Olympus has reaffirmed its commitment to Four Thirds format digital SLRs by unveiling the 10-million-pixel E-450, due out in May priced around £450.

Pitched at the lower end of the firm’s consumer DSLR line-up the E-450 is billed as a creative and fun DSLR ‘for everyone’.

Key to its creative potential are three Creative Art Filters – a pared down version of a feature borrowed from the higher-end E-30 and E-620 cameras.

The E-450 offers Pop Art, Soft Focus and Pin Hole. The Pop Art filter, for example, aims to ‘infuse photographs with rich shades’ to give them a ‘livelier, dynamic feel’.

Improvements over its entry-level sibling, the E-420, also include a ‘high contrast’ 2.7in HyperCrystal II LCD – using technology that has trickled down from the enthusiast-level E-30. The screen has a claimed viewing angle of 176 degrees.

Touted as the world’s ‘smallest creative DSLR’, armoury includes 28 shooting modes and wireless control for up to three groups of flash.

The E-450 also incorporates a TruePic III+ image processor, Live View (with contrast AF) and a top continuous burst rate of 3.5 frames per second (for up to eight raw image files).

Also on board are Olympus’s Shadow Adjustment Technology – designed to improve exposure in dark parts of a scene – and Face Detection.

The E-450 has three AF points (phase detection) and carries an equivalent ISO sensitivity ranging from 100-1600.

Meanwhile, Perfect Shot Preview will allow the user to see the effects of various camera settings on the LCD monitor before he/she captures the image

And Olympus’s Supersonic Wave Filter will help protect the Live MOS imaging sensor against dust.

The E-450 will be available body only and in the following kits: with a Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens; and as a Double Zoom Kit which also includes an ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6.

Though Olympus says that its ‘E-420’ will be available ‘until further notice’ the firm does not list the camera on a presentation graphic of current models that accompanies the E-450 announcement.

The E-450 weighs 380g and measures 129.5x91x53mm.

Olympus E-450 picture