latest mini marvel: the E-420.

Despite being a tad heavier, the 10MP E-420 is even titchier than its predecessor, the E-410. Excluding nobbly bits, it's now just 130mm long and 53mm wide – a giant by compact cam proportions but a mite by DSLR ones.

Olympus has worked on improving its Live View technology to appeal to compact camera types. It's still not quite the same experience but a half press of the shutter can now be used to bring everything into focus before switching to the 2.7in LCD to frame the shot. Nice.

Throw in face detection for the autofocus and 18 pre-set scene modes and it's a camera that DSLR newbies will be able to warm to.

It's been launched alongside one of the world's thinnest lenses, a non-zooming 25mm lens (pictured) that goes to a nice open f2.8 for low-light or artsy shallow-depth of field shots. It's the equivalent of a 50mm lens on an old-school film SLR, making it a nice focal length for snaps.

If you want more range, Olympus will also bundle the cam with a larger 14-42mm lens that gives the equivalent of a standard 28-84mm zoom.

Annoyingly, Olympus has left off any optical image stabilisation – so maybe throw a mini tripod in there as well.

Olympus E-420 body only

Price: £380

On sale: April

Contact: Olympus