The Olympus E-410 delivers clean-looking results here from 100 to 400 ISO, with texture from noise and noise reduction only really beginning to appear at 800 ISO. Compared side-by-side with crops from the earlier E-400 below, the new E-410 appears to apply greater noise reduction at higher sensitivities using its default settings.
In our Olympus E-400 review we noticed the camera was quite modest when it came to noise reduction, leaving visible speckles at higher sensitivities rather than smearing them out. Olympus appears to be applying a different strategy for the new model, although it's possible to select two lower (and one higher) types of noise reduction filters - and we have examples of each in practice on the next page.
As it stands here though, the E-410 by default exhibits similar noise and noise reduction levels to the Canon 400D / XTi and Nikon D40x, although is sadly missing the 3200 ISO option of the latter.
As always, the flat colours of the Gretag chart can hide a multitude of processing sins, so to see how the Olympus E-410 handles a real-life subject at each of its sensitivities (not to mention noise reduction settings), see our Outdoor Noise results page.
Note: we have compared 100% crops from all the cameras here measuring 136x136 pixels. Since the E-410 and E-400 have slightly higher vertical resolutions than the Canon and Nikon, and since the lenses on each camera were adjusted to deliver the same vertical fields of view, the E-400 and E-410 crops represent a slightly smaller area. As such the artefacts on the E-410 and E-400 crops would be slightly smaller if each image were reproduced to the same size.