Price as Reviewed:£599.00
The Olympus E-620 combines a small, portable body with high-technology features – is it the definition of the Four Thirds Advantage?
While shooting for this test, I found myself trudging through a field, humming a merry tune, and absent-mindedly tossing the E-620 from one hand to another. Being a responsible camera reviewer, I stopped as soon as I realised what I was doing and put the strap around my neck, but it made me wonder how many other mid-range DSLRs I could have done that with. Not many, I’m sure.
The Olympus E-620 really is a very small camera, and with the ‘pancake’ 25mm f/2.8 lens attached it isn’t far off being pocketable. The really great thing about the E-620 though, is that despite its size, it is a fully featured camera that genuinely makes good on the ‘Four Thirds promise’ of high quality in a small package. There are some downsides to the smaller format: there is no getting around the fact that the E-620’s sensor is noisier than APS-C and full-frame equivalents, for example, but for most purposes, and in most situations, the E-620 can slug it out with the best of the competition.
The only area in which I found its performance worryingly lacking is AF, which, while more responsive when an SWD lens is used, is still a little too jumpy to be relied upon in poor light. Taken as a whole, though, the E-620 is a very satisfying camera to use. I think its price needs to drop, and I really wish that Olympus would introduce some low-cost SWD lenses, but if and when these things happen, the E-620 will become even more desirable. With this in mind, I have awarded it the same score as the E-30.
Olympus E-620 Focal points
As with all Olympus E-series DSLRs, the E-620’s built-in flash can be used as a wireless trigger for one or more of the company’s separate hotshoe flashguns.
Each of the E-620’s seven AF points can be independently adjusted to correct for front/back focusing.
Like many compact digital cameras, the Olympus E-620 features face-detection AF in Live View mode, which allows photographers to lock focus quickly on a human subject. The E-620 can recognise up to eight faces in a scene.
An Fn button on the rear of the Olympus E-620 can be customised to fulfil a range of purposes, the most useful of which are probably depth of field preview and one-touch custom white balance.
The E-620’s 2.7in HyperCrystal III LCD screen is fractionally larger than the 2.5in one of the flagship E3, but it offers the same 750,000-dot resolution. A wide viewing angle and anti-reflection coating aid visibility in bright conditions.
- White Balance: Auto, custom (four settings), eight presets, colour temp 3,000-7,500K, amber-blue and green-magenta fine-tuning
- Shutter Type: Computerised focal-plane shutter
- Built-in Flash: Yes, pop-up unit GN 12m @ ISO 100
- Dioptre Adjustment: -3 to +1 dioptre
- Memory Card: CompactFlash, xD
- Viewfinder Type: Pentamirror
- LCD: 2.7in TFT (HyperCrystal III ) with 750,000 dots
- Output Size: 4032x3024 pixels
- Field of View: Approx 95%
- AF Points: Seven points selectable individually or automatically
- Sensor: High Speed Live MOS Four Thirds type (17.3x13mm)
- White Balance Bracket: Yes, over three images
- Focal Length Mag: 2x
- Max Flash Sync: 1/180sec normally or 1/4000sec with external flashgun in Super FP Mode
- Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
- Exposure Modes: Program with shift, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual
- Weight: 475g (without battery or card)
- Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus B
- File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
- Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery BLS-1 (supplied)
- Drive Mode: Max 4fps until card full in Fine JPEG or six raw imagesLCD 2.7in TFT (HyperCrystal III ) with 750,000 dots
- Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
- Dimensions: 130x94x60mm
- Metering System: 49-zone ESP metering, centreweighted, spot (approx 2%) – normal, highlight and shadow
- Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3, 1⁄2 or 1EV steps
- Compression: Three-stage JPEG
- Lens Mount: Four Thirds
- ISO: ISO 100-3200 (in 1⁄2, 1⁄3 or 1EV steps)
- DoF Preview: Yes (via Fn button)
- Focusing Modes: Manual, single AF, continuous AF, manual and AF in both single and continuous modes
- Tested as: Enthusiast DSLR