*Looking at the camera from straight on, the front of the Olympus D-425 features a small recessed lens located in the lower right-hand corner. This placement of the lens leaves it near the edge of the camera body and permits constantly moving fingers to wander over the edge of the lens ring and into the picture. This could be easily avoided by moving the lens into the center of the camera, an option that seems feasible due to the overall length of the camera body. To the left of the lens, along the bottom of the camera body in the center, is the camera’s on/off switch. When moved laterally, the switch will open the camera’s lens cover. If the camera enters sleep mode, the switch remains in the on position, though the lens cover closes. This means the user must flip the switch to the off position, and back into the on position to begin shooting again. This can be tedious if the user does not realize the camera is in sleep mode since it is necessary to turn the camera around when locating the switch. Above the manual on/off switch and running along the top of the camera body is the internal flash. The flash is centered and well positioned away from stray fingers; the problem is the lens is off-center, so there is a good 1/2-inch distance between the two. This will make for thick, harsh shadows cast around the subject. To the right of the internal flash is the self-timer lamp for the camera. Further to the right of both these controls is a vertical strip of elevated polished silver which is meant to serve as a right-hand finger grip. This silver grip is the only feature contributing to easy handling when the user is shooting, so beware: the slick polished surface could become a distinct problem during rain or bad weather.
*The LCD screen is situated on the left half of the back face of the Olympus D-425. This screen is slightly recessed and framed by an elevated section of the camera body. This screen is a 1.5-inch TFT LCD display with a pixel count of just 85,000, and it is the only image viewing option available on this model. Immediately to the right of the LCD screen, at its upper right corner, the user will find the Shooting mode button for the camera, with an orange lamp to the right side of it to indicate when this mode is being engaged. Beneath the shooting mode button is the button to enter playback mode. This button has a green lamp as an indicator for mode engagement. And the final control located beside the right edge of the LCD screen is the Menu button for the camera. Beneath the menu button and near the bottom edge of the camera is the Erase button, which can be used when the camera is in playback mode. Because there is no viewfinder, the D-425 is able to allow for more space between controls and the screen, which means that the user has less of a chance of accidentally engaging an unnecessary feature. These design decisions, when paired with the generous size of the external controls, become a definite design bonus for the novice camera user.
*The right side of the Olympus D-425 has just two features. There is a door to cover the battery and memory card slots; to access these, the user must depress and slide the door cover downwards. Once it’s open, the user can access the two AA batteries or the port for an optional memory card. This door tended to catch and resist closure throughout testing, making it cumbersome and highly breakable for less patient users. Above this door is an eyelet for the wrist strap. This eyelet is set into the camera body, a good decision to prevent snagging on clothing. That being said, a seamstress will still need to be employed to thread the wrist strap through the eyelet.
*The top of the Olympus D-425 is fairly barren, other than the large shutter release button placed off to the far right. The shutter button is polished silver and large enough in diameter to locate by feel. Also, because there isn’t a microphone on the top of the camera body, there is no need to worry about muffling sound during movie mode.