Overall Rating:


Olympus E-620

  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:
  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
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  • Autofocus:



Price as Reviewed:


The Olympus E-620 combines a small, portable body with high-technology features – is it the definition of the Four Thirds Advantage?

White balance and colour

I am impressed by the performance of the automatic white balance system of the Olympus E-620. Notably, it copes very well with mixed lighting conditions, which cannot be said of all current DSLRs. In a museum, lit partly by sodium lights and partly by sunlight, the E-620 consistently delivered pleasing results, with only a few images needing minor adjustments to remove the suggestion of a pink colour cast.

In daylight, the AWB system performs slightly differently from what I would expect, but not in a bad way: although it removes a little warmth from images taken in low-contrast conditions, it actually adds a little into pictures taken in bright sunlight, producing images that are warmer than those taken using the daylight WB preset.

Viewed in isolation, equivalent images taken at the two different WB settings look fine, but viewed side-by-side I prefer the warmer colour rendition of daylight pictures taken using AWB. The only environment in which I found the E-620’s AWB system consistently struggled was, again, back in the museum under low-intensity 100% sodium lighting, where the camera did what I expected and gave a yellowy-green cast.

The Olympus E-620 features a small collection of Picture Mode presets for its JPEG files: Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone and Custom. Although this is a smaller range than can be found on some competitive DSLRs, it is more than adequate for normal photography, and all colour presets can be customised to the extent that the contrast, sharpness and saturation can be adjusted on a ±2 step scale (with 0 as the default in all cases). The Monotone picture mode is fairly
versatile, and black & white filter effects can be added as well as a range of toning options including sepia and ‘blue’ for a cyanotype effect.

  • 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

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