*When the Olympus D-425 is set to auto mode, the user is unable to access the EV compensation settings located within the onscreen menu. The user may still utilize the macro mode, flash settings, and self-timer when the camera is in auto mode. For those users seeking a bit more control without assuming the burden of the exposure, there is also a program mode available. Program mode functions similarly to auto mode, except users gain the ability to utilize the exposure compensation settings of the camera. This setup ensures those in Auto mode will not make accidental alterations to the photographs being captured. The addition of EV compensation when the camera switches into Program mode should pave the way for an eventual comfortable move towards more manual cameras.
*The movie mode on this camera allows the user to shoot in two different frame rates and in one image size. The movie mode shoots in a 320 x 240 format at either 15 fps or 30 fps in a QuickTime movie format. There is no audio capture available with this camera. It is also possible to adjust the EV compensation when in movie mode. The amount of time available on either memory card or internal memory is displayed in the lower right-hand corner of the LCD screen. With such a small amount of internal memory, users of the Olympus D-425 looking to record video will want to purchase a large memory card of at least 128MB.
By entering into Playback mode and pressing OK the user is able to view previously captured movies on the LCD screen. While movies captured at 15 frames per second will result in choppy, disjointed video, 30 frames per second will give the budding videographer smooth and cohesive footage. That being said, the lack of audio recording options means that users will have to narrate their footage when showing to friends.
By comparison, the Canon PowerShot A400 offers the user the opportunity to record audio clips up to 60 seconds in length. However, video quality suffers with this model and limits the user to a frame rate of only 15 fps maximum.
Drive / Burst Mode*(0.0)
*There is no drive or burst mode available to the user of the Olympus D-425, though there is a self-timer mode which allows the user to set up a shot and automatically capture the image 12 seconds after the shutter release is pressed. Most other manufacturers within this price range don’t sacrifice speed altogether and see it necessary to include a burst mode on even their most affordable offerings.
Picture Quality / Size Options (6.5) There are three image size settings available to the user of the Olympus D-425 when shooting in still image capture mode. These settings are 2288 x 1712 (SHQ), 2288 x 1712 (HQ), 1600 x 1200 (SQ1), and 640 x 480 (SQ2). When shooting in movie mode the user is able to choose between two separate frame rates of 15 or 30 fps and is relegated to shooting only in 320 x 240 format for image size. ****
*Playback mode on the Olympus D-425 is surprisingly accessible by pressing the playback button, located on the back of the camera body beneath the standard shooting mode button. When the camera is set into Playback mode, the user is able to view images as either single frames or as a 9 frame multi-up format which displays thumbnail images. To select multi-up format while in this mode, the user must press the wide angle portion of the zoom control until thumbnail images are displayed on the LCD screen. It is then possible to scan these selections using the four-way controller. Once a single image is selected the user may utilize the playback zoom to crop into an image. To move throughout a single image the user must merely use the four-way controller to navigate this enlargement. To exit playback, the user can just press the standard shooting mode button. Images can be enlarged up to 4x their original size using the digital zoom feature. These enlarged photos cannot be saved to the memory card of the camera, and the playback zoom cannot be used in movie mode.
Custom Image Presets*(7.0)
*Although the Olympus D-425 may be insufficient for the manually oriented user looking for a budget priced camera, the camera contains plenty of custom image presets to help automatic users gain the image they desire in a variety of shooting situations. The user of the D-425 can access these settings using the mode dial located on the right side of the camera’s back face. All of the available preset modes are conveniently placed on the dial. Available modes include: auto, program, movie, beach/snow, self portrait, sport, night scene, landscape, landscape with portrait, and portrait modes. Although these titles may seem straightforward enough, the user is given a definition of each setting along with the setting title on a transparent screen overlaying a live feed image. These descriptions however don't necessarily move beyond the straightforward label assigned to each camera setting, but help clarify things to users unfamiliar with digital cameras.