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?
The Olympus E-620 is very closely related to the E-30 and we understand that tweaks notwithstanding the two models share the same 12.3-million-pixel Live-MOS sensor.
Like the E-30, the E-620 features an ISO sensitivity span of ISO 100-3200 (equivalent) and images are recorded to either xD or a (more practical) CompactFlash card, in either JPEG or .ORF (raw) format. With a CF card installed, the E-620 can capture JPEG images at an impressive maximum frame rate of 4fps up to the capacity of the card.
In raw mode, burst depth is limited to six pictures before the frame rate has to drop to allow the buffer to clear, and four frames is the maximum burst depth in raw+JPEG recording mode.
Olympus E-620 Autofocus
Although the AF system of the E-620 has seven points compared to the E-30’s 11, the two TTL phase-detection systems are closely related, and both are adapted from the system used in the E-3.
Automatic focus is also possible in Live View mode, and three modes (plus face detection) are available: contrast detection, ‘normal’ phase detection and a hybrid mode, where contrast detection is performed using a simulated seven-point AF array overlaid on the 2.7in, 230,000-dot HyperCrystal III LCD screen.
Contrast-detection AF isn’t possible with all E-system lenses, although recent models, including the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 kit option, do support the feature.
Olympus E-620 Image stabilisation
Olympus’s in-built image stabilisation has been justly praised in the past, and when we tested the E-30 we found it to be very effective.
The same system is used in the E-620, and three modes are available: vertical+horizontal stabilisation (the default), and vertical or horizontal stabilisation as separate options. The sensor is also fitted with a self-cleaning mechanism that should keep it free from dust and grime.
Olympus E-620 Spot metering
A further feature of the E-620 is highlight and shadow spot metering, which has been present in high-end Olympus cameras since the OM4-Ti of the 1980s.
With this feature activated, the camera automatically adjusts a spot reading taken from highlight or shadow areas to ensure an appropriate exposure bias.
Furthermore, the E-620 allows the photographer to set exposure compensation of ±5EV, and even bracket the selected ISO setting and white balance, too – the latter in ±2, 4, 6 mired steps.
- 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