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?
Build and handling
At first glance the E-620 bears a strong resemblance to the E-420 and its predecessors, the E-410 and E-400. Only from the back does the E-620 look significantly different, due to its articulated LCD screen. This screen is a major selling point of the E-30 and E-3, and it is great to see that Olympus has made room for it on the E-620. This in itself is impressive, given the small size of the body, and although the screen adds a little bulk to the camera, the E-620 feels barely any larger than the E-420 when the two are compared directly. Interestingly, though, both are heavier than they look. The new camera is a little more comfortable to hold than the E-420, for me at any rate, thanks to a redesigned and more substantial handgrip, which greatly aids handling when the camera is held to the eye.
As far as the control layout is concerned, the E-620 is typical of the Olympus E-series. A group of buttons to the right of the LCD screen provide access to key features such as ISO sensitivity, AF mode, white balance and metering. Meanwhile, the status screen, which is shown by default on the LCD screen in ‘normal’ SLR mode, provides alternative access for these functions and almost everything else. So complete is this interactive display that the Menu button is almost completely redundant after the initial setup.
In fact, when out shooting with the E-620, the only time I regularly needed to delve into the main menu was to format my memory cards. An additional menu tab, which, confusingly, is turned off by default, can be activated to provide access to extra ‘nuts and bolts’ features such as noise reduction, but it is unlikely these settings will need changing very often.
As I reported in my First Look of the E-620, I find that when Live View is activated it is easy to forget I am using a DSLR. I have written more about the E-620’s Live View system, but for the time being it will suffice to say that the articulated LCD screen makes a huge difference to the handling of the camera in Live View mode.
On a fixed screen, Live View is very handy in some situations (especially when the camera is attached to a tripod), but of limited use when a photograph needs to be taken from an awkward angle. An articulated screen removes this limitation and, when coupled with the E-620’s highly effective contrast-detection AF system, Live View becomes an indispensable rather than simply optional feature.
- 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