Olympus EVOLT E-400 First Impressions Review
**Front**The E-400 is small. The hand grip is not the wide, deep shape users are accustomed to – that shape wouldn't fit on the E-400. Instead, there's a shallow, sloping ridge running up the face of the camera, curving to the left toward the top, to form an indentation for the user's middle finger. A sensor for the wireless remote control is flush with the grip. The Four Thirds lens mount looks huge on the small E-400. The mount locking button is on the right side. The E-400 has a standard viewfinder hump, which also holds a popup flash. Chrome strap lugs bulge from either edge. The hump has the Olympus logo on it; the E-400 logo is on the camera's right shoulder; the Four Thirds logo is on the lower right corner, and the patch between the bottom of the grip and the lens mount touts the 10-megapixel file size.
BackThe 2.5-inch LCD dominates the back of the E-400. The large rubber cup around the eyepiece is directly above the LCD. Going clockwise, the E-400 features a focus/exposure lock button, a Function button, the 4-way controller, and a column of buttons up the left side of the LCD. They're labeled INFO, Menu, Trash, and Playback. The back of the media card door makes up the right side of the back, and there is a small notch for the user to slide a fingernail to pull the door open. The back is contoured for a thumb rest, with a patch of rubber for traction. The connectivity door, with a combined USB/AV port, is on the lower right of the back, behind a rubber door.
LeftA strap lug sticks out where the left side and the front of the camera meet. There aren't any other functional features of the left side. **Right**The right strap lug sticks out the same way the left one does, limiting the options for holding the E-400. The rubber surface of the hand grip wraps about halfway around the side of the camera, up to the media door. The media door takes up the rest of the side. It is not sealed against moisture or dust, and simply snaps closed, rather than latching. **Top**Two chrome buttons sit on the left side of the E-400's top. The forward one opens the flash and the back one cycles the camera through burst mode, remote control, self-timer, and single modes. The hot shoe, which accepts Olympus dedicated flashes as well as generic ones, is on top of the viewfinder. The chrome shutter release button is on the right side, at the top of the grip. The exposure compensation button is next to it. The mode dial dominates the top. It's tall and heavily curled. The power switch pokes out from underneath it. The control dial is at the back right of the top, convenient for the user's thumb. The top of the viewfinder features a diopter control. **Bottom**The tripod bushing is metal, and centered under the lens axis, which improves stability on tripods, and makes aiming the E-400 on a tripod more convenient. The bushing is surrounded by a heavily-textured surface, which should grip tripod heads well, and hide scratches from tripod studs. It's a thoughtful feature. The battery compartment is under the right side of the E-400, and latches with a metal mechanism that looks unusually durable.