Olympus Shrinks Its Digital SLR

The company says its new E420 is world’s lightest and smallest.

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An optional 25mm lens helps keep the Olympus E420 thin and light.
An optional 25mm lens helps keep the Olympus E420 thin and light.

Serious digital photographers love their single-lens-reflex models, partly because they can switch out lenses—and partly for the cameras' more sophisticated electronics. Shutter lag, for example, all but disappears with most SLRs.

But the cameras also come with more heft. So it's promising to see that Olympus has trimmed more size from its latest model. The E420 ($500, body only) is about 5 inches by 3.5 inches by 2 inches. That's not quite small enough to slip into a typical pocket, but it's getting close. Olympus also says that at 13.4 ounces, the camera is at least 20 percent lighter than competitors'.

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